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Note: I am not asking why is there a minimum limit.

Previously closed as dup, but neither of the "duplicates" answer this question!!!

The suggested dups were:

Both of which ask why the limit is there. I know why it's there. I'm happy it's there.

This question is asking why it is 15 (and not 14, or 16, etc)?

Was any thought or research put into the choice, or was it just based on feel?

Some examples of reasons for choosing 15:

  • Was some statistical analysis done on comment sizes?
  • Was the limit borrowed from an external academic or commercial source?
  • Was it decided on by committee?
  • Is it because it's the largest length that can be represented by a single hex digit?

Also note: I don't think it's a bad limit or needs changing. I am just curious to know why 15 specifically was chosen.

The reason I'm asking is if the reason has firm basis it, that basis could be valuable info for someone researching lower thresholds of meaningful communication.

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16  
Unicorns fly in groups of 15. Thought it was obvious :) –  Fluffeh Apr 3 at 9:38
5  
"spolsky atwood" is 15 bytes long (including the NUL character). –  Frédéric Hamidi Apr 3 at 9:38
4  
@Łukasz, [questioner is] not asking why is there a minimum limit. –  Frédéric Hamidi Apr 3 at 9:47
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@FrédéricHamidi but the answer to that questions gives an explanation: because 15 is mentioned in some holy quote from Jeff. Quotes from Jeff are considered holy because unicorns talk to him when he sleeps or something that way... –  РСТȢѸФХѾЦЧШЩЪЫЬѢѤЮѦѪѨѬѠѺѮѰѲѴ Apr 3 at 9:50
1  
why is the max comment length 600 –  Bolu Apr 3 at 10:39
2  
Guys, I'm asking why was 15 chosen. Those dups do not ask or answer that –  Bohemian Apr 3 at 10:45
3  
It's the median age of emotional maturity of users on the site. Not sure if that's why it was picked, but just sayin' –  Tim Post Apr 3 at 11:37
    
@TimPost Maybe it's the median IQ of users on the site. –  devnull Apr 3 at 11:48
2  
@TimPost ...Is not! –  Bohemian Apr 3 at 11:49
8  
I have a feeling the only serious answer here is "no special reason". Just a moment decision by Jeff when he wrote the code. –  Shadow Wizard Apr 3 at 11:55
5  
@ShadowWizard et al., the answer to "Why this particular number?" is almost always "Because we had to pick one and this one felt about right." The answer to "Why a minimum at all?" is more interesting and addressed in other places. –  David Fullerton Apr 3 at 20:13
    
@DavidFullerton Sure, but I am curious if any thought or research went into it. –  Bohemian Apr 3 at 20:46
1  
@ShadowWizard you seem to doubt that Jeff really spoke with unicorns in his dreams ;) –  РСТȢѸФХѾЦЧШЩЪЫЬѢѤЮѦѪѨѬѠѺѮѰѲѴ Apr 3 at 20:56
1  
@ShadowWizard I don't really talk to Jeff on a regular basis, and it seems a little silly to send him an email about this :) If there was research, it was probably of the form "What are some crappy comments we don't want to allow?" and set it just longer than that. But probably he just picked a number. –  David Fullerton Apr 4 at 15:29
2  
Thanks @David, your reply is more than what most here expected, I'm pretty sure of that. As for email asking "Hey Jeff, why did you set the minimum comment length to 15?" he'll go after you with some giant letter (maybe T for trivial? ;)) so better not push your luck. –  Shadow Wizard Apr 4 at 20:14

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I am asking why it is 15 (and not 14, or 16, etc)?

Perhaps because 15 is the magic constant of the unique order-3 normal magic square.

Seems like a good enough reason!

Moreover it is a:

share|improve this answer
    
Ah, it's a magical number. I thought so. –  Mr Lister Apr 3 at 10:47
    
I have no idea what a magical number has to do with minimum comment length limitation... –  Bolu Apr 3 at 10:58
1  
I like pentalopes. Who wouldn't love a nice even-toed ungulate species? –  Andrew Barber Apr 3 at 15:59
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@AndrewBarber Very few understand humor unless the question is tagged such. –  devnull Apr 3 at 16:11
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@AndrewBarber BTW, this answer was flooded with comments. Did you do the honors? –  devnull Apr 3 at 16:11
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I deleted a couple; another mod deleted one, and two were self-deleted. The ones I deleted were due to being obsolete without the others. –  Andrew Barber Apr 3 at 16:13
    
I think (well, quite sure actually) the OP here is looking for a serious answer but most chances there's no such answer so humor is a fine plan B. –  Shadow Wizard Apr 3 at 19:30
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@ShadowWizard you... umm... you say that as if humor isn't a fine plan in some situation. Could you describe such a situation in detail, so I can avoid it? ;) –  Andrew Barber Apr 4 at 20:49
    
Dragon: "how many teeth I have?" Hero: "42, mighty dragon". Dragon: "you making fun of me?!" <chops hero's head off>. So, @Andrew, humor was not a fine plan in there. :p –  Shadow Wizard Apr 4 at 21:10
    
@sha touche'! (15 or more!) –  Andrew Barber Apr 4 at 21:45

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