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I've accidentally checked the CW checkbox on one of my answers (yes, I'm a fool). Since I cannot undo, the solution seems to be to re-post, but this can be quite frustrating since you lose all your votes. A nice solution would be for SO to prompt me with an "are you sure?" message before continuing, when SO has been checked.


This has been bugging me like crazy - I've been trying to re-create this issue, with no luck. Can you even set CW on an answer after it's been updated? I tried tabbing to the CW checkbox, but it's not possible, so we can rule that out as the cause - and I'd say it's practically impossible for me to accidentally click the button.

I think the cause may be that I didn't accidentally check the box, but migrating from SU to SF caused it to become community wiki... but I didn't think that was possible.

So maybe a warning box isn't the answer here... Maybe I've stumbled across found a bug? Or is this by design?

Update 2:

Actually, maybe there should be the following message:

Are you sure you want to edit? After 10 revisions your answer will be community wiki.

I just realised that's why my answer became CW. Quite annoying.

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Hmm... How do you accidentally check that box? –  Shog9 Jan 18 '10 at 19:47
Lol, i agree Shog9 –  user142049 Jan 18 '10 at 19:56
Accidentally checking it and submitting it, a few times, seems like something you should get checked out. :) –  GManNickG Jan 18 '10 at 20:12
@Shog9: Haha, maybe I'm a special case. Ok, so I exaggerated on "a few times", I've actually only done it once (that I know of). I will update my answer. Regardless, I can't even remember doing it, but I checked the revision history and there it was. Maybe I tabbed to the checkbox, got distracted and pressed space by accident... I have no idea. –  nbolton Jan 19 '10 at 6:50
In a way, what is the worst the would happen? Not getting reputation for your answer? I don't think that the fact the many people can edit your post is relevant here. In the end, anyway, it's about providing a good question/answer, no? –  Gnoupi Jan 19 '10 at 10:38
While I believe in the greater good of community benefit, you can't argue that reputation is the unique selling point of SO, so to speak. Reputation is what makes SO thrive. That's why I care about my votes. –  nbolton Jan 19 '10 at 16:25
For new users, this can be really frustrating. But then, I must admit that it's pretty hard to accidentally check that box, unless you're drunk and clicking everywhere, or have OCD. –  Wolf Jan 19 '10 at 16:56
@Wolf Damn! No fooling you :D –  nbolton Jan 19 '10 at 16:58
Just made this CW - on purpose this time ;) –  nbolton Jan 19 '10 at 17:28
So you are bothered that a question that you made 13 edits to in a matter of a few hours turned CW? (Guessing it's this one stackoverflow.com/revisions/677444/list) –  perbert Jan 19 '10 at 18:12
That question was edited on edited Mar 24 at 20:05. So no, but this is a good example. I have a problem with OCD. –  nbolton Jan 20 '10 at 18:22

4 Answers 4

The box isn't easy to click "accidentally" and isn't even visible to new users, only those that have been around awhile.

It would only be in the way for those that want to select CW for their questions.

share|improve this answer
I didn't say I clicked it, I said I checked it. ;) My theory is that I tabbed to it and pressed space by accident. I seriously have no idea though, I had a couple of beers at the time. –  nbolton Jan 19 '10 at 6:54
"isn't even visible to new users, only those that have been around awhile" -- aha, I didn't know that! –  Arjan Jan 19 '10 at 7:54
Friends don't let friends drink and post questions. –  Graeme Perrow Jan 19 '10 at 16:50

I agree with you, Nick. A nice warning asking you to confirm your decision to make it CW would be awesome. Google Chrome still has this bug where checkboxes and radio buttons disappear, so it's impossible to know if it is checked or not, yet still possible to check it. I believe the message should appear when submitting, and not when checking the box, since this is when the action is about to be performed.

@Pollyanna, the checkbox is displayed (at least on meta). I have 1 rep right now and I see it and can check it. It is displayed even for new users, so it might be a good thing to warn them when they're about to post.

Update: However, I must disagree with warning users when editing would make it CW. It might be a good thing to remind them though. I did not search for it, but it would be really nice if it displayed it somewhere easy to find, say on the mouse over of the community wiki checkbox.

On the other hand, you shouldn't be editing your posts that often. I believe you should review what you're writing before posting instead of after. It doesn't take 10 edits to add some information to your post, or you can always add it in a comment, even if comments don't have the same visibility as answers.

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We need more not less CW, therefore I am against this proposal. Delete your question, if you don't like it being CW and ask it again.

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I forgot to mention that in my case it was an answer. Not sure if that matters. –  nbolton Jan 19 '10 at 6:54

Never use a warning when you mean Undo.

I don't agree with the request. You go CW, see that you are getting upvotes, undo CW, get rep.

Sometimes the upvotes come precisely because it's CW.

share|improve this answer
If you can't use an undo, you should use a warning. –  Tyler Carter Jan 18 '10 at 19:02
@Chacha102: you have to click on a checkbox, that is alone to the bottom right, and then click on accept. You really want an extra Deny/Allow crap when submitting your question/answer? –  perbert Jan 18 '10 at 19:20
Well, there is no undo. And given how past suggestions have faired, it's unlikely there will ever be undo. So yeah... I don't think this is all that much of a problem, but if it was then a confirmation dialog would make some sense. –  Shog9 Jan 18 '10 at 19:47
@circular reference The votes came before I made the CW kludge. –  nbolton Jan 19 '10 at 6:53
@Nick Bolton: I'm not saying that's what you wanted to do, I'm pointing out how I could exploit the system. –  perbert Jan 19 '10 at 11:52
@circular reference Ah, nice observation. –  nbolton Jan 19 '10 at 16:22
Making a post community wiki is not creating a habit. The article you are linking to does not apply to this case, IMHO. –  Wolf Jan 19 '10 at 17:25
@Wolf: the habit is with the alert window appearing that everybody, including me, blindingly click to before realizing what just happened. Adding something else to click on to make the post CW isn't the answer. For that matter, you could just add two checkboxes to confirm that you want to make your post CW. –  perbert Jan 19 '10 at 18:08
@circular reference: Which does not really solve the problem... What if you didn't want to click the second check box? We'll need a third one for that... Or what if you forgot to click it? One is enough. You also have to understand that habits work both ways. If you are used to seeing a dialog and dismissing it, then a dialog is not a good idea. But if you are used that no dialog pops up, when one will, you won't have the reflex to dismiss it right away. You need to take in consideration the habit of the environment in which the user is too. –  Wolf Jan 20 '10 at 13:59
How about some randomness? This always breaks habits. Maybe some captcha the user needs to enter to make it CW. Since they will always be different, it is hard to simply dismiss it without reading. Also, since non-CW posts won't need it, it won't be annoying, and it would only be on the conversion from non-CW to CW, which isn't that often, I believe. I doubt it would get annoying (unless the text is hard to read, doesn't have to be complex), and will most certainly not create a habit of dismissing it quickly. –  Wolf Jan 20 '10 at 14:04
@Wolf: I was being sarcastic. Of course a second checkbox would be stupid and tiring. I'm still unconvinced that this is a problem when not drunk. –  perbert Jan 20 '10 at 14:23

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