Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

Just ran across "How do I achieve the following in HTML?" The question, "What should i do in HTML so that it works in all browsers including IE6?" Oh, wait, my sprint card is downloading an image now...ah yes, the actual meat of this issue is an illustration, not an actual question containing details. (Working from slightly slower mobile internet, I actually had no idea an image was coming for a couple of seconds)

What ought to be done in these types of instances? Should somebody create a question from scratch, so the illustration become supplemental, rather than the main focus? What do you guys think?

share|improve this question
Sounds like a webdesigner problem. – random Mar 12 '10 at 5:08
ASCII​​​​​ art! – mmyers Mar 12 '10 at 5:11
Note that I've edited the question to include a from-scratch text-based question. If someone has a problem with it, then revert it.. – Earlz Mar 12 '10 at 5:13
@earlz: nice edit!!! – IAbstract Mar 12 '10 at 5:35
Question edited with source code provided. still not working :(( – user144551 Mar 12 '10 at 8:10
Buy a faster Sprint plan? :P – Kev Mar 12 '10 at 9:35
:), now thats a great answer !! – user144551 Mar 12 '10 at 12:42

A picture's worth 1000 words.

If the OP put in the time to make a diagram, why is that a bad thing? I'd much rather see that then the incoherent babbling of some posts.

share|improve this answer
Especially when they're new to HTML/CSS, and they use words that don't jive with the jargon. – D_N Mar 12 '10 at 5:32
@D_N I want to make a fixed length tab panel. It needs a scrollbar and a label inside of it. Oh and a bitmap button. How do I do this for Microsoft Windows. I need HTML and CSS plz kthx – Earlz Mar 12 '10 at 5:36

Four things would have helped:

  1. A textual description of what was needed, with the image then serving as a visual aid. This was added by Earlz in the first edit.
  2. A bit of text or code describing what the author had already tried and how it had failed. This was added by the author in subsequent edits.
  3. Alt-text for the image, as an aide to those on slow connections or otherwise unable to easily view images. I added this now.
  4. A smaller image: the one originally part of the question was too wide for SO (and so scaled post-download) and saved as a high-quality JPEG in spite of its contents being primarily large areas of solid colors. I scaled this and re-saved it as an indexed PNG, reducing the size to almost 1/3 of the original without any careful tuning.
share|improve this answer
The alt text helps, because now that you've optimized the image and moved it to ImageShack I can't see it at all. :) – mmyers Mar 12 '10 at 18:48
@mmyers: hmm... It was already on ImageShack, that's why I put the new one there; guess this is why I usually self-host the images that I post. ;-) – Shog9 Mar 12 '10 at 19:45
Ah, I take it back -- I originally saw the question when I was at home. Not your fault at all, then. – mmyers Mar 12 '10 at 20:02

I believe that a question should be created from scratch. In this case, I would guess that the OP does not know how to describe what is desired, or it was simply quicker to drop in the image. Images should be used to enhance or clarify the question.

The question should be subject to editing and have the image removed, in my opinion. As in this case, I don't feel the image is necessary at all.

If the OP is unfamiliar with the proper terminology for what is being asked (as is suggested by @D_N), doing the extra work to find out will be beneficial. Or editing and providing a quality edit to preempt the image (as @earlz did in this case) will also educate the OP. On a number of occasions, when I wasn't sure what the correct terminologies were and did a little extra research, I have actually determined the answers on my own.

Simply throwing an image up to the community and saying "How do I do this..." is much akin to saying "give me teh codez", in my opinion. Nice image or not, it isn't much more than that.

share|improve this answer
I feel the image does help, as a comment went: Nice diagram! +1 – Keltex I believe in this case it does help us to visualize what the asker is wanting. There definitely should be a text-based question along with that too though – Earlz Mar 12 '10 at 5:20
It is a nice diagram, definitely. Note, however, that I didn't say the image must be removed in favor of a written question - only that, in this case, it should be subject to editing as such. If a nice question were leading up to the image, that would be different. – IAbstract Mar 12 '10 at 5:32
why not use an image? If i can clarify better using a picture, i will. – user144551 Mar 12 '10 at 8:13
Also note that i have at a later stage provided my code. – user144551 Mar 12 '10 at 8:58
@Salvin: See the last sentence of the first paragraph. I specifically state that a picture should be used to enhance or clarify the questin. Obviously, I am not opposed to images. – IAbstract Mar 12 '10 at 12:45

Shouldn't these questions be on Doctype? There's an HTML sandbox there right in each post for showing examples.

share|improve this answer
I posted the question on Doctype. Not much reactions there... just one answer – user144551 Mar 15 '10 at 6:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .