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This is a minor frustration, but I have a comment that I put italics and bold into (using asterisks.) Now I know I just just be happy that I could do it at all, but it seems to me that those should not count toward my comment char limit.

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With so many repeated paths, that comment could easily have been shortened. You also could have split it into two comments. –  Jon Seigel Jun 8 '10 at 20:33
Much more of an impact are links; the whole URL and brackets/parentheses count towards the limit –  Michael Mrozek Jun 8 '10 at 20:43

5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Six hundred characters isn't enough to include your content plus formatting? That Should Be Enough For Anyone™.

That particular comment could be done as an update to the question, where it would be much more readable. View source to steal:

Update: Regarding pm.h as ctacke points out, I must have something funny going on. I have 5 versions of pm.h on my machine and none of them have POWER_STATE_BACKLIGHTON in them. I am using VS 2008. They are located at:

  • C:\Program Files\Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK R2\PocketPC\Include\Armv4i
  • C:\Program Files\Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK R2\Smartphone\Include\Armv4i
  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\SmartDevices\SDK\PocketPC2003\Include
  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\SmartDevices\SDK\Smartphone2003\Include
  • C:\Program Files\Windows CE Tools\wce500\Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC SDK\Include\Armv4i
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Though those sentences could be better phrased; I paid attention to the formatting and pretty much ignored the content of the SO question... ;) –  Gnome Jun 8 '10 at 21:19
I wish I could format the spacing in my comments, but until this is done (never) I think you have the best solution. –  Vaccano Jun 8 '10 at 22:51
Not if you're using links, it's not! –  HodofHod Jun 14 '12 at 14:36

We need the formatting chars to count so that we can put in comments of less than 15 chars. Please don't blow it for us.

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​ –  mmyers Jun 8 '10 at 20:42
I used to use ` `, but they fixed that one :( –  Michael Mrozek Jun 8 '10 at 20:43
See, @Chacha's comment shows up as a big blank area. Mine doesn't show anything at all. –  mmyers Jun 8 '10 at 20:53
@mmyers: Interesting, they appear identical on Chrome 6.0.408.1. What are you using? –  Gnome Jun 8 '10 at 20:57
I see the blank space in IE8. –  Lance Roberts Jun 8 '10 at 21:03
I have IE7 here at work. I'll check on Opera when I get home. @The –  mmyers Jun 8 '10 at 21:12
IE8 at the office, and Firefox 3.summat here render nothing for mmyers, and a blank area for Chacha. –  Grace Note Jun 8 '10 at 22:53
Opera 10.53 also shows blank for Chacha. @cco @The –  mmyers Jun 8 '10 at 23:39
Safari 5 doesen't even show a space - just the "–". –  Emil Jun 12 '10 at 22:03

In a perfect world... yeah, I agree.

In this one though, that sounds like the sort of thing that would be rather problematic to implement. Either write shorter comments, or push for a larger character limit...

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What about links? They take up a large chunk of the charlimit. Though its not too pressing, when a bunch of links kills my charlimit, I use multiple comments :) –  Manishearth Jun 14 '12 at 15:07

How many formatting character do you propose to use out of 600ish in you answer, man?

I mean, I routinely use 4--8 in a long comment, but that is of close order 1%.

Surely you can tighten up you prose enough to make that big a difference, and if you can't you're trying to cram too much into a comment.

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Links are my biggest problem, and the one least under my control. If a URL has a long link none of the options are ideal...

  1. Don't link to it, reducing the utility of the comment.
  2. Obsessively trim the grammar to get more space, which is no fun & can garble meaning.
  3. Use a URL shortener, risking it becoming obsolete.
  4. Trim that whole section of the comment, losing content.

Assuming the purpose of the comment character limit is to discourage long discussions in comments (and encourage you to make them answers), it seems the limit should be more concerned with the information density of the comment rather than its raw character count. Regardless of the technical limitations, it would be useful to discuss this in principle.

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