Well, I'm blind so, perhaps, this question could seem stupid for most of you.

When I write questions on Stack Overflow, often I'm blocked for some code formatting error and, sometimes, I don't understand where the problem is.

One example: p:dataTable and MalformedByteSequenceException

… tell me why I should press ctrl+k on:

<br/> Where could be the problem? <br/> The xhtml page (that contained a h:dataTable) was modify replacing the dataTable and the column tag with those of PrimeFaces, the class was modify to return a List object and not a DataModel...<br/> I saw this example:<br/> http://www.primefaces.org/showcase-labs/ui/datatableSorting.jsf <br/> and it seems simple to add the sorting option because I must not add any specific code into java's class...<br/> However here it is my code:<br/>

for inserting the question.

So my suggestion is: Why don't you add an option for "calling" a moderator to a question and see why it is malformed?

It could be simple — a flag that permits inserting of a question but not with visibility for all. You could give the moderators the "power" to give a -X reputation penalty if they see an abuse of this option. Or, you could limit this option to a certain number (for each day/month/year or whatever).

What do you think about this?

  • 3
    Having moderators being in control of assigning rep as a direct effect as opposed to a side effect of maintaining the quality of the site? Disastrous. – casperOne Mar 5 '12 at 14:22
  • 7
    There are two ideas here, @casperOne and the first one is interesting. Presumably, code formatting would be quite a challenge to someone that can't see. The second idea (presumably to keep people from abusing the feature) is bad by the proposed implementation, but such a feature would in fact be abused. I think that's the point the OP was trying to make. – Tim Post Mar 5 '12 at 14:26
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    A side note, to get line (not paragraph) breaks, use two spaces after the line (in place of the <br /> you're using) – Yi Jiang Mar 5 '12 at 14:48
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    For the code mark up part it doesn't have to be a mod. Could be some trusted users.... – Flexo Mar 5 '12 at 14:58
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    @Tim : you're right! My second idea is only for blocking the abuse from a noob user! – Filippo1980 Mar 5 '12 at 15:18
  • @Yi : thanks for your suggestions! – Filippo1980 Mar 5 '12 at 15:20
  • @awoodland : I'm quite newbie so I don't know which are the roles here but if you think that it could be a good option for the trusted users... it could be awarded with some badges... – Filippo1980 Mar 5 '12 at 15:22
  • @slhck : well the idea of limited this option only to visual invired, for me, it is good... I should insert, into my profile, that I'm blind and not all whould that! The second thing is that someone could flag himself blind only for use this option... Mah... – Filippo1980 Mar 5 '12 at 17:04
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    In the meantime, keep a "Please help me with my formatting, I have to use a restricted input device" type comment on your clip board and make a insta-comment (or put it in the post). – dmckee Mar 5 '12 at 19:31
  • there is some privilegies that permit to jump the code formatter check? I ask that because, after the edit of Matt on the post that I linked, I can't edit it anymore! Why? – Filippo1980 Mar 6 '12 at 10:13
  • I can't see any reason why you shouldn't be able to edit it. What did you try to edit and how did that fail? (I'd be happy to help if I knew what to change.) – Daniel Fischer Mar 6 '12 at 12:55
  • @Daniel-Fischer : well, if I press "edit" and after "save edit" I can't save anything for this error: > •Your post appears to contain code that is not properly formatted as code. Please indent all code by 4 spaces using the code toolbar button or the CTRL+K keyboard shortcut. For more editing help, click the [?] toolbar icon. and, as I said, I didn't change anything! – Filippo1980 Mar 6 '12 at 13:42
  • however I would only add that I resolve the problem but I don't know how... however what I should do when it happen? Should I delete my question? Or flag as closed? – Filippo1980 Mar 6 '12 at 13:44
  • Hmm, just tried. I clicked the 'edit' link, and clicked 'save edits' without changing anything, I got no error (but since I didn't change anything, of course there's no new revision created, still at Matt's). Odd. Can I do anything specific? – Daniel Fischer Mar 6 '12 at 13:47
  • Since it has one upvoted answer, you can't delete the question yourself. What was the resolution? It may be appropriate to post that as an answer yourself. But if the question turned out to be erroneous, I think an edit to the question body would be preferable. – Daniel Fischer Mar 6 '12 at 13:51

I like the general idea -- I think making it work like the edit approval system would be better than just leaving it to mods though. Allow visually impaired users to put together an answer and mark it so 10k or 20k users will be asked to review it (anonymously) for formatting before it goes live.

I wouldn't build in a rep penalty, but a certain number of "declined" reviews could lock someone out of this system for a day to prevent abuse.

  • 2
    +1; Perhaps each profile could include a Visually Impaired Flag activated thru emailing the SO Team for approval? – user7116 Mar 5 '12 at 16:32
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    A flag on accounts could also control other accessibility features of the site like putting the CSS/Layout into a screen-reader-friendly mode too. (I don't know how well the current layout works but @Filippo1980 could probably tell us) – voretaq7 Mar 5 '12 at 16:36
  • @voretaq7 : StackExchange sites works quite well with screen reader, the only function that isn't accessible is the toolbar of editor! I dislike the idea of a flag, but if it could be use to improve the accessibility of the website it will good! – Filippo1980 Mar 6 '12 at 8:25
  • @Filippo1980 I don't think the flag would be publicly visible. It would just tell the system "This user is allowed to submit posts to the formatting review queue", as I imagine it. – Daniel Fischer Mar 6 '12 at 13:02

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