Note, this is related to the question Can't see difference in suggested edited labelled 'language tag'; what to do?, but none of the questions I have regarding it were answered in it....

A specific user has suggested a large number of edits, on which he's added language hints to the code blocks in the post:

... etc.

But when looking at the posts he's edited, the syntax highlighting was already applied to the code, before he added the language tag, so:

  1. Why is he doing this?
  2. Should I be rejecting the edits or not? (I assume so... it doesn't seem to be doing anything?)
  3. Where's he got the idea to do this from?
  • The ones I approved seemed to have an incorrect syntax highlighting... and as the editor was making other improvements I ended up approving a few and improving ( rejecting ) those where no additional effort was made. May 5, 2012 at 17:32

2 Answers 2


Reject them. If the language identifier doesn't actually change anything in the post, it's completely useless and should be rejected as too minor (unless you're like me and actually type out a reason, which he'll likely never read).

I'm frankly happy to see that there are some people out there that actually check to see if the language identifier is necessary. Sometimes it's easy, like seeing lang-php and a tag is an instant "duh, it's highlighted that way." Some of them require you to actually go to the post and check.

The ones you need to be careful of though are the ones, because if they're also tagged , the HTML highlighting will override the CSS highlighting.

  • 2
    Yeah, I'm beginning to think that we need a non-diff rendered view for cases where it's hard to tell if the edit actually improved the display of the post. Can't remember if there's an existing request for that or not...
    – Tim Stone
    May 5, 2012 at 17:40
  • 3
    Re: highlighting of CSS questions, basically the lang-css hint is needed for CSS snippets only. No other hints are necessary. This applies whether or not the [html] tag is present, because both tags use lang-default. See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/121816/… and explore the links there to understand what's going on. May 5, 2012 at 17:50
  • Another one that isn't auto-detected when other language tags are present is vb.net.
    – Ry-
    May 5, 2012 at 17:52
  • and if you have PHP and MySQL then everything is rendered as PHP May 5, 2012 at 17:57

I'd say reject in most cases when that's the only change.

I've rejected a fair number of them today, where they didn't add anything - adding lang-js to the single code block of a question tagged doesn't provide any value, the syntax highlighting kicks in without the addition.

But be careful though: a few of them were indeed good (if a bit minor) on questions with blocks of code in different languages - and the edits did add some value there.

As for why he/she is doing this, and where he got that idea... I don't know.

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