It would be nice if the users asking the question could preview the way the summary of their question looks on the list of questions. The current way of automatically summarizing the question by its first two lines is OK, but it may not always be what the user had in mind.

For example, some questions start with a code snippet, with the body of the question in English sitting at the bottom. The summary of such questions becomes useless, because the top of the snippet is often the set-up code. This makes the search of question lists less efficient.

With a preview of the question's summary in place, in addition to the preview of the question itself, the users would be more aware of the way the summary looks. This will improve the chance that the summary will come out good-looking.

  • 6
    No, please not. I don't think posters should be worrying about the summary, they have trouble enough producing legible questions without fussing over yet another variable. Sep 21, 2012 at 17:06
  • 3
    @MartijnPieters That variable is there whether you like it or not, except that now they set it blindly. Sep 21, 2012 at 17:07
  • 2
    This is a legitimate concern -- I consider the "preview space" when editing posts, and often move things around to make the summary more useful -- but I don't think showing a preview will be useful. It won't be used by people who need it, and will be noise to people who don't need it.
    – Pops
    Sep 21, 2012 at 17:49
  • 3
    Integrating this into the existing pre-view would mitigate noise -- something as simple as a mark on the edge, or even a very mild highlight or thin-edged box, indicating where the summary cuts off, with the usual JIT/pop-up "WTF is this?" help. @Pop
    – jscs
    Sep 21, 2012 at 18:10
  • @JoshCaswell I just don't see it working out, but I hope it does.
    – Pops
    Sep 21, 2012 at 18:17
  • 1
    I think this is a great idea to encourage people to be more conscious of the summary.
    – Flexo
    Sep 21, 2012 at 18:36


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