Should they be collapsible?

Sometimes, users will paste a lot of different blocks of code because they don't know where the problem is. Which makes it hard for the rest of the community to read the question. A lot of these blocks are obviously not important for me when I read the question and I would love to close them. Like in a treeview.

I've seen way worst than this but this is one I found in my feed a few minutes ago.

It could look like this :

Opened :

-  [I loop through stuff]

foreach(Stuff x in myStuff)
  //Do something irrelevant to the question

Closed :

+  [I loop through stuff]

Same goes for the pictures. They could be hidden with a short comment explaining what they are. Some questions/answer are just spammed with pictures. They are important, but they make it hard for other users to read the post.

Take my answer as exemple.

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    Wouldn't it be better to encourage the OP to improve their post with some judicious editing? – user102937 May 15 '13 at 19:00
  • Thanks @Antony I was looking for a good word to use :P – ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd May 15 '13 at 19:01
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    @RobertHarvey well it depends. IMO my answer with the pictures is good. I'd still love to collapse some pictures while reading it. Makes it easier to understand. Especially if there can be a comment to explain what the picture is about. Same goes for the code. Sometime it's obviously irrelevant but other time it's the needed code but it's so big it makes it hard and painfully long to scroll and fin the information you need. I think it would be a nice addition. – ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd May 15 '13 at 19:03
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    Why not just use spoilers? >! – Ryan B May 15 '13 at 19:37
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    @RyanB: That just replaces a big block of code with a big block of gray. Please don't use spoilers; make the blocks shorter instead. – hammar May 15 '13 at 19:40
  • @hammar, was just testing that – Ryan B May 15 '13 at 19:41
  • "because they don't know where the problem is" -- are such questions even on topic on Stack Overflow? – Arjan May 15 '13 at 19:48
  • @Arjan User post code. Someone comments please post more code. The user have no idea what to post. He posts the whole code. Happens all the time. – ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd May 15 '13 at 19:49
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    Things that happen all the time are not necessarily on topic. – Arjan May 15 '13 at 19:50
  • As for spoilers being big blocks of gray, @hammar, that could be fixed: Use spoilers from mobile theme on regular sites too. But even then you're very right: such should not be used for code. – Arjan May 15 '13 at 19:52

The solution to the problem of a question containing gargantuan, mostly irrelevant code snippets is not an interface that facilitates ignoring those snippets. The solution is for the OP (or someone else, if they are able to positively identify the relevant part) to whittle down the code to the relevant bits.

The same logic applies to images. If the image is irrelevant to the question, it should be removed outright, instead of having a "Pretend this problem isn't there" button next to it.

  • It's not about this. At all. I know about edits. I know how it works around here. It's just to make it easier on the eyes. Yes I gave this as an example but read my comment you'll understand what I mean. – ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd May 15 '13 at 19:36
  • @returnPhaDaPhunk Editing the question to remove irrelevant code does make it easier on the eyes, except it does this for all users, and is permanent. There are very few legitimate use cases for questions with gigantic code dumps; most can be dealt with by identifying irrelevant content and deleting it. – user200500 May 15 '13 at 19:41
  • @returnPhaDaPhunk Regarding your answer, I think most of the images in the beginning are unnecessary, since they're just images of words. It would be more useful to just list the phrases that need translation and link to where they can be found. – user200500 May 15 '13 at 19:48
  • Once again in a case where the code is irrelevant. I see posts with big or a lot of pictures all the time. Same for huge code blocks. – ʞunɥdɐpɐɥd May 15 '13 at 19:48
  • @returnPhaDaPhunk If a post contains lots of pictures, they should be cropped and sized appropriately and formatted so that the post is neat and organised. If you do this, there shouldn't really be a problem with reading the question regardless of how many images are in it. If you absolutely need to read the post in a non linear fashion, you can easily write a short GM script that adds expand/collapse functionality to images and code blocks, but I don't see the need for this functionality to be included in the main site. – user200500 May 15 '13 at 19:55

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