Suppose you got the following edit to review:

enter image description here

Looks fairly reasonable to give that bunch of code the relevant formatting information, I would say. But would you notice if there was any relevant change in the code? If I do my reviewing attentively, I will have to make a line-by-line comparison of the code to notice changes apart from the code formatting.

(In the image above I could find nothing of those, but still, there might be minor changes.)

So, why not add a different highlighting for format changes. Say, we make the gray background yellow to indicate that the formatting has changed. The green and red highlights then are reserved for actual content changes and not only formatting.

I'm pretty sure we would notice differences much more quickly and could handle them more adequate.

In fact, this suggestion applies to every view where differences are hightlighted (edit history comes to my mind) and probably could be extended for all formatting changes (including bold, italics and citation).

What do you think?


2 Answers 2


If you switch to the markdown view instead of rendered output, you'll get a more useful diff for these types of code edits:

Same diff, in markdown mode

  • 1
    Markdown view is a partial solution. Yes, you see this kind of differences there much better, however, you loose the context and overall impression. A change in the rendered comparison would allow to see both all differences at one glance.
    – Thilo
    Jun 29, 2013 at 8:16

If the code is not formatted properly and placed as normal text, after formatting the code it will display like your your posted image. So no one will know that if anyone has removed any text or added any text in that code.

For knowing the exact edited part you can use Markdown view, to view the actual difference of code changes. It is removing all identical lines between the original post and edited post.


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