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The lack of horizontal scrolling in side-by-side diffs of code-blocks during the review process often makes the process somewhat challenging. Here is an example that prompted me to finally speak up about this.

Word-wrapped diff of code block

Now, I expect that horizontal scrolling has probably been disabled so that the reviewer doesn't miss important changes, but I believe this does more harm than good. Sure, I can see all the changes side-by-side, but it's not at all easy to see whether the edit is an improvement.

In fact, the edit on the above question was approved (by a single user). If you look at the revision stack for the question it's still not clear whether the edit was an improvement.

In normal display of a question or answer, horizontal scrolling in code-blocks is enabled. If I want to examine the layout before and after, I need to drill into the revision stack and edit individual revisions in order to see a preview. Because I can no longer see the actual changes as a diff, the whole review process is undermined.

May I recommend that horizontal scrollbars can be enabled on code-block reviews? Even better would be a check-box that allows me to toggle horizontal scrolling and/or enable preview without diff.

Note that, by the time I finished writing this question, Meta had finally provided a similar question in the sidebar, but it appears to have had little attention. So please accept this more fully-formed question as a follow-up.

  • Another related question showed up only after posting. I wonder why these don't seem to show up in the searches that I do prior to posting. – paddy Aug 4 '13 at 23:33

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