For example I have seen people post questions and answers like this:

You should use instead of because does not do what you think it should do and does what you want.

But it should have looked like this:

You should use <tag> instead of <othertag> because <othertag> does not do what you think it should do and <tag> does what you want.

Some users do not even realize that they are making those kinds of mistakes!

There should be a popup of some sort that wars you that you might not have indented or backticked code, because if you do not do those things your post will not look correct!

  • @MichaelT That question is from 2011. And I am not asking if it is ok, I am asking to disallow it. – qwertynl Dec 17 '13 at 18:14
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    @qwertynl Why? Sure, it's a hack, but is it really a problem? – yannis Dec 17 '13 at 18:17
  • @qwertynl If you're requesting it be changed, then why tag it "support"? – Servy Dec 17 '13 at 18:18
  • Other than my silly answer that people for some reason voted up, yes, it could be. Especially for users who mistakenly don't indent their code properly and it does not show up in their answer (which I have seen numerous times) @Yannis – qwertynl Dec 17 '13 at 18:18
  • How would you go about disallowing it? I'm sure that creative users will find work-arounds to whatever you propose anyway. If a user is getting really abusive by posting empty answers all the time, a moderator can deal with that. – Martijn Pieters Dec 17 '13 at 18:19
  • @Servy because I am asking for support on a current feature, and I am requesting that it be changed. – qwertynl Dec 17 '13 at 18:19
  • I have been one of these people who didn't wrap code with ticks or in code blocks and had my tags disappear. – rlemon Dec 17 '13 at 18:19
  • Hence My question. Maybe I should put all of this in the OP. One minute @rlemon – qwertynl Dec 17 '13 at 18:20
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    I like your second feature request about the formatting warning, but I don’t think the first part really needs fixing. – Ry- Dec 17 '13 at 18:23
  • Ok I will update my OP then with just the 2nd part then. That was really the crux of my problem. I just thought to throw in the part abt making a post VERY SMALL – qwertynl Dec 17 '13 at 18:24
  • @Yannis I changed the crux of my question to a feature request. – qwertynl Dec 17 '13 at 18:27
  • @SpecialSnowflake Can you delete the question so I can start again from scratch with my feature request? – qwertynl Dec 17 '13 at 18:30
  • @qwertynl: You could just revert your own edit and mark MichaelT's answer as accepted. Then you can re-ask the new feature request as a separate question. – Ilmari Karonen Dec 17 '13 at 18:31
  • @IlmariKaronen I do not agree with Michael's answer... and that is just confusing... – qwertynl Dec 17 '13 at 18:32
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    Well, scratch that part of the suggestion, then. My point being that, even though I know you didn't intend it, you've accidentally turned this into a chameleon question. IMO, the best course in such situations is to revert and re-ask. (Ps. I think your new version is a really good feature request -- it just deserves a clean start.) – Ilmari Karonen Dec 17 '13 at 18:34


<update type="chameleon">

Determining if something is poorly formated or not is a very difficult problem. Determining if they have pasted code but not code block formatted it is a much bigger problem than stray <tags> in the text. Some of which are whitelisted (please look at the source).

Trying to write code code to determine what the intent of the text - did you want to use <i> there? or was that supposed to be inlined is a non-trivial problem.

Human meaning is best determined by humans who read the post and assist by demonstrating the proper formatting along with instruction on it... rather than having some code attempt to guess the intent of the author.

There is no coded solution to people posting questions or answers who don't care about the quality of the post.


<some tag answers="http://meta.stackoverflow.com/revisions/212187/1">

No.  You should be allowed to do that because the alternative is painful.

The alternative involves trying to parse the body of the post to determine if something is rendered or not. This isn't exactly trivial. Identifying what is rendered and not means running the post through markdown and examining the rendered output for displayed character counts. Such things as code blocks and Mathjax makes this very non-trivial.

Just consider this answer and the processing necessary to determine if this is rendered or not.

Then you've got things that look big, but are similarly small. Just a guitar note on the music site, or a simple mock up on the ux site, or a single chess position on chess.SE. These are all things that take more than the minimum character count, difficult to render and determine if it is something to say "you need more material for"

Honestly, I'd be more concerned about filtering answers where the entire thing is a code block than things that use html/markdown trickery to determine if its rendered or not.

Votes will sort out if its good or not. Edits will sort out when there's a mistake in the user's understanding of markdown (you did leave a good edit message, right?).

</some tag>

| improve this answer | |
  • Hmmm I did not notice that you posted this... but my question was updated with an elaboration of what was bothering me... So this answer does not reflect that – qwertynl Dec 17 '13 at 18:24
  • And I saw that, and added another sentence to it too. – user213963 Dec 17 '13 at 18:24
  • Sorry... I basically changed the crux of my question based on what mod said in the comments.... :-( Sorry about that... – qwertynl Dec 17 '13 at 18:25
  • There is no "alternative". Either follow the rules (answer/post length) or don't post. If this is a problem, the minimum char count needs adjusted. – DJSpud Dec 17 '13 at 18:26
  • @MichaelT can you either move the chameleon update to the top or remove the original answer? This is just confusing.... – qwertynl Dec 17 '13 at 18:37

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