Although line numbers in code have generally been discussed (for example, in Why are there no line numbers in the code listings?), one issue that has not come up is that the current code block style gives no visual indicator of length.
The problem: When the end of a method aligns with the bottom of the code block frame, users can miss code:
This can even cause users to request that the OP post code which has already been posted:
I've seen this issue a few times. Line numbers along the side is not a great solution, mostly since they change as the post gets edited.
This is a bit worse on mobile browsers. When looking at the desktop site on iOS, the speed of your finger determines whether you can scroll in the box. Scroll too quickly on the gray box and the whole page slides up.
Three possible solutions:
Add a header listing the total number of lines at the top (this could at least give you a hint that more content is available). Github does this:
One drawback of this is that you only know it means that you should scroll if you know the maximum number of lines in a code block (which may change depending on Stack Exchange site).
Add a scroll indicator in the bottom corner, like so:
(This would disappear when scrolling begins.)
Remove the code block "windows" entirely and just show all the code. (This is what the Stack Overflow mobile site does to avoid the issue I mentioned above)
- Do you think this is worth improving?
- If so, which solution do you prefer?