4

Copying the output from the Stack Exchange Data Explorer is pretty broken.

I stole a query here that outputs numbers from 1-100 to demonstrate the issue. Here's a GIF of me selecting everything, copying (at the very bottom of the list), then going back to unselect some stuff:

As you can see, it doesn't unselect things properly after you've scrolled. And—more importantly—here is what was copied (unformatted to save space):

81Odd82Even83Odd84Even85Odd86Even87Odd88Even89Odd90Even91Odd92Even93Odd94Even95Odd96Even97Odd98Even99Odd100Even

It's clear that only lines 81-100 were selected: 20 lines total. The developer console tells the rest of the story: object permanence isn't real; nothing besides these 20 lines actually exists on the page. As you scroll, the lines are added and removed from the page.

I highly encourage you to try this out yourself.

This behavior makes no sense and makes for terrible user experience. How would you expect the average person (i.e. someone with no SQL experience) to deal with this? And think of what happens when you have 25 lines and you copy them: would you notice that there are some lines missing?

There is a workaround (make the URL in the query and get plain text results), but is not as easy as using [Post Link]. I'd really like to be able to use [Post Link] because it's easy-to-use, cross-site, and gives me a hyperlinked title (which can then be easily converted to Markdown).

  • This is just another aspect of this other bug. – Awesome Poodles Jun 3 at 2:24
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    The easy work-around is just: hit the Download CSV button and work with the CSV, then work with that. That's the usual way to get SEDE results to a program to analyse them further. – Erik Reinstate MonicA Jun 3 at 7:05
  • @ErikA I use the “text-only” checkbox, which I like because I don’t need to download anything and it doesn’t add commas. – Laurel Jun 3 at 10:36

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