There have been a couple of cases when I wanted to write an answer on my iPhone and ran into non-working stack snippets editor, only to be greeted with magnificent error: not supported on mobile. Well, you can zoom out in order to create a new snippet (sometimes this works, I'm not sure what's the exact pattern), but that trick doesn't work when it comes to editing already embedded snippet.

For sure, it may not be as comfortable to use a stack snippet on mobile compared on desktop, however, can I please choose myself whether do I want to proceed or not?

Maybe I'm masochist and I prefer writing code with on-screen keyboard!

Well, if an issue with using stack snippets on mobile phone doesn't convince you, consider another example: sometimes I use my iPad with a keyboard connected to it and I was able to confirm the same artificial limitations are still there.

I believe that at least in this case my iPad-keyboard bundle is not something that should be discriminated from a full-featured PC. Neither screen real-estate of gigantic 13-inch iPad, nor connected physical keyboard doesn't help to eliminate this annoying message "the snippet editor doesn't support touch devices".

Again, in like 1 in 10 tries I was able to open snippet editor to insert a new snippet, and therefore I was able to confirm everything works properly:

New snippit creator interface

But in 0 cases was I able to edit an existing (already-inserted) snippet:

Popup error saying "The snippet editor does not support touch devices."

Proposal: how about a prompt with ok/cancel buttons which says something like this:

Clippy saying "It looks like you're using a touch device, which Stack Snippets are not fully optimized for. Are you sure you'd like to continue?"

It should be really up to user whether to use stack snippets on touch device or not, since it works anyway.

  • 4
    Yeah, if I need / want to write anything substantial from my phone I use a Bluetooth keyboard. It seems silly to declare the entire thing off-limits for those who want to deal with it.
    – Mithical
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 10:32
  • Well, SE assumes, and rightfully so (this happens), that people program and write code on a PC/laptop and not on their smartphones. Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 11:33
  • 2
    @sha probably, but im still not sure how a touch device with physical keyboard is a bad tool for this purpose, while a PC is not, there's basically no difference when in comes to writing the code in a stack snippet; we could just get a disclaimer but not a ban to use stack snippet on a touch device since it would work on it anyway
    – nicael
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 11:43
  • 3
    Related on Meta SO: Touch laptop – "The snippet editor does not support touch devices.". The same bug probably also prevents the use of the citation helper on touch devices: see Citation helper and mobile devices on MathOverflow Meta. Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 11:45
  • Well, question is what's so terrible in touch device for the snippet, maybe it can cause bugs or unexpected output, so they want to prevent people from getting there, and keep in mind most people don't read warnings, they just blindly confirm and move on. Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 11:48
  • 2
    Consider this: The only way to insert/edit Stack Snippets is to use a mouse. This means that keyboard users also cannot access it and you can't just switch to using a mouse if you have certain disabilities, such as a motor impairment or blindness. The entire feature needs an overhaul.
    – Laurel
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 11:49
  • 1
    @ShadowWizard FWIW, I write a lot of software on my phone, eg astronomy.stackexchange.com/a/43350/16685 Mostly Sage / Python, occasionally HTML / JavaScript / SVG.
    – PM 2Ring
    Commented Feb 4, 2023 at 15:38


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