Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
6 replaced http://salesforce.stackexchange.com/ with https://salesforce.stackexchange.com/
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I've noticed that some questions of late are being voted closed before they've been edited to reveal other content that was hidden. This happens when improperly formatted code causes the meat of the post to never be displayed. I've seen this more than just a couple of times. I saw an example of it again this morning which prompted me to pose this question for discussion. This isn't to point a finger at any one in particular as this postthis post still had problems, but it included 24 lines of code with only 3 lines partially appearing at the time it was closed. I thought it especially unfortunate that a new member had at least made some effort to comply with our requirements (his post still needed further help), yet was dismissed without having that effort being noticed or acknowledged by any of the 5 people who voted to close.

Here's another one from this morning where half the codehalf the code was obstructed. It too needed more help, but showed more effort than perhaps it was given credit for. Further, it had been downvoted twice with no comments left. :(

I've noticed that some questions of late are being voted closed before they've been edited to reveal other content that was hidden. This happens when improperly formatted code causes the meat of the post to never be displayed. I've seen this more than just a couple of times. I saw an example of it again this morning which prompted me to pose this question for discussion. This isn't to point a finger at any one in particular as this post still had problems, but it included 24 lines of code with only 3 lines partially appearing at the time it was closed. I thought it especially unfortunate that a new member had at least made some effort to comply with our requirements (his post still needed further help), yet was dismissed without having that effort being noticed or acknowledged by any of the 5 people who voted to close.

Here's another one from this morning where half the code was obstructed. It too needed more help, but showed more effort than perhaps it was given credit for. Further, it had been downvoted twice with no comments left. :(

I've noticed that some questions of late are being voted closed before they've been edited to reveal other content that was hidden. This happens when improperly formatted code causes the meat of the post to never be displayed. I've seen this more than just a couple of times. I saw an example of it again this morning which prompted me to pose this question for discussion. This isn't to point a finger at any one in particular as this post still had problems, but it included 24 lines of code with only 3 lines partially appearing at the time it was closed. I thought it especially unfortunate that a new member had at least made some effort to comply with our requirements (his post still needed further help), yet was dismissed without having that effort being noticed or acknowledged by any of the 5 people who voted to close.

Here's another one from this morning where half the code was obstructed. It too needed more help, but showed more effort than perhaps it was given credit for. Further, it had been downvoted twice with no comments left. :(

5 added-new users & vote-to-close tags
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4 Addressed JesseAltman comments on our Tour and the formatted text editor
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EDIT

This is primarily in response to comments by @JesseAltman. "The StackExchange provides a Tour that makes it very obvious what the community expects." and "They didn't look up how to do code formatting."

The above two areas are where I think our Tour does an inadequate job of providing what new members need to know "at a glance" when joining SF.SE. Its very clear that we expect members to post their code along with an explanation of where they're having problems with it when they post a question. I don't think we make that at all clear or provide appropriate emphasis in the Tour.

As for posting code, IMO, our editor is not at all intuitive. It would seem entirely appropriate to me that we include a tip on how to do that as part of our Tour. In most editors I've worked with, "pre-formatted anything" would be pasted into a selection after pressing the {} pre-formatted text button. I'd have never expected to do the paste, select the code, then press that button! Nor would it have ever been at all intuitive that I type in 4 spaces on each line to get it to appear as code. Speaking for myself, it took me a while to catch on to these nuances. The errors I made at the time weren't out of disrespect, they were from learning to use a new tool I wasn't accustomed to that worked entirely different than what I'd ever used before.

Part of what I'm saying here is that in the examples I cited above, while perhaps not the best, at least those members had made an effort to post their code using an interface that to me, is still rather foreign and counter-intuitive to use. I'm sure we all know of good software that died because of poorly designed interfaces. Do we say that the users who didn't understand and make adjustments to use the interface failed to do their part, or is it more common to say to the developers "You guys could have done a better job in making your product user friendly"? I've observed the latter as typically what happens, yet we're saying to new members you're being disrespectful to us for not understanding how to use our oddball interface?

Sorry, but I just can't quite buy that. When the effort that's been made by a new member is hidden from those who read their post when voting to close it, I think StackExchange has failed to make it easy for a member to post on SF.SE or understand what's necessary to easily format their post such that it can be read.

EDIT

This is primarily in response to comments by @JesseAltman. "The StackExchange provides a Tour that makes it very obvious what the community expects." and "They didn't look up how to do code formatting."

The above two areas are where I think our Tour does an inadequate job of providing what new members need to know "at a glance" when joining SF.SE. Its very clear that we expect members to post their code along with an explanation of where they're having problems with it when they post a question. I don't think we make that at all clear or provide appropriate emphasis in the Tour.

As for posting code, IMO, our editor is not at all intuitive. It would seem entirely appropriate to me that we include a tip on how to do that as part of our Tour. In most editors I've worked with, "pre-formatted anything" would be pasted into a selection after pressing the {} pre-formatted text button. I'd have never expected to do the paste, select the code, then press that button! Nor would it have ever been at all intuitive that I type in 4 spaces on each line to get it to appear as code. Speaking for myself, it took me a while to catch on to these nuances. The errors I made at the time weren't out of disrespect, they were from learning to use a new tool I wasn't accustomed to that worked entirely different than what I'd ever used before.

Part of what I'm saying here is that in the examples I cited above, while perhaps not the best, at least those members had made an effort to post their code using an interface that to me, is still rather foreign and counter-intuitive to use. I'm sure we all know of good software that died because of poorly designed interfaces. Do we say that the users who didn't understand and make adjustments to use the interface failed to do their part, or is it more common to say to the developers "You guys could have done a better job in making your product user friendly"? I've observed the latter as typically what happens, yet we're saying to new members you're being disrespectful to us for not understanding how to use our oddball interface?

Sorry, but I just can't quite buy that. When the effort that's been made by a new member is hidden from those who read their post when voting to close it, I think StackExchange has failed to make it easy for a member to post on SF.SE or understand what's necessary to easily format their post such that it can be read.

3 Edited title
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2 Added additional example of closed post from this morning
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