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Re^2: RFC - shortform posting guidance for newcomers (meh)

by ww (Bishop)
on Jan 06, 2012 at 12:20 UTC ( #946590=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: RFC - shortform posting guidance for newcomers (meh)
in thread RFC - shortform posting guidance for newcomers

tye:

No argument; my wording -- as originally posted and still, as revised -- sucks compared to Luis.Roca's (at Re: RFC - shortform posting guidance for newcomers which is much better. Maybe the existing language is best.

But (yep, clarifying info here) I'm still thinking in terms of forcing newcomers to see (and sure, some incorrigibles may just click thru) the advice either before getting to the text entry box or at the preview phase.

If at the preview phase, it seems to me we could automate a test (are there any code tags? para tags). If the previewed text fails the test, then our code could automatically spit out the relevant guidance (such as "Use <p> around narrative </p>"). That's something done by many commercial sites which require (validate) entries. That doesn't seem to stop commerce... and though that's commonly done with js, we do have (pure-Perl) alternate options, do we not?

Objections (and answers):

  • The test, as sketched above, would fail in the case of a one-sentence reply where the lack of para tags makes no difference to the rendering.
    But this is an edge case, and if someone has to put para tags around that single sentence, perhaps they'll remember to do so when next they post something more complex.
  • Such a test would be hard to write.
    Disagree and believe I can do that. What I find hard -- and where I defer to those with stronger 'everything-fu' is how to retain the user's input for correction, without js.

Finally, (I think I'm agreeing here), the below-box help needs help. It is "busy" but needs, in your words, "terseness, clarity, snappiness."

Update - Note to protect the good Monks reputation: this was posted after Re^3: RFC - shortform posting guidance for newcomers (meh) and Re^4: RFC - shortform posting guidance for newcomers (meh) and is merely a very rough PofC:

#!/usr/bin/perl use Modern::Perl; # test the content submitted for preview -- for code and para tags $/="#####"; # will be followed by addtl samples -- good and bad my $nopara = 0; my $nocode = 0; my $preview = <DATA>; # print $preview; my @preview = split /\n/, $preview; for $_(@preview) { # say "\t Ln14, \$_: $_"; if ( $_ =~ /!<p/) { $nopara++; } if ( $_ =~ /(<\/\s*br>)/ ) { # arguably, this could be a s/ +// rather than a warning say "\n\t Bad tag -- &quot;$1&quot; -- found in \n \t $_\n"; } if ( $_ =~ /!<(c.*).*[;}] <\/c$1>/) { $nocode++; say "\n\t Do you need code tags in \n\t $_?\n?"; } } if ($nopara == 0 ) { print "\n\t You don't have any &lt;p> paragraph tags &lt;/p> in yo +ur draft. Do you need some?\n"; } if ($nocode == 0 ) { print "\n\t You don't have a &lt;c> code tag pair &lt;/c> in your +draft. Is that correct?\n"; } print "\n\n @preview\n"; # imperfect, as a good <br> gets ignored, b +ut perfectable __DATA__ I wantz to know if i can do this</br> <c>my $foo = 'bar' if (bar == bar); cuz that would be really cool.<br> oh, also, would somebody teach me how to use your parlmenks markup? love, foobar ########

Output:

Bad tag -- &quot;</br>&quot; -- found in I wantz to know if i can do this</br> You don't have any &lt;p> paragraph tags &lt;/p> in your draf +t. Do you need some? You don't have a &lt;c> code tag pair &lt;/c> in your draft. +Is that correct? I wantz to know if i can do this</br> <c>my $foo = 'bar' if (bar == b +ar); cuz that would be really cool.<br> oh, also, would somebody tea +ch me how to use your parlmenks markup? love, foobar #####

More to come, but please pile in (or "on" if that's your preference). :-)


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Re^3: RFC - shortform posting guidance for newcomers (meh)
by luis.roca (Deacon) on Jan 06, 2012 at 12:54 UTC

    I think this <code></code> and <p></p> parser would be harder to implement than it seems (even keeping in mind your counter points). There are, as far as I have noticed, a fare share of questions that are of the: "I don't understand the difference between grep, map and foreach." written in paragraph form and peppered with keywords and/or small snippets of code. There is also the question of how do you parse out incorrect code/pseudo code.

    I do think a short reminder above the poster's displayed previewed text is a decent idea worth exploring. Currently we have: "If something looked unlike you expected it to you might need to check out Writeup Formatting Tips" below the preview displayed post. Maybe that's not clear enough? If, as has been mentioned, the points are terse, few and clearly displayed above the preview, it could be helpful.


    "...the adversities born of well-placed thoughts should be considered mercies rather than misfortunes." Don Quixote
      I think this <code></code> and <p></p> parser would be harder to implement than it seems (even keeping in mind your counter points). [...] There is also the question of how do you parse out incorrect code/pseudo code.

      Does that parser have to be complete and perfect? All we want at this point is a simple check that the raw posting text contains one or more <p> and zero or more <code> or <c> tags. (Tags, not elements. We don't even have to check for the closing tags. Existing code handles missing or mis-placed tags quite well.) Unless that condition is met, the poster will see a hint that (s)he should check is posting. Implementing those checks could be done using one or two simple regexps.

      Alexander

      --
      Today I will gladly share my knowledge and experience, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so". ;-)

        What you describe already exists (try posting something in plain text to see). Anything more will require another layer that delays/prevents a post from being submitted so - yes, it would need to be a /very/ good parser. A parser that would be much more work than would be worth the trouble considering SoPW doesn't seem to get more than a total of 25 questions per day.

        The handful of weekly "evil markup violators" can easily be handled with a quick private /msg with suggestions to improve their post. If they ignore it (which does happen), ignore the post and move on. ;-)


        "...the adversities born of well-placed thoughts should be considered mercies rather than misfortunes." Don Quixote

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