35

Code formatting should never be used for non-code markup. Semantic markup (like code tags) was not added just to make HTML pages pretty, it was added to make the structural meaning of parts of the page comprehensible to software so that it can be rendered correctly. Misusing it can have unexpected consequences, especially for users who use accessibility ...


35

Yes, the small caps you're using are bad for machines. People also may have issues with them. AceCalhoon pointed us in comments to a question on Super User about the usage and purpose of these glyphs. The top answer explains they're not intended for usage as regular written text, and that trying to use them that way breaks stuff: Those characters are not ...


32

I feel that other formatting would be more appropriate than code tags. It's highly unusual for that formatting style to be used for every book title and game term, and some users may not appreciate their questions and answers being edited to include a non-standard formatting type. It doesn't adhere to the HTML5 specification for the 'code' element, which ...


29

We don't have a local style guide because we don’t have a house style to encourage. There are a few common practices that we inherit from a few different sources though, which are practical matters rather than matters of taste/style. You’ll see these mentioned as ways to fix or improve posts, in the course of the usual feedback posts receive, but they’re ...


25

Well, of course upvotes are at anyone's discretion, they can upvote because they like your clever use of headers. However, you are making a false dichotomy between "format" and "content." If someone posts a question or answer that is not readable, then it's not good content, regardless of the research the poster put into it. Let's look at your Qs and As. ...


20

Titles should clearly represent the content of the post, yes. We need to be able to find them later, and they should be good front-page advertisements for their question. But they need not be phrased as a question so long as they are clear. Titles are just that: titles. A title's first job is to succinctly inform the reader about the contents of the post, ...


16

The F in your iterations of Let Us Discuss This Further appears as a white box for me. Kind of a case-in-point: if this is happening to me, it’s happening to others, it’s degrading the readability and accessibility of the website, and therefore it should not be done. This site does not offer any feature that will correctly render small caps, and faking it ...


16

It sounds like you should look at the help pages about using markdown syntax and general formatting guidance - these pages will explain and provide examples of the formatting syntax used on stack exchange. You can also look at this excellent answer by SSD, which, although not an official style guide (as we don't enforce any specific styling), is ...


15

Code formatting is for code; it is not just a different way to format your text. Don't use it for non-code text. If that means we never use code formatting, so be it. Like all HTML formatting, it actually has a purpose, and using it for non-code text is using it incorrectly. HTML elements are incredibly meaningful. To you and I, bold text is just thicker, ...


15

The observation is founded 1. Style is secondary to comprehensibility Though we do prefer to maintain the style used in sources, this isn't a hard rule and is always secondary to making sure posts are comprehensible. We also have a limited palette of styling tools available and have to make do with them. 2. These aren't small-caps anyway These aren't ...


13

They are not undesired. Please do feel free to use curly quotes and apostrophes. Those curly quotes and apostrophes should not have been removed. Overall we respect your writing decisions as the original author, and should not seek to “fix” someone else's writing preferences by replacing them with our own. We may choose to replace your writing style where ...


12

A number of posts would benefit from MathJax's tables, if not its mathematics. The array environment can do tables quite well. (Thanks nitsua60 for finding this!) Here's an example. Note that because we are \begining an environment, we don't need to have the surrounding $$s. \begin{array}{r|lll} \text{Column One} & \text{Two} & \text{Three} & \...


12

The reasons are well-founded. The original question was not written in English. This meant it was extremely difficult to access the page using a screen reader. The SuperUser question Why shouldn’t I use Unicode characters to simulate typographic styles (such as small caps or script)? (linked a couple of times already) has a lot of reasons but it misses the ...


11

First, see mxyzplk's answer, which addresses the feedback to the questions and answers you've posted so far on the site. Second, RPG.SE can be confusing to newer users, so it may help to address some potential questions going forward. I've compiled these based on the content of your question here: 1. What kind of site is Roleplaying Games StackExchange (...


11

In addition to the help pages linked by Carcer, if you find any piece of formatting you like the look of (and want to understand how has been done) you can click the edit button beneath the post to view the specific markdown (be sure not to submit an edit if you only mean to look at its source code). We also have a few posts on meta regarding formatting: ...


11

Approachability is preferred. Posts should not be unnecessarily difficult to read. That means super common abbreviations like “PHB” are fine and nobody has to spell them out. More obscure acronyms can make the post harder to read and understand though—we should spell those out or define them the first time we use them. This isn't site-specific policy so ...


10

Small caps won't be implemented at SE any time soon because they can't be represented in the flavour of Markdown used by SE currently, and all feature requests that require extending the Markdown parser, which aren't mission-critical, have been turned down. (The one mission-critical extension SE has done is spoiler blocks, and they're very buggy.) The ...


9

Since it comes up a fair amount in fantasy settings like Faerûn, handling accents in a MathJax setting (i.e. table) is... awkward. The û character uses the wrong font in MathJax, for example \text{Faerûn} produces \$\text{Faerûn}\$, with the û in a glaringly-different font (non-text contexts are even worse: \$Faerûn\$). Either accents and diacritics have ...


9

We encourage people to edit questions to improve them. Making titles more clear is an improvement that can always be reverted by the querent.


9

If the only “problem” with a question is that its title is not phrased in the form of a question, then there is no problem with the question. Please do not clutter the top of the site with idiosyncratic edits that do not improve anything. A title in the form of a question is not inherently better than a title that is not. Of course, if there is anything ...


9

Sometimes a good comment is a bad answer First of all, to answer your stated question: both content and formatting are things which can add (or subtract) from the quality of a post. They are both things that will help an answer be correct, clear, and convincing: if an answer is all three, it is more likely to be well received (in the form of upvotes). It isn'...


8

In chat, sticky returns (manual line breaks to make a second paragraph in the same chat entry) break most code. And all links need http:// or they won't process as links at all.


8

(Thanks for clarifying.) No, titles do not need to be formatted as questions. They just need to communicate well what the question is about. They're titles! If you want to know what the question is, read the question body. That's the place where all the important context is, too, and you should be reading that. (If you're not, you're answering the title ...


8

I'm going to come at this from a slightly different direction, addressing the writing style rather than the presentation style... Answer the question quickly and obviously. There's a lot that goes into some of these answers. But I think the best style advice I've seen and gotten was to "front-load" an answer post with your answer itself. Follow ...


8

Good news, but please edit your old questions as we normally do. I'm seeing a lot of edits come through that should probably be spaced out over time so that the active page isn't flooded. Before you start editing, please review both how many have been done and how many you plan to do.


7

You're doing what will answer the question the best. In most cases, this is neither essay nor newspaper form - believe it or not (I know some of our users don't) but many questions can be answered in a single paragraph. Keep in mind that adding an essay on a related subject or your related thoughts can degrade and not enhance the value of a concise answer ...


7

I prefer putting special terms in bold font, but can live with the code formatting. I think SteveC's format for DDI links is sub-optimal though and have been pondering mentioning it. I find having the ddi link sitting all by itself in brackets after each linked term interrupts the text.


7

Pasting isn't always necessary Mostly you don't need to paste any PHB material into posts. Anyone who can answer already has their own copy to read, so usually you just need to say what you're asking about. Your first question How complex can my commands be with the conjured animal spell? is plenty clear on what it's asking about, and is an example of a ...


7

I feel strongly enough about this, that I think Carcer's comment above should be its own answer: The preferred method for all but the very most common of acronyms and initials should be to spell out the first usage, parenthesize immediately after, then use the short form afterward. That way, you only need to spell out Self Contained Under Water Breathing ...


6

I'm not a big user here, but here's my two cents: I could see highlighting certain specific game terms, when they are a big deal to the overall context of the post. Like, I dunno, highlighting class abilities for D&D 3/4 does make the text a bit more readable in some ways. It sorta stops you a little and says, "Here, here is the thing you should look up....


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