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Flag details vs. comments

+2
−0

When flagging a post as "Needs author's attention", the interface provides a single-line text entry field for "Details?", which does not allow for newlines. Input text scrolls without any clear indication of a length limit.

The interface also claims that such details will be added to the post as a new comment thread, which works as advertised. (I haven't tested with multiple flags; I assume they would all go in the same "Post Feedback" thread). However, comments allow for multiple lines, support Markdown and have an advertised length limit of 1000 characters.

Since the flag detail text will become a comment in this case, it would be better to show the usual comment editing interface (as a workaround, the generated comment can be edited after the fact; but this is clumsy). The full functionality of comments is useful for communicating to OP about issues with the post - for example:

  • If there are multiple things that should be fixed, the user flagging might want to use a bulleted or numbered list to identify separate points.

  • Inline code formatting could be useful for referring to variables, classes etc. in OP's code example to ask questions (such as "where does this value come from?"). Even short multi-line code examples could be useful in this context - for example, if the problem appears to be a typo, this could be used to point out where the typo is, while still advocating for closing a question that won't be useful to others.

  • Boldface and italics are often useful for communication, of course, and it would be useful to be able to preview the effect.

  • Just seeing how the text will line-wrap has some value, as well as being advised of the length limit.

Of course, this interface could omit the option to set a title for the new comment thread, so that "Post Feedback" is consistently used for comments that accompanied flags. Alternatively, the text "Post Feedback" could be auto-populated in the title field.

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.
Why should this post be closed?

0 comment threads

1 answer

+4
−0

This is one of the things that seemed like a good idea at the time, but now is known to be extremely confusing, with many people asking whether it raises a flag or not (it doesn't).

Therefore, this "flag reason" is planned to be removed in the future (See this GitHub issue). Comments are already meant for giving the author feedback, so just use those instead. There you'll have full control over the title and body.

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

1 comment thread

There is a separate request for a comment preview (1 comment)

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