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Post action links that cannot be used should be hidden

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When I'm signed in, I see a set of post action links such as the following (this is from a question):

Permalink | History | Suggest edit | Close | Delete | Flag

The "Suggest edit" changes to "Edit" if I am able to edit immediately.

However, when I'm not signed in, the corresponding set of links is:

Permalink | History | Close | Delete | Flag

I'm actually afraid to try them out, but as a user that's not signed in, I really don't think I should be able to close or delete a question, and one can argue whether or not I should be able to flag it.

All this to suggest that each action link should only be shown if I have sufficient privileges to use it on the post in question. Absent other changes to the post in question in the interim, I shouldn't, as a user, see an action link that ultimately results in being told some variation of "permission denied". That's just bad UX.

In the particular case of questions visited by a user who is not signed in, I suspect that the set of action links shown should be permalink and history; possibly also flag (if flagging as a not-signed-in user is allowed, which I do not intend for this Q&A to discuss). Certainly not close and delete.

To be honest, I'm not sure if this is a bug or a feature-request.

Why should this post be closed?

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1 answer

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I'd like to move Close and Delete to the Tools menu (now that we have that menu). This menu is generated based on what you have the privilege to do, so that's a better place for these items. Doing this also reduces the number of options a user has to consider on each post.

Flag should stay visible so that it's obvious to everybody, including casual visitors, that you can flag bad stuff if you see it (like spam). Suggest Edit/Edit is available to everybody (in one of those forms) and making it visible serves an informational purpose; new users might not realize that people other than the author can edit posts. So I think both of those should remain on the post proper even though they are, technically, tools.

Moving these items to the Tools menu does make it a little harder to see that you can delete your own post. Maybe we should show the author the delete link.

1 comment

Well, it looks like I can see a Tools link on posts here, but that clicking on it doesn't actually do anything. In comparison, if I click on Close below the question, it opens the "Why should this post be closed?" form. Not sure if this is related or not... aCVn about 1 month ago

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