NOTE: this discussion is continued at MATLAB Answers Wish-list #4 (and bug reports)
This topic is for features you would like to see for the MATLAB Answers facility itself, and also for bug reports about the MATLAB Answers facility.
This topic is the follow on to the earlier Wish-list for MATLAB Answer sections. That topic grew large enough to become unwieldy; and Mathworks has made enough changes to make a number of the past points no longer of relevance. There was also a more limited purpose <http://uk.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/216662-new-design-of-the-forum-grey-on-white-wish-list-3-bug-reports
I suggest one wish (or bug report) per answer, so that people can vote their wishes.
No products are associated with this question.
Pictures should be hosted on a TMW server, because other services will delete the pictures after some time and then the corresponding thread becomes meaningless.
Apologies if this has been suggested. The list has grown long and difficult to search....
I think there should be a privilege (earned at 1000 reputation points or so) that allows contributors to transform an Answer into a Comment (and vice versa?)
All too often, newcomers to the site don't understand how things work and instead of responding to Answers with Comments, they respond with Answers of their own. It would be good for trusted contributors to have the power to fix this.
The tag system needs an upgrade. Ideally, when you enter a tag it should provide a brief overview of what the tag means. Low rep users should only be able to apply existing tags. Moderate rep users should be able to create new tags (with a corresponding definition).
A proper set of moderator tools that allows for merging duplicate questions and moving answers to comments when appropriate.
I would like it if a person ended up on your profile (by clicking the link that is your name) that, in addition to the profile privileges, questions, answers, comments, and email, it also had a link to my File Exchange. If I didn't have anything in the File Exchange then the link wouldn't be there but it would be there if I did have something in the File Exchange. It makes sense that if someone is interested enough to look up a person's profile and all their answers, etc. that they might also have an interest in visiting the person's File Exchange to see what useful programs the person has uploaded. I'd also like to see my own. It would be convenient for me, if I want to recommend one of my File Exchange submissions to someone, that a link to my File Exchange were right there on the left side below My Questions, My Answers, My Comments. It would save me from having to bring up my bookmark toolbar, locate the bookmark to my File Exchange and click on it.
I am trying to find unanswered questions with 0 votes, but I want them listed newest to oldest. If I search for unanswered and sort by votes, I get all the questions with 0 votes sorted by date, but oldest to newest, followed by all the questions wit 1 vote, again sorted oldest to newest.
I am trying to close unclear and inappropriate questions which are unanswered. Basically I am trying to work through the unanswered questions. If the question is reasonable, I vote for it. If the question is inappropriate or unclear I add a comment saying what is inappropriate or unclear and close it. This leads me to needing the odd sort order/search capability.
I guess the first question is, is this filtering useful?
As explained in the wish-list #1 already, the space on top of a section is larger than the one on the bottom:
This block belongs to the sentence on top. It could be code also.
Now a new section starts, but the indent block seem to belong to this new section, because it is nearer. Because larger horizontal skipping is possible with HTML tricks only, it is hard to structure the text optically.
Solution: While I assume, that the spacing should be smaller on the top than on the bottom in most cases, making them equal might be the best compromise.
This is line 1:
a = rand(1, 1);
This is line 2:
b = rand(2, 2);
While this is the 3rd line:
c = rand(3, 3);
That someone for TMW would chime in about the Wish list format (with or without the standard disclaimers about personal opinions ... ). Should we be sending bugs to firstname.lastname@example.org, to TMW customer support, or posting them here. What about our suggestions for "product enhancements"? Is one long list better than multiple short lists? Is a list for bugs and a lists for wishes better? I think as a community we are pretty ambivalent about the format of our wish list, so if anyone at TMW who deals with this stuff has even a weak opinion it would be useful.
I wish the answers software would automatically delete the tag: MATLAB.
I want an Editor for Matlab Answers like the one on Facebook. On the top of your page you will have notifications related only to the questions you have answered
and when you click on the notification you will be redirected to the question.
The text editor can be improved. Beginners have some difficulties to deal with it. I don't like the preview in another window. It's more flexible if the window were we write the code is the same as the preview. I suggest when we click on the code button, a window or highlighted zone appears, then we are sur that our code is well formated
The close/reopen system needs a rework. I don't know how to see the reason that a question got closed. I also don't know if the OP can see the reason or if they get an alert. More importantly, if a question get closed simply editing the question should not be enough to reopen it. For example, in this question the edit was "P.S. Why is it (The thread) closed?". Edits to the question should raise a flag and confirmation from someone with enough rep to reopen the question.
The only way to deal with persistent reopening is to either give up or delete the question. Deleting a persistently reopened question will likely result in persistent reposting. While the ability to close a question is useful for cutting down spam, the current system is ineffectual.
Perhaps there is a method of which I am not aware, but I would like to be able to track questions that I commented on and not actually answered.
New issue, I just noticed today. If I use the Link button to copy a link of a comment that is not one of the last 3 posted, then have that link be a link in another comment (referring reader to the first comment), OR even just paste that link into the address field (of two different browsers, IE and Firefox), it goes to the top of the posting, it does not scroll directly to the comment. An example of this is the link which is http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/42413#comment_102678. Some investigation leads me to think that the problem occurs when the comment referred to is not one of the last 3 comments posted, in other words, it's one of those that are normally hidden and you have to reveal by clicking "Show n older comments." Can this be fixed? Otherwise we can't link to "hidden" comments.
As mentioned here, I think that having the possibility for the OP and high rep. members to add a top entry in the thread (like an answer but with a different design, e.g. greenish background or some frame) called "Synthesis" or "Conclusion", that would contain a synthesis/conclusion of the thread, would be interesting. This should be optional and worth no reward, so we have only valuable information, but highly prioritized by the search engine. The name of contributors should also be recorded in the sense that, at least to me, they are often a search criterion as important as keywords.
You can find an example of what I have in mind here, where I edited the question with a top part that synthesizes the thread: http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/59491-is-it-possible-to-set-watchdogs-memory-exec-time-in-matlab
The idea is really to allow people who care for that to bring added value to their threads. This could be especially useful for complicated threads, where finally a person is able to draw a conclusion out of dozens of answers/comments. The conclusion is really important information, yet it doesn't appear in the thread ultimately.
As a side note, I think that having the option not to prop. the thread at the top of the list when we edit the synthesis could be useful.. in my case, for example, I am pretty sure that people will start being tired about my "watchdog" thread if it comes back at the top of the list each time I add a coma to the text.. ;)
The time-stamps for the activities log and the flagged content log appear to be in GMT. This is inconsistent with the other time-stamps that the user sees and so can lead to some confusion.
Not a major problem ;-)
The Link button is very convenient! But it is easy to end up clicking the link while it is being presented, which has the natural side effect of asking the browser to load that page... a bit of a nuisance as one is already there, and a Problem if the reason one was trying to copy the URL was that one was in the middle of composing a reply (bye-bye reply!)
I do not know if there is a solution to this that does not sacrifice functionality.
Has someone already addressed the change from having our most recent answers listed first to (now) where our oldest answers are listed first when we click on our profile? I usually check this out to see if people had made comments to a question I answered, but (having answered ~180 questions, which is not a lot compared to the top contributors) I do not want to have to page through all my older answers to see if anything recent had updated.
I wish we had the ability to sort through my own old answers, too. Sometimes I want to view older answers before answering newer questions... so this could be helpful.
The working area given to construct a comment (the built-in editor) is not very big. It is okay for short comments, but I find that in practice it ends up being common to post code in comments, code demonstrating how to apply the concepts of the answer or the comment stream, and in that situation the small size gets to be uncomfortable. I start looking for a drag handle to increase the size of the area...
Editing of (your own?) Answer is not recognized as Activity for the purposes of listing the latest activity against each Question, nor for the purposes of determining the age sorting order for each Question.
Editing of an Answer is recorded in the Recent Activity list, though.
The deleted Question http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/43031 is not giving the Page Not Found error. Instead it is giving the left frame and only the "contact us" line to the right.
At the moment, 43031 is the newest Question, and it was deleted (by the poster) before a newer Question was posted, and (at the moment) no newer Questions have been posted.
The Page Not Found is given for other appropriate cases.
The situation exists on both .com and .co.uk
There is a logical bug with accepting someone else's answer. The determination of whether that option appears does not depend upon when the answer was posted, only upon when the question was posted.
How about a link on the left hand navigation for FAQ and posts like Walter's on tags?
When I ask a question, I see a very funny red splosh before "Question" and "Body". Is this a skeletonized dot, a fractal or a red fountain? If there is only one of them, I'd had checked my monitor for pixel errors of flyspeck.
I'm not convinced that the title line should be called "question". In fact, "question" is misleading here. And while I do not understand the reason, why this title needs at least 4 words, titles with the allowed 250 characters are a secure indicator of a bad question.
Has anyone noticed that the counts for the "Contributors" have stalled? No numbers have been updated for several days now. I've been stuck at 607 accepted answers even though I see answers being accepted. Likewise, everyone else's numbers have not budged in several days.
And I say again that the bugs and the wishes should be in two separate lists instead of one long massive combined list.
[From Lucas' answer]
About accepting a 'comment' that is in an answer box. It has more to do with the interface, in my opinion. Anyone coming from any other place, (intuitively) you see a chat box, you write there (like most forums), but to actually comment, you have to hit "Comment on this Answer".
Possibly change the 'Answer' text box, to "Answer this question" button, then open the text box or something like that. Which might alleviate the answering a comment thing.
[Image Analyst's suggestion]
Maybe you'd want it to recognize that the person submitting an answer is actually the original questionner and to ask them if they really want to answer and accept their own question or comment on another person's answer? That might not be a bad idea.
Eliminate the "Answer Accepted" feature. Let reputation points be dictated entirely by votes.
The first problem with the "Answer Accepted" is that it puts the power to reward Answerers in the hands of the Questioners, where it doesn't belong. This incentivizes contributors to accomadate people looking for homework answers or to spoonfeed over-detailed solutions to people looking to do minimal work.
The second problem is, as others have mentioned, that a better Answer can always come along.
I think that if people were reminded (e.g. weekly) on a verified email that they have to come back to "close" their threads (or to actively indicate that they could still use help), more people would at least come back and see what was answered/commented. I am saying that, because I really suspect that many people actually find some way to do what they want after posting the question, and never come back to check their threads. All of you folks who have been active here for a long time, have roughly a 1/3 ratio of accepted answers, but when I look at the threads it seems that a significant amount of the answers that were not accepted are just a consequence of people not coming back..
Associated with this mechanism, there could be a special type of threads for open questions, in some sense a "discussion thread", like this one or any of those that should not have a particular answer chosen to be The answer.
I think that it would be better to have the forum adding automatically a target attribute
to links present in threads, because we often want to keep the question/comment under our eyes when we click on such links.
I sure wish Answers pages would load faster. Navigating the Answers section and sorting forum posts is remarkably slow, especially considering it's only text. And with the recent redesign of the site, there isn't even very much text at that.
Before the June 28, 2012 Answers changes, if one was editing and one highlighted text and clicked on the Code button, then after the operation was done, the selection was removed.
As of those changes, the selection goes away for a small number of seconds while the reformat is done, but then the selection color comes back, highlighting a wider but shorter area, not covering all of the height of the original selection but covering wider (possibly even some areas that have no input.)
For consistency, Questions themselves should have the Link button. Yes, you can go up to your browser bar and copy the URL, but now that you have the buttons, people are going to start relying on it and will think less about copying from the browser bar.
The Answers section has developed the ad-hoc standard of labelling some Questions as "tutorials", when those Questions are intended as step-by-step information about solving a particular task. There is also the off-site FAQ that gets used a fair bit (especially about numeric precision, file name loops, and variable name loops.)
I am finding that there is a category of often-repeated information that does not really fall into either of the above, and I am not certain how to deal with that category. An example of the category is my series of comments indicating why one should always uses specific handles for graphics operations, and showing how to do so. I refer someone back to it every week or two -- often enough that it should probably be extracted into something independent. But it isn't really a FAQ and it isn't really a tutorial. "Frequently Referenced Advice" ?
Some of Image Analyst's material probably falls into the same category, such as his color segmentation demo.
Suggestions on how to handle this?
I think we should probably create a posting that discusses what Tags are and how and why to use them, and lists a number of the more common ones. I would include "doit4me" and similar content meta-tags, but I would also suggest that enough tags be included to allow people to see (for example) whether it is best to use "nn" or "ann" or "neural networks"
If one inserts a sufficiently long set of Tags in the tag editor (total number of characters being important rather than the number of tags), then eventually one of the tags will wrap down and move to the second line. One can tell that the tag will wrap because the current tag one is entering will stop being given in full, and will start scrolling in the area from the end of the previous tag.
Once one has a tag at the beginning of the second line, the number of characters that one can enter in the tag after that before this same kind of mini-scrolling occurs, is not determined by the available space to the end of the second line: instead the limit is at most the number of characters that were in the tag that wrapped down (and appears at the beginning of the line). For example if that tag happened to be 9 characters long, then the mini-scrolling would start after the 9th character of the tag one typed in afterwards.
In most of my tests, the limit was at most 1 character less than the previous tag, and occasionally even fewer were permitted; I only observed the maximum length once.
The field-scrolling at the end of the first line turns out to be a problem in itself. If the previously entered tags happen to take up most of the first line, then one can end up with just one or two characters available to enter the new tag in, with the entered tag being impossible to read during entry due to the scrolling in the narrow field.
Start a Comment (does not apply to starting an Answer), and enter some text, and then Cancel the Comment. Then (before navigating off the page) click the same control to start a Comment in the same place. The partly-entered text will re-appear.
I did not expect this behavior, but I think my vote would be to retain it.
(I think I understand what is causing the behavior, as I had earlier looked at the HTML source of some Answers pages.)
Sometimes what I want is a way to "import" a file (upload) into an edit field. Copying and pasting has different size limits for different operating systems (and different browsers), so I have ended up having to copy and paste in sections (sometimes a fair number of such cycles, for larger texts.)
Personally I feel that really this should be a browser feature. But unfortunately browsers don't seem to have it... :(
Now that the Link Edit Flag Delete buttons are along the right hand side for Comments, I find myself looking in the same relative location for Answers.
When I look at the space needed at the top of Answers, I see one line to identify the originator and date, one line to identify the editor and date, and space for "Accept this Answer". This aggregate space in turn is almost exactly the same vertical space as is required for the profile picture. If the four buttons were moved to be linear like they are for Comments, then as long as something reasonable could be found for locating space for the "Votes", the it looks to me like the Answer and Comments space could be widened out to the width of the entire inner frame.
Editors need a way to locate Closed postings.
I've been wondering whether the automatic deletion of a previously-closed Question gets indicated in the activity log? I'm presuming that a re-open would get listed as an event.
The recent activity list records people adding tags, but not people deleting tags.
The infrequently-used "Close" button is uncomfortably positioned between the more commonly used "Edit" and "Delete" buttons. I know there is conformation required for Close, but it's still an accident waiting to happen and slows down use while people double-check they are in the right position.
For Questions with sufficiently long titles, none of the title will be rendered.
Noticed on the following title (which had 28 characters remaining)
I hav tried to implement marker controlled watershed segmentation algorithm but the trees are not delineated correctly.plz help me with code.i hav to count no.of trees in a setellite image.is there any other alg to do this
San closed How to fix Non-constant expression or empty matrix 8 Jul 2012 at 15:40
That is, a poster with 0 Reputation was able to Close their own question ? I would not have guessed that would be possible.
(I have reopened the question since, as it had an interesting question.)
Some URLs created today are not rendering properly. <URL1 URL2> is rendering as <URL2> with the > in black and the rest in blue. Prior URLs would render as URL2 in blue with no < and no >
For example, <http://www.mathworks.com>
The URLs do render properly in Preview.
I kind of wish that when we scrolled through the answers to questions (especially when there are many "answers" like this one), that this:
would follow you down the page.
Expressions of the form (URL) with () immediately around and no < and > markup, are now being rendered in final output as (<URL>) but not being so rendered in preview.
For example if I enter (<http://www.mathwork.com>) which is '(' 'http://www.mathworks.com' ')' then the final output I get is the same as if I had entered (<http://www.mathworks.com>) with the < and > included.
This final output is not automatically detected as a link at the browser level (at least not Firefox). Most browsers automatically detect and internally convert URLs that have whitespace on both sides, such as http://www.mathworks.com which I have entered here with no markup at all but will appear as a link when rendered by most browsers.
Previously, (URL) was not transformed on output (and was usually not detected automatically by browsers.) Adding the < and > in the final output (but not in preview!) has no precedent here and doesn't help anything.
When there is a sufficiently long Tag already entered, and one requests to edit the tags, the long tag will extend past the right-hand boundary of the tag edit box.
When the tag edit box is not enabled, the display is better. I am not sure at the moment if it word-wraps or length wraps, but it does split into multiple lines.
Example tag (all as one single tag):
r2012a maple mupad symengine symbolic engine linsolve array arguments error
Background: The S/N-ratio of Answer is low (IMO). Most answers solves someones acute problem, but deteriorates to noise over time. It is difficult to find relevant information in old threads. I have even failed to find answers, I believe that I have written. Google-searches return threads of Answer, etc.
My problem: I contribute a great deal to this noise. Often, I get a polite comment regarding my misunderstandings and I learn. Thanks to all! Recently, I learned about how subsref and subsasgn are used in matfile. I ought to go back a denoise some of my answers, but how. It happens I delete.
Proposal: Next to the BOLD and ITALIC buttons I would like a STRIKE-OUT button.
By popular demand, the forum should be completely converted over to the MATLAB Excel Answers forum. :=P
Is there any protocol about bumping? A guilt free way to bump an unanswered, uncommented question would be nice. Perhaps have the option to bump only appear after a week has passed.
(Disclaimer: I have one unanswered question which I think might just be a 'No, not possible' or 'Upgrade your matlab'. It's an Eval question if anyone is interested.)
I still see the word "Disabl" in the preview, e.g. currently while I'm typing this answer. But at some other occurrences it has been improved to "Disable" already, e.g. in the preview of comments.
In the Community Profile, edit your personal description and include a return in it so you have two distinct lines. This will be accepted. However, when your profile is displayed, the return will have been converted to <br/> which cannot then be gotten rid of except by not using a hard return.
Another suggestion. I think every question deserves an answer (though, perhaps after some comments prodding the poster to clarify the question). Just like the "accepted answer" questions have the number of answers in a green font and box, I suggest that questions with 0 answers be in a red box with a red font. This might make them stand out more and get people to answer them.
From my understanding no standard user with less than 1500 rep can have all privileges. Some TMW employees, however, have obviously been given extra powers.
If I look at my profile I see
Daniel is a MATLAB Answers editor, and has all privileges.
If I look at Santosh Kasula's profile (an employee of TMW) I see
Santosh Kasula is a MATLAB Answers administrator, and has all privileges.
This seems really useful for identifying TMW employees who have some extra rights associated with Answers.
I then look at Sean de Wolski's profile and see
Sean de Wolski is a MATLAB Answers editor, and has all privileges.
but of course Sean may have gained his powers based on rep alone so I went and looked at Andreas Goser, who currently has less than 1500 rep but works for TMW.
Andreas Goser is a MATLAB Answers editor, and has all privileges.
It seems like Andreas has been given powers because he works for TMW (which isn't a problem in my opinion). I expected, however, that he would have been classed as an administrator and not an editor.
What do the terms mean?
Now that we have a "My Comments" tab, I realize this is not what I wanted (although I appreciate TMW improving the interface based on our requests). I tend to use the My Questions and My Answers tabs to see if anything moved to the top. This way I know if something changed in a thread I am interested in. Since I rarely answer a question I ask, there is not too much redundancy.
Most of my comments are in threads that I have given an answer. This means there is a lot of redundancy between My Answers and My Comments. I end up looking at threads twice (once from the movement in My Answers and once from the movement in My Comments). I would like another tab of "My Threads" that lists all threads in which the user has asked a question, provided an answer, or made a comment. Ideally we could also "like" a thread which would add it to "My Threads". This would have to be different from voting since I vote on things that I don't want to follow.
Again, I am happy that we now have My Comments, but now I want even more ...
I wish to have a matlab answers website on my cell phone (a mobile version)
Another feature that I would really appreciate is a select instead of the checkbox "Email me when answers are added to this question", that would offer more options. For example:
With that (and because the 3rd option could generate a lot of emails), I would also be interested in being allowed to choose the frequency of the emails with a second select (or something in my profile options), e.g.
The rational for me is: I don't ask that many questions, but when I do I am genuinely interested in any piece of information that I can gather from anything on the thread/page. I don't really make a distinction between comments and answers in fact, in the sense that I could often define The Answer as the outcome of multiple answers and comments. I am also interested in being warned if any answer or comment is edited, because if the person who answered/commented believes that it is worth bringing a modification, then the update is important to me. I would therefore set my default to be the last item of the list/select mentioned above.
A failing formatting of code:
Here the formatting fails, when the space between "BC" and ">=" is removed:
|find(BC >= 2) .* find(BC <= 36)|
Working: find(BC >= 2) .* find(BC <= 36)
Failing: |find(BC>= 2) .* find(BC <= 36)|
An optional chat room with a main channel and thread-specific channels or user defined channels would be awesome. The rational is that sometimes/often we would be able to pinpoint much better the needs from the beginning after a short chat, than when we refine the question statement iteratively through dozens of comments (and it doesn't always converge!). The quality of answers could be significantly improved.
For thread specific channels, the log of the discussion would be saved in the thread in a way that we can edit (e.g. remove irrelevant entries and edit remaining entries, so we keep only relevant content).
It isn't the easiest feature to implement though, and it would be difficult to prevent people from just chatting without saving answers if they can create user defined channels. A solution could be to limit the creation of user defined channels to Editors, and keep the main room as well as thread specific channels for the rest of us.
It would be interesting to be able to cast votes AGAINST Answers (or Questions?), as well as in favor of them :-)
I haven't decided whether this should affect rep points negatively, but it should at least help sink the Answer to the bottom of the display. It would be a good way for the community to collectively warn someone away from a bad approach (e.g., abuses of EVAL)
I think that it would be very interesting to have the possibility to tag/flag/mark/attach/bookmark threads so we can keep track and follow them without posting an answer or a comment in the threads.
"Bookmarked" threads could appear in an additional (private?) tab in our profile, e.g. at the end of the current series of tabs:
/ Profile \/ Questions \/ Answers \/ Comments \/ Bookmarks \
Ideally, we could add a label (a string with same size limitation as threads titles) and have entries sorted by label, which would allow us to implement the classification scheme that we prefer (date, name, tags, main topic, etc).
At this point, I print relevant mature threads as PDF, which is not possible when threads are just starting; in such case, I leave a tab open on each relevant young thread, hoping that I will remember to look at them before I mess up with my browser and lose all my tabs, .. which is not ideal.
I don't know if it's just the two totally different computers I've tried it on (Dell desktop and HP laptop) or if it's due to some Java "upgrade" but in the last few days whenever I try to type an Answer or Comment into an edit box, the "Preview" box covers up almost all of the Save button. Disabling it doesn't help. All I can see is a tiny sliver of the left side and top side of the button. I've tried two different browsers (Firefox and IE) and tried changing the zoom level of the displayed page (control-mouse wheel) and nothing helps - it's still covered up. The Cancel button is totally covered so I can't see that button at all anymore. I have Java 7 update 25 (the latest version according to http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp)
Is anyone else experiencing this problem with Answers?
The contributor's page is broken, and currently only displays a bunch of # and commas.
The "Flagged Content" page is broken. It shows items that have been flagged but there is no way to get to them. When you click "an answer" it should take you to the answer that had been flagged but instead it just reloads the "Flagged Content" page.