Currently it takes 2000 reputation points before one is allowed markup privileges (as part of overall editing privileges).
However, I find myself often in the position of reading a question where the code has not been marked-up as code and is unreadable. I either have to wait for some individual in the 2000+ category to notice this and mark it up, or copy the code into an editor at my end just to be able to understand it.
Will TMW consider lowering the reputation threshold for this particular markup privilege? Maybe down to the 500+ level? I wouldn't care as much about the general editing capability, just the markup privilege. I have less than 1000 points now, and it will likely take me another year or more at my present rate to reach the 2000+ category, but I could contribute in this area right now if allowed.
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The power to edit the message of other users should be used with extreme care. It is not easy to allow to insert markup, but not to change the contents in a way, which was not intended by the author. Therefore I think, that lowering the limits might have negative side effects.
But I do see the problem of missing code formatting also. I frequently use the "Edit"-button to see the code in its original form, e.g. to reveal the dimensions of matrices, when the author did not use the leading spaces for: [a b c d e f] Without the smart formatting this is obviously a [2 x 3] matrix. [EDITED, clarification] But after I've seen the message in the original format, I do not apply any changes.[End EDITED]
So instead of gaining the power to edit foreign messages, a button to toggle a plain text view would solve a lot of problems.
I still do not give up to hope, that beginners can be instructed to apply a proper code formatting. Perhaps a short entry exam helps, which enables the participation in the forum only after the user has typed a code formatting successfully and pasted the URL of the FAQ site. I know that this sounds a little bit hilarious, but encouraging 10 users per day to apply a proper formatting is not a fair alternative.
The Answers interface does not provide a mechanism to role back edits, making "editor" powers to powerful in my opinion. I brought up the topic of reputation need to achieve editor powers in this question last year.
I personally think that better than editing the questions is to simply close the questions. If you cannot answer a question because of the lack of formatting, close the question and tell the OP to edit it. If the question is lacking needed information, close it. If we close more questions, it will lead to higher quality questions and a more useful site.
Closing in my opinion is a much safer as it is not permanent and it is more efficient. It takes less time close a question and ask for improvements, provides insight into whether the OP is really interested, and prevents others from looking at poor questions.
You have those privileges now on your own posts.
That is a list of suggested things to do to OTHER people's posts when you get editing privileges over other people's posts.
I agree that an editing privilege applying to mark-up only would be great.
In any case, I can probably accelerate your rise to 2000 points. Like most of us, you've given lots of reasonable Answers which OPs never bothered to formally accept. I can go back and Accept-click those.
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