MATLAB Answers

Jan Simon

Desperate: Images and formatting in the forum

Asked by Jan Simon
on 18 Sep 2013
Latest activity Commented on by Image Analyst
on 24 Mar 2014

Dear readers, dear TMW,

  • It has been discussed repeatedly how newcomers could be encouraged to apply a proper code formatting. But the About MATLAB Answers manual still does not contain explanations about formatting.
  • One of the killer features of this forum is the ability to show pictures, but the users are forced to host them on foreign servers. Unfortunately the readers have to bear the commercials of these hosters, must reduce their security by enabling JavaScript to see the images, and last but not least the limited life-time of the pictures on these servers let become more and more old thread meaningless.

Several other important points can be found in the wish list, which is growing for years. The high quality of the suggestions and the engaged contributions of the users are not accompanied by a careful consideration by the TMW team. Many suggestions, which could be accomplished in less than an hour, are still waiting for -- what?

We know, that a conservative strategy is valuable in the development of Matlab. But the inert maintenance of the forum is counter productive. It feels like TMW does not care, while the forum's interface does not approach an adult status with an appropriate level of usability, see e.g. the keyboard latency problem.


This is not a question. All I've said has been discussed exhaustively before already. But perhaps TMW forgot that we are still waiting.


Matt J
on 18 Sep 2013

Looks like they heard you! I assume you got the announcement that was just mailed out that image/file attachment capability is being rolled out today.

I didn't get any email, and the capability is not in here yet as far as I can tell. How does one upload/attach an image?

Matt J
on 18 Sep 2013

Should be rolled out later today. Here is the email that I received,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John Kelly <John.*****>
Date: Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 1:55 PM
Subject: MATLAB Answers Temporary Down Time
Hello All,
MATLAB Answers may be down temporarily beginning in approximately 4-5 hours to roll out new features including the ability to attach files and images to Questions.
We apologize for the temporary inconvenience as we roll out new features.
John Kelly
Community Administrator
eProduct Marketing


No products are associated with this question.

2 Answers

Answer by Randy Souza
on 18 Sep 2013
 Accepted answer

Your wish is our (eventual) command! You can now attach images and files by using these new and revamped editor toolbar buttons:

I put a few more details into a blog post.

We've also made some tweaks to the markup editor that should reduce the amount of broken formatting--the editor now does a better job of detecting when extra newlines should be inserted.


When you use the image icon it uploads the image and generates the URL to the place it stored the image. The other construct continues to be available for linking to random places.

Walter is correct; we only store the image if you upload it directly through the markup editor (the image icon). The markup for inserting an image is the same (<<image-url>>) either way, we just insert the URL for you if you upload the file directly.

Got it. Thanks for the clarification.

Answer by Image Analyst
on 18 Sep 2013

With so MANY other web sites hosting pictures, it makes me wonder how hard can it be? Actually already hosts lots of pictures, like the ones we upload to the File Exchange, so I'm wondering why there is a multi-year delay in something that should be relatively straightforward, that is, hosting images for the Answers forum.

The formatting issue is also a pain. Why can't it be just as easy as it is in a word processor such as Microsoft Word? There are weird quirks like having to have a blank line before code or bulleted lists - why??? That trips up a lot of people. Or needing to have a space or blank line before the < in a link - again, why? And why are there no options for font, font size, or font color? Can't they just buy some kind of full featured word processor to plug in that does everything Word can do? Well maybe not everything but at least the basics like formatting text? Or are we somehow stuck with some kind of free, built-in java piece of junk that is basically crippled?

Why can't it be wysiwyg like other word processors have been for years or decades? Why do we have to have a preview window at all? It shouldn't even be necessary.


Jan Simon
on 18 Sep 2013

@Sean: I'm puzzled by the effect of empty lines, which reduce the indentation level. While this is consistent with publishing, it is still not the expected behavior and let posted code look less nice.

Hi Jan, I agree this can be confusing. I would guess the reason the empty lines are required is because we encourage comment wrapping which could put a <*# at the wrong place.

Certainly this is worthy of an enhancement request though.

Jan Simon
on 21 Sep 2013

Ah, now I got it. See this example:

if a == b

In the original text, the two lines inside the code have the same indentation level:

 if a == b

But when interpreted by the parser in the forum, the blank line starts a new block and there are not 2 spaces in front of "Command2", therefore it is treated as pre-formatted text.

What is <*# ??

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