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Wish-list for MATLAB Answer sections.

Asked by Walter Roberson on 8 Feb 2011
Latest activity Answered by per isakson on 24 Sep 2014 at 18:03

This topic (which was not started by Mathworks) is for features you would like to see for this MATLAB Answers facility.

I suggest one wish per answer, so that people can vote for individual wishes.

6 Comments

Sean de Wolski on 28 Jun 2012

I like Daniel's Idea about leaving this alone and starting a wish-list 2.0. I can't even load this whole page without IE8 dumping. Thus any new wishes from today I can't see. Here's my first:

-Once you hit a reputation of say 20, get rid of the "how to post an answer" comments that take up space.

Walter Roberson on 28 Jun 2012

I have been thinking myself that we should start a volume 2. I would not delete anything here, though.

Ideally some of what is here should be moved to the new list. I did not want to just go ahead and create the new Answers, though, as that would not give proper credit to the people who originally proposed them.

Walter Roberson

Products

No products are associated with this question.

146 Answers

Answer by Andrew Newell on 8 Feb 2011

It should be possible to mark up Comments.

10 Comments

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

We implemented this in a release on June 27, 2012 (I'm using it right now!).

Here's a blog post describing the major changes.

Walter Roberson on 28 Jun 2012

Oh frabjous day!!

Walter Roberson on 29 Jun 2012

Already I'm editing comments regularly. It's a very welcome upgrade!

Andrew Newell
Answer by Royi Avital on 9 Feb 2011

M Language Syntax Highlighting.

1 Comment

Amro on 24 Aug 2012

I've created a userscript that applies MATLAB syntax highlighting using google-code-prettify (it was originally intended for Stack Overflow). Project is hosted on GitHub.

Install userscript directly from the following link: prettify-mathworks-answers.user.js

Royi Avital
Answer by vish on 8 Feb 2011

Notification when someone replies on a previously commented question or published.

6 Comments

Lindsay Coutinho on 24 Feb 2011

We have implemented a notification system for new answers to questions. Thank you for all the feedback, it helps us to prioritize what features the engineering team works on.

Andrew Newell on 24 Feb 2011

How do we use it?

Bob Li on 15 Oct 2011

Please, notification for comments on answers. Desperately need it.

Bob

vish
Answer by Walter Roberson on 8 Feb 2011
  • In the list of questions, each question should have a "last updated" date and time, where an update is the addition of an answer or a comment or the editing of any part of it.

One can get the list sorted by most recent update time, but without a time stamp, one has to look at the individual questions all through to determine whether there has been an update since the last time one looked at it.

4 Comments

Andy on 12 May 2011

It would also be useful to list the user name for the most recent update.

Image Analyst on 28 Oct 2011

Looks like this finally got done in October 2011. Yay!

Walter Roberson on 28 Jun 2012

And improved in today's update!

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 8 Feb 2011
  • "Next" and "Previous" buttons while reading questions, to move to the next or previous question without having to go back to the list of questions.

1 Comment

sheen on 21 May 2011

its really nice suggestion

Walter Roberson
Answer by Matt Tearle on 11 Feb 2011

Include questions you've commented on (but not necessarily "answered") in "my answers". This way you can keep an eye on a question where you're asking for clarification or suchlike discussion.

Note: this would be rendered less important if we had notifications of some kind.

6 Comments

Ashish Uthama on 6 Jun 2011

Search for your user name, and look for the 'Subscribe to this View' link (below the search text box, on the right).

Andrew Newell on 1 Jul 2011

I just noticed this answer. If I search for my user name, I get 12 hits.

Walter Roberson on 21 Apr 2012

According to the help documentation, you can currently search using commented_by: tag

Matt Tearle
Answer by Jan Simon on 15 Feb 2011

Perhaps this is implemented already - I didn't ask a question yet: If you select an answer as accepted, can you change the selection afterwards, if a better answer is given?

6 Comments

Matt Fig on 7 Apr 2011

I was going to nominate that one for the longest living dead question so far...

Walter Roberson on 7 Apr 2011

The Night Of The Living Dead Question!
("Brains. We want Brains!")

Matt Tearle on 7 Apr 2011

Wow. I hadn't seen that one. That's...

Yeah.

Pity I can't vote twice.

Jan Simon
Answer by Kent Cabarle on 9 Feb 2011

Posting a photo in a thread..

4 Comments

Kent Cabarle on 9 Feb 2011

Yep. Anything related to the post, which may find useful for easier understanding and visualization.

Oleg Komarov on 10 Feb 2011

You can do that with double passage, first by uploading a photo on say tinypic and then using the markup <<>>

Jan Simon on 15 Feb 2011

And if tinypic stops its service, the corresponding question or answer becomes meaningless. Would it be possible to host the pictures on a TMW server?

Kent Cabarle
Answer by Matt Tearle on 16 Feb 2011

An automated email: "Dear [user], than you for using MATLAB Answers. Your question "[title]" now has [num_ans] answers. If any of these responses has helped you, please accept and/or up-vote them. If none of these answers has resolved your question, please provide further input to help guide others on how they can assist you"

This email should be sent after n days inactivity, at an exponentially increasing frequency;)

9 Comments

Matt Tearle on 28 Feb 2011

That's why we care so much: because the stakes are so low!

Walter Roberson on 28 Feb 2011

@Matt: LOL

I have heard it said that in situations where large-scale distinctions between people are relatively rare, that people tend to become preoccupied with small-scale status symbols, such as parking privileges or office size.

Matt Tearle on 1 Mar 2011

Hah. Makes sense. I ripped off that line from somewhere -- it was describing university politics... I can completely see how the stuff I observed at universities was an affluent society's update to our primal urges to have our political enemies ax-murdered by corrupt government goons (after which you take their mud hut, beads, and lion skin loincloths).

Matt Tearle
Answer by Matt Fig on 2 Mar 2011

Answer folding.

Say there is a question which has 55 some-odd answers. I keep coming back to look and see if there is anything new, but since the answers move up and down with votes and other mechanisms, it soon gets exhausting. If I had the ability to fold answers I have read before - a choice that would stick between logins - then this process would be much easier.

I would like to be able to fold and unfold answers within a question. Perhaps a little star would appear next to the unfold button if there were new comments since I folded the question.

1 Comment

Jan Simon on 3 Mar 2011

A very important improvement! It is nearly impossible to find the new answer or comment in a set of 55 answers and 100 comments. It seems like even a comment, which is deleted directly after the creation, changes the oder of the answers. Then it is even absolutely impossible to find the modifications...

Matt Fig
Answer by Andrew Newell on 8 Feb 2011

My Answers should display the number of votes for the answers, not the questions.

0 Comments

Andrew Newell
Answer by Andrew Newell on 8 Feb 2011

Allow links to a specific answer, not just the question it answers.

9 Comments

Image Analyst on 22 Jun 2012

You're right. I'm not sure why I didn't see it at first. Maybe there are too many non-tutorial answers tagged as tutorial when they shouldn't be because they're just regular answers saying how to do something specific, such as this one: http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/19062-fprintf-table or unanswered requests for a tutorial, such as this one http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/32107-manage-oceanoptics. I might untag some and get rid of the clutter so that only real tutorials are in there.

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

We made it easier to find these in a release on June 27, 2012. Click on the "Link" button next to an answer or above a comment.

Here's a blog post describing the major changes.

Walter Roberson on 28 Jun 2012

Nice, Randy!

Andrew Newell
Answer by Andrew Newell on 11 Feb 2011

The accept button should be further away from Comment on this answer, and it should be possible to undo it - at least for a grace period of a few minutes.

3 Comments

Walter Roberson on 25 Feb 2011

Looks like this has been implemented in the last couple of minutes!

Walter Roberson on 25 Feb 2011

The further-away part, anyhow.

Andrew Newell on 28 Feb 2011

It's a start!

Andrew Newell
Answer by Walter Roberson on 9 Mar 2011

Andrew mentioned as part of a previous suggestion that My Answers should include a search box. The same should also hold true when viewing someone's profile.

Go to my Answers and try to find something specific in there. With over 700 Answers logged already, good luck in finding what you are looking for...

The situation would not be as bad if the existing search box supported a tag for author search (and if author names were unique.)

8 Comments

Helen Chen on 18 Aug 2011

Hi Matt - Yes, I did notice. Randy is working on this one. :-)

Image Analyst on 18 Aug 2011

But it took 21 days to see Matt's post. ;-) There has to be a better/faster way to find new posts since last time you looked at a post.

Helen Chen on 22 Sep 2011

As of last night, when you look at My Answers, it is now sorting by most recent. Enjoy!

Walter Roberson
Answer by Oleg Komarov on 8 Feb 2011

We wanna see our reputation scores, let the challenge begin!

Smt like a Users list by score under the Home link (upper left corner)

Oleg

3 Comments

Andrew Newell on 8 Feb 2011

Bring it on.

Lindsay Coutinho on 24 Feb 2011

The Contributors list has just been added, it's located under Home link. Check it out: http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/contributors . Keep the feedback coming!

Andrew Newell on 26 Feb 2011

Very nice! Sorry, Oleg - it looks like your program has become obsolete.

Oleg Komarov
Answer by Andrew Newell on 14 Feb 2011

Adding a button for inserting images. Even though instructions for adding an image can be found in Markup help, more than one user has been unaware that it could be done (including one on this page!).

1 Comment

Jan Simon on 24 Mar 2012

And store the images on a MathWorks server. The other hosters will delete the images in the near or far future and then the corresponding question will become meaningless.

Andrew Newell
Answer by Jiro Doke on 16 Feb 2011

A way to automatically scroll to the most recent answer/comment/edit. For example, this question has many, many answers and comments. But I don't know where the most recent stuff is. Perhaps there should be a "go to next recent content" button on the page, that takes me to different sections.

9 Comments

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

This is a regression--we will change it back to votes-first soon.

Walter Roberson on 28 Jun 2012

Ah, I notice that the recent activity information at the top of the Question display, is now a direct link to that activity. That helps for the very most recent change, but not so much if multiple changes have been made.

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

The sorting regression is fixed--answers should now display with the accepted answer first, then the remaining answers sorted by number of votes (high-to-low) then date/time asked (least-to-most recent)

Jiro Doke
Answer by Andrew Newell on 16 Mar 2011

Walter mentioned a "Best of Answers" area. A more flexible alternative would be an "Add to my favorites" button, so we can each keep a list of answers that we find really useful.

Of course, we can always bookmark them in our browser, but it would be good to keep them in the same environment as our personal questions and answers.

3 Comments

Walter Roberson on 16 Mar 2011

That's an interesting idea, Andrew.

Walter Roberson on 16 Mar 2011

Though the Best of Answers would be aimed more at the incoming people who are willing to do *some* searching but would get lost in the unstructured morass that exists now.

Andrew Newell on 17 Mar 2011

I get lost in the morass too. Recently I spent fifteen minutes trying to find a particular answer and gave up.

Andrew Newell
Answer by Matt Fig on 8 Jun 2011

A "Views" counter for the questions.

0 Comments

Matt Fig
Answer by Walter Roberson on 9 Feb 2011

When one is being shown a list of Questions, it would be nice if hovering over a question link would show you a brief summary (e.g., first 100-ish characters) of the question statement. This would make it faster for people to take a quick look to see whether the question was interesting, or a quick reminder of exactly which question it was.

1 Comment

Walter Roberson on 21 Apr 2012

Still on my wish-list! Was wanting this again about 2 days ago...

Walter Roberson
Answer by Oleg Komarov on 12 Feb 2011
  1. More meta info about the contributors: num. of votes given, num. of comments...
  2. Keep the meta info separate from answers/questions: try to load Walter's profile...it takes already a lot of time and if he keeps at this rythm in a year it won't be possible to load it at all...

I'm trying to think of long run stable way to query the site to have a score of the contributors. You can see an attempt in User reputation: post here to get into the list. It already takes 6 minutes to retrieve that info.

In general, it would be nicer if the list of the contributors and the meta info was available at one shot (and basically this is what I'm trying to reproduce)

EDIT

TMW team implemented a page with the metascores: http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/contributors

Please refer to it and congrats to the team!

0 Comments

Oleg Komarov
Answer by Walter Roberson on 7 Apr 2011

Somewhere or other in the documentation, we need a note saying plainly that when a Title is edited, the effect is to create a URL which aliases the old one. For example, I had

 http:.../4321-j-random-title

and after I renamed it, that continued to be valid in addition to the new name

http:.../4321-john-q-title

This behavior of keeping the old name accessible can be important because URLs may have been created linking to the old name. This is a good feature; documenting it would save people like me from having to worry about such things.

2 Comments

Walter Roberson on 19 May 2011

Interesting... the behavior is not quite what I thought it was. It is not that aliases are created, but rather that as long as the number and dash are there, followed by any non-meta character (e.g., excluding '?'), then the match will be found. In the above example, http:.../4321-* would work just as well.

This is, incidentally, a way to link to a question by number without having to remember or copy/paste the entire title.

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

Technically, the dash is not needed either. So, for example, you can get to this question via:

http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/994

Walter Roberson
Answer by Matt Tearle on 24 May 2011

Some way to prevent questions being deleted without a good reason!

I'm getting really annoyed with people whose response to your help is to disappear and take with them both their question and your response to it. It's happened more than once to me, and not necessarily questions where the poster was doing something dumb -- perfectly normal question, valid answer(s), then... floop! It's gone.

2 Comments

Daniel on 17 Oct 2011

What really upsets me about a question that I have answered being deleted is I never can remember who asked the question. My feeling is if you are going to delete a question that I have answered, then I am not going to answer any of your other questions (at least until I think you have learned better).

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

We implemented a partial constraint on this behavior in a release on June 27, 2012. You can no longer delete your own question once someone has answered it.

Here's a blog post describing the major changes.

Matt Tearle
Answer by Sean de Wolski on 8 Jun 2011

A "How many users are online" string somewhere on the home page.

5 Comments

Matt Fig on 8 Jun 2011

How about how many people are logged on to MATLAB central? That would at least give an approximation...

Walter Roberson on 8 Jun 2011

"logged on to MATLAB centeral" is the same thing as "authenticated to the web site" that I wrote about.

Matt Fig on 8 Jun 2011

Oh, o.k. You confused me with your technical speak. ;-)

Sean de Wolski
Answer by Paulo Silva on 18 Jul 2011

I would like to have a way to see when someone's account was created and how many questions that person deleted (maybe even the names of the questions deleted for those who are editors), this is because I clearly remember having answered several questions from someone but all those questions were deleted and the very same person posted a new question yesterday, I replied and that person exhibited the same old behaviour that triggered my memory, he/she didn't even look at the links I provided and asked something that isn't MATLAB related, I didn't answer the specific question because I would waste my time, this is MATLAB Answers not Control Engineering Answers.

6 Comments

Sean de Wolski on 18 Jul 2011

Or at least answered by someone else. If you want to delete a question you answered yourself, I don't really see an issue.

Walter Roberson on 19 Jul 2011

Although it is true that in theory this forum is about MATLAB, I find that in practice there are a lot of more questions about theory posed, or questions about theory that are disguised as MATLAB questions.

A fair bit of the time, "How do I do {something} in MATLAB" really means "I barely know what {something} is, but I have to implement it in MATLAB: how do I do that, preferably without ever having to learn anything about what the {something} really means or the mathematics behind it?"

I do admit that is the cynical view from having dealt with large number of students; I _do_ see people (including some of the students) who are interested in their topic, but are lacking the background in it and are also perhaps weak on their research skills (or research initiative) to investigate before trying to implement.

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

We implemented "no delete if already answered" in a release on June 27, 2012. Click on the "Link" button next to an answer or above a comment.

Here's a blog post describing the major changes.

Paulo Silva
Answer by Oliver Woodford on 20 Jul 2011

Many questions get asked again and again. Why? Because people are not searching for previous answers before asking questions.

Stackoverflow suggests some similar questions that have already been asked when people are typing in their questions. It's therefore easy for them to see that the questions already exist.

This system also relies on good questions being voted up, so they appear at the top of the list. I have asked several (dare I say) well-worded questions (and usually answered them well too), with a view to providing a resource for people to refer to. This effort is wasted by the questions and answers receiving no votes, and the fact that people never search for them anyway.

So, TMW please implement question suggestions like Stackoverflow, and regular users please vote for well-worded questions.

1 Comment

K E on 9 Feb 2012

Just curious, why is Matlab answers separate from Stackoverflow? I would like to combine all my reputation points (low as they are) in one place.

Oliver Woodford
Answer by Walter Roberson on 8 Feb 2011
  • Whether Preview is automatic or manual (or the switch-over point) should be a user preference.

7 Comments

Walter Roberson on 24 Feb 2011

Jan indicated yesterday in another thread that he is getting quite badly hit by the slow speed of the automatic preview.

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

We added a disable/enable button for the preview in a release on June 27, 2012.

Here's a blog post describing the major changes.

Walter Roberson on 28 Jun 2012

Hurrah!

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 8 Feb 2011
  • For the benefit of those of us that like to do some infrastructure maintenance, it would be appreciated if there was a way to select questions that had no tag, or that had no Product . Especially in conjunction with the "next question" button that I proposed, this would make it much easier to step through postings adding appropriate meta information.

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Igor on 11 Feb 2011

Perhaps,

to group questions on Category (and create category list)

keywords do not enough

2 Comments

Jan Simon on 24 Feb 2011

This would be a great advantage. I've never worked with Simulink, so it is more efficient not to read Simulink questions.

Walter Roberson on 12 Apr 2011

Looks like this has been at least partly implemented.

Igor
Answer by George Evers on 15 Feb 2011

I like the idea of checking for relevant answers before posting a new question. As mentioned at [1], neural nets would be one vehicle for accomplishing this; alternatively, consider the following routine, for which x and y could be optimized.

Maintain a database of URL's, keywords, and tags for existing articles, threads, and questions.
For each new question title proposed:
* Define X as the set of all words of length > x from the user's proposed title.
* Search the database for articles/threads/questions whose keywords and tags match y% of the members of X.
* Display "Do any of the following answer your question?"
* Display best matches.

Implementing a quality search procedure now could prevent unnecessary clutter and avoid the difficulty of deciding whose answers to delete should cleanup otherwise potentially become necessary. This would help answerers by politely encouraging common sense questioning practices with which to prevent redundant and unnecessary questions, and users would feel more intelligently assisted and locate answers more quickly.

The dual objectives would be time-efficient search and high-quality user feedback. Search time might be reduced by categorizing questions and searching only within relevant categories. And recommendation quality could be optimized by using a modern optimizer to maximize the recommendation success rate per 100 questions on the 2D search space defined by x and y [2].

  1. http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/newsreader/view_thread/301724#818324
  2. http://www.georgeevers.org/HESTEC_poster.jpg
 Regards,
 George
 http://www.georgeevers.org

5 Comments

Jiro Doke on 16 Feb 2011

George, I like this idea a lot. This happens quite a bit in CSSM where people *may* search for things, but ultimately end up posting his/her own question (which happens to be the same as 10 other questions). I think the interface can be changed to encourage the "search first" behavior.

Right now, there is a Search bar where you can type in keywords. There's also a separate "Ask a Question" button. The first problem is that some people will always go straight to "Ask a Question". Having two separate interfaces (search and ask) gives the user options, and it becomes hard to enforce the behavior.

Now once a user asks a question, we could do something that you suggest which is to give some recommendations on existing questions. But we run into the issue that Walter mentions, which is that some people don't provide meaningful titles. Some titles have nothing to do with what they actually ask.

So what I think is that they should get rid of the "Ask a Question" button. There should only be an edit window that says "What is your question?". With that wording (as opposed to "Search MATLAB Answers"), people would hopefully ask the question using natural spoken grammar. They certainly won't type "help!" or "Plz give me code!" because that's not a question. It would force users to type descriptive questions. Based on that question, the system can go through and search the Answers database to come up with some candidates that may be relevant to the asked question. This part is the same as your idea. If the user doesn't see anything relevant, then he/she can go ahead and fill in the rest of the question (description, tags, products).

Andrew Newell on 19 Feb 2011

Walter's experience with tags is exactly why I think that it would be better to just use Google for searching MATLAB Answers (see my separate answer). Why try to reinvent the wheel when someone else does it so much better? This would be quite consistent with many of the other proposals in this discussion.

George Evers
Answer by Jan Simon on 15 Feb 2011

I do not like to be tracked by Google-Analytics. In Germany it is currently checked, if this service conflictes with the laws for data protection.

It is obvious that participating in a newsgroup is not very private at all. Nevertheless I see no reason to let Google know my IP, such that they can check if I've opened a browser window for Ebay or Amazon, while I'm posting at MATLAB Answers. Or does anyone needs informations like this: "People who have bought this book have been interested in these questions also: ..."

So my wish is: Disable tracking by Google-Analytics.

2 Comments

Walter Roberson on 24 Feb 2011

With Firefox and the Abine and NoScript extensions, I have enough control to disable cookies on a site by site basis.

On the other hand, unless I change my username, there isn't much that can be done about the fact that google is going to index the 'Walter Roberson' author against the content I write -- not without disallowing google from indexing the site, which would have many disadvantages.

Jan Simon on 25 Feb 2011

Google-Analytics is an online service, which stores your IP-address. This is another quality than indexing the text you've posted here. If you browse through Ebay or other web sites controlled by GA, Google has enough information to perform the cross-correlations. If you browse this page from your IPhone with enabled IPv6 and did not enable the privacy control, Google knows even your unique MAC address.
I'm using NoScript also - otherwise it is hard to register that GA scans the users of MATLAB Answers.

Jan Simon
Answer by Walter Roberson on 15 Feb 2011

Documentation (and on-line help) of the search capabilities.

Known but not documented:

  • string to be searched for in the body
  • tag:"tag string"
  • product:"product string"

Thought I saw:

  • a prefix for searching by author. I can't reproduce this, not through author:"author name", not through author:contributornumber

Possibly it was in the newsgroup that I saw this supported.

Unknown and not documented:

  • any other supported prefixes
  • whether terms are phrases or "and" or "or", or if words not found at all are silently dropped and a search done on the rest.
  • whether terms are case sensitive -- or can be made to be
  • whether there is a spelling-correction pre-pass on the search
  • whether comments are searched
  • whether the search is on the unrendered or rendered form -- in particular, are urls themselves searched for matches

9 Comments

Walter Roberson on 21 Jun 2011

Search term stemming is used! For example if you search on "computability" you will find "computes" and "computing". Common suffixes are stripped off of the input text when the index is generated, and also stripped off of the search terms when a search is done, and matches are determined.

It is _not_ a simple case of matching prefixes. For example if one searches on "compu" then one will find exactly one posting (well other than this one): it is a posting in which someone mistyped "computing" as "compuing". Strip off the common suffix "ing" and "compu" becomes a recognized search term...

K E on 22 Mar 2012

How do I search for a phrase such as "Simulink debugger"? How do I require that two words both appear in an answer, such as "Simulink" and "optimization"? This is not covered in the documentation (http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/about/answers/). I get better results searching the whole web with Google than using the Answers search window.

Walter Roberson on 22 Mar 2012

"simulink and debugger"

but without the quotes seems to be the current method.

I did test with quotes as well; if I remember correctly I got results that I could not characterize at the time.

ps: dang, took me several minutes of searching to find this update!

Walter Roberson
Answer by Matt Fig on 18 Feb 2011

Answer numbers. If we can't link to a certain answer within a question, at least give the ability to link to the question and say, "See answer 12." The numbers could be fixed even if the questions move up and down, so we have two ways of tracking things.

2 Comments

Walter Roberson on 25 Feb 2011

See also
http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/994-wish-list-for-matlab-answer-sections#comment_3868

Image Analyst on 17 Jun 2012

Walter - nothing happens when I click on your link.

Matt, I heartily agree. I almost added this myself until I decided to search this page for "number" and found your suggestion was already in here. I was going to say this in a new "Answer":

I think the answers should be numbered, so that when someone wants to refer to a particular posting it can be done easily. For example "That suggestion has already been noted. See Answers #2, #16, and #42." The number should be retained when the "Accepted" answer moves to the top of the Answer list, or else it would mess up everyone who referred to a number in their answer.

Matt Fig
Answer by Andrew Newell on 19 Feb 2011

There should be a way of uploading a data file so that people can retrieve it but it doesn't take up a lot of space on the display. Sometimes we just can't figure out what the problem is without the data (as, for example, with question 1504).

2 Comments

Oleg Komarov on 20 Feb 2011

It should be possible to add size-capped mat files!

Walter Roberson on 26 May 2011

Some of the upload sites people are using are aggravating to free downloaders.

easy-share for example: nags you to join, and if you choose to download for free, makes you wait 30+ seconds before you can do the download. And if you are like me and have javascript disabled for most sites (e.g. via NoScript) and have to turn it on to download from there, you'll have another 15 seconds of imposed delay before it even gives you the chance to trigger the download; multiply by 3 because there turn out to be multiple site's scripts referenced there...

Anyhow, the current ad-hoc list of download sites is in http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/7924-where-can-i-upload-images-and-files-for-use-on-matlab-answers

Andrew Newell
Answer by Walter Roberson on 25 Feb 2011

When there is a problem posting (a comment or answer), currently the content of what was to be posted is lost; going back from the error page refreshes to the current content without the attempted addition. This can be a major time waste if one has posted a long reply :(

Wish list: that when an error page is given, that the attempted text be made available so that the user can at least copy it and retry or save it for later submission.

4 Comments

Walter Roberson on 8 Jun 2011

I would call this a bug, at least for the case where something goes wrong with the processing. The case where one is replying to something that got deleted is perhaps not a bug, but if I've put a bunch of time in to constructing a reply, losing it can sure be annoying -- e.g., I might want to save what I wrote for future needs, or might want to email what I wrote, or perhaps I was writing into a posting that got deleted because it was a duplicate, or perhaps I was writing into a posting that the original poster deleted without good reason and I might be wanting to post the material to the newest incarnation of the poster's question.

Sean de Wolski on 17 Oct 2011

If the OP deletes a question while a reply is being written an error page shows up when the answer is submitted. I would like the error page to contain the text that was just written so it could be copied to a text file in case the OP reposts the question.

Walter Roberson on 17 Oct 2011

Yup, exactly what I was complaining about!

Walter Roberson
Answer by Jan Simon on 28 Feb 2011

Dear community! Please use the chance to vote questions and answers exhaustively to increase the total quality of MATLAB Answers.

A guideline for voting and choosing an accepted answer would be helpful. E.g.:

Vote a question, if it is helpful for others and contains most likely all necessary information to solve the problem - even if your personal skill does not allow you to answer.

Or:

Vote a question, if you think, that reading it and its answers help to improve the personal programming skills.

Then a question with many votes but no answer gets very attractive for advanced programmers, questions with many votes and an accepted answer becomes attractive for beginners, while questions without a vote after 4 days are obvioulsy irrelevant.

1 Comment

Jan Simon
Answer by Matt Fig on 2 Mar 2011

Let me put blank lines in my responses!

If I type a line that doesn't go all the way to the end of the window to wrap automatically, then hit return to enter another line, the second line is appended to the first as if I had never hit return. Also, I cannot put multiple blank lines in without doing this fake dot

.

.

.

thing. (dot,return-return; dot,return-return) This feature would be useful for making a space in order to draw attention to an edit to an answer.

2 Comments

Jan Simon on 3 Mar 2011

I have a small screen and need a large font size. Such empty lines do *not* catch my attention, but force me to scroll vertically during reading. A picture, bold font or the picture of a well-known author are much better to catch the attention.

Matt Fig
Answer by Walter Roberson on 3 Mar 2011

When constructing a comment or editing an answer (but not in initially submitting an answer!), if you have a line that begins and ends with a double-quote, then everything before the line and anything after the line are usually (but not always) lost, along with the double-quotes.

I had an example in my previous edition of this Answer, but when I edited the Answer to add more info, that line became the only thing left of the Answer :(

Wish: fix this behaviour.

7 Comments

Walter Roberson on 21 Jun 2011

:whimper:

I had another Comment trashed today where I input a quoted string result :(

Randy Souza on 30 Jun 2011

This should be fixed as of June 28, 2011

Walter Roberson on 1 Jul 2011

Thank you!!!

Walter Roberson
Answer by Jan Simon on 3 Mar 2011

Unique user names would be helpful to recognizewho has written a comment or question.

Some days ago I've read a comment by "Matt" and answered it by citing another thread, where I had discussed with "Matt" before. But there are 7 Matt's at the moment. By accident I've moved the mouse over the name link and have seen "Reputation: 0". This was about 300 less than expected.

Any ideas how this could be improved?

9 Comments

Jan Simon on 4 Mar 2011

What might happen, if I change my name to "Walter Roberson" and copy his photo?! Sabotage is a bit to0 easy.

Walter Roberson on 27 May 2011

I'm wondering what would happen if I changed my username to something like </HTML> or </FORM> ;-)

Andrew Newell on 28 May 2011

Twelve Answers models. Seven are known. Four live in secret. One will be revealed.

Jan Simon
Answer by Walter Roberson on 19 Apr 2011

Wish: an editorial function to move an Answer to be a Comment on a different answer (or even the question itself), while preserving appropriate ownership. With any Comments to the Answer to be moved as well to become additional Comments.

Questioners post their responses as new Answers relatively often; cleaning up after that by copy-and-past is tedious and error-prone and doesn't preserve ownership.

Bonus Wish: move a Comment to become an Answer, preserving ownership and allowing appropriate credit. Especially during back-and-forths to determine what is being asked, key suggestions end up being given in Comments.

1 Comment

Walter Roberson on 26 Apr 2011

Double Bonus Wish: move an Answer or Comment to become a new Question, preserving ownership etc..

Reason: it is not uncommon for people to ask respond with questions semi-related to an existing post, but which really should have their own post. (Hmmm, an automatic "Reference:" line would be nice too...)

Walter Roberson
Answer by Oleg Komarov on 25 Apr 2011

A tutorial section for posts like the following: http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/6200-how-to-ask-a-question

1 Comment

Andrew Newell on 26 Apr 2011

I like your approach to this. I had thought of creating a similar page, but the big problem is keeping the page visible for new users. A tutorial section might do that.

Oleg Komarov
Answer by Walter Roberson on 26 May 2011

Being able to revoke an Accept "at least for a grace period" was suggested earlier.

I would suggest that Editors be able to revoke Accept. It is not uncommon for a user to Accept much too early. Sometimes too the Accept looked reasonable at the time, but the user then either finds the solution to be unusable in the situation, or has additional related questions that are easier to deal with in the existing Question than in a new Question.

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 27 May 2011

A way to get actual time-stamps for items instead of "about 3 months" and so on. For the purposes I am thinking of, having the time-stamps show up in the HTML but not visible would probably do (but an option to see them clearly would be nice.)

3 Comments

Jan Simon on 27 May 2011

And sort the answers according to the date on demand. E.g. it will be hard to find this answer after I've voted for it, because it will vanish in the heap of the other 77 answers. Sorry.

Walter Roberson on 27 May 2011

Quite true, Jan. I had to go looking carefully for new responses in order to see yours.

If I recall correctly, Randy already termed the random reshuffling of Answers to be a bug. The sorting by votes is not a bug, though, so if something newish gets voted up in a long list then it would be easy to miss.

Walter Roberson on 8 Jun 2011

random reshuffling of Answers is a bug.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Matt Fig on 8 Jun 2011

I am adding this again because it is REALLY, VERY annoying!

We should be able to put quotes around a paragraph or sentence and have it show up as such!

Right now if you write a big long response of several paragraphs and code, then put one little sentence at the end on its own line and in quotes, everything you wrote will be wiped out and only the line in quotes will show up - and without the quotes. When you then click on Edit, hoping that somehow your work will have been saved and just not shown, you find it is gone...

This is utterly ridiculous! At least add a button so that we can highlight a section in the answer and put it in quotes...

3 Comments

Walter Roberson on 8 Jun 2011

I'm pretty sure the apostrophe / double-quote behavior is a processing bug rather than a deliberate design... but surely it could be fixed!

And yes, I did encounter this problem again the other day. Fortunately I had Lazarus installed and was able to recover the text that way and edit it.

Helen Chen on 8 Jun 2011

Matt and Walter - I have logged a bug report for this. We'll look into why this is happening.

Matt Fig on 8 Jun 2011

Thanks Helen!

Matt Fig
Answer by Daniel on 6 Aug 2011

Free MATLAB swag for frequent contributors. While striving to get added to http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/1058-contributors-metainfo-reputation-and-more might be enough motivation, I think free stuff would be more motivating.

Maybe they could start small with a MATLAB answers sticker (not just the standard MATLAB sticker, but a customized one to reflect the contributions to answers). then as you contribute more you could get a mug, tee-shirt, USB key, etc.

3 Comments

Walter Roberson on 6 Aug 2011

I've started a line of "doit4me" clothing ;-)

Jan Simon on 26 Aug 2011

@Walter: And for the majority of users a "WalterdidIt4me" collection.

Walter Roberson on 29 Aug 2011

In a previous life, the expression used was "I've been waltered"! (Note: this was not related at all to the much later use of the expression in a tractor forum.)

Daniel
Answer by Walter Roberson on 8 Feb 2011
  • The very stark no-frills-at-all interface for editing an Answer one has given, must go!

Possibly it does not come up every time, but when it does, it is a page with just a short edit box with the text in the top left and a Submit and Cancel button -- not even anything telling you what the page is about.

5 Comments

Matt Fig on 8 Feb 2011

I find that hitting ctrl+F5 often refreshes this little annoying box away.

Jan Simon on 9 Feb 2011

This box appears, if "Comment on tis answer" or "Add an answer" is activated before the question page was loaded completely as indicated by the progressbar of the browser.

Jan Simon on 24 Feb 2011

This box has no additional Preview box! So it is ugly, but useful currently.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Matt Fig on 8 Feb 2011

Alright I will say it. I know they are stupid and annoying, and that we are all professionals here, but sometimes I like those little emoticons. I often see people using: ;) or :-), how about the real deals? The rollseyes one could come in handy.

8 Comments

Walter Roberson on 8 Feb 2011

By the way, testing for whitespace or beginning of line before :) would eliminate a lot of the false positives. Lots of code of the form A(K,:) but probably relatively little of the form A(K, :) . And emoticons could be disabled for identified code sections.

Walter Roberson on 10 Feb 2011

Emoticons can be imported as images using the << >> markup in answers. But that markup does have the restriction of having to be the only thing in the paragraph (not just on the line.)

Matt Fig
Answer by Matt Fig on 10 Feb 2011

I know it is not realistic, but man would I love it!

A filter that wouldn't let an OP post a question with TXT type in it.

No plz. (Please)

No tx. (Thanks)

No hlp. (Help)

(Feeling cranky...)

10 Comments

Matt Fig on 12 Apr 2011

If you have the time, go for it (please)! I believe that as long as you aren't changing the meaning of a question, it is o.k. for you to make clarifying alterations - correcting poor English, of which txt-speak is a part, is a service to everyone.

Walter Roberson on 13 May 2011

How long to ramp up your campaign, Matt?

Matt Fig on 13 May 2011

Haha! Today Duplicates, tmro t wrld.

Matt Fig
Answer by Matt Tearle on 13 Feb 2011

Has anyone else been tripped up by the auto-folded comments? I'd personally prefer expanded by default, or at least a higher threshold.

1 Comment

Oliver Woodford on 19 Feb 2011

It can make some comments appear nonsensical.

Matt Tearle
Answer by Cris Luengo on 16 Feb 2011

I want to be able to down-vote questions and answers. I understand the current "positive reinforcement" philosophy, but sometimes it is better to be able to delete stuff that people really don't like (e.g. at -5 points).

2 Comments

Jan Simon on 3 Mar 2011

I suggested another strategy elsewhere: Massive positive voting would have the same effect, because a missing vote mutliplied by the number of days since posting have the same meaning as a negatrive vote.

Oliver Woodford on 20 Jul 2011

Massive positive voting just isn't happening. I've asked some very good questions, because I know they get asked all the time, and they have recieved no votes (to date). So a way to down vote bad questions would be nice.

Cris Luengo
Answer by Andrew Newell on 17 Feb 2011

A Google-quality search box (or just a Google box). For example, a few minutes ago I searched for "pi" and only get the single question how to evaluate pi out to 28 decimal places that was tagged with pi, missing the much more interesting Calculate the nth digit of pi (which I have now tagged "pi" as well). If I search "pi site:http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/" in Google, I get much more useful results. EDIT: And MUCH faster!

3 Comments

Walter Roberson on 17 Feb 2011

Speculation: if it matches a tag it doesn't bother to search bodies??

Andrew Newell on 17 Feb 2011

I saw your responses up above. It is a mystery why it searches the body sometimes and not others.

Walter Roberson on 12 Apr 2011

Searching for "pi" now finds many hits.

Andrew Newell
Answer by Paulo Silva on 28 Feb 2011

Too many people are using the Answers system like they use a search engine (google,bing,etc), I'm tired of trying to find out how to do something (wasting my time solving other person problems) and that person doesn't accept my answer or someone else answer, doesn't vote, etc.

I'm not here to earn points, I play fair and even vote against my own answers if I feel that someone else's better, the only thing that makes me mad is the amount of ungrateful people that post questions expecting answers and don't bother to vote, accept or just say thank you.

We need a way to vote down on the users, give them -1 point for the things already mentioned.

2 Comments

Jan Simon on 28 Feb 2011

But will the negative votes have any effect? If enough people create positive votes frequently, a missing vote is as good as negative. The tags and comments are a further method to add an individual voting. I do not read questions with a doit4me tag and I do not invest a lot of time in an answer, if the OP does not reply to questions about necessary details. I feel free to post this in a comment also.
Another idea is to answer just voted questions - but unfortunately voting good questions is not very frequent yet. So see my answer...

Paulo Silva on 28 Feb 2011

I think it would have some effect, or just flag those who keep asking questions without interacting with the system and those who help them.

Another good thing could be only allowing someone to post a question after that person posted N comments somewhere else, that way could encourage people to interact more with others ('break the ice') and search for answers first.

Paulo Silva
Answer by Paulo Silva on 11 Mar 2011

People are still able to accept their own answers! Cheating the system

4 Comments

Paulo Silva on 11 Mar 2011

That's not the case 99% of the time I see someone accepting their own answers, see the example above, the OP accepted his answer but the answer it self is just a thank you.

Of course there's a remote change for someone to find a solution after the question but in that case why not just add the solution to the question with edit or make a comment.

Again it's not a matter of points or reputation it's a matter of accepting the best answers, I don't know if someone already made the suggestions but comments could be turned into answers (accept comment as answer button?!) because often they have the solution.

Oliver Woodford on 20 Apr 2011

When comments have the solution, it's the commenters responsibility to post it as an answer - if they don't, tough. I agree strongly with Walter that answering one's own question that no-one else can answer is very helpful, and I disagree with Paulo that it is a rare occurrence. In fact, I do it all the time - I re-ask good questions from the newsgroup, wait for a good answer, and when one isn't forthcoming (often) I post my own. This makes it more likely that people will find the answers in future without having to ask the question again. Since you get no reputation points for accepting your own answer, the only reason why people would do this is because they believe it's the most helpful answer - how can that be cheating?

Paulo Silva on 26 Apr 2011

Hi Oliver, I didn't noticed your message until now and wasn't aware that when accepting our own answer there were no added points, ok it's not cheating, thanks for explaining all those things that I really wasn't aware of!

Paulo Silva
Answer by Walter Roberson on 7 Apr 2011

It appears that answer numbers and comment numbers are unique. If that is the case, then it would be useful if there was a url that we could use to reference them without having to put in the URL that includes the full title.

It isn't any strain to temporary remember a 4 or 5 digit number while one switches to another topic and writes #answer_NNNN or #comment_NNNN as appropriate, but remembering the full title such as 994-wish-list-for-matlab-answer-sections is not practical. It would thus be nice if there was a constant URL that we could use such as (e.g.)

http://matlabcentral.com/answers/jumpto/ that we could then add answer_NNNN or comment_NNNN to, which when activated would redirect the to the proper place.

Or, better yet, add some markup assistance; e.g., <$answer_NNNN text> or <$comment_NNNN text> would expand the $ to a URL prefix suitable for this purpose.

1 Comment

Walter Roberson on 6 Jun 2011

This would be especially useful to refer to particular FAQs such as the homework ones. Though it is true those can be bookmarked and the bookmarked dragged in to the editing session.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Fangjun Jiang on 2 Jun 2011

Be able to mark a question and its answers into "My QA Collections", just like "My Questions" and "My Answers". This will provide an easy reference for any QA that I am interested.

0 Comments

Fangjun Jiang
Answer by Walter Roberson on 11 Jun 2011

Searches are case-sensitive.

For example, searching for alphadata returns a different set of postings than searching for AlphaData

This is a bug, at least in the absence of a clearly indicated (and easy) method to make the search case insensitive.

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Matt Fig on 1 Jul 2011

NOT having my answers be listed oldest to newest. Having to trudge through 14 pages to see my recent answers is no fun...

Perhaps if we could choose the order from a drop-down, this would be more functional.

1 Comment

Walter Roberson on 22 Sep 2011

2011 09 21 - sorting order is now most recently modified to least recently modified for "My Answers" button.

Matt Fig
Answer by Paulo Silva on 1 Jul 2011

How do you guys find the new comments or answers in this big mess without having to inspect all of it? So darn frustrating!

4 Comments

Paulo Silva on 2 Jul 2011

nice tip Oleg, doing the same with Opera from now on :) thanks

Matt Fig on 2 Jul 2011

+1 Oleg! Exactly what I do.

Paulo Silva
Answer by James on 28 Sep 2011

When using search, you can sort by date answered/asked, and number of answers/votes, but you can't sort by how relevant the questions and answers are to your search (even a simple # of times each word occurs).

Filters based on product/category tags are good, but will only find questions that have actually been properly tagged.

Of course I can get round this by pointing a google search at Answers, but it'd be handy if the inbuilt search function had a go at it.

1 Comment

Andrew Newell on 29 Sep 2011

I still think that they should just add a Google search box. You don't have to do everything yourself.

James
Answer by Greg Heath on 6 Dec 2011

Please add a latest activity line in the listing of topics.

It is very annoying to have to open the topic just to see if I was the last responder.

Hope this helps.

Greg

1 Comment

Image Analyst on 6 Dec 2011

I agree, and voted for it. I thought it might already be on the list somewhere but the list has gotten so long that I don't feel like scanning 113 (literally!) answers and comments to check anymore.

Greg Heath
Answer by Walter Roberson on 27 Jan 2012
  • I have not had time to investigate to pin down circumstances, but it appears that now when a search query of multiple words is given, the searching is no longer always an AND search. If two words are searched on, and one of the terms occurs "relatively few" times (or not at all) compared to the other, then the search returns all the Questions in which the more common term occurred, ignoring the less common (or no-match) term.
  • There is no documented way to indicate that a multi-term search is to be AND, OR, or PHRASE
  • The order in which matches are returned can be odd when multiple terms are given for the search. Sometimes about a 10 Question matches are shown that relate solely to the first term, then 20-ish Question matches are shown that relate solely to the second term, then the remainder are shown by age -- resulting in two age-related jumps in the list.

3 Comments

Walter Roberson on 9 Feb 2012

using the keyword "and" between phrases does appear to change the results to be more AND-like.

Jan Simon on 2 Mar 2012

+1. I did not vote this before, because the search bar of Answers is such weak, that I do not use it. But actually a powerful search is a fundamental feature of database of questions and answers. We have 27'273 threads currently. All messages have tags and time-stamps. It should be easy to find a message based on the information like: Walter has written something about periodic functions about 4 month ago.

Oleg Komarov on 28 Jun 2012

It seems that with the introduction of new features the search engine has improved.

Walter Roberson
Answer by u-will-neva-no on 17 Jun 2012

Hey everyone, I propose that there should be a built in way to add attachments such as images. I think it would be beneficial when code is attached (such as providing the formula, expected plot to be generated etc.)

u-will-neva-no
Answer by Jan Simon on 28 Jun 2012

The new layout is a brute waste of space. The information density is sometimes lower than 3 sentences per screen.

The new boxes around everything confuse my eyes.

See Asnwers: me not like new layout for more details of my personal opinion.

0 Comments

Jan Simon
Answer by Walter Roberson on 8 Feb 2011
  • Ideally, when reading a question, the Home link on the left side should go back to the list of answers retaining the sorting order that one was using. At present, clicking on that link switches back to the default sort by most recent update.

It is true that one can click the "back" button on one's browser to return to where one was in the list with the sorting one last had in effect, but that isn't obvious.

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 18 Feb 2011

Some people have asked for HTML markup. I found accidentally this morning that some ampersand character constants work (but not in "code" sections.) I was illustrating to someone that they could put in &bull; in their uicontrol, and to my surprise the actual bullet appeared (•) .

It only appears to work for named entities, not for numbers, and it kicks in in the preview as soon as it recognizes the entity name even before you have typed the semi-colon .

So the wish-list here would be that this be documented.

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 25 Feb 2011

Need a horizontal-scroll bar or automatic detection of window width. Content is not reformatted to fit narrow browser windows and no scrollbar is there (Firefox, Linux)

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Paulo Silva on 1 Mar 2011

Wish-list for MATLAB's Questions

  1. Proper code formatting
  2. Search first and ask questions later
  3. Post all needed variables for the problem
  4. Don't just say that something doesn't work, paste the error code
  5. Actually try what's suggested
  6. At least try to do your homework
  7. Don't just copy and paste the homework assignment text
  8. Don't do "sneaky" changes to the original questions
  9. Don't start with multiple questions
  10. Don't change your mind while posting the question
  11. Don't expect someone to do your homework over the weekend
  12. Don't send emails asking for personalized help
  13. Vote on answers and accepted only the best of them
  14. Be nice to other people and reward them for their efforts (vote)
  15. Don't post multiple questions for the same subject

2 Comments

Oleg Komarov on 1 Mar 2011

I would modify 1 to, post brief example input and desired output and the code used so far with proper formatting

Also 13-15 should be placed among the first places.

Maybe 2. should be the first one.

The homework concept should have just one point...

After 2. I would add: Read the FAQ

"Be specific" also should be included

Andrew Newell on 1 Mar 2011

There is a better home for this answer: http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/728-how-do-i-write-a-good-question-for-matlab-answers. More relevant and fewer answers to compete with for air!

Paulo Silva
Answer by Walter Roberson on 3 Mar 2011

The three font markups, bold ('*'), italics ('_') and monospaced ('|') only work within individual paragraphs. If there is a paragraph break (an empty line) then the markup character will be inserted literally.

And now I understand how it didn't work for me to select a section of text with several paragraphs and click on the monospace button, but I believe that if the selected text contains paragraph breaks then when the buttons are pressed, the formatting should be applied paragraph by paragraph if that is what is needed to have the entire selection rendered in to the chosen mode.

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 4 Mar 2011

If you view someone's profile page, and click to see their Answers list, and from that list click to read one of the Questions, then when you use your browser's Back function, you will be returned to the person's Question list instead of to their Answers list.

This is because the Answers tab is implemented via an HTML anchor that invokes local code to display the appropriate data, leaving the page URL unchanged. When you go off the page and return, the URL you are going back to is the one that displays the Questions list.

Wish: that going Back after viewing a particular Question gets you to whichever tab you were viewing, at the point you were viewing it.

1 Comment

Walter Roberson on 28 Jun 2011

This issue was fixed today (June 28 2011) !

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 9 Mar 2011

Comments need to be searchable. Indexed too would be good, even if the index had to be reached from My Answers or the user profile. People add a lot of valuable information in the form of comments, and a lot of the hints about ways to perform particular kinds of tasks better often show up as Comments.

EDIT: I see that indexed was suggested by someone else; my further explication applies to both indexing and searching.

3 Comments

Helen Chen on 11 Apr 2011

Done!

Andrew Newell on 11 Apr 2011

You have the best comments, Helen!

Walter Roberson
Answer by per isakson on 11 Mar 2011

Links to "Published MATLAB Files" would help discussions on code and solutions, which include more than a few lines of code.

I often read the "Published MATLAB Files" in the FEX before downloading, e.g. "Comparison of hgsetget and hgsetgetplus"

Thus I want

  1. Upload "Published MATLAB Files" to Answer
  2. Insert links in my text
  3. Replace the URL by a meaningful string

/ per

PS: Will anybody read this in the old thread?

2 Comments

Walter Roberson on 11 Mar 2011

Per, what I do is open a separate tab, find the information I am looking for there, and copy the URL. Then I switch back, and at the location I want the link, put in a > after the last word that I want to be in the meaningful string, go to the beginning of the first word I want to be in the meaningful string, put a < before that and then a space, and then paste the URL right after the < .

per isakson on 11 Mar 2011

Thanks, Walter, that was too simple for me ;-) I messed around with "href=". Now, I have to come up with a good question together with a "Published m-file" to try my idea.

per isakson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 16 Mar 2011

Do we need a "Best of Answers" area? Cross-referencing and tagging and rating the over 3000 Questions and nearly 5000 Answers is probably a hopeless -- but it might be worthwhile to have a mechanism to nominate a Question as a classic question (perhaps to be generalized a bit) with answer(s) synthesized from the various suggestions.

The question, though, is "Who will bell the cat?"

2 Comments

Andrew Newell on 16 Mar 2011

Pretty soon we're going to need a "Best of 'Wish-list for MATLAB Answers section'"! Ironically, if I vote for this answer, people are going to have trouble finding it.

Andrew Newell on 16 Mar 2011

Seriously, though, I agree. Some really good answers are likely to die in obscurity otherwise.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 24 Mar 2011

As noted above, there is no scroll-bar for narrow browser windows. The lack of scroll-bar turns out to be worse than expected. I noted above that in Answers, content that cannot word-wrap extends past the end of the box on the screen. Well, in Comments, word-wrap does not wrap on as many symbols and the text clips against the edge of the box. The result can be that a lot of a Comment goes missing without any hint except perhaps loss of continuity. If the user happens to think to select the entire comment and paste it into an editor, the entire content is available so this is a word-wrap and display formatting issue. See for example the rather bad clipping here; the comment that follows that was after I manually inserted spaces around operators and manually converted some long integers to exponent notation.

2 Comments

Matt Fig on 24 Mar 2011

A quoted sentence was not rendered.

Walter Roberson on 8 Jun 2011

I would call this a bug.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 7 Apr 2011

Downloadable dictionary suitable for IE or Firefox (and potentially for OpenOffice or Word), containing the names of the Mathworks functions, so that when we type in MATLAB commands in to messages, our browser doesn't complain that we are making spelling mistakes.

1 Comment

Matt Tearle on 9 Apr 2011

My iPad is slowly learning MATLAB. Which is actually kinda cool. But also slow and painful - "no, meshgrid, one word, leave it alone, stupid autocorrect..."

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 12 Apr 2011

Especially when editing long questions, it gets to be a bit wearing that the Save button is (only) below the preview. Could we get an additional Save between the edit box and the preview ?

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 19 Apr 2011

When one edits a Question and then returns to the index via the Back button, then if one is sorting by Most Recent Modification, the just-edited Question appears as the first entry of the current page. The system does know the proper time for it and shows it in the correct order if one changes pages, so it is an oddity rather than a deep problem.

1 Comment

Walter Roberson on 8 Jun 2011

I would call this a bug, but not a priority.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 19 Apr 2011

I wonder if it would be possible to get an editor button that lower-cases the current selection? When people write their question in all-uppercase, it is a pain to re-type their question or to copy-and-paste to an external editor, make the change there, and copy-and-paste back over the original.

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 20 Apr 2011

Sometimes Questioners perceive negative value in some responses, and ask that the respondent not reply to them in future. Possibly those Questioners would prefer if there was a mechanism to actively block specific people from replying to them in future.

And possibly some respondents may wish to "subscribe" to being warned or blocked from replying to someone found to be unproductive to deal with.

I shall not defend the merits of these possibilities, just raise them because I happened to think of them. (Besides, the more I think about the second of them, the more seductive the idea becomes...)

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 20 Apr 2011

Wish: that the main page for Answers would stop saying that the page was not found.

(I got in directly through the Contributors page, and I cannot see any issues; the database still seems to be active, but the main page is fried.

2 Comments

Walter Roberson on 20 Apr 2011

I have determined that this likely a problem with one of the first 8 most recently added messages (added before my series of tests, that is.)

Walter Roberson on 21 Apr 2011

This problem is now fixed! Yeh-Haw!

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 9 May 2011

Bracket matching, please. Even if the first version doesn't account for quoted brackets, it would be a help. Restricting it to "Code" sections would be fine (and would make sense.) Best would be deep enough parsing to recognize problems per-statement on-the-fly, but even having to select an area and invoke the bracket-checking function on it would be good.

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 9 May 2011

I have noticed that some users are interpreting the {} of the '{} Code' button as indicating that the proper way to mark a section as being code is to enclose it within a { } pair.

I'm not sure the {} part of the button label is adding any clarity to its purpose, and it is confusing some people.

1 Comment

Jan Simon on 26 Aug 2011

I believe, that the "{}" is a relict from experiments with different markup methods. For the current method, there is no cennection to curly braces.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 12 May 2011

Per-user (user-controllable) default tags.

For example, if the user could (was prompted to) set up tags corresponding to the MATLAB release and OS + Version that they are using, then it could save questions about "Which version are you using".

Further refinement: as users might not notice this facility, perhaps an ability for people (editors?) to trigger a "suggestion". I'm not sure how that would work... perhaps in the form of a URL sent to the user that they could click to confirm, or perhaps in the form of a URL sent to the user that they could click to take them to the configuration form.

3 Comments

Andrew Newell on 12 May 2011

What if they have multiple versions?

Walter Roberson on 12 May 2011

Then they wouldn't set the default tags.

Matt Fig on 12 May 2011

These could also be update-able fields set in each user's profile when registering. Something like:

User Name: Matt Fig
Versions in use: 7.01, 2006a, 2007b
etc...
etc..

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 13 May 2011

When one is adding a Tag, one can type a comma after the text to signal that the text is complete and the tag corresponding to the text is to be added.

When one is adding a Product, this is not available: one must click a product list entry to have it added.

It would be nice if one could also use the comma in the Product list. In particular, this is a nuisance when one is trying to select the generic product MATLAB (the most common Product) or the generic product SIMULINK (probably about the third most common Product).

1 Comment

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

You should be able to do this now (I can't recall when we added it).

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 26 May 2011

When a long Tag is entered and the total Tags length is enough that one or more are positioned on additional lines, then the positioning of the first tag on the second line may be messed up, not starting until a few characters before the start of the long tag. This happens especially if there are multiple long tags.

Sometimes users enter entire questions as single tags, or try to separate tags with semi-colons or the like: long tags can result. And sometimes there might only be a single long tag that has a spelling error (along with shorter ones); when I go to fix the error by entering the corrected tag before deleting the old one, the display of the tags usually messes up.

Refreshing the page does not help: it is not a momentary glitch. It is possible, though, that it is browser-sensitive: I have seen it with Firefox 4 and TenFourFox

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 27 May 2011

It would be nice to have more flexibility on date selection. For example, it would not be uncommon to want to look at everything that had been modified since the last time one checked; that could be a varying amount of time, but "1 day" would bracket it much better than 7 days; likewise a time frame corresponding to checking on Monday after not having checked since Friday would likely be common.

I did do some experimenting with supplying my own time frames, but only the time frames that are selectable from the index were recognized even (not a syntax matter; the syntax was clear.)

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Igor on 2 Jun 2011

Asking a question, sometimes I forgot to fill "keyword" field and press OK button, the error occured, but by browser (Mozilla) button "Return (Undo)" I have seen EMPTY form. That is, all text I have to retype :(

5 Comments

Andrew Newell on 2 Jun 2011

That looks like a great add-on!

Igor on 2 Jun 2011

Easier to change JavaScript then to install Lazarus :)

Walter Roberson on 8 Jun 2011

I would call this a bug.

Igor
Answer by Image Analyst on 3 Jun 2011

I was going to comment on something Walter brought up 7 days ago. It's up there about 25% of the way down this list. It starts "A way to get actual time-stamps for items..." (It was posted 7 days ago but for some reason, apparently a known bug, it's listed way up there in between two 4-month old postings.) But I don't know if my response would ever be found among the 83 other answers buried way up there in the middle of the list. So I decided to add an "answer" at the bottom of the list. At least that's my intent, probably just like Walter who may have been surprised that his post got buried way up there in some strange location between much older posts. Anyway. . . on to the suggestion:

When you go to Google, it does a half way reasonable job of determining when you last visited and it flags the new ones since you last visited as "New." I wish MATLAB Answers did the same. I also wish there were accurate time and day time stamps (like Google). If I come back to visit answers, I have no idea how far back I need to go in the list to see the new ones. But if I know that I last looked here at 2:00 p.m., and the posts were time stamped right there on the main screen, then I would know which ones were new. If they're not time stamped, I may waste time opening up threads that didn't have any new stuff at all since I last visited.

So then I double click on it (my nicely time/date stamped listing) to open it, and see 83 answers and dozens of comments. Like Walter said - where is the new one(s) located? It could be buried deep in pages of old stuff. There needs to be some way of indicating which ones are new to me, or at least recent (say within the last 24 hours or so). Maybe make them a different color or boldface or something.

0 Comments

Image Analyst
Answer by Walter Roberson on 6 Jun 2011

I don't know if it is possible, but it would be nice if when one deleted something (e.g., a comment one made) that the new page could be positioned "near" where you were.

This should be possible for sure if one was deleting a Tag or Product.

2 Comments

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

All of these deletes should happen without a page refresh now, so the browser should remain right where you were.

Walter Roberson on 28 Jun 2012

Marvelous!

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 8 Jun 2011

When you delete the post you are reading, you are returned to the main MATLAB Answers site instead of being returned to where you were in the list (e.g. you might have been on page 2 or 3, reading something past the most recent 40 threads.)

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 8 Jun 2011

When you delete a post you are reading, often the attempt to return you to the main MATLAB Answers page results in an error about the page not existing, and one is usually unable to get to the main page for 15 or more seconds.

(This bug was previously reported in email and is/was being worked on, but I realized I hadn't documented it here.)

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 27 Jul 2011

A wish to be able to access a full list of the active Tags (even the ones only used once or twice.) Required to find and investigate unusual tags without going through all of the postings.

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Sean de Wolski on 22 Aug 2011
  • The inverse of being able to mark a question to follow: being able to mark a question (or even an author) not to follow so that it doesn't show up. (Obviously if I blocked an author, I could see that person's answers, but not their questions. Maybe this is cold-spirited but it would be nice for the doit4me_Daily crowd)

2 Comments

Walter Roberson on 22 Aug 2011

An interesting variation on an idea I wrote about above, "And possibly some respondents may wish to "subscribe" to being warned or blocked from replying to someone found to be unproductive to deal with."

Sean de Wolski on 22 Aug 2011

I quickly traversed the answers but guess I missed that (red_faced_emoticon!)

I do feel like utilizing that would be in poor taste, but it really would be nice some times. As far as not watching threads, the energizer bunny thread from a while ago comes to mind. Or if you're not interested in meta stuff but just answering questions, this thread could be seen as annoying along with all of the other Answers related ones.

Sean de Wolski
Answer by Jan Simon on 25 Aug 2011

Although I think, that nobody will be able to find this message:

The margin on top of a section should be smaller or equal than below a section. Currently it is large and it is harder to see, what belongs together:

Typed text:

 <newline>
 *But the integer saturation does not cause an error message:*
 <newline>
 <space,space>for i = uint8(1):uint8(1e4)  % !!! uint8(1e4) is 255!
 <newline>
 *Creating the index vector explicitly is slower:*
 <newline>
 <space,space>v = 1:1e4;

 

When displayed in the browser (Firefox 6.0, Win7), the vertical space under the bold lines (thought as header) are larger than the vertical space under the grey source:

 

In addition the quality of PNGs is reduced by upscaling by about 20% and perhaps a lowpass filtering. Showing pixel images in their original size would be nicer.

4 Comments

Jan Simon on 25 Aug 2011

@Walter: I've tried to get the text a little bit clearer. The image is shopwn in its original size, when I open it through the context menu->view image. But then the charm of embedded images is lost.

Walter Roberson on 25 Aug 2011

I do see the differences in spacing and I cannot think of a good reason to retain it.

The image is already full size for me, at least in TenFourFox (a Mac PPC port of FireFox 4)

Walter Roberson on 25 Aug 2011

I just check on Firefox 3.6 (on Linux Ubuntu 10.04), and the image _does_ show a bunch of artifacts.

Jan Simon
Answer by Jan Simon on 28 Aug 2011

It is convenient forthe readers to insert a link to the documentation, when a specific command is suggested. Getting this link is less convenient. Fortunately Google lists the TMW documentation whenever I ask it for "Matlab <command>" (replace <command> e.g. by "plot" without quotes). Then I copy this link and insert it in my replies.

A new tag would be easier, e.g. $command$, which is converted to <http://www.mathworks.de/help/techdoc/ref/command.html COMMAND> dynamically.

  1. This is faster to type.
  2. The dynamical creation at displaying the pages avoids dead links, if a command is moved from a specific toolbox to plain MATLAB.
  3. The more frequent the readers of this forum are forwarded to the documentation, the more accustomed they will be to use the docs voluntarily. And this will reduce the work for the technical support.

Btw: Thanks to TMW to care for appearing the documentation on top of Googles answers!

2 Comments

Oleg Komarov on 28 Aug 2011

Totally agree. I use the link to my tutorial which has on top many link and mong those to the documentation, then I type the name of the command.

Walter Roberson on 28 Aug 2011

This is in some ways related to my earlier idea about easy links to specific answers, the Answer that begins "It appears that answer numbers and comment numbers are unique."

Jan Simon
Answer by Walter Roberson on 4 Sep 2011

If you make two updates to the same Question without refreshing the page, then after the second update, the time of the first update will continue to indicate "less than one minute ago" until you refresh. That is, adding a new Answer or adding a new Comment does not trigger the refresh logic that updates the update times.

If you make an update to a Question and while you are composing your update, someone else updates the same Question, then until you refresh, you will only be shown their update if it happens to be an update to the same series of Comments (either to the base Question or to the same Answer); making an update does not trigger the refresh logic that looks for changed contents (edits) or for new Answers or new Comments on other answers.

These are both bugs, with the first of them being fairly low priority and the second sometimes having the potential for confusion.

1 Comment

Walter Roberson on 5 Sep 2011

Ran in to another instance of this tonight. After I submitted a comment, my display showed that the Question had been submitted about 32 minutes ago, that Oleg had Commented about an hour ago, and that I had Commented less than a minute ago. That is, when my Comment was received, the list of comments was fetched from the database and Oleg's comment of about an hour before was added to the list before my comment, but the time marker for the Question itself was not refreshed when my Comment was received.

Walter Roberson
Answer by bym on 22 Sep 2011

OMG - they finally ordered "my answers" newest to oldest. (of course I had already blindly clicked to the last page)

11 Comments

Fangjun Jiang on 22 Sep 2011

I want to hide the actual time stamp. Boss might find you spending too much time during work hour on MATLAB Answers! But, if it is true that there isn't necessarily more than a few hours difference between "2 months ago" and "3 months ago", then it's terrible. I need to make a wish-list, or maybe it's already there.

Image Analyst on 23 Sep 2011

For an example, look at http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/16475-how-to-assign-zero-pixel-location-of-one-image-to-other. Walter's comment to my first answer originally was "12 minutes ago" and my second answer was just two minutes earlier at "14 minutes ago." Yet now when I look at them Walter's is a whole hour later than mine ( 4 hours vs. my 3 hours) when actually his post was actually only 2 minutes later, not a whole hour later. I guess it just depends on where they put the dividing line when splitting up times into "friendly" times. I agree with Walter that friendly times are okay if the real, actual time stamps are there and easy to see . . . but they aren't there at all.

Walter Roberson on 23 Sep 2011

Yup. There would have been a two minute window during which your response was 210 minutes old or older (3.5 hours rounds to 4) but my response was less than 210 minutes old (2.5 hours up to but not including 3.5 hours, rounds to 3 hours)

The date of the update in question was Tuesday June 28, 2011, which was 12 weeks and 1 day before the Wednesday September 22, 2011 update. Tuesday of next week (September 26th) would have been 3 calendar months, so Monday 12th would be half a calendar month earlier (30 days hath September); by that reasoning, anything from July 12th to August 11th would round to "2 months" and before that would round to 3 months. Or if you work on the basis of a "month" means 4 weeks exactly, then anything 6 to 10 weeks before September 22nd would round to "2 months", which would back-date us to July 13th if my count is correct.

This presumes the rounding is the traditional [-1/2 to 1/2); we don't know that is the case, particularly since we do not know whether it goes by weeks or calendar months.

bym
Answer by Walter Roberson on 22 Sep 2011

As of last night (September 21, 2011), it is not possible to delete the last tag of a Question leaving no tags at all.

This can be a bit of a nuisance for editors, who may be removing inappropriate tags but do not necessarily have the time or subject knowledge to work out "good" tags for the Question.

3 Comments

Jan Simon on 22 Sep 2011

Add a "bad_tag" tag. (A sentence with only a's as vocals!)

Walter Roberson on 22 Sep 2011

A man, a plan, a canal -- panama!

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

It is now possible to delete all of the tags from a question. However, please try to replace inappropriate tags with at least one "good" tag. Here's our standard advice on adding and deleting tags:

  • Use correct product names in all references
  • Add standard-usage tags as needed to facilitate searches. For example, use the format r2010b for release numbers (not matlab r2010b or r2010b 7.1). The goal is to avoid diluting the usefulness of tags by creating variations; for example, rand, random, randomness, and randomize.
  • Delete tags that are meaningless or obstruct searches.
  • Delete products that are not related to the question. Separate tags lumped together by mistake: for example, delete matlab fft and add matlab and fft.
Walter Roberson
Answer by Daniel on 26 Sep 2011

I wish TMW wasn't as liberal about disclosing "hidden" email addresses. If you to hide your "Community E-mail Address", but then use the web interface to contact someone, your email address gets sent on to the recipient. Even if you never contact anyone, if they contact you through the web interface and something goes wrong in the email delivery (or you have a vacation message set), the returned email is sent directly to sender with your email address revealed. Doesn't seem so hidden to me.

I originally asked this question in:

http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/16691-hiding-contact-information

0 Comments

Daniel
Answer by TAB on 26 Sep 2011

I dont know someone have already pointed it or not, Currently 'comments' have only option to delete. It shold also be allowed to Edit the comments.

3 Comments

Jan Simon on 26 Sep 2011

I was sure, this has been asked already. But I cannot find it - perhaps it was another thread.
It would be even better than the current behaviour, if comments can be edited, but *not* deleted.

Walter Roberson on 26 Sep 2011

Yes, http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/994-wish-list-for-matlab-answer-sections#answer_1427 . It is the very first comment in the highest voted request (mark up comments); you may have to "expand comments" to see it.

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

We implemented this in a release on June 27, 2012.

Here's a blog post describing the major changes.

TAB
Answer by Walter Roberson on 29 Sep 2011

Users are required to enter tags, and a recent change made it impossible to delete the last remaining tag -- but ever since the tag cloud was removed, there is no explanation of what tags are, no promotion of the fact that they are available to find Answers, and no user-obvious way to search by tag. And no means of finding out what tags are available or of searching to find keywords within tags.

The tag clouds were a bit clumsy when the space to paint them was variable, but the clouds did give the users a feedback of the importance and usage of tagging.

I'm not really convinced that automatic clouds are the way to go, but the refine-by portion of the left side of the index page should link to a tag search facility.

1 Comment

Andrew Newell on 29 Sep 2011

I agree. And some tags are very useful, like tag:tutorial.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 4 Oct 2011

There is an obscure error that I am trying to chase down that has to do with the space-space formatting.

Sometimes if a user has a series of lines beginning with >>, the lines may look proper in the editor, with the leading space-space seeming to be there for each line, and the Preview might look fine -- and yet the finished display might be wrong as if they were not in a formatted area. For example,

>>hello
>>there

might show up as

>>hello >>there

in the finished posting.

I had a chance this evening to cross-check an instance: in that instance, the paragraph before did end correctly (no space at the end of it for example) and there was a completely empty line before the series of >> lines, and each >> line appeared to start with two spaces, and the Preview was fine in the editor, but the composted version was wrong. (Another editor happened to fix the formatting while I was in the middle of checking things out. Oh well.)

The first time I encountered this situation, I went through every line and manually deleted what looked like two leading spaces (just in case they were something else) and typed in spaces myself, and saved, but that did not make any difference: I ended up re-typing the lines, and that worked just fine.

None of my hypotheses about the cause have born out yet; my tests have all come up negative, unable to reproduce.

If you are an Editor, and you happen to notice a situation like this, where a block of code looked unformatted in the Answer display, and yet appears properly formatted in the Editor, please leave the posting uneditted and report it for investigation (I'm presuming here that Mathworks can examine the binary format of what is really there.)

The sort of straws that I am left clutching at are possibilities such as "Maybe the poster copied some UTF-16 there..."

3 Comments

Helen Chen on 28 Oct 2011

Walter - We are unable to reproduce or to find posts that this may have happened to. If you remember which posts you saw this on we can test further.

Walter Roberson on 27 Jan 2012

I have not observed this issue for a number of weeks. I did observe it a few times after the above report, but each time someone happened to edit the posting before I could track down anything concrete.

Walter Roberson on 21 Apr 2012

I believe I have tracked this problem down.

In the cases where a Question or Answer looks like it has not been formatted in the rendered display, but the source for the Question or Answer looks like it is formatted, then the cause is usually that someone else edited the Question or Answer between the time you displayed the Question and the time you went into the editor. The rendered display reflects what was fetched when the Question page was fetched, but the editor reflects what was stored in the database as of the time you entered the editor, rather than being an editor of the content as of the time the page was fetched.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Daniel on 26 Oct 2011

The new interface and all seems nice. It looks like TMW is trying to address some of our requests. It seems odd to me that the "Latest activity" doesn't register comments or accepted answers as being activities.

My wish is that the "Latest activity" was really the last activity that caused the question to jump to the top of the history. Even better would be for Latest activity to provide a chronicle of all activity and links to the relevant answers and comments.

4 Comments

Daniel on 31 Oct 2011

Or maybe not. Seems like sometimes comments show up as an activity and sometimes not ...

Walter Roberson on 31 Oct 2011

Comments against the original Question show up as activity, but comments against Answers do not, as best I can tell. Likewise, edits against the original Question show up as activity, but not edits against Answers.

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

As of June 27, 2012 the following count as latest activity for a question:

  • Edits to the question
  • New answers
  • New comments on the question or an answer
  • Closing or reopening the question
Daniel
Answer by Scragmore on 28 Nov 2011

Being able to accept more than one answer. Just posted a question regarding dynamic array names. One Answer, answered the question directly, is correct works and I will use in the future. Another answer however made me look at my problem slightly differently, provided an elegant solution that will be easier to implement than my original Q? Although both are correct answers and both will be used I can only give my Answered calmer points to one person.

0 Comments

Scragmore
Answer by Jan Simon on 27 Jan 2012

Similar to Walter's question, but as far as I can see not identical:

The following is not formatted correctly - note that there is an amply line in the middle:

if n < b
  n = n + 1;
    b = b + 1;
  end

To display the real contents spaces are replaced by #:

##if n < b
####n = n + 1;
####
####b = b + 1;
##end

Replacing the empty line by '##' or '' does not help, but '#### ' keep the correct indentation. Using more than 2 leading spaces for all lines solves the issue also:

###if n < b
#####n = n + 1;
#####
#####b = b + 1;
###end

is displayed as:

   if n < b
     n = n + 1;
     b = b + 1;
   end

but I assume then it is preformatted text and not code anymore.

Formatting the code seems to be a hard problem for newcomers in this foum. It is very important, that this key feature of MATLAB Answers works reliably. In opposite to WYSIWYG there is still a certain level of Guess What Is Needed To Let It Look Like You Want It.

2 Comments

Jan Simon on 30 Jan 2012

I received this explanation from the support team:
"I heard from the MATLAB Markup engineering team that this is the expected behavior. We do not have any way of including blank lines in the same block in Publish right now. Every blank new line ends the previous block, and starts a new block."
Thanks to the TMW team for the exact answer.
I think this is *not* a useful style for formatting.

Walter Roberson on 21 Apr 2012

I still think this behavior is undesirable. It breaks the model we have been given for how indentation works, and replaces it with an undocumented and non-intuitive model.

Jan Simon
Answer by per isakson on 6 May 2012

Now I learned the hard way how to loose the text I'm writing in Answer. The recipe is as follows:

  1. write text
  2. include link to a web site
  3. click [refresh] next to Preview
  4. click the link to test it
  5. text is gone forever - fool proof:)

At some occasion I have clicked [Submit] to save the text and clicked [Edit] to continue writing. That caused confusion. I received answers within seconds complaining that my question was hard to understand.

I want a [Backup] button next to the [Submit]/[Save] button. And a question "Do you really want to submit?" under [Submit]/[Save].

Or maybe better # a warning that if I leave the page text will be lost # alternatives [Proceed] and [Cancel]

--- Continue 2012-05-07 ---

Now I found another recipe. Click [Edit] while editing and the current text is gone. Yes, I said [Edit]. Please don't ask why I would want to do that!

A warning when the user is about to leave a page with "unsaved work" is commonplace. I think TMW should provide that! Sometimes, I get a bit upset with TMW giving us primitive toys.

@Image Analyst, thanks for the tip. I need a tool like that.

@Walter, I'll try to remember to start every Answer-typing-session by adding "-- To be continued --" at the end, do [Submit]&[Edit] to secure my text, and remove the line when I'm finished.

@Walter, yes you are right. However, I do mistakes all the time and wouldn't it be easy for TMW to provide a little safety net? And I'm not the only one!

3 Comments

Walter Roberson on 6 May 2012

When you are planning to continue writing, you can put a written line, "To be continued".

To avoid losing your answer, if you are using Firefox I recommend using the Lazarus Forms Recovery add-on. It has saved me a number of times, including some cases where my complete system had become unresponsive.

Walter Roberson on 7 May 2012

Most of the buttons and highlighted text on the page invoke URLs, thus navigating you off of the current page that you had entered the text into.

Show / Hide comments is one of the few things done on the current page without disturbing it.

per isakson
Answer by Sean de Wolski on 23 May 2012

As an editor I would like to have to go through at least one extra hoop before deleting something. Some combination of keys pressed (not sure which ones) and the mouse can cause actions you take to not even have a confirmation dialog before you accidentally delete something. This is dangerous.

4 Comments

Walter Roberson on 23 May 2012

I have not observed this myself, except that there is no confirmation to delete tags.

Sean de Wolski on 23 May 2012

I accidentally deleted one of Oleg's posts while trying to upvote it. I am pretty sure my left hand was on one of the keyboard keys (alt, windows, ctrl etc.). But then all of a sudden the post was gone, the page refreshed, and a stream of expletives could be heard.

Walter Roberson on 25 May 2012

Sean, you stumbled upon the MS Windows "Click Harder!" mouse modifier key sequence!

Be careful, as the sequence is confusingly close to the Halt And Catch Fire modifier sequence...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halt_and_Catch_Fire

Sean de Wolski
Answer by K E on 24 May 2012

My wish: something to make it easy to link terms to Matlab documentation as someone is posting a question. I read Answers to learn things about Simulink that I don't know about. The user may ask "How can I use the Waterfall Scope block to do xx" but I want to know "what is the Waterfall scope". Most people don't add the links manually - they assume everyone knows about the Waterfall Scope. Perhaps upon typing Waterfall Scope, the term would be highlighted; if clicked by the poster, the documentation link would be added.

1 Comment

Oleg Komarov on 24 May 2012

That's something that has already emerged, it would indeed be great and save me lots of time looking-copy-pasting links.

K E
Answer by TAB on 28 Jun 2012
Edited by TAB on 28 Jun 2012

Answers list in My Answers is sorted by old-to-new. It takes long time to go through the all answers and reach the latest one.

Please let me know if any sorting option exist to sort the Question list or Answer list. I have not found any such option ?

5 Comments

Jan Simon on 28 Jun 2012

Yes, TAB, I can confirm this. And it takes ages to find a list of my last ten answers. It is necessary to let the users select a sorting order and to allow a faster navigation as a popup to move 2, 4, 8, 16 pages to front or back. I hestitate to vote this question, because it cannot be found afterwards anymore in this giantic thread.

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

We're aware of this regression (which somehow we manage to introduce seasonally...), and will get a fix out ASAP

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

This regression should be fixed now.

TAB
Answer by per isakson on 11 Apr 2014
Edited by per isakson on 11 Apr 2014

Problem: Many users do not understand how to use the markup button, {}Code, which results in formatting of text like the example below

.

if true

Error using assignin Unknown command option.

Error in cssm_c (line 20) assignin( 'base' , col_names(i) , num(:,i) );

end

.

Proposal: "{}Code" shall check whether any lines are selected and if not issue a warning. Or something better.

6 Comments

per isakson on 12 Apr 2014

My typical workflow is

  • copy&paste code
  • select code
  • push {}Code
  • and a little bit of fixing

I never see

if true
  % code
end

Funny thing is that I don't use the buttons, B , I , and Aa in the same way, i.e. select followed by push. From now on I will use these buttons more.

Walter Roberson on 12 Apr 2014

Personally I type in all markup manually, except for doing block {} or (rarely) using the new paperclip.

What I would use would be a button that put spaces around operators and spaces after commas and semi-colons. SO that the result would flow nicely when auto-formatted. I have wasted so much time copying Maple non-spaced expressions and carefully going through them adding spacing so that they become readable.

Image Analyst on 12 Apr 2014

I used to do that for images until I learned that it behaves differently if you do that (put in angle brackets yourself) than if you use the image icon. Using the image icon will download the image to MATLAB Central and be permanently available, while if you do the HTML yourself, it points to the third party web site, which means the image may not be there forever.

I still use angle brackets for links because that acts the same way and it's faster.

per isakson
Answer by Malcolm Lidierth on 8 Feb 2011

My two penneth worth is a bit off topic but spurred by Walter's question - particularly the caveat: "This topic (which was not started by Mathworks)...". The questions being asked on this site do not seem any different to those on the Newsgroup, but Answers is a TMW initiative and the Newsgroup is not. TMW have no editorial control over the comp.soft-sys.matlab that Newsgroup derives from, but have absolute control over Answers. TMW is a good company - the best way to ensure they stay that way and keep them on their toes is to keep forums like this independent of them. So, the feature I would most like to see is editorial independence from the manufacturer.

4 Comments

Walter Roberson on 9 Feb 2011

By the way, my "which was not started by Mathworks" disclaimer is there so that people understand that this is just things people would _like_, and there is no obligation of Mathworks to act on any of it. If Mathworks had started the topic, then it could have been inferred that they intended to do something with the answers. I, as a commercial user, cannot speak or appear to speak on Mathwork's behalf.

Malcolm Lidierth on 9 Feb 2011

On the first point: understood. So let's stick with the cssm and not divert energy here

Jiro Doke on 16 Feb 2011

I'm going to stay away from commenting on the legal implications or whether or not MathWorks controls the content of Answers, mainly because I'm not very knowledgeable of the those issues even though I'm a MathWorks employee. I'm just a lowly MathWorks engineer excited about this forum.

I do like to express my favoritism towards Answers over Newsgroup. There are some features in Answers that make information a lot easier to discover from a reader's perspective. The fact that you can vote on answers and accept best answers make it easy for reader's to find answers. Newsgroup is more of a discussion board, so the answers could be buried deep inside a long thread of discussions. For that reason, each thread is mostly useful for the original poster and some of the contributors, but not necessarily for newcomers. A new reader may search through the archives but may end up reposting the question just because he/she couldn't find the answer within the threads. Hopefully, Answers will reduce those occurrences.

I think the interface and the best practices for Answers could be improved, and there are people using Answers like the newsgroup, but overall I like this new venue.

Malcolm Lidierth
Answer by Oleg Komarov on 12 Feb 2011

Small signature space at the bottom, in order to be able to customize a little bit the profile.

0 Comments

Oleg Komarov
Answer by Vieniava on 15 Feb 2011
  • replace votes by voting points

IMHO, voting should be connected with reputation (of a person who does the act of voting - User(id)) in order to obtain sum of voting points for a particular comment/answer etc. So, each vote should have its weight.

weight=REPUTATION_FCN( User(id).reputation);

REPUTATION_FCN migth be:

% k-constant
k*User(id).reputation 

or

k*log(User(id).reputation)

or

sqrt( User(id).reputatuion)

or (actual place of a User(id) in the reputation ranking)^-alpha ,

or ...

7 Comments

Matt Tearle on 16 Feb 2011

yeah well your an idiot, evilution is a lie, macs suck, and obama is a muslin.

Oops, sorry, Walter, I jumped the gun a bit there.

Andrew Newell on 17 Feb 2011

Whaddaya mean macs suck?

Jan Simon on 28 Feb 2011

In the last week I've seen a lot of "+1 vote" comments. Although this means additional noise, it is useful: E.g. Bruno has not a high MATLAB-Answers-reputation (yet), but his answers are respected and famous in CSSM. Seeing the user name of a voter might be more helpful than any numerical scaled vating.

Vieniava
Answer by Oliver Woodford on 18 Feb 2011

A list of who applied what tag, like on the File Exchange.

3 Comments

Paulo Silva on 18 Feb 2011

bad idea, I want to post my silly tags without being caught :P

Walter Roberson on 18 Feb 2011

I believe the info about who applied tags is also in their cssm interface.

Paulo Silva on 18 Feb 2011

ohhhh no ;(

Oliver Woodford
Answer by Walter Roberson on 25 Feb 2011

When constructing an answer, any line that does not autowrap goes beyond the right-hand side of the box in the preview. For example, if you type a large number of ====== in one line, the text might extend to the right hand side of the browser window. (Firefox, Linux)

1 Comment

Walter Roberson on 8 Jun 2011

I would call this a bug, but not as high a priority as the clipping in the displayed (saved) page.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 26 Feb 2011

When adding an Answer, when you have typed enough lines that the scroll-bar kicks in, the text window becomes slightly narrower. This affects the wrapping. It shouldn't make any difference to plain text sections, but when constructing code sections it can be disconcerting to have code one carefully kept to a reasonable line length suddenly wrap.

Wish: since the output text box size is apparently fixed, that the input box size (including scrollbars) be such that for monospaced text the input box wraps where the output would wrap. (This might be slightly challenging due to the use of two leading spaces to signal monospaced code.)

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by niko kauppinen on 28 Feb 2011

I think there should be easier way to illustrate your question,like paste a picture.

1 Comment

Walter Roberson on 28 Feb 2011

There is, Niko. Put your picture up on some convenient web server, and then in your question, create a paragraph which starts with << (two less than signs), followed by the URL of the picture, followed by >> (two greater than signs.) There must not be anything else in the same paragraph, so there has to be an empty line before and after this markup. For example,

<<http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/profiles/2062308.jpg >>

except with no space after the .jpg

niko kauppinen
Answer by Walter Roberson on 28 Feb 2011

On most systems that have a URL markup button, you put in your desired text, highlight it, click the button, and get prompted for the URL; when you indicate you are finished with the URL, it does whatever formatting is appropriate to insert the URL and show that text as a link.

On this system, if you put in text, highlight it, and click the button, it simply wraps the text with < >

It would be nicer to have the standard prompt-for-URL behaviour.

Also, as per some discussions about how the < > works here, it would be good if when the URL was input that way, the script automatically used percent-encoding as necessary to transform the URL to standard format as per RFC3986 . In particular, spaces in the URL would get percent-encoded, so that the < > mark-up would not stop parsing the URL at the first space. (Spaces are not allowed in URI, but many browsers do the translation on them, leading people to think that spaces are allowed; it is not rare for web pages to send out links that include a space.)

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Matt Fig on 2 Mar 2011

Perhaps a limit on the number of answers a question can have would be nice. At some point, people may be adding answers without reading all of the 54 or so other answers first because it would take to long.

Case in point?....

3 Comments

Walter Roberson on 2 Mar 2011

Then the same question would get repeated for additional answers, and people would have to know about the previous questions and read them or else end up duplicating questions.

Matt Fig on 2 Mar 2011

Perhaps for non-meta questions this wouldn't be the case. And what is the difference between having to look at previous answers in another question, and not reading previous answers to the same question because there are too many to bother with? And are some questions not repeated now?

Just some things to think about.

Walter Roberson on 4 Mar 2011

Perhaps instead once the page gets beyond a certain size, an "index" should be generated -- a list of direct links to answers with, e.g., the first 40 characters of the answer as summary. The index could potentially normally be collapsed like the previous comment list, or it could be run down that empty space on the left side of the page, Google Groups- like.

Matt Fig
Answer by Rafael Freire on 22 Sep 2011

To save, to mark or put on a favorite folder answers (from other peoples) that you think that is interesting to you.

2 Comments

Walter Roberson on 23 Sep 2011

That sounds like the same thing Andrew suggested in

http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/994-wish-list-for-matlab-answer-sections#answer_4972

Image Analyst on 26 Sep 2011

You could just make a folder for those bookmarks (of those special Answers you want to save) in your bookmark panel of your web browser.

Rafael Freire
Answer by Walter Roberson on 27 Oct 2011

Some tags have become non-functional. See http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/8026-best-way-s-to-master-matlab and click on the tags there

learning-matlab

or

studying-matlab

Both of them say there is no search result.

These two tags are, as best I know, the most recent two tags to be added to that Question; I added them late last week (before the software upgrade.)

2 Comments

Helen Chen on 28 Oct 2011

Walter - These tags have been fixed.

Thanks for letting us know.

Helen

Walter Roberson on 28 Oct 2011

Thank you!

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 26 Nov 2011

I found a formatting problem.

w
  y
    %z
    %p
  q

The formatted version of this shows the two comments indented one level, but in the source, the comments are at the same indentation level as the "y" lines. The source has the "q" line at the same level of indentation as the "w" line, but they show up at different indentations, and the "q" line shows up at the same indentation as the "y" even though they are different indentations in the source.

The problem does not happen if you remove the empty line between the "y" and the commented "z", and the problem does not happen if you remove the "w" line.

Do I win this week's, "Now, that's obscure!" award? ;-)

This is a copy of the source, with each space replaced by a plus:

++w
++++y
++++%z
++++%p
++q

3 Comments

Randy Souza on 30 Nov 2011

Thanks Walter, you certainly take the week's award. Interestingly, if you indent with one space the comments line up properly. We'll take a look!

Walter Roberson on 30 Nov 2011

The answer was there all the time, it took a small accident to make it happen... AN ACCIDENT

Randy Souza on 30 Nov 2011

So, I tracked this down with the team responsible for the markup. It turns out that the formatting you're seeing is in fact the correct result.

The first two lines are indented with two spaces, making them part of a code block; two spaces get subtracted from the result in each line.

Then there is a newline, which ends the code block.

The next line starts with 4 spaces, making it a pre-formatted block, not a code block. And the white spaces at the start of each line are preserved as in the source.

If, in MATLAB, you paste your source into a script and publish it as HTML, you should see the same formatting.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Scragmore on 28 Nov 2011

iMatStore

Instead of paying for a complete toolbox, you could go to the iMatStore and download a single track. Who listens to a complete toolbox nowadays?

:)

0 Comments

Scragmore
Answer by Julián Francisco on 17 Dec 2011

I would like to propose an "achievements" system similar to existing one for other Q&A sites (for example stackoverflow). I think it might achieve a bigger participation and interest of the community users.

1 Comment

Walter Roberson on 18 Jan 2012

You could be right about it achieving bigger participation; my concern at the moment would be with the programming effort, as it already takes a number of months to get fundamental feature changes through.

Julián Francisco
Answer by Walter Roberson on 18 Jan 2012

Is it just my imagination, or did the site switch from displaying 50 Questions per page to 100 Questions per page overnight ?

I also notice today that when I tell my browser to open a Question in a new tab that the tab name given for it is "MATLAB Answers - MATLAB Central" . I thought the tab names were the first few words of the question title, but now I am not certain. It appears the HTML Meta Title property is used for the tab name; as I often have more than half a dozen Question open at a time, meaningful tab titles are useful.

3 Comments

Lindsay Coutinho on 19 Jan 2012

Hi Walter, this was not your imagination at all! Both of the changes you noted were unintentional and the behavior will be reverted back.
As always, thanks for catching this!
Lindsay

Walter Roberson on 19 Jan 2012

Whew! It was like looking at someone and wondering whether they just got their hair cut or if you simply hadn't paid attention before!

Lindsay Coutinho on 26 Jan 2012

Good news - both of these issues have been resolved. Again, thanks for reporting them.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Andrew Newell on 20 Jan 2012

The status of questions should be updated promptly when they are answered. A search with "Unanswered" selected returns several questions with one answer.

3 Comments

Lindsay Coutinho on 23 Jan 2012

Hi Andrew, thanks for pointing this out. We'll have a fix implemented this week.

Lindsay Coutinho on 26 Jan 2012

Happy to say that this issue has been resolved (as of 1/26/12).

Andrew Newell on 27 Jan 2012

Excellent! Thank you.

Andrew Newell
Answer by Walter Roberson on 20 Jan 2012

Since the maintenance a few days ago, the site has been slower than before.

At home, it can take an undetermined length of time to fetch the user avatars unless they already happen to be in local cache. At least that was the situation about 7 hours ago; I do not see the problem at work at this time (My IP at work hits a different edgesuite server than home does.)

Editing of existing content degraded over time after the maintenance, affecting more and more questions, and now affecting all questions. The symptom is that instead of getting the edit window with the buttons for bullets and Code and so on, I get the bare text small edit box. This does not apply to writing new questions or to writing new answers, but affects editing anything existing (e.g., to reformat an existing post)

I am using firefox at both home and work, but different versions and different OS; I am not observing problems on other sites.

It appears that reordering of questions is no longer done immediately, in the sense that now if I update a question and then ask for the list of questions, the newly updated question will not go to the top of the list for a period of (estimating) 15 to 20 seconds. The page that is shown will know the proper update time for the question, if it happens to be one of the ones visible on that page: only the order is affected. We could probably get used to this delay; the confusion from it is more from expecting instant reordering as we had before.

7 Comments

Lindsay Coutinho on 24 Jan 2012

Thanks for the follow-up clarification!

Lindsay Coutinho on 26 Jan 2012

Walter and I have followed up offline regarding the avatars. If anyone else is having an issue with avatars rendering, please feel free to contact me or files@mathworks.com.
The issue surrounding the content edit box is resolved as of yesterday.

Walter Roberson on 26 Jan 2012

Turns out that my browser was wonky because it had a half-installed update of NoScript waiting. It was fine after a restart.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 27 Jan 2012
  • If all entered tags for a post are the exactly the same, then the tag is displayed with a count after it, but the construct only counts as a single tag for the purpose of the code that determines whether tags are editable or not. For example, if a posting was tagged with matlab, matlab then it would show up as matlab(2) but you would not be able to edit it to remove the extra copies of the tag. Workaround: add any other tag so that all tags become editable, do the pruning, and remove the temporary tag.
  • observation: In any list of questions, at most 5 tags per posting are shown. The limitation is 5 tags, not the number of characters occupied.
  • observation: The oldest one-thousand nine-hundred and ninety-nine (1999) postings are all marked as having been updated Feb 24, 2011 (or sooner). I guess there must have been some kind of software update then.
  • I mis-spelt a commented_by: query as comment_by: . It turns out that comment_by: followed by anything returns the entire list of postings (24000+ of them) instead of returning an error. For example, comment_by:foo

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 9 Feb 2012

In lists of Questions, it would be convenient if there was an annotation to indicate that you had Answered the question; also convenient would be an annotation to indicate that you had Commented somewhere in the Question (including on an Answer.)

The annotation does not need to be much: it could just be something like a colored asterisk, or an '(A)', possibly near the number-of-answers box.

This would ease the load on my aging short-term memory.

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 9 Feb 2012

Larger font for the Question and comments on the Question, please. The Answers and comments on Answers appear to be a point or two larger, and it does make a difference to my aging eyes.

Sometimes I have to Edit a question just to be able to read it clearly :(

4 Comments

Image Analyst on 2 Mar 2012

Or hold down the control key and move the mouse wheel, which works in most apps.

Greg Heath on 21 Apr 2012

Only one + is needed

WOW!! ... THANKS!

ctrl + (zoom in)

and

ctrl - (zoom out)

Greg

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

We bumped up the default size for questions/answers/comments on June 26, 2012.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 29 Apr 2012

It would be easier to edit tags on Questions if the page did not get re-fetched for every single tag deleted. Especially on the questions that are longer, as getting back to the tag list can require scrolling down.

For example if there was an "edit tags" that pushed all the existing tags into a box in the format as-if they had just be typed in but not yet submitted (tag red-dot, tag red-dot, etc.) and that list could be edited (delete some, add more), and then when Save was pushed, the entire current list was pushed over to the database.

e.g., I am doing some work on removing the tag "help", and cleaning up the other tags for each affected message. There were about 175 messages with the "help" tag when I started, and typically I end up deleting at least 2 tags for each, and deleting 5-ish tags is not uncommon. That adds up to a lot of page fetches.

4 Comments

Daniel on 30 Apr 2012

I wonder if that mean we will eventually see that implemented ...

Jan Simon on 30 Apr 2012

... this year.

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

We implemented this in a release on June 27, 2012.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Richard Brown on 1 May 2012

Each question on the Home page should have an icon indicating whether there has been activity on the question since you last looked at it. That way you could see at a glance whether its worth reopening any particular question, rather than having to check.

3 Comments

Walter Roberson on 1 May 2012

The time since last activity helps a _lot_ with that. We didn't have that until about October.

Richard Brown on 1 May 2012

Ouch! I wasn't involved back then

Walter Roberson on 29 Jun 2012

The June 28, 2012 changes improved the situation, in that the index now shows the latest activity time and the nature of that activity.

Richard Brown
Answer by Geoff on 1 May 2012

Lower the reputation required to obtain some kind of 'editor' status. At least to the point where obvious contributors can fix stupid code formatting problems.

I don't know what reputation is required right now, but I haven't hit it yet. That's fine, but it's a little frustrating having to go back and forward asking someone to format their question when editors are either not around or not interested.

4 Comments

Daniel on 1 May 2012

Short form: If we vote more and people will get to 1500 faster.

Long form: While I think tiered editor status might be reasonable (e.g., one level to add tags, another to remove tags, a third to edit/format posts, and a final level of being able to delete posts) this would require intervention from TMW (i.e., not likely to happen any time soon).

I also think 1500 is probably too high of a bar, again getting TMW to lower it is probably difficult. Right now 1500 rep requires about 600 answers/225 accepted. For all but Walter, that is a year time commitment. If we voted more, I would think one could get 1500 rep in 300 good answers, if not less.

Walter Roberson on 7 May 2012

About two months per 1500 for me. My long term average is about 25 rep per day.

Lowering the boundary to (say) 1000 would make no actual difference at the moment with the current rankings: the only person nominally added to the list would be Matt Tearle, who already works for Mathworks and could have access that way if he wished. He has not been very active lately, though. All the people above 1500 rep at present are above 500 answers and 200 accepted, and no-one below 1500 rep is above either of those.

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

We greatly expanded how privileges are assigned in a release on June 27, 2012.

You can see your own privileges on your profile page. Heres a shortcut: http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/contributors/me

Here's a blog post describing all the major changes in this release.

Geoff
Answer by Richard Brown on 3 May 2012

Another thing that would be awesome would be the ability to submit a published m-file as an answer.

Often I find myself answering questions with lines of code interspersed with lines of text. If that could include the markup and figures and output that would be great! And that way rather than someone having to copy and paste out the lines of code, they could just grab the m-file

0 Comments

Richard Brown
Answer by Sean de Wolski on 7 May 2012

The ability to mark up error messages in a question or answer so that they indent and behave like m-code but are colored red.

5 Comments

Walter Roberson on 7 May 2012

Only a couple of the editors have noticed my end-of-year break ;-)

per isakson on 7 May 2012

If a few of you go on strike for a week or two we and maybe even TMW will notice!

Walter Roberson on 8 May 2012

Fangjung, Matt Fig, and Paulo are already on strike, and Daniel is on strike on days that have 'u' in their English names.

Sean de Wolski
Answer by Daniel on 17 May 2012

That before/when the magic editor powers kick in (edit and delete buttons showing up everywhere) that an email is sent to the editor with a minimum of the link to Guidelines for Editors and possibly additional guidance. Have the editors had any input into the guidelines? Is there any other guidance?

1 Comment

Walter Roberson on 17 May 2012

I had some input into them. The guidelines are not set in stone; the team considers feedback on them.

Some of the email amongst the editors has resulted in clarifications and interpretations. I don't think those are officially archived anywhere (but I probably have copies saved somewhere.)

Daniel
Answer by Walter Roberson on 17 May 2012

Further to not being able to turn off the per-keystroke updating of the preview (which is a big big pain when response times happen to be slow):

If we are going to have to live with keystroke-by-keystroke interpretation of everything we type, could we at least get some more advanced keystroke-activated editing functions?

For example, the equivalent of emac's ^T to swap two characters and position after the second of the two. This would save 3 keystrokes -- "backspace" to remove the first of the pair, right-arrow to position after the second, re-type the character that was previously first.

Saving 3 keystrokes might not sound like much, but when response times get slow, this can literally save more than 5 seconds (and another five minutes while preview catches up.)

Did anyone happen to mention that while preview is doing its hunt-and-peck updating, Firefox does not allow access to any other tab, so you cannot switch browser windows to do something productive while your brain cells die off?

7 Comments

Walter Roberson on 18 May 2012

Per, it can take remarkably long to get to the point where the preview is turned off. 13600 characters in the test I just did. At anything more than 1/3 of a second per character, that would take at least one hour.

per isakson on 18 May 2012

I succeeded with my HDF5 question - with a bit of copy&paste. However, there is a threshold, which The Mathwork could easily change. That question is less than 10000 characters including a lot of trailing spaces according to notepad++.

Jan Simon on 18 May 2012

Of couse we can copy&paste a dummy text at first to get over the magic limit, type the answer and delete the dummy finally. But it would be much easier, nicer and friendly to the public resources to change the limit to 1 character or add a button to disable the live preview if wanted.
I'm very disappointed that this trivial improvement is not implemented for such a long time now. The files@mathworks team is very polite, interested and active whenever I have contacted them. There seems to be another instance at TMW, who prefers to block improvements of the usability of this forum. The leaks in the usability have very negative effects to the advertising appeal of this forum, and I cannot imagine, that the responsible person does realize this enough.
Lukily I do not have to participate in this forum, when 1. the frustration level caused by the bad interface design gets to high and 2. when I have to post "please format your code" and "please read <how to ask a good question>" more frequently than real answers.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Sap on 24 May 2012

Mention contributor's specialization to categorize answers. i.e: accepted answers (related to fields of medicine, engineering or financing simulation) should be marked to show contributor's understanding in the field. It will help filter out relevant answers quickly.

12 Comments

Sean de Wolski on 25 May 2012

_*bolditalic'*_

Once you figure it out how to do it as you type, it's pretty straightforward. The one that gets me is: (|doc fprintf|) v. ( |doc fprintf|)

Image Analyst on 25 May 2012

Hmmm.... seems to be working now, even with the icons above the edit box. I had used those before and something wouldn't work right - it would just insert asterisks or underlines instead of actually doing the italicization or bolding. Yeah, sometimes it's tricky with spaces. When it doesn't do what I expected I often try putting a space in front of it, like when you do a left parentheses and then click the link icon and paste in the link - it doesn't make it a link unless there's a space between the ( and the <.

Walter Roberson on 25 May 2012

The bad formatting of code that occurs if there is an empty line in the middle of code that is indented by more than two spaces....

Sap
Answer by Walter Roberson on 27 May 2012

Sufficiently long text will be truncated, both when posted in a Question and when posted in a Comment. No warning was given: the text just doesn't get recorded.

I did not trace the exact limit. Approximately the last 250 lines of a 1400 line file were discarded. The file was a bit over 100 Kb long.

The behavior inside a Question was odd: after the key point, I could type some extra text and it would show up in the display, but when I went back to Edit the question, the addition was gone.

0 Comments

Walter Roberson
Answer by Oleg Komarov on 28 May 2012

Editors of the forum should be able to accept answers by other contributors on behalf of the OP.

This ability should only be used whenever occasional users receive valid answers and never accept any of them.

Combined with a much needed improved search bar it will dramatically reduce the recurring of obvious and not-so-interesting questions.

2 Comments

Jan Simon on 17 Jun 2012

If 3 or 8 editors vote frequently, not to say aggressively, the missing checkmark for acceptance would not be such a drawback anymore. See "Are we voting enough?".

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

We implemented this in a release on June 27, 2012.

The question must be at least seven days old before a contributor other than the asker may accept an answer.

Oleg Komarov
Answer by Image Analyst on 25 Jun 2012

I noticed another weird thing about Answers. Not sure how to classify it. Maybe it's a bug, or just an unexpected/unwanted feature. <http://i46.tinypic.com/qs4dpt.jpg>

If you're creating an posting and switch to the "Preview" panel and double click a word there to highlight it, and then click some of the icons, like Bold or Italic, unpredictable things happen back in the test editor panel(not the Preview panel). Sometimes it will italicize the entire preview panel(not just the highlighted word), sometimes it inserts "_ITALICTEXT_" at random locations in the edit panel, or it might append "_BOLDTEXT_" to the text in the edit panel, sometimes it puts stars around all the text in both the edit panel and the Preview panel (but the text doesn't appear as bold though). It doesn't seem predictable. Granted, it's not something one should normally do, but I just thought I'd note it in case anyone ever decided to make some improvements to this forum, and it was easy to "fix".

5 Comments

Jan Simon on 26 Jun 2012

I confirm the funny behavior on FireFox, Win7.

Image Analyst on 28 Jun 2012

Yes, that's what I'm using. And after the June 27 updates, more funny things started happening. Like the comment box is not as wide and then if you widen it, you can't click to place the cursor in a spot that is past a certain width. However that seems to come and go - it's not permanent. Most annoyingly, the vertical scroll bar only seems to function in the upper 75% of it's range. Clicking in the bottom 25% of the scroll bar, on the thumb bar, or on the little down arrow at the bottom of the scroll bar seem to not function at all for me. Luckily the mouse wheel still works down there so I can use that to scroll.

Walter Roberson on 28 Jun 2012

Pages seem to be taking longer to load. This page especially.

With the more complicated scripts running the pages, the Answer box or the Comment box might not yet have had their style-sheet javascript loaded, so they can appear as fairly small input boxes with no controls, until (possibly minutes later) the js loading catches up and re-boxes everything.

Image Analyst
Answer by Walter Roberson on 28 Jun 2012

Before today's 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 today's 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.)

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 28 Jun 2012

This Question is now so slow to load that Firefox and Safari now time-out the javascript 3 to 6 times for me.

2 Comments

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

We're aware of this issue and are investigating it.

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 28 Jun 2012

When I edit the Question at http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/42190-multiple-y-axis to reformat it, and Save, then the Save button flashes to Saving... and then reverts back to Save without the changes being saved.

5 Comments

Randy Souza on 28 Jun 2012

When you have a chance could you try your edit again and see if it works? Thanks!

Walter Roberson on 28 Jun 2012

Yes, that worked. Perhaps it was the title length that was the problem.

Jan Simon on 28 Jun 2012

Is a minimal title length of 4 words useful?

Walter Roberson
Answer by Walter Roberson on 29 Jun 2012

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 ;-)

Walter Roberson
Answer by per isakson on 14 Sep 2013

*A modest wish:*

  • The tag "oop" should qualify the post for the Category: Object Oriented Programming.

0 Comments

per isakson
Answer by per isakson on 24 Sep 2014 at 18:03

Is it worth to elaborate an old answer that's been accepted? Will anybody ever read it?

 

Wish:   A symbol to the left of the question, which indicates whether the question is on a "watch-list".

0 Comments

per isakson

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