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For a contributor who is in the markdown editor, and is trying to understand how to take advantage of JLU's unique formatting engine, I feel the experience is poor. I see the user experience go wrong twice in a row:

  1. Clicking the editor's help link lands on the markdown help page, which may be fixed across the SE network.
  2. After not finding anything there, the help page seems like the next best place to look, but it doesn't mention formatting. And I think the search function is limited to the Help Center.

So I'd like to ask for others to give an evaluation, not so much about what to improve, but on whether or not it's a bad user experience (for this particular goal).

  • 1
    For a user who occasionally frequent JLU, I also couldn't find a list of specialized syntax in any of the Meta post. Recently, I saw some swapping syntax in the comment, but I don't know the syntax for it. – nhahtdh Apr 13 '15 at 6:56
  • Here's a recent example of somebody not finding the furigana syntax. Most of the syntax specific to our site is documented... somewhere... Incidentally, what's a "swapping syntax"? – blutorange Apr 13 '15 at 20:19
  • @blutorange The user mentions the floating "How-to" that pops up, but I'm not sure what causes it to appear/not appear. – Louis Apr 13 '15 at 23:25
  • The user said he didn't notice it, but that implies it must've been there. I checked with a few different browsers and the formatting popup was always visible (as registered ab unregistered user). Are there any cases of it not appearing? Perhaps related to various "no-script" browser add-ons etc? – blutorange Apr 14 '15 at 5:39
  • @blutorange It appears for me on meta, but not in main. I have SE whitelisted in AdBlock. – Louis Apr 16 '15 at 1:25
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    I tried it with AdBlock, it doesn't seem to block it. If you take a look at the source code for the formatting part of the sidebar, its class is module newuser sidebar-help. So I'm guessing it shows up (by changing style="display:xxx") depending on how many questions you have asked already (ie. if you're new to asking question). You've asked many questions on the main site, but only 2 on meta. – blutorange Apr 16 '15 at 8:13
  • @blutorange Ah, interesting! – Louis Apr 16 '15 at 17:54
  • @blutorange the "formatting sidebar" only appears for the non-inline editor, for example at japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/ask or japanese.stackexchange.com/posts/21162/edit - it doesn't display in the inline "Your Answer" editing box for instance. This means people who ask questions can currently see it, but people who answer questions can't. I'm currently working on adding a link to meta.japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/806 at japanese.stackexchange.com/editing-help and in the inline editor. – cypher May 29 '15 at 21:12

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