Stop posting images of your code/output in Scripting Support

This got its way into the About section of scripting support. I am leaving this post for archival purposes.

Screenshots of your code are an absolutely awful way of posting your buggy code and you should stop posting code like this immediately. Oh and this got its way into the about section of scripting support:

Why it is a problem

Images of code are a problem because:

  • Image quality isn’t always the best, so code could be too blurry

    • Text is easier to read than images
  • We can’t copy the code to reproduce the problem, and to add fixes. We are being forced to transcribe from the image, which can lead to potential errors in the transcription, making the test less successful.

  • Poor font/color theme

image

this man had the audacity to post his englishman scripting

  • People with visual impairments who use screen readers won’t be able to know what the code is, since text in images cannot be read

  • Image contents can not be searched, so future people with the same problem won’t be able to find a solution

  • Images can only show so much code

  • It will be more difficult to tell if invisible characters or misuse of unicode characters are causing the problem like this one

  • On mobile devices, images can appear large or even not fit

  • Images can take longer to load especially on mobile devices

  • Some corporate proxies block images, so RIP to the chances of someone using one helping you

  • You are getting help free of charge, so at least make it as convenient as possible for the people helping you.

Why images of output are a problem

Pretty much the same reasons why code images are an issue. But for exceptions, going to quote http://idownvotedbecau.se/imageofanexception :

  • Images cannot easily contain all of the details from an exception. Exceptions contain stack traces which are often very long and won’t fit in an image. Exceptions also can contain inner exceptions or be an aggregate of multiple exceptions which all have stack traces of their own.

  • You can usually find the answer by googling the message, like google A is not a valid member of B and you would find similar questions. With an image, you are again, being forced to write it out, which can also lead to mistakes in the transcription.

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I feel there needs to be a clearer system telling members new and old, how to display code when writing a post, since posting code without formatting is equally as annoying as trying to read in picture form.

On without formatting, there’s also code that is poorly formatted. Stack overflow lets anyone edit a question but the edits have to be approved by a moderator for them to apply to everyone. Maybe this should be applied? But it could be given to Member+ only.

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Or there should be some sort of auto formatting function which takes place, or an option to allow roblox to format your code for you, a bit like how you highlight text to quote it, you could highlight the code to format it in lua, then format it so its actually readable.

How would that look? I literally made that in less than a minute on my phone, obviously it can be designed better. It would properly add syntax highlighting, and make users feel a little more “forced” to post the code as text and not as an image

That would be ingenious and could easily be fitted in as an option along the post formatting bar

With a clear icon, and maybe fitting it into the dev forum tutorial I feel this could definitely make a difference!

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