If you go to https://unix.stackexchange.com/posts/115012/revisions and select the side-by-side markdown format, you see something like:


See how those 3 highlighted lines in the middle are actually identical. I did copy-paste the source of both into files and run diff on them and saw no difference.

  • When I fetch the source of the original post, I see special characters which are not present in the source of Edit #3. In browser (both Chromium and Chrome) they display as boxes. Copy & pasting the original source into Sublime (graphical text editor) yields <0x1b>. curl-ing the source and performing a hexdump, the extra characters again appear as 1b. These don't display in your side-by-side markdown, but they do display in mine (as boxes). Finally, my side-by-side markdown contains more differences than yours (there is at least one 'box' character on each line in the pasted codeblocks. Jun 8, 2018 at 12:49

2 Answers 2


As Kevin said, there are escape (0x1b) bytes in there that seem to not be rendering on your machine. They show up as arrows on mine:

  • OK, my bad, I see them now when I edit the old revision. I missed them earlier as they were removed when pasting before doing the diff. Jun 8, 2018 at 16:07
  • At this point, should I remove the "bug" tag, or delete the question? Jun 8, 2018 at 16:08
  • @StéphaneChazelas - I'd delete the question.
    – slm Mod
    Jun 11, 2018 at 2:49

I see the same diff output as you but what’s even odder is that I didn’t consciously modify the question body when I made that edit. However, from viewing the source (before and after), I can clearly see that all the Escape characters were removed by the edit.

It’s likely that I used the Tab key to pass through the body textarea as I navigated from the title input field to the tags input field but I didn’t stop to change anything (if I did, it would have been to remove the single trailing whitespace). At the time, I was running Firefox 60 on Windows 7 without any unusual extensions – though I’ve only recently installed Tridactyl to try it out.


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