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I'd like to have some link on tutorials on how to post on this site. Whenever I post something containing code someone else (possibly moderator) is re-editing and re-formatting my post. where can I find guidelines on posting on this site?

migrated from unix.stackexchange.com Apr 7 at 21:52

This question came from our site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems.

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    Thanks for your question! I migrated your question to our Meta site. This is where we ask or discuss issues relating to the Unix & Linux site. – Kusalananda Apr 7 at 21:54
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Editing could well be done by moderators, but there's only five of us and there's a lot of other users that edit questions too. Editing is done to correct formatting issues that otherwise would potentially make a question (or answer) difficult to read, and sometimes we correct spelling mistakes and grammar, or we move clarifying information from comments into the main body of the question or answer, or correct typos in code (if appropriate), etc.

It is our (the community of users) intention to provide questions and answers that are easy to read and understand, and we hope that you don't take offence from any edits made to your contributions. A question that is easy to read and understand is more likely to be answered, and more likely to be of use to others with the same or similar issues.

For more information about that, see our article about editing in the Help Center: https://unix.stackexchange.com/help/editing


When editing your question or answer, you have a toolbar with formatting tools at the top of the editing window. The tool you'd want to use for formatting code is the {} icon. Select a piece of text that is code, and click the {}.

Screenshot showing some formatted code

There is also a question mark in a circle in the top right corner of the editing window. Clicking that will make the toolbar slightly bigger, revealing some headings that will give you short help texts on different topics if you click on them. It will also give you a link saying advanced help. The page that this link takes you to should provide most, if not all, the information you should need for properly formatting your post.

Screenshot showing the help toolbar


For information about posting on this site (asking and answering), and about the site in general, see the other articles in the Help Center.

You may also want to take the tour if you haven't done so already.

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Partly echoing Kusalananda's words, I would add a couple of considerations I hope can be of help.

First, don't take edits personally.

The Stack Exchange platform aims to be unique1:

This design choice works well in producing both high quality content and initially puzzled users.

Yes, your questions belong to you and, yes, answers have to try to solve the issues you are asking for help with. But to some extent they also belong to the community2. Stack Exchange's wiki part wants questions and answers to be useful to the public. Thus, users take a collective effort to improve posts' accuracy, readability and clarity. This is an important asset of the Stack Exchange network.

Also, please don't take edits to your posts as indications that you did something wrong. They are often both an enforcement of guidelines and a relatively subjective attempt to improve posts in light of the above.
Make sure you read the resources listed in Kusalananda's exhaustive answer, but note that no tutorial will guarantee that your posts will not be edited. The best way to learn how to write effectively is probably to read around on Unix & Linux, especially looking at edits by other users.

Finally, overzealous edits sometimes just happen. They are likely a small friction this system needs to work well. Getting used to live with them is probably the best idea.

Additional resources (many are linked from the FAQ on Meta SE):


1 This used to be the image shown on the tour/about page of each site on the SE network; and it is still there, just... hidden.
2 As a practical example, you cannot delete a question you posted if it has an accepted answer or an upvoted answer or more than one answer; see this FAQ on Meta SE for the full details.

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