This question is about the broad topic of improving posts vs. pushing old posts:

Does the addition of syntax highlighting to a post warrant an edit even if the post is, say, more than a year old?

I think syntax highlighting is a big improvement to the readability of a post, especially when it contains code sections that are longer than 3-4 lines. It is however a rather minor edit and pushes the post back to the top of the active queue.

Do you consider syntax highlighting to be so important as to add it to every post with code? Should it rather be handled on a per post basis, where it should only be applied when there is a substantial amount of code and/or the question is relatively new?

A few examples:

And a rather short code-block where I would be hesitant to add the highlighting if it is not already present.

import rasterio

with rasterio.Open("data.tif", "r") as src:
    arr = src.read_band(1)

I can't seem to invoke syntax highlighting on this Meta so the picture below shows what happens on Main:

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


I think this is a hard call.

Unless the edit queue needs to be invoked, I think anything that makes a question easier to read warrants an edit.

When the edit queue is required, then I think an edit should be just a little more substantial than the one in your picture.

As much as possible our Q&As are intended to be timeless, so I don't think their age should be a factor in weighing up whether an edit is worthwhile or not. If a post no longer has enough value to be edited, then it may be worth considering whether the time for its deletion has arrived. If a post is out of date, but can be brought up to date, and is currently on-topic, then I think every effort should be made to edit it.

  • Am I then correct in assuming that you would consider every addition of syntax highlighting as an improvement regarding readability?
    – Kersten
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 13:15
  • 2
    From what I've seen Yes but in that picture it is marginal.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 13:27

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