The question How to open the JavaScript console in different browsers? is a great resource when I'm answering questions on Stack Overflow. I often need to tell new JavaScript programmers to look in their console for errors, and I can link to that question to save myself the trouble of explaining how to do that over and over.

Unfortunately, the question is currently a poor example of the Q&A format. The "question" part doesn't even have a question (it's all answer content), which I feel might be harmful for new users who may not have a complete understanding of Stack Exchange's model. I'm afraid that, by sending new users to that question, I'm partially doing them a disservice to their developing understanding of Stack Exchange's norms.

Here are some things that should happen to optimize the cleanliness and usefulness of this question:

  1. The question should be edited to contain an actual question.

  2. Answer content should move from the question-post to an answer.

  3. (Optional, but preferred:) The accepted answer should be more comprehensive. That means either the currently accepted answer should be edited to contain the knowledge currently in the question-post, or a new comprehensive answer-post should be created and accepted by the OP.

I plan to comment on the question and ask that the OP clean up the post to separate out the question content from the answer content (and link to this post as explanation).

Other thoughts are welcome.

  • 3
    We could make it a "community wiki" which would facilitate these changes. Lets get a few comments before you make any edits. Feb 9, 2015 at 21:29
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    We could also "lock" the question which would mark it as "not a good example to use as an on-topic question". It would also prevent it from being edited in the future, so I'm not sure that is a great idea compared to community wiki. Feb 9, 2015 at 21:30
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    I think each browser should have its own answer, not have one big answer. So that each browser is linkable.
    – MrWhite
    Feb 12, 2015 at 10:08
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    Bit of an aside... Last month there was an edit suggestion to change several Mac shortcuts from SHIFT to ALT - this was accepted. However, it does conflict with every other resource I could find? The official Firefox docs does not differentiate between OS and states only SHIFT. I don't have a Mac to test this. I wondered whether this was perhaps unique to the users system or it becomes ALT if developer tools are enabled or something? Or whether it really is ALT and everybody else is wrong??
    – MrWhite
    Feb 12, 2015 at 10:23
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    I’ve updated my question and posted an answer. Please review. Feb 18, 2015 at 20:11
  • 1
    Thanks @ŠimeVidas Your new answer will need a few upvotes now to get it to the top. Feb 18, 2015 at 20:37

2 Answers 2


Thanks for bringing this up, there's a lot of merit to this given the large number of views for this question (currently greater than 154K) and the points you've made here.

I agree with number 1 and 2, and also to this part of number 3 (if the OP is willing): a new comprehensive answer-post should be created and accepted by the OP.

I also agree with Stephen's comment: It should become a Community Wiki since it's an open-ended question that's better suited to a wiki-style question, and given the edit history, a pretty clear example of a continually evolving source of good information.

It's really up to the OP to answer his own question and to accept it though (note that would not confer any reputation to the OP). I think you did the right thing by placing a comment on his question to make him aware of this discussion.

As covered here, moderators can convert questions into Community Wikis if we have reason to believe that the post serves better in community wiki mode, though it would be better to give the OP a chance to chime in here first.

  • 3
    As the OP of that question, I’m OK with moving the answer content into an actual answer. I can create one tomorrow. Feb 17, 2015 at 22:48
  • @ŠimeVidas Great, thanks for your help to resolve this, and keep it evolving as a terrific resource for the community!
    – dan Mod
    Feb 17, 2015 at 23:45
  • 1
    Updated. Please review. Feb 18, 2015 at 20:10
  • The question has been updated, with an accepted answer supplied by the OP, and converted to a Community Wiki as per the consensus here. Thanks to @ŠimeVidas for his help!
    – dan Mod
    Feb 19, 2015 at 0:41

Having thought about it for a while, I'm not concerned that it doesn't currently fit into the normal Q/A format of the site.

  • It is on topic.
  • It is high quality.
  • It is popular.
  • It has an answer that gets it off the "unanswered" list.

Put the answers in an answer section might just make them hard to find. Changing it around might make the answer harder to find. Especially since the existing answer has a fair number of votes and is accepted. Putting the answer from the question in a new answer would put it below the accepted answer.

The fact that this question was answered this way isn't great, but it seems to be working well enough in this case. I say leave it alone. Touching it will only make it worse.

  • 2
    Sorry, I disagree. Putting the answer in an answer doesn't make it harder to find IMO (especially if the question body is short, which it should be). If the OP answers his own question he can mark it accepted, then it will be at the top and gain more upvotes before long. Feb 12, 2015 at 15:37
  • We'd certainly need the cooperation of the poster in that case. Even moderators can't change the accepted answer. Only the person who asked the question can do so. Feb 12, 2015 at 15:50

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