Discobot new user tutorial: Adding step for preformatted text

The Discobot new user tutorial already takes care of bold + italic formatting and also quote formatting via the following texts:


Since in our forum users oftentimes post logfiles or other console output, and new users oftentimes either use the quote formatting instead of the preformatted text formatting, or use no formatting at all, an introduction to the preformatted text formatting in the new user tutorial would be very welcome.

I already looked at the instruction texts shown above, but simply adding some instructions for preformatted text seems wrong to me, since Discobot should really check if the user did it correctly (which Discobot currently does not).

How can I add instructions for preformatted text to the Discobot new user tutorial, where Discobot actually checks if the user did the formatting correctly?

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What I’d recommend is to go to /admin/customize/site_texts/ search for js.composer.reply_placeholder (or Type here. Use Markdown, BBCode, or HTML to format.) and modify that text to something like

Type here. Use Markdown, BBCode, or HTML to format. Drag or paste images. Use ``` before and after code blocks.

Far too few people will do the tutorial anyway. There is a slight chance that they’ll take notice of that placeholder, but most of them will still just paste the stuff blindly.

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That’s what I first thought too, but as I wrote above: Then there would be no check if the user actually applied the preformatted text formatting. He could just omitt that completely and still get the “Great job!” reply.

Not in our forum: 14 out of 27 new users in the past 14 days have gone completely through the turorial.


It’s not a bad idea, but really needing code formatting is a bit rare – do we have it in the advanced tutorial? I think that’s where it would belong.

I also like @pfaffman’s suggestion of editing the default placeholder text quite a bit.

In the end, you may have to do what we eventually did at Stack Overflow and try to detect code that has been pasted in unformatted, and reject the reply if you see too much “code-like” text in the post – there’s discussion around a plugin for that here on meta.

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Code formatting is a very basic operation, which our users need to know from day 1 on. As such, in our forum it does not belong in the advanced tutorial, but in the basic tutorial.