Some questions link to the code they want reviewed, which is against site policy. Should one edit the code into the question in these cases?

The problem I see is that all content on Stack Exchange is cc-wiki, which may not correspond to the wishes of the author. This is probably fine when the code is on a Pastebin, but links to GitHub making just pasting the code over less clear in my opinion.


3 Answers 3


I agree with seand, but I'd also point another facet.

Why doesn't the poster edit their question to put the code in?

  1. They don't want their code in that question, (seand's case) in that case we shouldn't override their wishes.
  2. They never came back to look at the question, and so don't see the comments telling them to edit their code into the question. In this case they won't be helped by the code review so why do it?
  3. They can't be bothered to edit the question. Then we shouldn't bother to give them a code review.

Basically I think that requiring them to follow the rules forces them to demonstrate a certain level of commitment. Until they demonstrate that commitment, I don't think we should provide code reviews.

  • \$\begingroup\$ A well reasoned answer indeed: +1 \$\endgroup\$
    – zzzzBov
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 3:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agreed. I occasionally see questions "abandoned" by the OP. It bothers me when the question requires that person's attention, and there are no further responses. On the other hand, the questions (and answers) are for everyone, not just the OP. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jamal
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 17:47

I think that there is also a legal reason for this: whenever you post something to a Stack Exchange site, you release it under the CC-BY-SA license. If the author doesn't post the code here, but to some other site, then they most likely didn't release it under that license. And you, as someone who didn't write that code, have no right to do that.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I've skipped that edit suggestion because it didn't seem right to me, and I'm glad I did so. Next time, I'll reject and give the reason. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jamal
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 22:30

A couple weeks ago I posted a comment to a question requesting the author add his code inline. He refused, and after I explained it was part of the rules he deleted the question.

I think the decision to add the code should stay with the author, unless there's no doubt he won't mind (such as with pastebinned snippets).


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