Howto good question says: give context and detail. Linking etiquette prescribes quoting the target, yet when posting just three smallish paragraphs plus two links with quotes that despite proper formatting do not require any scrolling to read to completion one gets accused of "wall of text"? So how much text, context and detail is too much before the attention deficit usually kicks in here?
The Wall of Text
The (official?) definition of a Wall of Text as per Wikipedia is as follows:
A wall of text is an excessively long post to a noticeboard or talk page discussion, which can often be so long that some don't read it.
However, I tend to prefer this definition as it incorporates "paragraph breaks" as, I believe this is key over the actual length of the post.
A large and intimidating piece of writing, particularly one with few or no paragraph breaks.
For example, using your question as an example:
do not require any scrolling to read to completion one gets accused of "wall of text"? So how much text, context and detail is too much before the attention deficit usually kicks in here?
Could be considered a wall of text due to the no paragraph breaks. A single carriage return drastically increases the readability:
....do not require any scrolling to read to completion one gets accused of "wall of text"?
So how much text, context and detail is too much before the attention deficit usually kicks in here?
Questions with relevant context
Speaking only for myself, one of the things that makes questions difficult to answer is the long and drawn out narrative before getting to the problem:
So, one sunny day, I bought a MacBook Pro that I use for surfing the web and responding to online trolls, my co-worker who only uses Windows but has shown some interest in my iPhone decides to borrow my Mac to check my email. All of a sudden my battery won't hold a charge. I plug in my charger and I get a green light, then an amber light, and then it never goes green. But if I unplug it, it's green again. What could he have possibly done and is there a command that I can issue that can restore the battery capacity.
Yeah. I probably lost your attention there. Questions like this, I lose focus about 2 lines in.
So, how much is "too much?" When you're outside of describing:
- the problem (battery won't hold a charge)
- what you tried (plugging in charger)
- what solution you're looking for.
The important takeaway from this should be: Be succinct. Focus on the problem and provide some context. What you did is more important than why you did it. And if we need clarification, we will always ask via comments.
Writing good questions is hard, probably even harder than writing good answers. So thanks for bringing this up on Meta.
For me a „wall of text“ question is a post which requires me to read a lot text without me knowing why I‘m reading it and how it relates to the question. Typically such questions miss a clear problem statement, provide a lot of potentially irrelevant detail, and come to the point/the question only at the end. This means that one has to read the text at least twice (once to see what the question is, the second time to look for the relevant facts among all the details).
Specifically I assume you talk about Is AnySearch browser extension from Apple's Extension Gallery malware?. Have you compared your initial version with my (rather big) edit? Is there anything missing in the edited version which you consider essential for answering the question? Or is this an edit which helps to show the difference between a wall-of-text and a focused question?