In short, don't sweat it. I have used both methods. Sometimes I choose which is most appropriate based on the particular wording of the question, so in this instance is says "What's the fastest way", well if I have two ways, only one can be fastest to me, but someone else may find the other one faster. In this case I might present multiple answers. If it ...
I am very much in favor of creating a syntax like Command ⌘+ Option ⌥ + I as it would solve a number of problems. As an iPad user I'm also in favor of an iPad friendly tool bar button.
How has this request languished for so long?
You're doing nothing wrong; comments only support a very specific subset of Markdown formatting and this is by design. Which commands are supported is revealed when you click the 'help' link when posting a comment:
There's also a nice list of shorthand links you can exclusively use in comments (they won't work in posts).
Stack Exchange uses Markdown for its markup language and the Markdown documentation has this to say about list items:
Ordered lists use numbers followed by periods:
It’s important to note that the actual numbers you use to mark the
list have no effect on the HTML output Markdown produces. The HTML
Markdown produces ...
I've done this a few times using the built-in superscript. For example:
This is an example of additional information1 being added to a post.
1 Here is the additional information.
This is an example of additional information<sup>1</sup> being added to a post.
<sup><sup>1</sup> Here is the additional information.</...
There's no other way to create block code formatting other than to prepend each line with four spaces. The easiest way to do this is to highlight all the lines, then press command-K.
There are numerous feature requests on Meta.SE to support ```, however this has not been implemented yet. CommonMark support appears to be coming in the near future which would ...
Wrap your characters as follows:
<kbd>Esc</kbd> = Esc
To type the characters themselves in the first place depends upon the OS you are using. Android and iOS have different keyboards and unicode entry methods. Same for windows and Mac. There is a feature request to add the Mac typical characters to the text entry and formatting controls, but it doesn'...
Fixed :-) The rendering is a bit picky regarding the placing of . and space characters in quoted lists. See the edit for the specific change required (well, actually, I only changed one character at item 1 and 4).
As the question is off-topic anyway there is no need to even try to format it correctly :-) But if it would have been on-topic I would expect
the code part to be pre-formatted with line breaks and then just formatted as code
the data dumps to be pre-formatted with one attribute per line and again formatted as code
But overall it's question which even on SO ...