This could be quite nice for newcomers and also when wanting to respond to a question with typesetting one could see how they did it and imitate.

Of course there's the markdown guidelines, but seeing something you like and copying it is much easier than reading through a manual. Also, this is in line with how I learn LaTeX, see something nice, read the code, and incorporate.

For example, there is a question on math.SE about a strange equal sign that I have no idea how the person wrote. It would be nice to be able to see how it was done (somewhat like in MediaWiki where you can "view source" even if you cannot edit).


Addition: I've added a [feature-request] in meta.stackoverflow for a "view source" button. If you have an opinion about this, please vote or comment or answer over there.

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Actually sounds like a nice idea! –  Juan A. Navarro Jul 28 '10 at 12:39
    
@Juan: so vote for it in Meta.SO! :-) –  Yossi Farjoun Oct 27 '10 at 21:09
    
Voted up here, there, and elsewhere. –  Charles Stewart Oct 28 '10 at 8:54
    
If you use a browser that allows user-scripts, this script will add several links to each question and answer, and modify the page a little to give you access to more raw information at a click. it's a little more than I want, but it's quite useful if you do not have access to these buttons. it works on all stackexchange-2.0 sites. –  Yossi Farjoun Oct 29 '10 at 7:36
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2 Answers 2

There’s a simple hack:

You can always access a detailed view of a post’s revisions by going to the link http://tex.stackexchange.com/posts/<ID>/revisions. From there you can chooise the link show source of the post.

For example: http://tex.stackexchange.com/posts/455/revisions leads me to http://tex.stackexchange.com/revisions/6da5772e-36c4-405d-b3ca-36d0c638879d/view-source, which is the source of the posting with ID 455. The ID of a posting can be discovered by inspecting the direct link to it.

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What about the answers? Do you know where they are? –  Yossi Farjoun Jul 28 '10 at 18:19
    
@Yossi: this works for questions and answers. In fact, my example is an answer. Below each answer there are (at least) two links: “link” and “flag”. The “link” link reveals the ID of the post. –  Konrad Rudolph Jul 28 '10 at 19:19
    
Ah yes, thank you for this clarification, but the ID of an answer shows up at the end of the link, after the ID of the question...that confused me. –  Yossi Farjoun Jul 28 '10 at 23:58
    
This feature request already exist for some time on meta.SO: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/24400/… with generally positive answers and comments. I don't understand where this feature request goes from that point... –  Yossi Farjoun Jul 29 '10 at 1:55
    
@Yossi: Bump it up by adding an answer. Vote to close your question as a duplicate of the old one, or ask that the older one be closed as a duplicate of yours. Encourage people here to vote on it there, say by adding a postscript to this question. Generally increase its visibility, so that it comes to the attention of someone with developer access. –  Charles Stewart Oct 28 '10 at 8:52
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It's not a completely satisfactory answer, but if you have enough rep to edit questions then you can see the source via that route (pretend you're editing it and then don't). Or if a question has already been edited, then you can click on the time it was edited to see the history to see the revision history and there's a "view source" link there.

Unfortunately, looking at the web address for the source in the revision history, I can't see how to guess that address for a question that hasn't yet been edited.

(NB I think this works equally well for answers.)

As I said, this isn't completely satisfactory for several (hopefully obvious) reasons. I would like to see a proper "view source" feature.

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@Andrew: Since this would mostly benefit newbies, having "enough" rep is missing most of the point.... –  Yossi Farjoun Jul 28 '10 at 13:08
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@Yossi Farjou: I hoped that the tone of my answer would show that I agree with you completely! –  Loop Space Jul 28 '10 at 14:14
    
The revisions page exists even if there's only one revision, there's just no convenient link to it. If the question URL is tex.stackexchange.com/questions/12345/foo-bar-baz, go to tex.stackexchange.com/posts/12345/revisions (change questions to posts and the question title to revisions), and from there you can get the view source link –  Michael Mrozek Jul 28 '10 at 14:21
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@Michael Mrozek: A-ha! (To clarify my comment: I was looking at the URL for the source to a specific revision.) In that case, a little javascript could easily add a "view source" button somewhere on the page without having to hack the core. Still be nice to have it done properly, of course. –  Loop Space Jul 28 '10 at 14:37
    
In that case, I accept this answer. However, I think it would be nice to have a "view source" button that does said replacements. –  Yossi Farjoun Jul 28 '10 at 14:37
    
@Andrew: could you edit your post to incorporate Michael's comment? (If Michael cares about rep points, and he posts an answer I'd be happy to accept his answer instead...) –  Yossi Farjoun Jul 28 '10 at 14:39
    
@Yossi Farjoun: rep doesn't count here. I would actually leave this one open to indicate that although there is a work-around, it's not ideal and we'd like a proper implementation. So I recommend that you de-select this answer. –  Loop Space Jul 28 '10 at 17:26
    
@Andrew If you have a feature request to add this you should probably ask it on the main meta, it makes more sense there –  Michael Mrozek Jul 28 '10 at 17:28
    
I've put this up on main: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6421/… –  Yossi Farjoun Jul 28 '10 at 18:27
    
@Yossi I think that's just for the SE-1.0 sites; this is a generic engine question and probably belongs on meta.stackoverflow –  Michael Mrozek Jul 28 '10 at 18:50
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