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Is that a new mode to write your comments in some encoding? For example, on this question I noticed that there are encoded comments on both answers, both in Rot13(which the commenters state before the comment).

I haven't been on Puzzling for a while, so maybe I missed some new rule about commenting to spoilers or something, but that seems both:

  1. Annoying that I have to copy(and overwrite whatever was in the memory) that text, and then paste it in another tab with a decoder
  2. Useless, as anyone can decode it anyway, just takes a few extra seconds and clicks.
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The point of encoded comments is to avoid spoilering the answer for someone who, say, accidentally scrolls down while looking at a puzzle. It's the same reason that we use spoiler markup in answers.
Unfortunately, there's no built-in way to have spoilers in comments, so people have been finding ways to create their own. For a while, people were using link descriptions as a way to hide messages in the comments. Rot13 is apparently the new thing, and, as you say, it's pretty easy to decode - but does require an extra step, so as to avoid spoilers for people who don't want to see them.

Is it required? No, not really - there's no policy that states that comments must absolutely be spoilered. However, it is the accepted etiquette, and comments have been removed in the past for people spoilers. It's sort of a soft policy, I guess?

Yes, it can be a little annoying at times. That's the price we pay in order to avoid spoilers in comments.

If you like, @Alconja wrote a userscript that will help you automatically decode rot13 in comments. I've never actually used it myself, though.

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh, cool! Nice to know, thanks :) $\endgroup$ – Novarg Feb 6 at 9:17
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    $\begingroup$ It's maybe worth saying explicitly that because some people use Alconja's userscript, if you're going to ROT13 something you should use the syntax that tool understands, which is "rot13" followed by stuff in parentheses, like this: rot13(rknzcyr). $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Feb 6 at 11:58

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