The “Add image” toolbar button is outputting malformed markdown. I am using Firefox 40.0.3 on Mac OS X 10.10.5 (Yosemite).

Here in my screenshot nothing is selected. Cursor was just at that spot.

enter image description here

Clicked the button, dragged an image to the Imgur-popop, pressed the submit button, it output as in the below screenshot.

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


Why do you believe that what you are presenting is malformed? When you see:

[![enter image description here][3]][3]

This seems to be the new behavior of the image upload/insertion tool and it makes sense. Here is the breakdown of why:

Previously, an uploaded image would simply be:

![enter image description here][3]

And while you were able to see that image, you could not click on it. Might seem like a small issue, but some users upload images that are quite large and hard to read at small sizes. By being able to click on an image, one is able to effectively “zoom” in on the content by downloading the full image read it better.

So since the image upload mechanism basically relies on a URL connected to Imgur, by wrapping that image in the URL reference ([][3]) like this:

[![enter image description here][3]][3]

The image becomes clickable.

I am not too sure when this specific feature was rolled out—this Meta Stack Exchange thread and this comment refers to the change but no clear date of roll-out—but as your screenshot shows old images that predate this change are still in the system. I don’t believe Stack Exchange does a database sweep to cleanup things like this because it could be a messy proposition; while some images would benefit from this click-to-zoom/download others gain no benefit and might go against the original poster’s intent.

So nothing is malformed. It’s just slightly different and—in my humble opinion—much better now.

  • So if it is better, and it does seem to be for larger images, then the dialog should perhaps have an option for it (submit as zoomable, submit as non-zoomable), or somehow make it clear what it's doing--perhaps with example code showing the difference. Because the source code to me looked malformed. Sep 7, 2015 at 16:48
  • @aliteralmind Why should there be a warning to you—or anyone—when the image shows up as correctly, an added link doesn’t visual confuse anything and the only people who should be “confused” are older users who remember the older setup. As it stands, it seems most Stack Exchange users have no clue what any of this markdown is or even how to use it. Sep 7, 2015 at 16:53
  • Because it's not obvious. Is it critical? Of course not. Would it help to clarify to people who are familiar with markdown, like myself, but not enough to realize that recursive tags can actually be useful? I think it would. I've been deleting the inner tag for a few days now, assuming it's incorrect. The only reason I know it's usefulness now, is because you told me so. Besides, many of the images I upload are small and would not get significant benefit from zooming. Sep 7, 2015 at 16:56
  • @aliteralmind I don’t work here; I just think it’s a good thing. A larger discussion on linking across images is here. But when you say, “I've been deleting the inner tag for a few days now, assuming it's incorrect.” Are we talking about the same thing? I’m referring to the link to the image being clickable, but in your comment the implication is you are upset at “enter image description here?” I find being upset at that odd. Please clarify what exactly you are posting about. Sep 7, 2015 at 17:00
  • I thought it was a recursive image tag. I now understand its an image tag in a link tag. Sep 7, 2015 at 17:01
  • What the label says is not what I'm talking about. I thought it was an recursive image tag. I didn't know it was a link tag around an image tag. The fact that they refer to the same url confused me, and I assumed it was an error. Sep 7, 2015 at 17:03
  • @aliteralmind If you were deleting the inner tag for days, then that just means you are removing the image entirely. Either way, I have said my peace and explained the origin of this; if you feel like discussing deeper pros/cons with the core Stack Exchange team—who can really take your comments to heart and act on it—you should participate in this thread on Meta Stack Exchange. Sep 7, 2015 at 17:03
  • It ended up being a valid image tag, so I obviously deleted only the opening square bracket and left the exclamation. We have together dragged this issue into the ground. Sep 7, 2015 at 17:05

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