Perhaps it is my imagination but there seems to be an increase in XY problems on SU, to the point that I am linking to the MSO question regularly.

Questions are of the format "How can I realign the pulse matrix of the doodad inhibitor as that is what I need to do to get images working again in my browser".

Leading to doodad inhibitor answers that do not resolve the problem.

Rather than "I clicked something in my browser that stops images appearing, how can I fix this?"

If the MSO page is canon enough, it would be great to have a shortcut markdown like


similar to


That leads to the MSO question, and helps visitors construct better questions.

  • Consider getting a tool like TextExpander that does text shortcut macros. There are tons of useful links to MSO/MSU topics, and it wouldn't be practical to have shortcuts for all of them in the software.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Jul 17, 2012 at 6:55
  • 3
    I don't think our average question asker would even understand what [xy] is, even after reading the MSO page
    – Ivo Flipse
    Jul 17, 2012 at 6:56
  • 1
    The main question for this is over at MSO.
    – Bob
    Jul 17, 2012 at 6:57
  • I'd rather just tell the to "ask about their real problem instead of their attempted solution". The MSO question is … well, it needs a little rewriting. Anyone up for that?
    – slhck
    Jul 17, 2012 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


I don't think this feature will be used enough that it justifies addition into the core engine. I went through last 5 pages of your posted comments ( from latest to oldest, going back to June 7th) & I couldn't find a single instance of where you've posted the comment. (If I did miss, let me know).

I think the proforma comments userscript would be an ideal script where you can store the comment, than having a separate markup.

  • You did miss, but there have been occasions where I have taken the long road in describing why you wouldn't want to describe a problem in this way. I guess my goal was to increase awareness of the XY problem and this was a method of doing it. It isn't the right method though, I agree.
    – Paul
    Jul 20, 2012 at 13:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .