# How much personal style should be tolerated?

I hesitated for some time, but recently edited this question. As can be seen from the question history, the question contained (or contains) quite a bit of latex commands that were used for formatting the text. To me, this does not look good nor readable. I learned from the OP that this is personal style he prefers.

Perhaps generalized a bit, my issue is this:

• I want to maintain and improve site quality, that includes making content more readable.
• I don't want to annoy anyone by editing things they think look good.

If I go ahead and edit, rollbacks probably happen and perhaps multiple people get annoyed for different reasons. If I think it's unreadable, I could downvote and thus maybe encourage different style, but I still leave behind content which I think could easily be improved. There seems to be no way of making the community vote on which version the question or answer should settle for.

How should one deal with formatting that one doesn't like, and the person who created it does?

• I note that I'd already edited that once to remove the unreadable formatting but the asker silently undid those edits while adding (completely legitimate) extra content to the answer. Grrrr. – David Richerby Apr 10 '15 at 13:12

Generally speaking, personal style should be left alone as long as it doesn't hurt the legibility of posts. If you prefer to use British spelling, we won't edit your post to remove the “u” from your posts on the four-colour problem. On the other hand, if your religion forbids the use of the Shift key, we will edit your posts to capitalize the first letter of sentences and proper names, because all-lowercase text is markedly harder to read.

Coming to the specific issue at hand, your edit was entirely warranted. Ricky, you have been told many times over the years that your microformatting does not do what you intend. Stack Exchange does not support precise visual formatting. For example, here is a screenshot of your CSTheory question taken on my phone (the previous revisions of your CS.SE post looked bad in the same way, but accessing older revisions is a bit awkward, which is why I'm using a different example):

• I strongly agree. Sorry, Ricky, but your manual spacing makes your posts extremely difficult to read. Please stop doing it. – David Richerby Apr 10 '15 at 12:02
• Agreed. This kind of formatting is to be kept at a minimum even in LaTeX documents, but it has no place at all in HTML documents. Such are designed to and will be reflowed, restyled, rendered with different parameter sets, crawled and whatnot -- any kind of explicit formatting is harmful. – Raphael Mod Apr 10 '15 at 16:23

For those who can't see it, that question previously contained things like \hspace{-0.02in}. Juho edited the question to remove those manual formatting idiosyncracies.

• Well, it's useful to tweak spacing inside math formulas e.g. $\{x|x\in Y\}$ vs $\{x\;|\;x\in X\}$ but attempting microtypography in normal text is silly. (I see MathJaX parsing is not enabled in comments here.) – Fizz Apr 23 '15 at 13:24
• @RespawnedFluff In most cases I see this, the author is doing something wrong. For instance, in your case, you should use \mid. In my experience, TeX routines are superior in most cases, provided you give it the right information (\mathrel, \mathop, ...). TeX - LaTeX contains plenty of information about that. – Raphael Mod May 6 '15 at 7:02