# Is there a limit to the size of an answer?

I developed an answer to an algorithm question. But, though it remains very informal, this answer is already four or five pages long, because it is very technical. Does it make sense to post it? Should I limit my answer to a very sketchy description?

• To my knowledge, the only post that had this happen was the reference answer on P/NP by Kaveh. I have written some long answers myself but never touched that limit. If you truly need that much room, the question may have a serious scoping problem. (Which, in a way, is true for the reference questions where we went for broader scope on purpose.)
– Raphael Mod
Sep 18 '14 at 9:29
• Depending on the originality of the presented material, it may sometimes be prudent to publish it on arXiv and post only a summary here. I consider these answers by Realz Slaw an example for this.
– Raphael Mod
Sep 18 '14 at 9:35
• @Raphael cs.stackexchange.com/questions/16850/is-dominosa-np-hard/… as well. It's not always possible to judge how hard a question is a priori. Sep 18 '14 at 9:36
• @Gilles True. That question was reasonably scoped; it just turned out to need a long answer. That's okay and not the scenario my "may" was alluding to.
– Raphael Mod
Sep 18 '14 at 9:37

The maximum length of a post is 30000 characters (in the Markdown source).

You can browse the longest answers on a site on the Data Explorer to see examples of long answers. The data explorer only provides the rendered HTML, not the Markdown source, so there will be a (usually small) discrepancy.

• Thanks. Is the size determined by StackExchange.realtime.subscribeToQuestion('419', '29709'); in the HTML source? I went to the page you give, but what it computed were rather short answers with a negative size ... whatever that means !! Did I misuse it, or did I misunderstand you? Sep 18 '14 at 8:43
• @babou Sorry, I only checked the title of that query. For some reason, it's displaying the shortest answers! I've now linked to a query that actually displays the longest answers (by rendered HTML, not by Markdown source, because SEDE doesn't have the source). Sep 18 '14 at 8:58