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I edited What is this pattern called? Soft Lock? from revision 1 to revision 2, as everyone seemed to get focused on the fact that the OP wrote some bad code that was not thread safe, and everyone was ignoring the question. I striped out the extra code (and added some locks to stop the thread safe complains) and added a comment of why I changed it. However, other people seemed to think what I did was wrong.

Was that behavior of mine to edit someone's code in a question (to me, editing a answer has a much stricter set of rules and should almost never be done) for clarity inappropriate for SO?

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I was the one who commented on it's threadsafeness, and the main reason was that a) it really wasn't threadsafe, and b) the question itself was about nomenclature, which is a) often subjective, and b) something I didn't know! (Which is why I commented, rather than answered.) –  dlev Aug 31 '11 at 16:21
2  
I fully agree with Clement Herreman's comment: "Rolled back to 1st version. If you want to suggest a better implementation, answer the question, do not edit the OP's code, as the question, the comments and the other answers wouldn't make sense anymore." –  Robert Harvey Aug 31 '11 at 16:51
    
It's a honest on-topic question, I don't understand why have been voted down so many times. –  tutuca Sep 1 '11 at 4:14
    
@tutuca: votes on meta represent agreement of the meta community. –  BalusC Sep 1 '11 at 4:26
    
@Chichiray, or disagreement in this case :) –  Benjol Sep 1 '11 at 5:54

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The problem is, as Robert said in his comment, you mended the question, but in doing so, you 'broke' most of the comments and answers, so the net result was negative, as confirmed here by the community.

Don't let this discourage you from continuing to edit things into shape. If you want further guidelines, you should read here.

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You should never edit question code, even if has 10 syntax errors. You can, but maximally formatting. Many times it's point of whole question. It's like you would edit

Why isn't this code working?

if (is)HandlingEvent {
 //.....
}

to

Why isn't this code working?

if (isHandlingEvent) {
 //.....
}

which completelly changes point of question.

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3  
I agree for the most part, but I've softened my stance a bit. I think editing obvious spelling or syntax errors when it will not change the meaning of the post is OK. –  Robert Harvey Aug 31 '11 at 16:28
    
If it's question about "what does this code do?", it's ok to edit syntax error, but when it's "Why isn't my code working" it should be never edited I think –  genesis Aug 31 '11 at 16:47
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I don't think the focus of the linked question had anything to do with whether or not the code was working. –  M. Tibbits Aug 31 '11 at 16:52
3  
I agree. Code in questions should never be edited, because the code in question is quite often the question. –  Tim Post Aug 31 '11 at 17:11
    
@TimPost: Yes, I said it in my answer. –  genesis Aug 31 '11 at 17:12
2  
@genesis I was agreeing with you after an up vote. Edited for clarification. –  Tim Post Aug 31 '11 at 17:14
    
If you have a whitespace-sensitive-language (Python f.e.) you can even throw formatting edits overboard. –  Time Traveling Bobby Sep 1 '11 at 7:46

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