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An example for is if you Answer, and then go back to edit your answer within the first grace period. In such cases, the edit summary is never displayed, so why provide a box for it?

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It's not relevant if the edit is started within the grace period, only whether or not the edit is finished within the grace period. As such, when the edit is started how are SE supposed to know how long the user will take to finish and whether or not the summary will be needed? –  DMA57361 Apr 18 '12 at 12:44
    
The edit summary box can appear only when the grace period is over. Maybe that's hard to do? –  Tshepang May 19 '12 at 7:01
    
But then, Tshepang, as explained in @DMA57361's comment: how can the system know if the grace period will be over when you click Save? I hope you're not proposing to suddenly/dynamically show the summary box when you've started the edit in the grace period, but only clicked Save after these 5 minutes? (Also, in some cases more revisions than the ones we can see are stored. Maybe that includes the edit comment too. I guess not, but who knows.) –  Arjan May 19 '12 at 8:03
    
@Arjan I am suggesting that the summary box appear dynamically when the grace period is over, that's all. What is wrong with that? –  Tshepang May 19 '12 at 8:16
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To me, that's VERY annoying if you click Save right after 4 minutes 59 seconds. And then what do you propose should happen? As edit summaries are not mandatory at all: would the first click on Save be ignored then, to still allow one to use that summary box? Also, it would just raise new questions here, "why don't I see the summary box", I'm afraid. And as a software engineer, aren't you used to commit comments anyhow? How bad is it really to enter some 1 word summary that it is not visible to you? –  Arjan May 19 '12 at 8:25

1 Answer 1

The field for the edit summary is shown because it is not known when you are done with the edit; it could be you are done before the grace period for your very first edit is over, or it could you are done after the grace period.

What could be done is enabling the field for the edit summary after the grace period is over. Considering it happens for the very first edits done in the grace period when a post is created, I would say that changing the code is not worth the time spent.

The worst that can happen is that you thought have done the edit during the grace period, you don't write a summary, and you notice that the edit was completed after the grace period. You can still change the edit summary by clicking on the "edit" link. What you need to do is entering at least a new online, but if the feature request in Unable to retroactively add edit summary during edit window is implemented, that would not be anymore necessary.

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