Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

10 seconds? 20 seconds? 60 seconds?

When is an appropriate time to give the original answer author enough time to edit his / her own answer?

share|improve this question
I wait until just after the "uh oh" moment -- you know, that awkward moment right after you press Enter when you've realized you made a mistake. – JimmyPena Jul 24 '12 at 18:46
there seems to be people that think they are the edit police – true Jul 24 '12 at 19:38
Can you elaborate? What does that mean? This site rewards and encourages editing at all levels. – JimmyPena Jul 24 '12 at 19:41
A user edited my question less than 10 seconds after I had published it. and then told me to stop editing my answer after I simply fixed the over indentation of the text. He furthermore is telling me what do, and is telling me that if I'm 'capable' of editing my on question then do it, but if i'm not 'capable' then leave it to someone else to edit. – true Jul 24 '12 at 19:43
I would tend to wait at least 5 minutes since users have that amount of time as a grace period, as noted by @nickb. – JW8 Jul 24 '12 at 19:47
I believe this answer is the one in question. – nickb Jul 24 '12 at 19:53
@RPM While it might have been less hassle for the other user to wait, they weren't doing anything "wrong" by editing your answer 10 seconds after you posted it, and neither were you. It's unfortunate that you walked over each other's edits and needed to merge them, but neither he nor you are required to wait before editing. – Servy Jul 24 '12 at 20:02
It was nothing wrong. It was just strange that he told me to stop editing the answer implying some delusional authoritarianism of himself. – true Jul 24 '12 at 20:05
If he had spend several minutes making substantive edits I would have understood him being upset with it being overridden by someone adding/removing a few spaces. However, both of you were only making (the same) fairly minor edits that only took a few seconds of each of your time. Given that, he probably should have just ignored it and went on with his day, as should you, once the post was in proper shape. The entire post only has one line of code and one sentence fragment, so it's not like there's all that much to fix up in the first place. – Servy Jul 24 '12 at 20:08
up vote 11 down vote accepted

The grace period is 5 minutes, in which edits by the original author during that span will not be logged as separate revisions to an answer. I typically wait until that amount of time expires before I edit another answer. If it is before the grace period and I'm unsure if the original author notices a mistake or if they're updating the answer, I'll leave a comment on the answer.

This is especially true for answers that have little detail in their initial revision, but improve over the course of the grace period (FGITW).

share|improve this answer

If it's not your answer? I wouldn't wait a specific amount of time. Either just fix it if it's an obvious thinko, or leave a comment saying "you meant NOT rather than NOW didn't you?" [I've seen sentences like this is now available where I think a single letter typo has reversed the meaning] or whatever you think the problem is. Then if you get no response to that comment, you have a dilemma. But at least in the meantime people are aware of the possible issue. And chances are the author will do the edit themselves in response to your comment, or clarify that they meant what they said. Either of which is better than you silently editing it.

share|improve this answer

When is an appropriate time to give the original answer author enough time to edit his / her own answer?

I'm afraid there's no way to tell when the OP is done.

I tend to think that a person has completed their edits when they post. After all, you voluntarily click "Post" to submit your answer.

If someone starts editing the answer before you, your changes get locked out. So the system seems to be handling it on its own. Just edit naturally and everything should take care of itself.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

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