I've had many occasions where it takes longer than 30 seconds to edit a post into shape; there's a decent question there but I'm spending a lot of time fixing horrible formatting and spelling and other things, especially if I'm taking the code sample(s) into another application for more efficient formatting capabilities. I think that currently a lot of effort can be wasted or duplicated by multiple people attempting to edit the same questions. One of the editors "wins" when the other one didn't realize it was being edited. It would be great if we could be prevented from editing a question if someone else is already editing, kind of like a "do not disturb" sign.
So I have two proposals that could make this process better:
Allow users with sufficient rep (say, 10k/trusted user level) to "lock" a post for editing. This prevents other users from editing until the lock is released, maybe with the exception of the post owner (but maybe not). Of course the lock would need to have a time limit, otherwise someone could lock a bunch of questions, go on vacation, and StackExchange implodes. I'm not sure what the limit should be, but the grace period (5 minutes) is probably a reasonable start.
Barring 1., at least present me with a warning that someone else has currently clicked the  link and is probably editing the question. Like the [edit(0)] nomenclature, this lets me know before I even try that someone else is editing.
I think these can improve the process in two ways:
- Less duplicated effort.
- Less rush to get edits in.