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I did a search here for related questions and I found some opinions and some answers to similar problems, but not exactly to my question, may be is just a matter of interpretation.

My question is, Is it ok to edit a title to improve the overall quality of the message when the title is incomplete or not related to the problem?

I'll use this post in SO as example.

Here the title is "jquery is not working over local network", which makes sense for the user when he made the question, but after reading the post, and considering the answers, some other options may be more accurate, like:

  • File not included properly
  • Jquery not working due to error in access to the file
  • Error with the permissions of a linked file
  • etc

The changes may still include some of the words of the original title or not, it depends on the case.

In my opinion, this is useful since it will help to get faster answers when you are trying to solve a problem and you get a long list of results in google, in the search results page of SO or in any other similar page, but I also understand that it may be considered superfluous for some people.

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I don't think you should use the answer as title, since people with the same problem is likely to search for error message or special symptom. –  nhahtdh Oct 23 '12 at 1:37
    
using the example above, if the rewrite of the title still mentions, what the person thought was the problem (jquery or local) in this case, wouldn't still be useful? –  PatomaS Oct 23 '12 at 2:11

1 Answer 1

The question title should describe the problem or its symptoms.

When someone is searching for their question or browsing through questions on Stack Overflow, they're looking at titles and trying to match them up with the problems they're running into. So, with that in mind, changing the title of the question based on the answers it got or the eventual solution is only going to make it harder for someone else to find the answer they're looking for.

Don't try to cram the answer into the title in addition to the question itself either. That's what the answers are for - if someone finds the question they have on the site, they should read the answers and not an ultra-short summary in the title anyway. There's only so much space that we have to work with and there's even less on Google:

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That being said, by all means edit titles if they need clarification to describe the problem better. To borrow your example, "help me with jquery" could (and should) be edited to something more descriptive and useful like "jQuery not working over the local network".

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