I have just attempted to make my first edit of another user's post - correcting a reference to a single-letter class name, which otherwise could throw a novice (see paercebal's answer in In C++, what is a virtual base class?).
I was then confronted with the "6 letter limit" for edits because my reputation is below 2K.
Trying to understand the reason for the 6-character limit, I have found and scavenged the following threads: Legitimate edits of less than 6 characters, Change this behavior to allow for spelling corrections and the like: "Edits must be at least 6 characters", How to overcome "Edits must be at least 6 characters"?, Allow under 6 character changes if they are inside code tags, and Suggestion: Allow 1-char edits, if they are within the code block.
These threads are filled with people who disagree with the rule and provide tips and tricks for workarounds. One of these "tips and tricks" is the "accepted answer" for the third link I just gave, which is a question about how to overcome the 6-character limit. Here is the relevant quote from the answer:
look for other changes that can be made
It should go without saying that this is not an answer to my question.
Of the links above, there is only one reference to a justification (that I can find). It says (see comment beneath second question linked above):
The limitations imposed on low-rep editors are largely there to discourage incomplete edits
Is this rationale based on experience - that (without the requirement) users below 2K would otherwise tend to overload the system with edits below 6 characters that are trivial or incomplete, such as the fixing of typos, but otherwise tend to make good edits (when over 6 characters), such that simply removing the ability for users under 2K to edit would detract from the community?
Is it really true that for users under 2K, it is known that edits under 6 characters tend to be incomplete, but that edits over 6 characters tend to be complete?
If so, I understand the requirement. But in this case I would like to recommend that StackExchange add an "orange box" at the top of the "edit" page, appearing only when the editor's reputation is below 2K and only when the number of characters in the edit is less than 6, that says something like:
Edits must be a minimum length of 6 characters for users with a reputation below 2K. This is to discourage incomplete or trivial edits. If you have a legitimate edit of less than 6 characters and your reputation is below 2K, please add a comment, which will be received by the post's author.
On the other hand, if the "incomplete" rationale is not justified, can StackExchange please either remove the 6-character limitation, or simply remove the ability of users under 2K to make edits?
Quite obviously, for highly popular code-oriented sites such as StackOverflow, code edits can be critical, and the length of the edit has no bearing on its legitimacy.
I suspect that the reason this issue has not been attended to is that most people who develop the StackExchange sites, and other users who make frequent edits, have reputations higher than 2,000. In my opinion, to the extent that this is true, this is not a justification to maintain an unnecessary and/or unhelpful requirement for users whose reputation is below 2K (that is, if I'm correct that the requirement is unnecessary and/or unhelpful).
Can something please be done about this? I have taken the time to write this post after running into this issue in order to help the StackExchange sites, so I hope someone else can follow through and recommend that something be changed.