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Today I suggested the following edit, which was rejected as "This edit is incorrect or an attempt to reply to or comment on the existing post." Can you enlighten me why? My intention was to make more clear, that ==> is not only nicer syntax, but also enables Quickcheck to give the "* Gave up! Passed only 15 tests." message below (without changing the original conclusion, that the real solution is something entirely else).

So does this mean that minor elaboration should not be done as an edit? This leaves me a bit wondering of what actually constitutes a valid edit ;)

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Elaborations like that are more commonly suggested in comments. – J. Steen Dec 6 '12 at 14:27
+1 for following up on wether your edits got rejected or not, and asking why they got rejected – Azulflame Dec 6 '12 at 18:51
up vote 3 down vote accepted

This is kind of a borderline edit. You are adding additional helpful information, but not changing the meaning of the post. However, you added a few things that weren't included in the original answer. It's possible the reviewers didn't read it thoroughly enough, and it seemed to them that you were changing the meaning of the post or adding new, independent information (as opposed to supporting information/details). Additionally, it could come across to some as commentary (not on the answer, but on the subject of the answer). Commentary by definition belongs in comments.

While I'm leaning toward this being a legitimate edit, I can understand reviewers opposing this being inserted directly into an answer by someone other than the answer's author without a discussion about it.

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My tips and thoughts:

  • Don't put words into the post author's mouth. Tell him in a comment what you think need improvement in the post, and let him do the edit.

  • The author might ask you to edit yourself (I did it myself in the past) then you can suggest such an edit, pointing on the author's request as "verification" for the validity of your edit.

  • Only when the post was made by user who is no longer active (no profile or didn't respond to your comment for week or so) then such edit is acceptable, assuming of course it does improve the answer quality.

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If the suggested change is to long to fit in a comment (mine just fits), I guess the right approach would be to add an additional answer in the style of "To elaborate on the answer by <author>, ..."? – cebewee Dec 6 '12 at 15:22
@cebewee very true. You can also explain the gist and let the author fill in the details. – Shadow Wizard Dec 6 '12 at 15:28
@cebewee Adding an additional answer that elaborates is only the right approach if your answer can stand alone and be an answer to the question without the original answer you're expanding on. – yoozer8 Dec 6 '12 at 15:35

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