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

Yesterday, a 2k'er added tag to the title of this post. I, knowing that there should not be any tags in the title, put the tag at the end of the title to "work it in organically". Since I do not have editing privileges yet, it was reviewed and rejected as too minor. I later realized that I wrote the comment wrong, maybe it was because of that. Not important anyway.

I know there shouldn't be tags in the titles since I had 100 rep. This person should have known as well since (s)he has editing privileges. I also see that (s)he has edited some other posts in a similar fashion.

I also see some high rep people asking questions with tags in the titles. Would it help if it was mentioned in "How to Ask" or FAQ?

I think, if the only thing wrong with the post is the tag in the title or the thanks at the end, it should be edited out. What constitutes a minor edit is editing them out but leaving everything else. Am I wrong? Should I not be removing tags from titles if there is nothing else wrong with the post?

share|improve this question
up vote 7 down vote accepted

There are very different attitudes towards editing and what constitutes a "too minor" edit, the following is my personal opinion as I don't think there is a strong consensus on the matter.

My personal rule is that any edit that fixes a mistake, even a small one, is acceptable if there is truly nothing else to correct in the post. This situation is rather rare, in most cases there is more to fix in the post than just one mistake.

I also think titles are special, and any edit that improves a title can't be too minor. The title is important and a major part of the question, it is also much more visible than the post body.

Another reason why I would generally revert edits that add tags to the title is that if people see this often enough, they'll imitate it and start doing it themselves. Consistently editing out such stuff is the best way to educate the community about it.

share|improve this answer
I think along the same lines, especially about title visibility. Very good point about imitation. – HebeleHododo Jan 18 '13 at 7:49

There are certain trivial edits that are simply not worth making. Editing tags out of question titles is useful only in a couple unique cases where it interrupts the flow of the title:

While you can include language or platform information, you should only do so naturally – not as a sort of "header". For example, this is bad:

Java: Why are bytes signed?

But this is okay:

Why are bytes signed in Java?

(Credit to Jon Skeet's Writing the Perfect Question - Question title.)

However, it's rarely worth it to solely edit the title for tags. Often the tags are actually useful in the title, or make the title read easier (see the second example).

In other cases, it is simply a header. In these cases, if nothing else is wrong with the question, I would ignore it. It's rather trivial. However, if you're improving the rest of the question, then yes, definitely edit the header out.

In your particular case, I would have left it be. The user who edited it in should have instead changed it to something like Get the indices of the n largest elements in a matrix in Matlab, or preferably not bothered to change it at all. However, once it's there, unless the post needs to be improved, it can be left alone.

share|improve this answer
I couldn't get your main point. Is it bumping the question, making it one step closer to CW, wasting reviewer time, something else? Apart from these points I cannot see a reason why someone shouldn't improve (I mean make it follow guidelines) a post. – HebeleHododo Jan 18 '13 at 10:58

You must log in to answer this question.

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