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I recently started reviewing edits that others make to questions and ran into the following situation a few times:

Joe adds a question to Stack Overflow that is poorly written.

Mike comes and edits the question and makes some helpful edits, but also adds things that might be comments or even an answer in the question text.

Gary comes to review Mike's edit and doesn't want to reject it, because there are valid parts of Mike's edit that should be kept, and because he'd lose Mike's answer or valid comments. Gary can't "improve" Mike's answer, because he can't move parts to comments or answers as if they had been made by Mike (to make those new comments or answers look as if they were written by Mike vs. Gary). Gary would then go to the reject screen but see that it only offers him a handful of textareas in which to describe the issues vs. a way to selectively approve or mark-up the edit that needed help.

I would like to avoid downvoting and rejection of edits because they can be interpreted badly by the person that it affects. Has it been considered to be able to "mark-up" rejections so that the user that submitted the edit that got rejected can see what they did right as well as what they did wrong, and be able to easily just correct the things they did wrong? (i.e. implement a more helpful but more complex edit rejection interface.)

I know that would be more complex, but just a simple rejection of an edit with a comment is sometimes not the best course of action it would seem. Why am I wrong?

share|improve this question
I deleted the question, to try to limit the number of downvotes I got, but I had submitted a feature request for the ability to move portions of a proposed edit to comments or answers as if they had been made by the user that made the edit. – Gary S. Weaver Feb 25 '13 at 16:09
By -2'd I mean that two people -1'd my request. – Gary S. Weaver Feb 25 '13 at 16:11
@Bart, I will revise this question to remove reference to the -2'd because we are getting sidetracked talking about it vs. the issue itself I think. Thx – Gary S. Weaver Feb 25 '13 at 16:12
There is an "Improve" option. It allows you to edit the post and indicate whether the suggested edit was helpful. – yoozer8 Feb 25 '13 at 16:15
@Jim y originally I had suggested improving the "improve" view and got 2 -1's (in a question I deleted to stem the karma loss). I had suggested a more complex "improve" view that would allow moving parts of an edit to comments and answer as if it were made by the 1st editor that is being reviewed, so instead I'm suggesting a more complex "reject" editor that would allow more than just a textarea comment, but would allow the edit to be marked up or selectively approved, with the easy ability for the editor to come back and just fix the bad parts themselves. – Gary S. Weaver Feb 25 '13 at 16:18
In other words, improve can cause loss of information provided by the editor that is being reviewed, and rejection is flat out rejection without the ability to improve or selectively approve. That is what I'm asking about, because I believe it could be better, and if not, I'd like to hear how to properly handle reviews like this without possibly losing valid answers, comments, etc. that would serve the community, if the editor had only put things in the proper places. – Gary S. Weaver Feb 25 '13 at 16:26

We already have a method to control this:

Improve (Edit the edit and accept it as helpful.)

However, there is an issue if you do accept such an edit, Mike takes from this that:

  • it was acceptable to edit his answers/comments into the question.

in fact he is rewarded for doing so.

This would be bad, as he will continue to do the same in the future (i.e. not learn).

I would say this is a case-by-case / judgement call, but sometimes it is more appropriate to reject as invalid (giving feedback to Mike that he is doing something wrong)... quite often he'll come back with a new version of the edit which is acceptable.

share|improve this answer
Good points and understood that is the current way of doing things, but I tend to "skip" things like this because I don't like rejecting and risking loss of a valid answer or comment. I would imagine some reviewers may actually remove the comments and answer that Mike submitted, or worse do that and then copy and paste Mike's answer and post it as their own. – Gary S. Weaver Feb 25 '13 at 16:39
If I have to.improve a suggested edit it's rarely helpful. I will normally uncheck the box, unless the editor has made a good effort but missed some punctuation, or done an amazing job on a crap post but missed a couple of obvious things. Spelling mistakes are highlighted in red. Missing one means you're not editing properly. If you markup code incorrectly you should be avoiding the post as you don't understand the subject matter enough, etc etc... – ben is uǝq backwards Feb 25 '13 at 16:40

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