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Background
I usually see some poorly formatted questions which other users are happy to edit and improve. This is a good thing. However these editors sometimes only address very small portions of the post.

The downside is, if I start to edit the post to address all of these major issues, I constantly get interrupted by a "someone else edited the post", forcing me to reload and lose my edits, only because they removed one tag or changed one word or boxed one word with code style.

I have also noticed that when a post has been edited more than 5 times (IIRC) it gets owned by community due to substantial edits, meaning the original OP (I guess) loses further upvotes.

When you don't have enough reputation you can suggest edits. However, you do have the requirement to suggest substantial improvements. There's even a reject choice for "too minor of an edit".

One thing I have started with is suggesting for the original poster if I see some seriously minor edit (for instance spelling error) which if the user is fast enough they can edit without the editing history being modified. Sometimes it's frowned upon ("stop picking on users and change it yourself!") and sometimes it's followed by a thanks.
And sometimes others pick up on this and edit other users posts anyway, defeating my whole intention.

I'm getting weary of trying to edit posts..

Questions

  1. Why is it that this "too minor" requirement isn't enforced on users who are able to edit?
  2. Would it be possible to change the "5 edit = community" to something like "5 substantial edits = community" (that would encourage me to just fix these minor errors)
  3. Could code blocks be automatically indented?
  4. Is it me that is thinking about this incorrectly? Is it OK to edit one minor thing, when there are visibly other issues with the post?
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7  
3 seems to be impossible. How do you determine what is code? No, you're not thinking about it incorrectly though. Everyone should be trying to fix everything wrong with a post. –  ben is uǝq backwards Mar 1 '13 at 16:48
    
I have run into this several times. It's very annoying so I can assure you that you are not thinking about it incorrectly. +1 –  ryan Mar 1 '13 at 17:04
    
I never had this, or at least I don't remember. Are you at least taking the 5 minute grace period into account? (In other words: aren't you too edit-happy yourself?) –  Arjan Mar 1 '13 at 17:06
    
I've definitely had this. An editor makes 2 minor changes, and leaves several errors/areas for improvement. I click 'improve' and start editing, but by the time I save, other reviewers have approved the minor changes or made less substantial improvements, and I get the "someone else edited the post" message. –  AShelly Mar 1 '13 at 17:22
    
Unfortunately the "too minor" requirement isn't enforced. period. (That doesn't make 4, ok) –  hayd Mar 1 '13 at 17:23
1  
@ben: The system detects and rejects a submission if it finds an unindented code block, but to be able to paste code and have it automatically indent, or to determine what to properly indent in the first place, that's where I can see a problem. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Mar 1 '13 at 17:31
1  
it "isn't enforced on users who are able to edit" because their edits don't load reviewers –  gnat Mar 1 '13 at 17:34
    
I thought that's what I was implying @bolt, you can use it intelligently to find code, but indenting correctly is a different matter. –  ben is uǝq backwards Mar 1 '13 at 17:45
    
@ben: Oh. Ohhh. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Mar 1 '13 at 17:55
    
@Arjan I have not. You might be right, I should be a bit more patient :) –  Default Mar 2 '13 at 15:11
    
What about people who make (very) minor edits to their own posts purely to bump them? –  Synetech Dec 24 '13 at 16:15

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Why is it that this "too minor" requirement isn't enforced on users who are able to edit?

There are already restrictions in place to check if the edit does not exceed the minimum requirement of at least 6 characters but again there were ways to hack this. Some users still edit posts with very minor corrections but leaving behind lot of things that could substantially improve the post to make it useful to others. I usually reject such type of edits.

This meta post might be a good read:

How to overcome "Edits must be at least 6 characters"?

Would it be possible to change the "5 edit = community" to something like "5 substantial edits = community" (that would encourage me to just fix these minor errors)

It might be tricky to determine what should be considered as substantial edit versus regular edit. If it is a minor typo, refrain from editing the post. Try to find ways to improve the post so it might serve as a good content for future visitors.

This meta post might be a good read:

Is there a way to remove community wiki status?

Could code blocks be automatically indented?

Given the breadth of languages that SO covers, it might be tough to determine if a section of the post is code or not. If the OP does not have the understanding of formatting the code, there are community members who try to help by suggesting edits. When you format someone's code, leave comments with links to faq to make them understand how they can do it themselves in future. However, OP also should take responsibility to learn from mistakes. Some take cue from the points but not everyone of them.

This meta post might be a good read:

How do I format my code blocks?

Is it me that is thinking about this incorrectly? Is it OK to edit one minor thing, when there are visibly other issues with the post?

No, you should not just correct minor mistakes when you are fully aware that you could improve other areas in the post that would make it more useful to others. Yes, leaving a comment to OP for minor corrections should be fine.

This meta post might be a good read:

What is the etiquette for modifying posts?

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