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I used to edit titles fairly aggressively: it seems like titles such as "Can't compile foo" are rather useless, whereas "What could be the sources of error 24b9c7 when compiling using gcc-penguin" are potentially much more useful. However, since discovering that it takes multiple reviewers to approve edits, I started to hold off. The same goes for other tasks which one might or might not think are worth an edit:

  • Improving subjects (see above)
  • Fixing broken formatting (numbered lists, code, etc)
  • Fixing code indentation
  • Fixing a misplaced code line or two (not formatted as code, but more minor)

Should I assume that some 2K user will come along and edit for things of that sort, or that it is OK for some thinks to go unedited, or should I do these sorts of edits knowing that I'll be forcing multiple people to look and approve edits?

CLARIFICATION EDIT: I am assuming that the edits to be made are useful, and would be accepted: indeed no edits of mine have been rejected so far, AFAIK (ok there was one exception). Also, for relatively recent questions on SO pushing to the top of the stack may not be a significant issue (though you might disagree). So I am reluctant to use "are my edits getting accepted?" as a criteria: fixing random capitalization is probably useful as a 2K+, but not so much as a <2K precisely because it ties up the reviewer's time (if we ignore the "push to top issues" that hjpotter92 brings up.)

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I also edit posts if they have too much Lise in them such as "if you can do this ..." as well as stuff like signatures in posts. Usually my suggested edits to through –  davblayn Apr 3 '13 at 0:06
    
@davblayn: I think 95% of my edits have been accepted. But my question is about "is it worth the reviewer's time"? I think I need to edit the question to make that clearer. –  angelatlarge Apr 3 '13 at 0:11
    
My rule of thumb is to just make edits that will contribute to the question, and not to fix typos unless they are massive game-changing ones. Just make the edit if you think it needs to be made, I doubt it will annoy the 2k users out there a lot. Also in my first comment I meant to say use not Lise –  davblayn Apr 3 '13 at 0:15
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My pet peeve is when I have to go and improve an edit that I'm reviewing because it doesn't deal with iI and other such niceties. Most times I let the original editor get credit, but I'd much rather not have to spend the time fixing up a partially fixed up answer. In other words, if you're going to edit something, fix all the problems with it! –  Jonathan Leffler Apr 3 '13 at 0:23
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"...precisely because it ties up the reviewer's time": I can't speak for other sites, but on SO, the suggested edit queue is almost always empty or nearly so( <10 edits ). It's not like the close vote queue(at ~50k), so adding to that particular workload should be the least of your concerns there. –  Geobits Apr 3 '13 at 1:46

3 Answers 3

If you are making an edit that significantly improves the post, then you should suggest the edit.

The only time that you should refrain from suggesting an edit is when your edit is excessively trivial. There's even a canned rejection reason for that:

This edit is too minor; suggested edits should be substantive improvements addressing multiple issues in the post.

The criteria for what is "too minor" or "excessively trivial" is indeed somewhat subjective. But the solution is simple: follow the instructions in the last part of that canned rejection reason and fix the other obvious problems with the post at the same time.

For example, if there's a question that has a useless title and contains an unformatted block of code, suggesting an edit that fixes only one of these obvious problems is bad. Suggesting an edit that fixes both of them is very, very good.

TL;DR: If your suggested edits are consistently approved, then you're doing the right thing so keep doing it. If your suggested edits are continually being rejected for being "too minor", then start fixing the other obvious problems at the same time.

Remember, the whole point of suggesting edits for users with < 2k reputation is to serve as training wheels for when you have the privileges to make edits yourself. Eventually, if you keep suggesting (and getting approved) good edits, you will be able to make edits without bothering reviewers. This is both a blessing and a curse, so we want to make sure that you're ready. We're happy to review edits from good editors, because we know it's only a temporary burden and we're improving the site in the long term.

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Mmmm... the "consistently approved" criteria sounds odd. I could go fix enough capitalization in any 100 posts such that these will be sent to the review queue. And will the reviewers reject thse? At 2K+ that might not be a bad thing to do, however, is it useful at <2K? I would think not. –  angelatlarge Apr 3 '13 at 0:09
    
@angelatlarge Yes, I and lots of other people will reject suggested edits for being too minor. I think the number of edits you've had approved is an excellent criterion. –  Cody Gray Apr 3 '13 at 4:04

It doesn't matter if your suggested edit is quite comprehensive - what matters is the end result:

  • is the question still the same?
  • is it formatted better?
  • is it easy to read and comprehend, does it make sense?
  • does it include all relevant data?

If you have to totally rewrite a question to achieve this then do it - the OP should be appreciative that you saved their question.

Should a sub 2K user being doing edits this comprehensive?

Why not? There is no guarantee that a higher rep user is going to do anything about it. There is no guarantee that a higher rep user could have done a better job than you. It's good that you care enough to do it.

What if the multiple reviewers don't like it?

That's the way it works out sometimes. Don't let that stop you - just because it happens doesn't mean you were wrong. The only thing you should be concerned about is making tiny inconsequential edits which multiple people have to review - those are annoying and are likely to get rejected.

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If you think that your edit is worth pushing the question/thread back to the top(since the questions are displayedonce again based on their most recent edit) then you are more than welcome to edit them.

However, just changing <br> tags to new-lines and similar edits, though substantial in numbers are not worth it.

Similarly, when reviewing code-formatting related edits, I normally reject those which have codes ≤ 10 lines or so. It is not a strict rule though.

While I'm sort of ok with fixing of broken formats and changes such as removing tags from title or rephrasing it to attract more users attention etc., it's still good to see at least one or two substantial edits(such as retagging) from users who have to wait for approval of their edits.

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Hmmm.. that's an interesting criteria.. push to top. Neat idea! –  angelatlarge Apr 3 '13 at 0:10
    
Ofcourse, once you cross 2k mark, you edit almost all posts instinctively :P –  hjpotter92 Apr 3 '13 at 0:13
    
I think then the "push to top" criteria becomes more important. –  angelatlarge Apr 3 '13 at 0:15

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