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I answered a question on Stack Overflow yesterday that's currently my most popular answer so far. Today I noticed that it had become part of the "community wiki" because I edited my answer over 10 times. I hadn't heard of the community wiki before and now I'm disappointed to learn that I'll no longer be getting any reputation from my answer.

I think it would be nice to get some kind of warning before this takes effect, at the very least the first time this happens so newer users are aware. I had no intention of making my question part of the community wiki.

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marked as duplicate by Shadow Wizard, РСТȢѸФХѾЦЧШЩЪЫЬѢѤЮѦѪѨѬѠѺѮѰѲѴ, Martijn Pieters, apaul34208, michaelb958 Mar 26 at 0:17

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I removed the CW flag from your answer. –  Robert Harvey May 22 '13 at 23:33
    
Great! Thanks for your help! –  David DeMar May 22 '13 at 23:34
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Mods can remove CW status from a post if you flag it for them and explain why you don't think it belongs. That said, there are few posts that really need so many separate edits. You should in general try to group multiple corrections into one revision by editing multiple things at once, instead of doing it slowly. –  Double AA May 23 '13 at 1:02
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The auto CV discourages the "keep your answer up-to-date" attitude that some people have. If it is preventing the "bump", we could voluntary avoid it (checkbox "don't bump"). I even stopped editing one of my answers on Programming Puzzles & Code Golf because I edited it 9 times. –  Johannes Kuhn May 23 '13 at 6:35
    
@RobertHarvey Same problem happened me, I didn't know that updating the answer 10 more times will become CW. I tried to rollback my revisions, no effect. Can you also remove the CW Flag of my answer? –  Glenn-- Sep 18 '13 at 5:34

2 Answers 2

Prompted by a discussion on another site, I was going to suggest this myself, but found this existing feature request instead.

Specifically, I feel that the problem with the current system is that new users, who may not realize that there's anything wrong with making dozens of tiny edits to their post a few minutes apart, will not see any warning that what they're doing is in any way discouraged before their post suddenly turns CW.

What I would suggest is that, if a post has three or more revisions created by the same user within the previous 24 hours (specific thresholds subject to adjustment, of course), the next time that user tries to edit it, the edit form should display something like the following warning:

You have already edited this question/answer several times recently.

Please try to avoid making too many minor edits, as this will needlessly bump the question to the front page. Instead, use the preview pane and save up multiple small changes into a single substantial edit that addresses all issues that you feel should be fixed.

If you do notice a mistake after saving an edit, try to fix it within 5 minutes, as doing so will not count as an additional edit. See the help center for more information on editing.


Ps. The proposed warning message above doesn't actually even mention Community Wiki in any way. Nonetheless, simply by informing new users that continual editing of posts is not recommended here, I believe it would significantly decrease the incidence — and, more importantly, the surprise factor — of unexpected CW-fication.

I do feel that it might not be a bad idea to also show a separate warning just before a post is about to turn CW, something like:

You have already edited this question/answer <n> times. Further editing will automatically mark it as Community Wiki. For more information, see What are "Community Wiki" posts?

(For that matter, I'd also like to see the CW-ification threshold changed so that sufficiently old edits would not count against it, or would count only partially. This would reduce the risk of CW-ification of old popular answers over time simply due to to occasional infrequent updates or corrections. But that's really something for a separate request...)

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Kind of on the fence about the recent edit message. However, I do like the idea of discounting sufficiently old edits (perhaps edits over 1 year old) from counting towards the threshold. –  Travis J Mar 25 at 21:28

I am of course fully supportive of these proposals, having been myself a victim of this absurd lack of information. I learned well, and I now abstain from correcting the style, or typos, or minor points, unless I see an error. It is really too bad for readers, but it is not my choice. I am usually very picky on correcting.

Regarding the 5 minutes delay for corrections, I try to use it, but not too much as I can get caught by the five minutes limit. Which leads me to the following suggestion.

The five minutes delay should serve only for initiating the correction. But the clock should be stopped during the editing, and restarted when it is committed, unless a significantly longer limit (to de debated) is reached.

The change or original text does not have to appear, or be bumped up, while the editing is still going on. It delays things otherwise by only 5 minutes.

Hence we would not have to rush it too much and risk adding errors instead of removing them. And we would not hesitat to correct errors, at least during the whole of the 5 minutes.

A very good reason to do that is that the clock is often wrong. I just did an edit as the clock was saying I had spent 3mn. It could have been nearly 4mn ... but I only took 15 seconds to edit, and it was considered as exceeding the 5 minutes, thus a new edit. Not a trustworthy system. So I will edit even less typos.

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There would still have to be some kind of limit on how long you could leave the edit form open -- it would be very confusing if you could start editing within 5 minutes of posting, leave the edit form open for, say, a whole day, and then "ninja-edit" your post, without leaving any sign of it in the edit history, after other users had already commented and voted on it. While it would indeed be nice to get a few more minutes of free editing time if you notice a mistake just before the 5-minute grace period is over, implementing it would significantly complicate the editing system. –  Ilmari Karonen Mar 26 at 0:37
    
@IlmariKaronen I can only take your word for it, which is not something I often do. All I know is that the system should be improved. There is an obvious contradiction between quality and the pressure for fast answers ... not just for the rep, but because late answers have a harder time getting through. –  babou Mar 26 at 14:10

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