I had a question and a suggestion about suggested edits.
Yesterday I noticed that an answer to a question had a syntax error in the code, so I decided I should fix that error so that the OP wouldn't get confused, and so that future users who looked at the answer would actually see code that worked. The person who answered the question easily implied by other portions of his code what the syntax error should be corrected to; someone had even said in the comments how the error should be corrected.
So, I went ahead and corrected the error. However, my suggested edit was rejected.
So I tried again, including what the syntax error was in the reason for editing, hoping users who actually new vb.net would review the edit. But, the edit was rejected again; however, this time the edit was approved by one person. So overall, the edit had been rejected by 6 users, and approved by one.
I looked at the tags the reviewers commonly use, and the 6 that rejected my suggestion never use the vb.net tag, so I assume they don't know it. The one users who approved my answer used the vb.net tag fairly often. And then today I tried editing again, and it got approved by three users, all who use vb.net.
What should I do if something like this happens again? Should I leave the syntax error, or keep editing it until it gets approved? Or is there something else I should do? I'm not trying to pick on any of the reviewers, but I have come across this myself when reviewing first posts: sometimes I don't know the language, but still review it.
Thanks for your help!
Some people seem to argue that it is never good to change an answer's code. However, I have noticed that lots of users do. I put an example in a comment below, and here is another example I came across (on accident): http://stackoverflow.com/posts/19282384/revisions. The reason it was edited was because there was a syntax error. (Try putting
if (1 == 1) && (2 == 2) into a C# compiler...it won't work.) (also see here and here, where in the latter someone literally rewrote the whole code block...) Some users have said that if there is an error, the user who noticed it should put a comment. But I know if I typed a little (or big) syntax error, I would much rather someone just correct it instead of telling me and letting me fix it.
However, as the people who don't like users editing each other's code very truly pointed out, someone could completely change the meaning of the code to something the original poster didn't want. So I had a suggestion on a way to try to fix this: If someone edit's an answerer's code, the edit will take place like normal; however, the original poster will be notified someone edited their code, thereby enabling them to check to see if the revision's correct. I don't know, I just thought I might mention that. SO is a great website that is organized and designed very well, so there might be a very good reason there isn't something already like this.