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Consider the following sequence of events:

  1. Users A and B both start editing a post.
  2. User A submits his edit.
  3. User B submits his edit.

User B's edit cannot be submitted:

User A already edited the body of this post; your edit must be more substantive to override the current edit.

However, when user B does not have edit privileges, this is not happening: user B can submit a suggested edit based on the original version of the post, blissfully unaware of user A's concurrent edit.

Example: B suggested an edit at 15:54:36 which is clearly from the original version of the post even though A made an edit at 15:54:06. The suggested edit diff is shown from version 2, even though A made his suggestion from version 1.

In this case, B should have been prevented from submitting an edit and told to edit from the latest version of the post.

I've seen that happen countless times on SO, but it's often difficult to trace at SO's fast pace where multiple edits often muddy the waters. Here's a case with a clear timeline.

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What makes this one interesting is that in the review, we end up seeing the diff between the edited post and the result of applying the suggested edit to the unedited version. I've seen a few reviews like this where A's edit was substantial and B's was not, meaning that B's edit looked like vandalism (since now it looks like it's reversing a large portion of the earlier edit) –  Dennis Meng Nov 7 '13 at 17:57
    
Here's another example of one that just happened here on Meta. An edit was made to remove a taunt at the end of the post, but a suggested was made on top of it, making it look like the suggested editor was adding in the taunt. –  psubsee2003 Nov 7 '13 at 20:34
    
This used to happen with the "Possible Duplicate" links inserted by Community, in which if someone without editing privileges starts editing a post, but the question gets marked as a duplicate before the edit is submitted. The edit will therefore appear to remove the "Possible Duplicate" link. The team fixed this by making the link appear as an automatic banner at the top of the post instead of editing it into the post. –  user215114 Nov 20 '13 at 22:44

2 Answers 2

Seeing as I have been a user for less than a year, I tried gaining reputation initially by editing posts. I can recount a few instances where this exact scenario occurred and my edit was rejected for being to insubstantial of a change based of the other users concurrent edit.

Though I don't think that its the end of the world if your concurrent edit didn't get accepted, because that would mean that the necessary edit was already made by the other user. Often times the edits I made that were rejected when submitted at roughly the same time as the other user were just fixing markdown or overall grammatical changes. If your edit is really that helpful and insightful, than its likely that both users didn't come up with the same exact edit and it might be accepted regardless.

But I do I agree, this might be helpful to users under 2k reputation, who look for reputation through edits or purely just enjoy making them.

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User A does not need to suggest edits, he has substantial reputation (in excess of 2K) so his edits are not "suggested" but instead immediately implemented. User B is making a "suggested edit" which must go into a queue for approval.

There does appear to be some overlap which isn't accounted for, though. You're right that User B should be prompted that he can't submit the edit because the original post has already changed.

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User B making a suggested edit is the case that this bug report is about. –  Gilles Nov 21 '13 at 2:14

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