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I think it would be nice to be able to see the reason for an edit without having to click through to the diff to view it. I think it would benefit users to be able to see at a glance whether the edit was a clarification, rewrite, or simply a small typo/formatting change.

Two ways I see to do this:

  1. Show the reason on the same page under the edit time:

    edited 1 hour ago

  2. Show the reason in a tooltip when you mouseover either the word "edited" or the entire edit notification.

Do you think this would be beneficial? How else would you propose to do it?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'm not sure what benefit this will provide. While I do think it's important to be able to review the revision history and the change notes, I don't think it's necessary to include that information on the main page. When you're viewing a post, you should see what it is, and not be concerned with how its different from its previous revisions.

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I wouldn't mind #2 - a tooltip should be fairly unobtrusive.

But like Kyle, i don't really think this is all that necessary. If anything, we should be encouraging people interested in how a question has changed to visit the revision list, so that they can get the full picture.

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To provide the benefit of this idea:
Editing an answer let it pop up again on the main page. With this feature you can find out fast, if it was only a typo which was corrected or the poster provides a new argument.

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I seriously like this idea. Specifically the tooltip idea - it's discreet, unobtrusive and allows you to quickly get an idea of what the latest update to the question was - there's no point clicking that link if the comment is added 1 character in body, is there!?

So, I made a userscript. It gets the latest revision comment from the revision history and adds it to the tooltip.

If you're unsure on how to install a userscript, see the guide at Stack Apps.

Quick Revision Comment Viewer @ GitHub Gist Install

It works on questions and answers.

This is what it looks like on this question:


I've made an edit to this answer so you can test it if you install it.

Note: I have also added this to my SE Additional Optional Features userscript (as of v1.5).

Install it to get this feature and many more all collated into one big userscript - all options are optional! See the Stack Apps post for more info on installation.

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One thought: how would you handle multiple edits?

  1. Initial answer.
  2. Significant update (reason "more research found")
  3. Significant update (reason "added test results")
  4. Minor update (reason "typo")

What should the reason box/tooltip show?

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I think it should show the last edit. So it will show the last user to edit with a tooltip showing what they did last. Generally edits within a short period get rolled into one edit anyway, so chances are high that a)the significant update was long enough ago to warrant showing "typo" or b)the typo will be rolled into the significant update. – lc. Jul 6 '09 at 10:29

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