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Stackoverflow is supposed to be a cross between wikipedia and an Q and A site coughNot Experts Exchange*cough*. This says something about the presentation of our questions and answers.

In many question threads on Stackoverflow the question or an answer may get "updated", with the user often posting multiple EDITs or UDPATEs at the bottom of the post. This leads to a more confusing question or answer, as all the relevant information is not grouped logically, but rather temporally according to when the post was changed.

Has anyone else seen this as a problem, and should we strive to correct this issue with edits, comments, and other user communication?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

These updates are made normally to answer the questions asked in the comments of the posts. So the chronological order is helpful as long as the discussion has not ended yet.

If the issues discussed in the comments are solved, then a final edit grouping the stuff logically would be nice. So correct this or ask the poster to correct this when it is obvious that there will be no more edits to clarify discrepancies.

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Definitely not. I'd prefer an answer which is illogically organised to an answer that is just plain wrong. And posting EDIT: helps notify people that a question or answer has been modified with new information (as opposed to the edit log, which could just be a corrected typo).

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I certainly don't think that adding additional information or fixing typos or other errors is undesirable. Personally, I try to keep the whole thing coherent so I don't really tend to use EDIT/UPDATE unless I'm adding a new paragraph or three. IMHO there isn't really much of a benefit in making the question or answer less coherent.

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