Trivial and insufficient editing by others should be discouraged. At the very least, a mechanism should be in place to not count such unhelpful edits towards the OP's edit limit. The edit limit is the number of edits that can take place before a question or answer forfeits to community wiki status.
The question of discussion is this: "Should we prevent people who edit poorly from punishing those they edit?"
What are solutions to this issue? Here are two ideas I propose:
- Add a "This is a minor edit" checkbox to the edit form for third-party editors. This allows editors to be socially moral and say, "Look, I contributed trivially to this question, and if there's something that I missed, no harm, no foul." If the editor checks this checkbox, no deduction is made to the edit limit for that edit.
- Allow other editors to remove a previous edit's deduction to the edit limit. If another editor sees an insufficient edit, he or she should be able to right the wrong.
- Provide a mechanism for reporting poor or abusive edits. (Oh, God! Meta-moderation...)
- Use a diff to determine the percentage of the post edited If the percentage of difference in the previous version of the post exceeds a threshold, there is a deduction in the edit limit. If the percentage fails to exceed this threshold, no deduction to the edit limit is made.
The following case motivated this discussion: http://stackoverflow.com/revisions/1743293/list
In this case the original poster does not speak English as his or her primary language. We can all agree the post required a solid amount of editing to correct the grammar so that the question reads well.
The initial edit by Peter Mortenson in the above question, however, while likely in good will, were insufficient. Awkward or incorrect grammar remained throughout, and the link to the CPU added little to the context of the discussion. Mortenson left the question only trivially more readable, yet cost the poster half of his four permitted edits by other people (one by Mortenson, and one by the next, hopefully competent editor who will properly edit the question) before the question goes to the community wiki, and further up-votes no longer count to the original author's reputation.
EDIT 2009-11-17: Clarifying the exact question, since a large portion of users could not seem to distinguish "poor editing" from "editing in general". Provided potential solutions to the problem, so I'm not just whining, but contributing constructively.