Here's what happened:
- I saw the question and read the answers.
- I pointed out that some answers, including the accepted one, were limited.
- I provided my own answer for the more general case.
- I pointed out in my answer that I use this example in my Learning Perl book. I've actually thought quite a bit about this particular problem for the book and the classes I teach.
- As I have done with the thousands of other Perl questions, I made the title an actual question.
- I did not edit the body of the question, change the inputs, or change the desired outputs.
- Despite allegations to the contrary, I wasn't trying to kick this to the front page. I answered and edited the title at essentially the same time, just like I do every morning when I go through the new Perl questions.
People don't have a problem with just the content of my answer, although they are downvoting me because they don't like that I made the comment to Kip's original, accepted answer. Eric Storm also commented with essentially the same content, and by the comment vote count, many people agreed with that. I don't think Kip's answer gives the questioner enough information to solve his potential problem, just the immediate problem. One of the biggest problems that newbies have with questions is that they don't know the scope of their problem. That's why they typically ask imprecise and short questions with very limited sample input. Answering exactly what a newbie asks leaves them with only half the stuff they need to know.
However, some people misinterpreted what I did and took offense. I don't think there is any actual argument here about the actual question, the proper answer, or the proper title. However I did things, no matter how many times I've done this before, this time people thought I was a jerk. Once they decided I was a jerk, that's how they framed everything and how they voted. That's why no one bothered to try to work within Stackoverflow to solve this problem. There never was an edit war. There was a progression of edits, each by different people, that each improved on the last edit. Since they thought I was a jerk, they thought there would be an edit war and made this pre-emptive strike.
I'm not really concerned about that. I want to give the best answer to the question, and make the question as maximally useful to other people as possible. I've been doing this for many, many years and as part of the core Perl documentation. I'm a writer, and writing is editing and considering intent, etc. I'm not particularly attached to the exact words I use for any particular question title. At the same time people question my ability to intuit the actual question, they are quite confident in their own ability to interpret my actions. Most of this seems to stem from their fear of me gaining reputation points. That is, I don't think anyone would care if I did the same exact things without being in a position to get rep.
As part of that, I'm going to remove all of my comments from the SO question. Since you are afraid of my rep, I'll also make the answer community wiki. You can fight it out here. The future public doesn't care about our squabbles; they only want the answer to their questions.
Other than that, I'm leaving the question alone. I think the current title is fine. I would have thought it was fine before this tempest in a teapot.