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I have made one non-trivial edit to the hugely acclaimed answer on StackOverflow about vim shortcuts. It's mostly about harmonizing formatting, but it also slightly changes punctuation or wording in a few places to make things better.

Now, if this was Wikipedia I'd simply notice nobody else has made further edits, so there is consensus that my edit is good and my being bold actually helped the answer. Yay.

However, this is not Wikipedia. I see far less editing of wiki content, especially by third parties. The question has 36k viewers; the answer has 8 contributors.

I've considered for some time to put a question to MSO asking to get my edit reviewed, but I really feel this is a more general problem with SO. Mind you, I don't really think the 'edit' and 'history' features deserve any more importance on the page than it currently does -- at least, not by the regular user -- still, I'm feeling quite uneasy to see my revision still being the latest for such a hugely popular question. It surely isn't perfect as it is.

Maybe the community just doesn't care. That's exactly what I'm afraid of. Maybe it feels rude to edit others' answers. Maybe the responsibility is too large. What I do know is that question is getting linked to a lot. There's a large chance that people will get their first pageview ever of SO on that answer, given the amount of buzz it has generated. And they're watching the post as I last edited it.

Holy shit am I not overthinking this one. So for the actual question bit:

Do moderators and administrators actually review edits to answers? What about regular users? Is my edit untouched because it's good, or because it has managed to slip through the cracks?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I would say that in general you should not be afraid to edit any CW (or not CW if you have the reputation), just for the sake of improving it, even if it's only minor formatting. Nobody will review it besides other users, it's not even a matter of moderators. If someone with enough reputation thinks it should be reworked, then he can do it, and should do it. That's all, this site is driven by its community.

For CW, don't worry as much, because it doesn't focus on "who edited last". Only the date of last edit is written, finally (since a recent feature request), not the user name.

The only name kept visible is the one for which is accounted the biggest part of the writing.

Bottom line, don't worry so much about editing. Editing is good, and if another user thought your contribution was inappropriate, it would have been reworked, or simply rolled back to an earlier version.

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Most edits are untouched because they go unnoticed; however, just like you illustrate for Wikipedia, you have no idea if they have been noticed and approved of or unnoticed.

With some posts (such as yours), it can be hard to see exactly what was edited, because the revision history attempts to show a diff and gets easily screwed up (especially formatting), yet there's no way to view the state of a post at a given time (as Wikipedia and many similar sites allow). (You can view the source as it was after any edit with the "view source" links in the revision history, however.)

If it scares you to give people a bad experience with your edits, then don't edit. If you are making improvements, then it won't give people any worse of an experience than had you refrained.

If you are unsure, posting on meta is exactly how to get them reviewed. (Looks fine to me. However, mostly I'm disinterested in that kind of open-ended discussion question, so I'd barely glance at your edit normally.)

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