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From time to time, there are posts published by other users on Stack Overflow where instead of the regular four post options appearing (link|edit|retag|flag), only two of them are showing (link|flag).

I'm assuming that this probably means that someone is editing the post, but I noticed that SO supports parallel edits. So instead of assuming the reason behind it, can someone please explain to me exactly why this happens?

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Strongly related: Always show the edit button on questions. – Hendrik Vogt May 25 '11 at 12:34
up vote 15 down vote accepted

It means that there is already a suggested edit on the post. Only one suggested edit per post is allowed in the queue at once. Since another edit is not allowed at that time, the link is not shown.

If you are attempting an anonymous edit, they are only allowed after the post is 6 hours old.

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