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Closes / Edits Should Not Bump Questions on "Recent" List

I just checked SU to see if there are any questions I can answer before retiring for the night and the screencap below is what I saw. (Not surprisingly, I didn’t bother answering anything else tonight.) Notice that almost all of the questions already have tons of views and more importantly, are already answered (ie, have accepted an answer).

A quick look through the questions shows that they are primarily simple edits, fixing a bit of capitalization and removing greetings and gratitudes (eg “hi” and “thanks”). Some of them fix broken images (though many of them seem to have been fine before the edit).

In any case, the edits seem pretty trivial, especially since the questions are already completed. Instead, the unnecessary bumping offers little use and simply clutters the front page and pushes down unanswered questions. (I’ve been around for a while and rarely use the Unanswered tab—or others—let alone less experienced users.)

I think bulk, simple edits like this are pointless and not only not constructive, but actually counterproductive. Any ideas on this?

(There were dozens more edits like these by the time I finished typing this.)

enter image description here

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    There is no such thing as a "completed" question. If you want to see questions without accepted answers, use the "Unanswered" tab. If you want to see new questions, use the "Questions" tab. – Cody Gray Aug 20 '11 at 5:58
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    I agree 100% @Cody. Keep improving the site and as it gets exponentially better, the edits will naturally get smaller. – M. Tibbits Aug 20 '11 at 5:59
  • @Cody: The "Unanswered" tab is not about questions without accepted answers, it's about, well, unanswered questions and questions without upvoted answers. – Hendrik Vogt Aug 20 '11 at 8:18
  • @Hendrik: Yes, I'm aware of that. But it still seems perfectly well-suited for this case. – Cody Gray Aug 20 '11 at 8:20
  • @Cody: I thought so, but wanted to point out that your wording was slightly misleading. – Hendrik Vogt Aug 20 '11 at 8:26
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    For what it's worth: We are in the middle of cleaning up on Super User. See these two questions for more details: Help us clean up Super User and Do we care about edit flooding? Should we be doing anything?. – slhck Aug 20 '11 at 8:58
  • Thanks slhck, the second link is exactly what I was looking for (some sort of attention/discussion on the matter). Of course I can’t accept a comment, but if I could, that would be it. – Synetech Aug 21 '11 at 16:06

The points I would consider are:

  • Were there any other edits that could have been done?
  • Does the edit help making the question clearer, such as correcting the spelling, fixing the punctuation, or removing a non correct tag?

If the edit changes a comma, but there would be more edits to do, then it would be better to make all the changes. If the edit has only the purpose to change a word from British English spelling to American English spelling (or vice versa), then it should be avoided.

For the rest, there are two new badges that are assigned to who edits posts that were inactive for 6 months. If those badges are given, I think they are promoting an action that has been considered useful; I don't think they are given without a specific purpose.

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Miniscule edits have been discussed here before. My favorite -- sorry to pick on you again Peter -- was when Peter added a single comma to an answer which wasn't the already accepted answer.

Seeing things like this makes me wish there was the possibility to edit (for users with say 10K or 20K rep) without bumping.

However, that said, at least these edits were made late on a Friday night / Saturday morning when we all should've been at the pub anyway.

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    Well, Peter is famous for this kind of thing. That guy must have worse obsessive-compulsive tendencies than I do, especially since he has full edit privileges now and isn't going for any badges. :-) – Cody Gray Aug 20 '11 at 6:00
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    What gets me are the beautiful comments he leaves when editing. Either he's got one wicked set of user-scripts or hours of time to dedicate to improving the site. Either way, damn fine job. – M. Tibbits Aug 20 '11 at 6:04
  • For Peter's drive, see the interview on the SU blog: Peter Mortensen, Editor-in-Chief, @Cody & M. – Arjan Aug 20 '11 at 9:12
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    @Arjan: Wow, thanks! That's fascinating. I had no idea there was a write-up about/interview with him. The Edit Overflow application looks interesting, too. Goes to answer M. Tibbits's speculation on what kind of tool he uses to help automate the process. (I don't see the source code, though!) – Cody Gray Aug 20 '11 at 9:21
  • As for editing without bumping: consider a vote for (the declined) Could we have the ability to mark a change as minor in questions or answers? I myself am reluctant to support that, as it might introduce ways for abuse? On the other hand: those who want abusive changes probably won't have the 2k rep to edit without peer review. – Arjan Aug 20 '11 at 9:28
  • (Ah, Jeff repeated his opinion about not supporting a trivial edit checkbox.) – Arjan Aug 20 '11 at 9:34
  • @Arjan, WOW! I had no idea either. It's be awesome to use that utility. Looks like the source is here – M. Tibbits Aug 20 '11 at 11:48
  • (I pinged Peter to read these comments, @Cody & M. Maybe he will explain some more!) – Arjan Aug 20 '11 at 11:58
  • > However, that said, at least these edits were made late on a Friday night / Saturday morning when we all should've been at the pub anyway. You do realize that the Internet is global and open 24x7, and that the world has time-zones right? – Synetech Sep 13 '11 at 6:24

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