I tried to edit "SourceIndex#each is deprecated". How to rectify? to clean up the block of messages which were all folded together. So I indented each one by four characters to make it into a nice code block. But when I tried to save the edit I got the following error message:

Oops! Your edit couldn't be submitted because: Edits must be at least 6 non-space
characters; is there something else to improve in this post?

This edit of all spaces would have improved the post had I been allowed to make it. I think that edits like this that cleanup code should be allowed even if all blanks. Maybe if someone edits something and introduces a code block like this, it should get a free pass around this particular check?

  • 2
    Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/87200/…
    – Rob Hruska
    Sep 8, 2011 at 21:09
  • 1
    @Rob Hruska - That related one is a direct match for my question although that one was not a feature-request. In that one Cody Gray notes: "What you're asking for is not going to get implemented. The official line is that there's always something to improve to get over six characters." Not sure who Cody is but that seems to be that. I really don't agree though and think a simple code cleanup is a worthy edit and should be permitted... Sep 8, 2011 at 21:48
  • @Chris: I can tell you why Cody wrote what he wrote, see these answers where Jeff Atwood says it's not going to be implemented. (I understand that you don't agree, but I don't expect this to change.) Sep 9, 2011 at 8:10
  • Fully agree. The post I went to fix (stackoverflow.com/questions/11260966/…) just needs spaces adding. "alot" to "a lot". The urgent need is blank line before the code sample. I had to add dummy markup in the end. (And then hopefully someone else can edit to remove that dummy markup!) Jul 1, 2012 at 3:22

2 Answers 2


There were at least six grammatical and formatting errors elsewhere in the text. If you'd fixed those you would have easily met the non-trivial-edit threshold.

update: Oh, and the title needed cleaning too.

  • 12
    I feel like that's beside the point.
    – jjnguy
    Sep 8, 2011 at 20:10
  • 5
    @jjnguy: I disagree. Editing just the code/message block without fixing a bit of the capitalization and punctuation (which doesn't require too intricate English skills) would have made a good edit. Just the message formatting would not be a "perfectly good edit" as the asker says, it would have been a "mediocre" edit. (Not saying that I don't do that from time to time.)
    – Mat
    Sep 8, 2011 at 20:20
  • 4
    Maybe not perfectly good, but definitely a valid and legitimate one. If we impart meaning to space characters, then we can't refuse an edit just because it contains only space characters.
    – MPelletier
    Sep 8, 2011 at 20:24
  • 3
    I agree that in this specific case I could have found other edits, and that maybe it wasn't a "perfectly good edit", but I think in the general case, simple code cleanup should be allowed... Sep 8, 2011 at 20:41
  • @Al Everett - Thanks for editing it btw... Sep 8, 2011 at 20:43
  • Going to accept this answer (reluctantly) since it's consistent with the responses in meta.stackexchange.com/questions/87200/… and that is a richer/better form of this question than mine. Still think that my enhancement request has merit though... Sep 8, 2011 at 21:50
  • 1
    An edit with substantial improvements is better than an edit with trivial improvements, but an edit with trivial improvements is better than no edit at all.
    – endolith
    Feb 1, 2012 at 16:00
  • 1
    this is redicilous! I want to add four puncuations to make bullet-points on aksima's answer. It's a useful improvement and I shouldn't be forced to add other modifications than that
    – kristianlm
    Feb 3, 2012 at 18:26
  • 1
    @kris: It's not ridiculous. I see a bunch of other improvements that can be made to that post.
    – ale
    Feb 3, 2012 at 18:38
  • 1
    @AlEverett: That's besides the point. I'm still not able to add four bullet-points, so I won't do anything and it will stay ugly. Isn't bullet points better than nothing?
    – kristianlm
    Mar 7, 2012 at 2:43

Well, you could use the <pre> tag or the > markup for some of that log. That itself would take you above the threshold and do a clean job.

But I agree, some legit changes can definitely be with space characters only.

As written in comment on another answer:

"If we impart meaning to space characters, then we can't refuse an edit just because it contains only space characters."

  • 4
    the > markup is different from code markup, most notably it wraps instead of letting the line continue to the newline
    – Zypher
    Sep 8, 2011 at 20:28
  • 4
    Your suggestion to me illustrates the absurdity of the 6 character limit. You shouldn't be forced into some nasty hack to get above the 6 characters if there's only that single character to change.
    – kynan
    Sep 13, 2011 at 12:26
  • @kynan That's my point. I commented to Al Everett the same thing.
    – MPelletier
    Sep 13, 2011 at 13:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .