There was a suggested edit on this answer

I clicked on improve and I unclicked the checkbox that stated whether the suggested edit was helpful.

I added my own edit reason.

But the suggested edit's edit reason stuck:


Why on earth did that happen?

  • Ninja edit! (from the OP) – user102937 Mar 7 '12 at 20:47
  • I do not have a link for the suggested edit if someone knows how to get it ill add it to the OP – Naftali aka Neal Mar 7 '12 at 20:47
  • @RobertHarvey heh? – Naftali aka Neal Mar 7 '12 at 20:47
  • 3
    In other news, does Scifi.SE really allow these "listy" questions? – user102937 Mar 7 '12 at 20:49
  • @RobertHarvey see the comments on the OP there. – Naftali aka Neal Mar 7 '12 at 20:50
  • The OP edited your updated version during the 5 minute grace period. Last one in wins. – user102937 Mar 7 '12 at 20:55
  • +1 I've had this happen once to me on Super User, but it wasn't as wrong as this summary. – Tamara Wijsman Mar 7 '12 at 20:55
  • @RobertHarvey I AM THE OP and i made no such edit reason... – Naftali aka Neal Mar 7 '12 at 20:58
  • Ah, I see. The edit by the anonymous user was rejected, but their edit description was retained. In fact, their edit was retained as well. I assume you unchecked the checkbox that said "This edit is useful?" Looks like you should have rejected the edit first; "Improve" suggests that you want to keep their edit, and add your own. – user102937 Mar 7 '12 at 21:00
  • @RobertHarvey exactly what my question is about! – Naftali aka Neal Mar 7 '12 at 21:00
  • @RobertHarvey see the link of the suggested edit. It was rejected – Naftali aka Neal Mar 7 '12 at 21:03
  • Yes, but you clicked "Improve." I agree that this is a bit weird. Two things happening here; you rejected the edit when you unchecked the "This edit is useful box," but you elected to "Improve" the edit, thus retaining the editor's changes. – user102937 Mar 7 '12 at 21:04
  • @RobertHarvey yes, but you can now click on improve and yet still reject it by clicking on the checkbox. See my comment here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/124936/… – Naftali aka Neal Mar 7 '12 at 21:04
  • Probably because you're trying to do it on an edit that is technically owned by someone else. Like I said, it's a bit weird. The rules don't seem consistent. You would have had to take ownership of the edit, not by "Improving" it, but by "rejecting" it outright. Once ownership changes, it becomes a new edit, not a modification to an existing edit during the grace period. Oh, hell; my head is spinning. – user102937 Mar 7 '12 at 21:08
  • @RobertHarvey haha, but if I had rejected it outright I would have had to wait for another user to reject it as well before I could make any edits. I did not want that to happen. – Naftali aka Neal Mar 7 '12 at 21:10

Based on the comments, it appears you actually did this:

  1. Clicked Improve
  2. Unchecked the "Suggested edit was helpful" checkbox
  3. Edited
  4. Saved edits
  5. Realized you'd left the original edit summary intact
  6. Tried to edit again to change the summary without actually changing anything else

Step #6 is the problem: you can't actually submit an edit that doesn't change anything. Even a grace-period "stealth edit". When you do that, the edit is silently discarded, regardless of what was done with the summary.

Note that when you click "Improve", you cannot submit without actually changing something. If you could, you'd be able to get around the normal two-vote approval process on Stack Overflow, and approve edits on any site without leaving your name attached to them in some way! Normal edits will fail silently though; there's really no harm.

  • That is odd -- Why would it do that? – Naftali aka Neal Mar 8 '12 at 13:38
  • Why would it discard edits that don't change anything? Avoid polluting the revision history would be my guess. Sure, that wouldn't happen if you submitted them in the grace period - but that's a real edge-case for allowing something you'd reject up-front every other time. – Shog9 Mar 8 '12 at 14:54
  • but the ninja edit should also allow for reason changes... – Naftali aka Neal Mar 8 '12 at 14:55
  • It does. But you need to change something else. – Shog9 Mar 8 '12 at 14:56
  • But there was nothing else to change except for the edit reason! – Naftali aka Neal Mar 8 '12 at 14:56
  • In this situation, I generally busy myself cleaning up stray whitespace ;-P – Shog9 Mar 8 '12 at 15:03
  • Oy... I guess you do what you have to do.... – Naftali aka Neal Mar 8 '12 at 15:03

This is the expected behavior. Whenever you click "Improve", the suggested edit reason is automatically filled in. It doesn't matter if you uncheck the "this edit was helpful" checkbox or not. You still start with the suggesting editor's edit reason. You have to manually change it if you want it to say something different.

I assume this is designed for convenience: most of the time that you improve an edit, you're building on the same theme established by the original editor. I realize that might not always be true now that you can "reject and improve", but the feature has been in place long before that was possible. And for what it's worth, I still don't think this is a bug or worth fixing.

  • That's the thing. I noticed that that had happened. So I clicked edit again and Changed the edit reason. But that suggested edit reason was retained, and mine was thrown to the garbage heap. – Naftali aka Neal Mar 7 '12 at 21:02
  • 2
    @amanaP: Currently, you're not allowed to change the edit reason once it's been submitted. The first edit reason used within the 5 minute grace period will always be the one used. Changing it does nothing. – animuson Mar 7 '12 at 21:07
  • 1
    @animuson that is odd... where is that documented? – Naftali aka Neal Mar 7 '12 at 21:08
  • @amanaP: I'm trying to find where I read that, but it's been a known issue for a while that they apparently don't care about. – animuson Mar 7 '12 at 21:09
  • There's a disconnect between what the question describes and what your last comment describes. If you actually clicked edit again to try and change the edit reason, then no, that won't work. If you changed it the first time around, after clicking improve, but it still didn't stick, then that's a serious bug that I can't repro. – Cody Gray Mar 7 '12 at 21:09
  • @CodyGray hmm this was not intentional. So I guess my real question is why can't I change the edit reason within the 5 minute window? Is this documented anywhere? – Naftali aka Neal Mar 7 '12 at 21:11
  • 2
    @animuson: that's not quite true. You can change the edit comment during the grace period. But you also have to change something else at the same time. If you change only the comment, the edit is discarded. – Shog9 Mar 8 '12 at 2:51

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