This process has happened to me several times:

  1. Read question (miss important detail)
  2. Answer (incorrectly, thanks to missed detail)
  3. Click "answer", page refreshes. See other answers, realize mistake.
  4. Edit question to include detail.
  5. By the time I finished editing, I've received enough downvotes (usually without explanatory comments) to kill the question.

I've since learned to scrutinize questions better but I'm still human and make mistakes.
I think it would be a good idea to add an Editing In Progress by:$username banner (like the ones that announce An Edit has been made to this post though perhaps a different color to avoid confusion).

A banner would allow others who notice an error in the question/answer to see that it's being fixed.
This would prevent downvotes from users who would down vote technically incorrect questions, and unlike this, my idea would also allow the owner to see when others are editing.

  • Real-time editing was my favorite Google Wave feature. But making it scale was not a problem that was ever entirely solved. – Shog9 Jul 17 '12 at 21:03

Where is Step 6: delete the answer and write a new one if necessary.?

This is not a problem that needs solving. If you screw up answering a question, just delete your answer and either try again or move on.

Remember: you can undelete an answer too. So if you need "editing in progress", just delete it, edit it, and undelete it.

  • 2
    Also, downvotes can be reversed after edits are made (although I admit this may not happen all that often). – jscs Jul 17 '12 at 20:48

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