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How does editing work?

Why is it that sometimes I edit my answer, but the answer does not become edited?

If I do several more edits, the answer becomes edited, but I don't see the first revision(s). The same with the other's answers. I see how answers change, but they don't become edited and the revisions history is empty.


2 Answers 2


There is a five minute grace period between edits by the original author.

Part of the reason likely involves the feature that automatically converts a post to community wiki after a certain number of edits. .

  • So.. It makes possible to put anything in my first, but wrong answer. And then copy-paste correct answer from those which appear later? Nov 15, 2012 at 19:55
  • @lazyberezovsky: Yes, this is to force people to improve their answer over time after the 5 minutes. Mitigation of the FGITW problem. Nov 15, 2012 at 19:56
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    @lazyberezovsky You could try it, but it wouldn't work. Most of the voting happens in that first 5 minutes, so your wrong answer would attract more voting attention than the later right one. Nov 15, 2012 at 19:59
  • @JoelCoehoorn well, it could be not completely wrong answer, but. I can spend time on describing problem, but I will not provide a code sample. Other person will spend time on code sample for his answer. Then I can just copy-paste his code to my description. My answer will be first, with description and code. Nov 15, 2012 at 20:02
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    @lazyberezovsky code samples usually take longer than 5 minutes. If you wait that long, it's obvious copyright infringement. And since the default sort order is by votes, by this time your answer is also no longer "first" for most people. Nov 15, 2012 at 20:03
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    Additionally, you might get away with a few posts like this, but if this is your pattern, you only need to get one person angry enough to look at your post history, which is available, and they'll quickly find that a large percentage of other answers are copies, even without history. After that you're just a quick moderator flag away from correction. Nov 15, 2012 at 20:06

The first 5 minutes after a post is made or edited is the "grace period".

Edits (by the same user) during that interval are not recorded and do not show up in the revision history. This is probably to allow the user to fix typos.

It also encourages ninja-editing of FGITW answers. But whether this is intentional or not is beyond me.

  • Thanks to you also, +1 :) Nov 15, 2012 at 19:55
  • I remember when this feature was added. I don't recall if FGITW was an actual motivation for the feature, but I do recall that this behavior shift was noticed by several users afterward, and discussion around it decided that this was a good thing, or at least not harmful, because speed is a value for Stack Overflow. Stack Overflow works because in part you typically get good answers in minutes or hours instead of hours or days at regular forums, and if FGITW encourages that, then don't fight it too hard. Nov 15, 2012 at 19:57
  • @JoelCoehoorn I agree about FGITW, but.. I why not store revisions? It allows cheating.. Nov 15, 2012 at 19:59
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    @JoelCoehoorn I'm not really that against FGITW - as do it myself and nearly half my rep is from it. I was just commenting that it has an effect on it.
    – Mysticial
    Nov 15, 2012 at 19:59
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    Come to think of it, my top answer was also FGITW which I edited multiple times afterward. So in that case, most of my rep is from FGITW.
    – Mysticial
    Nov 15, 2012 at 20:01

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