What is the policy on edit suggestions that are deemed to be "incomplete"?

I have just suggested a edit on stackoverflow, but apparently the user that reviewed the edit deemed it incomplete.
The suggestion was rejected, and he seems to have copy-pasted my edit into a edit of his own, and added a few changes.

Now, I'm not angry about losing a chance at 2 reputation or anything, but wouldn't it be more appropriate to accept the edit, then expand on it?

I don't know how the approval of suggested edits works, does it allow edits to the suggestions?

The exact same thing happened again with this suggestion and this resulting edit..
Would it be possible to add a check that says you can't say "The original suggestion was not helpful", if the suggested edit wasn't changed a lot?

  • Community user is a background process that helps keep SO clean. – Ren Nov 28 '12 at 15:45
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    @Ren, true, but it also kicks in if an edit is improved. – Toon Krijthe Nov 28 '12 at 15:47
  • @GamecatisToonKrijthe and Bart - Didn't know that. Now I do :) Thanks. – Ren Nov 28 '12 at 15:47
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    @Ren In this case the Community User takes the blame for the rejection of the edit. – Bart Nov 28 '12 at 15:47

When presented with an edit suggestion you are offered a change to "improve" the edit.

You can then make any further changes you see fit.

There is also a check box to say whether the original suggestion was helpful (give the suggester a +2) or not (don't give the suggester a +2).

You are then listed as the last editor of the post.

Unless the reviewer sees this question there's no way to know why the suggestion wasn't deemed helpful. I take it there's not an entry in the suggested edits tab on your profile?

  • There's no notation in my activity saying the edit was rejected or accepted. Thanks for the answer, though, very clear. – Cerbrus Nov 28 '12 at 15:49
  • @Cerbrus - that would imply they did click "improve" but cleared the "this edit was useful" checkbox. – ChrisF Nov 28 '12 at 15:50
  • Just curious, does the reviewer receive a rep bonus in that case? – Cerbrus Nov 28 '12 at 15:53
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    @Cerbrus - no. The reviewer will have > 2k rep and therefore doesn't get any rep from edits. – ChrisF Nov 28 '12 at 15:57
  • Ah, the faq isn't very clear about that, then: You can only earn a maximum of +1000 total reputation through suggested edits, however. I'd interpret that as "When I've gained 1k rep from edits, no matter my current rep, edits stop giving me reputation". It doesn't mention no longer receiving edit rep at 2k. – Cerbrus Nov 28 '12 at 16:01
  • @Cerbrus - Well 2k is when you gain the edit privilege. You can get +2 still from suggesting Tag Wiki edits. – ChrisF Nov 28 '12 at 16:02
  • @Cerbrus - If you also ask and answer questions, it is really unusual to be able to get 1000 rep from edits before reaching 2000 rep total. For example, I have only 76 rep from edits. A single upvote on an answer is worth as much as 5 suggested edits... – Bo Persson Nov 28 '12 at 16:25
  • @BoPersson Good point, yea. Chrisf: I've added a bit of a sub-question to the original. – Cerbrus Nov 28 '12 at 16:28
  • @Cerbrus - I'd raise that as a separate feature-request – ChrisF Nov 28 '12 at 16:30
  • @Cerbrus You don't get rep from edits if you have either gotten 1k rep from edits already OR have more than 2k total reputation. – Servy Nov 28 '12 at 16:34
  • "OR have more than 2k total reputation." <-- should be added to the faq ;) Also, posted a feature request. – Cerbrus Nov 28 '12 at 16:38
  • @Cerbrus It is in the FAQ. – Servy Nov 28 '12 at 17:07
  • @Servy: Can you direct me to where it says that, then? I can't find it. – Cerbrus Nov 28 '12 at 19:10
  • @Cerbrus Reputation goes to users who "suggest an edit". Only users who have <2k reputation "suggest edits". Users with >2k reputation can edit posts without needing to suggest them, they aren't reviewed, thus the reputation gain doesn't apply to them. So if it's not spelled out explicitly in the FAQ, all the relevant information is there. – Servy Nov 28 '12 at 19:22
  • That makes sense, yea. – Cerbrus Nov 28 '12 at 19:29

That is really a judgement call. For me it works like this:

Your edits to me seem good. But if I would have encountered them, I would have thought them to be incomplete indeed. Not "too minor", which would be a reason for rejection. There are just minor things that could be done on top of what you propose.

When reviewing suggested edits, we have the option to go in and "improve" them. There is a dedicated button for that. When we improve them, we can select whether or not the other editor (you) has been helpful. For me it comes down to a simple case of "did I put in more effort than I think the previous editor has". If the answer is "significantly so" I might in certain cases say that you have not been helpful. Which would cause the result you've seen. Especially if you would have made edits which I then have to undo.

For others this decision might come a bit easier. Perhaps they think "if I have to correct anything at all, you've not been helpful". This is really not a clear-cut decision. To each their own.

I would say you did quite well on the edit. I would not have marked it as unhelpful. Though I would have improved it.

  • Thanks for the answer. I know my edits aren't always complete, but help where you can, right? – Cerbrus Nov 28 '12 at 15:52
  • @Cerbrus For what it's worth I would have thought "well done, let me make these minor adjustments" and you would have gotten the +2. Don't let this discourage you. – Bart Nov 28 '12 at 15:53
  • Yea, I know. It's just that I've encountered some people that seem to think their opinion is fact / are rep-greedy. Missing the point of stack exchange, much? – Cerbrus Nov 28 '12 at 15:56
  • @Cerbrus Though those who can improve suggested edits and unaccept the helpful box don't gain any reputation from making the edits any more. I am a fairly active editor in my own right, but this does not give me any reputation. I don't get anything out of it. As for the "opinion is fact" idea, that is only true for me. All I say is fact. All the others are wrong. ;) – Bart Nov 28 '12 at 15:58
  • Paradox much? :P – Cerbrus Nov 28 '12 at 16:03
  • @Cerbrus When suggesting edits you should always fix all of the problems you can find with a post before submitting the edit. That is the general guideline for the site. If you don't have time to fix the entire post it's preferable for you to not suggest an edit at all. This is precisely so that those reviewing your suggestions aren't forced to constantly improve on your edits to fix all of the things you didn't bother to fix. Now, that's not to say that this suggestion is bad, just that you shouldn't intentionally not fix parts of a post you're suggesting an edit for. – Servy Nov 28 '12 at 17:11
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    @Servy: I'm not intentionally skipping parts of the post, when editing. It's just that I don't always see everyhing that can be edited. – Cerbrus Nov 28 '12 at 18:59
  • @Cerbrus Your first comment lead me to belive otherwise. In any case, my post was intentionally covering the general case. As long as you feel that you've addressed every aspect of the post that you're capable of fixing when editing then you're doing the right thing, if you're thinking, "I only have time to fix the title, I can't get to the rest of it right now," then you shouldn't suggest the edit. Whether or not that's the case for you is something only you can know. – Servy Nov 28 '12 at 19:04

If it is incomplete, I often improve. But it depends on the kind of edit.

I should have accepted the edit you show. More than 5 serious corrections, and some formatting.

(In this case the "improved" edit is less complete that the suggested edit.)

  • sorry for the edit here; I have rolled it back. – Servy Nov 28 '12 at 16:35

If an edit fails to remove junk like “thanks” from a post, I am likely to reject it as not being complete unless it has a lot of saving graces.

An editor that is not willing to spend the few seconds it takes to remove the “thanks” and “please help” from what they are editing, it unlikely to have thought much about their edit.

However if an edit clearly adds value, I will accept it, but fixing one spelling error while not sorting out the other issues is just telling me you don’t value my time as a reviewer.

The edit linked to the in question is borderline for me, but I may well have accepted it as the code formatting is a meaningful improvement. The rest of the charges don’t add real value unless you are taking an English exam.

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