When editing other users' posts, to reformat code or to clarify the meaning of a question, for example, I always return to the post, and refresh it, before submitting the changes to make sure that someone hasn't already made the same changes to the post whilst I have been editing it. I have found that this would be a particularly common scenario with the more popular questions, or questions that have unformatted code which several people may rush in to edit, for example, and it is unclear when editing the post whether changes have already been made by other users.
What I am proposing is that:
- When editing a post, you are notified if there have been any other edits by other users on the post, whilst you have been editing it, similar to the notification displayed in the bar at the top of the page when answering a question and other users post answers.
- If other users have edited the post, have the option to load the most recent version, whereby further edits can be made if need be.
This would reduce the time wasted by others making changes to a post that have already been put into effect without their knowing, and also reduces the number of revisions on a post that are similar or the same.
dbr said, it wouldn't necessarily have to be a real-time notification.. Just some form of notification to help reduce duplicate edits.