I am trying to be a good community member and regularly edit questions to improve the formatting. I believe it is easier for the community to find a fault in some code if it is correctly formatted. I am not talking about a single incorrectly formatted line, but about a whole blocks of code WITHOUT any formatting.

Lately, a lot of my suggested edits have received "rejections" because they were deemed "too minor".

A good example would be the my edit #1711877

So my question is: Should I stop editing formatting issues? What would not be deemed "too minor"?

I don't want to mess with the editing if it is not welcomed in this community, but would continue if it is deemed helpful. So what's the verdict?

  • 6
    What about all of the other issues with that post?
    – ale
    Mar 13, 2013 at 20:34
  • 5
    Steve, I wouldn't consider that a "code formatting" fix. That's changing the indentation to suit your personal preferences. Mar 13, 2013 at 20:34
  • 3
    You basically left out the remaining issues in the post, such as improper capitalization.
    – slhck
    Mar 13, 2013 at 20:34
  • 2
    I think it is good to fix code, you could have done more though: inline code giving markdown like this, Capitals, and general English.
    – Keelan
    Mar 13, 2013 at 20:34
  • 2
    Thanks everyone. I certainly understand the idea of "complete" editing now. :)
    – Steve
    Mar 13, 2013 at 20:45

4 Answers 4


I would have rejected your edit as well. Are such edits not welcome? Sure they are. But looking at this post, I see several other issues which should have been addressed as well. Primarily in the text before and after the code block.

There is a lack of proper capitalization. There are sections of code in the text not formatted as such. And one of those sections as a result partially disappears. Overall, you've missed too much.

It seems you have merely focussed on the code and thereby missed some of the other issues. Whenever you go in to edit a post, please look at the post in its entirety. If you fix all the issues you see, you're less like to have one of your edits rejected.

  • Fair enough... that certainly answers my question. Will do more detailed edits in the future.
    – Steve
    Mar 13, 2013 at 20:44
  • 1
    @Steve thanks. Keep in mind that until you have enough reputation to make edits with the need for review, you are essentially taking up time from volunteering reviewers. So whenever you edit, please make sure you do the best you can. Especially given that each edited post is bumped again.
    – Bart
    Mar 13, 2013 at 20:47
  • 1
    I understand. It wasn't my intention to waste volunteering reviewers' time. I was hoping to help other members see issues with code easier when that code is properly formatted. My thought was - if I can't answer the question myself, at least I can help others figure out the issue quicker. And all my edits happened on brand new questions, not grandfathered-in, dusty questions, so bumping should not be an issue, I hope. But as I said, point taken. I will certainly be more careful with my edits in the future.
    – Steve
    Mar 13, 2013 at 20:58
  • @Steve It isn't always necessary to fix everything (especially things like tags and titles which can be difficult if you aren't familiar with the topic of the question), but I would have rejected this edit as too minor because you didn't escape the HTML in the last paragraph. That is the worst aspect of the post, it's easy to fix, and it's glaring: if you aren't going to fix that, don't bother. After that I don't mind if you don't fix the grammar: it's better if you do, but at least with the code not half-hidden the post has a chance of being understandable. Mar 14, 2013 at 13:23

The answer is yes AND no :

  • If you reformat the code and that was the only issue in the post well fine.

  • If you reformat the code but the capitalization was lacking, the syntax was horrible and many other issues are present, well that's not fine.

I often do reformatting but I make sure that everything else (or what I can see) is fine. Often, new users forgot to capitalize sentences or to write i => I. And these should be edited at the same time. Reviewing suggested edits takes time from people and thus, the suggested edits should take in considerations all the issues of the post.

Another issue to take care of is tags. There are often users who add some very popular tags that are totally unrelated to the question just to get more attention. Always check the tags when editing.


As one of the reviewers who rejected your post, the reason why I rejected it was that I could see the first sentence starting with a lowercase letter, later a lowercase i, and un-marked-up code at the end. This made me think you had just formatted the main code without reviewing the whole post.

If you see something obviously wrong like an incorrect tag, misspelled title or poorly formatted code, then editing is the right option. Just make sure you read through the rest of the post to see if there is anything else you can fix.

  • Appreciate the feedback. Thanks.
    – Steve
    Mar 13, 2013 at 21:18

I don't think you gentlemen are being completely fair. We all have our own preferences for code formatting, all adopted in the interest of making code readable to our own eyes. When someone makes a good faith effort to improve code readability, that should be accepted in the same good faith, as an honest effort.

To reject an edit for simply addressing code formatting, and not addressing correct grammar, punctuation and capitalization, presumes that every potential editor on this site is as comfortable in the English language as we are; and has had the same benefit of exposure to good grammar, good literaure, and good instruction inthe English language. If you expect every editor to be perfect, on every edit, then those of you who are perfect will have a lot more editing work to look forward to.

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