I made a few small edits in the past few days that fixed code snippets posted on SO and I'm curious if I'm misunderstanding the rules. Bringing it to meta because some are getting approved, others rejected -- in one case, the edit was approved twice, rejected 3 times -- and each of the rejections was for a different reason (!).

Edit 1, Edit 2, Edit 3

These are not super extensive edits - mostly library dependencies. But they turn code that doesn't run on the first time into code that does run -- which, as I understand it, was one of the reasons that SO was created (enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow, etc.) They aren't huge edits, but they are definitely improvements - so why all the rejections?

  • Lots of people omit standard imports for simple examples, so I can understand why your first edit may be rejected as too minor. I'd approve the second edit: it's clearer for the examples to be consistent between the different libraries. Your last edit (which was approved) is definitely fine; keeping answers up-to-date is good. Sadly, de-facto suggested edit policy has been warped to the point where it can't require any domain knowledge, so useful edits like yours will probably be rejected. You may want to make more suggestions in comments instead, until you hit 2k and can do the right thing.
    – Jeremy
    May 29, 2013 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


Rather than changing code, you might be better off suggesting the code changes in a comment, so the OP can validate them and incorporate them, rather than just having them forced upon them...

Just guessing that could be a reason. I'm sure if I had a code snippet and someone altered it without telling me what was done, I wouldn't find that very useful.

  • 3
    The owner would get a notification of what was done, and the OP has included edit summaries explaining why. If they felt the edit was inappropriate, they could roll it back. We'd foster more participation of people were encouraged to be bold rather than being scared of trending on someone else's ownership -- but what little wiki philosophy Stack Overflow ever had has mostly died.
    – Jeremy
    May 29, 2013 at 17:43

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