The Help Center documentation on reviewing does not seem to be in sync with the accepted practice regarding collaboratively-edited answers.
The general consensus on the site is that edits should avoid changing content.
However, the help documentation allows (some would say encourages) edits which:
- clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)
- correct minor mistakes or add updates as the post ages
It says without qualification:
- If you see something that needs improvement, click edit!
It even provides a warning to users:
- If you are not comfortable with the idea of your contributions being collaboratively edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you.
New users reading the documentation may think that an edit such as this one is acceptable. In the editor's mind, he or she is correcting an efficiency mistake and perhaps clarifying the answer without changing the meaning of the answer.
However, these types of edits are routinely rejected based on guidelines here:
[Reject] edits that change an answer's explanation or code, with a supposedly "better" alternative. Even if the proposed solution is better, it should be added as a comment, or a separate answer.
The idea of the edit system in SE sites is that when you edit any no-CW post, you edit it for everything but the content.
If this is indeed the desired approach, can we update the documentation to help potential editors understand that content changes, no matter how helpful, are not allowed?