I noticed if a change is minor it is easier to look at the comparison of the revisions and the summary actually is longer than the change itself. For example a changed such as "Wamp comes with..." to "Wamp does not come with..." what should the edit summary say? Should it simply be "typo" or "minor"?

I assume the edit summary is for explaining why the edit was made, but if it's something obvious like a typo, grammar or spelling mistake should it still be filled out?

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    If you do not have full editing privileges, you should avoid minor edits in general. If you're fixing a substantial number of minor issues though, then describe what you're fixing. If you're correcting spelling errors, say so. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jul 30 '13 at 18:50
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    "Changed incorrect positive statement about WAMP to correct negative one" – Bart Jul 30 '13 at 18:53
  • btw I would reject that edit. You're not supposed to change the meaning of the answer. I guess if the rest of the answer made it very clear that the answerer just accidentally said the opposite of what they meant, I might approve it. It becomes very important to choose a good edit summary in these cases. "Answerer has clarified in comments that it should be does not come with" might work. – Kate Gregory Jul 30 '13 at 18:59
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    @BoltClock'saUnicorn What if that "minor edit" is actually fixing the whole post, but the post is short. (That's why minor edit is subjective) – Cole Johnson Jul 30 '13 at 18:59
  • @Cole Johnson: That's where you think in relative proportions, not absolute numbers. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jul 30 '13 at 19:00
  • @KateGregory it was for my own – Celeritas Jul 30 '13 at 19:03

It is always helpful to fill out a summary. For self-explanitory edits, you can simply say "fixing a typo" or "fixing grammar" and seeing as it's pretty evident where it is when looking at the diff, then that's all you'll need to write. Some might go more elaborate even for a single word change, but it's not necessary. As long as you're still pretty clear on what you were doing, it's fine enough.

  • Would it be rude to use grammar nazi if you're fixing grammar? – Cole Johnson Jul 30 '13 at 19:01
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    @Cole Well, you'd be placing that appellation on yourself, so in any way you look at it, you're not really doing yourself any favors to do so. – Grace Note Jul 30 '13 at 19:27

When you're editing your own answer, the edit summary is really less important than when you are editing someone else's. For a suggested edit, the summary is a way to communicate with your reviewers to help ensure they approve the edit. It may also be read by the original poster, either as part of reviewing the edit, or afterwards when they want to see what you did. For a no-review-needed edit of someone else's post, again the edit summary is a way to leave them a note explaining your changes.

In the case of your own post, there is no-one you need to communicate to about it. People who review the revisions might want to know why you changed something, but as you say they can figure it out from the diffs. I often allow the "added xx characters in body" auto comment to be generated when I edit my own posts. If you want to say something like "ooops! Can't believe I typed comes with by mistake" then go ahead, but it's very optional.

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