I think the suggested edit mechanism is really a mess.

If you want to improve an explanation or add some tips to an answer it is not possible. Because edits should correct grammar or format. Some say suggestions for improvements can be done in a comment, but code for example doesn't go well in a comment.

I saw, just today that some of my edits were rejected. I'm not correcting grammar or formatting code just to get +2. I had the same bug as somebody and saw another thing, MAYBE, that might be useful and I wanted to share it. But I agree with the guys who rejected my edits.

I think suggested edits should be changed (a little at least) or some how tips and improvements on an answer could be made in another way.

Thinking about these rejected edits, probably we lost a lot of good tips and explanations, improvements made by other users thinking in the way that I was.

That does not represent my opinion about this subject anymore.


Check out the more common edit rejection reason given:

This edit is incorrect or an attempt to reply to or comment on the existing post.

Emphasis added...

Looking at your suggested edits, it looks like you're trying to add significant amounts of new information and explanation to other users' posts. When what you probably should be doing is adding your own answer, like you did here, or adding a comment to the post like you did here. Edits aren't really meant to be used for radical changes, if you want the post to be more complete ask the original author to flesh it out a bit or write your own answer, but try not to make significant changes to other peoples work.

If you see an answer to a question that is technically correct, but doesn't offer any explanation there's nothing wrong with writing your own more complete answer.

I'm questioning exactly this. Perfect posts should have one good and complete answer, not a lot of same thing with minors changes. Knowledge here should be treated as collective not individually. – Orlando Leite 3 hours ago

I agree to a point, I think what you're looking for is something more like the community wiki.

One of the goals of the website is to be a continually evolving source of good information. Community Wiki posts help enhance the wiki aspect of the site.

That said, there's nothing wrong with having more than one correct answer to a question, take DOM traversal for example, there are a great many ways to traverse the DOM with JavaScript and most are equally valid. While the user who asked the question may prefer one method over the others, future readers will likely benefit from having other methods and ideas posted in other answers as their use case may differ.

Also there is a world of difference between:

Try this: Code Block


You may want to try method X. Here is how method X works... and here is an example of how using method X could solve your problem: Code Block. Here is a link to the documentation that further explains method X.

The two examples above shouldn't be thought of as the "same thing with minors changes", one is just a block of code, the other is an actual answer.

The goal of editing shouldn't be to turn the first example into the second, the first example should probably be deleted or edited into a real answer by the original author. If you edit a lazy answer into a complete answer you end up encouraging more lazy answers.

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  • @OrlandoLeite see update – apaul Nov 29 '13 at 15:52
  • I've seen twice now where I've corrected (edited someones answer) code so it does what is actually is supposed to, and the edit was not accepted. This would be fine, and I could add a comment to an answer saying 'thingx' should really be 'thingy', but because one doesn't yet have comment privileges it becomes impossible for the correction to be made. As you stated above it's not appropriate to create a whole new answer to just have a small code correction, but the options do seem limited. – Pippin Nov 29 '13 at 16:13
  • @OrlandoLeite - why do you say "Both, try this: [Code block] and the other, will be rejected currently."? The "Other" pseudo-example looks great to me. – Kevin Fegan Nov 30 '13 at 6:25

This can be a tad strange, not unlike other parts of our culture that we've developed over the years. What you're seeing is an artifact of us placing a great deal more ownership on answers than we do questions.

That's only natural, if you think about it. Both questions and answers reflect the identity of their authors, but the latter asserts this is what my knowledge and experience tells me is correct, rather than this is what I don't yet know.

The only time you should consider more than trivial edits (e.g. indentation, an obvious typo, an obvious omission of a semicolon or brace) to the code portion of someone's answer is when it's accepted or highly scored and just completely out of date or actively harmful. You also probably want to avoid changing the wit, or voice of a post. Spelling, grammar or general readability issues such as run-on sentences are fine to fix. Always leave an accompanying comment and be very clear and specific in the edit summary.

When it comes to questions, changes to code other than formatting and indentation can be very problematic because they could obfuscate the actual problem that the author is having. However, changes to questions that make them significantly easier to read are generally accepted, as long as the problem is preserved.

If you find yourself wanting to do more with an edit, there's a pretty good chance you should be writing your own post instead.

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  • Not related to this post but, Do you know if users can be manually banned from suggesting edits? I've been searching and I've found info on the auto ban, but nothing on moderators giving people the boot... – apaul Nov 29 '13 at 2:56
  • @apaul34208 It's purely automatic - after enough rejected edits you're blocked from suggesting more for a short period of time. Moderators can't manually block you from it, but they do suspend accounts entirely that chronically misuse the suggested edit system (rare, but does happen). – Tim Post Nov 29 '13 at 2:59

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