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I have been informed in the comments at carry over user entered carriage returns from message box and sent in email, that I shouldn't use the comments to inform posters about why I made the edits I made.

In particular, I used

I have edited your title. Please see, "Should questions include “tags” in their titles?", where the consensus is "no, they should not".

Instead, I have been asked to use the edit description for this information. My problem with that is that nobody reads the edit description. My intention with the comments is to inform the poster of the reason for the edit, in hopes that he won't do the same thing in the future, and also to inform other readers of the same thing.

So, I'd like to find out what [meta] thinks about this. Am I abusing the comments?


Since the comments have now been deleted, here is a screenshot:

comments


I just came across an example of something, but I'm not sure which.

I just came across a question with both a "appreciated", and a signature, edited them, and left my comment. The comment app I use displays how long the user has been on the site, and I noticed that this user had been here for four years.

This made me look at the user's questions. Every single one of them had a signature, "thanks", "appreciated", or "tags". Every single one. Yet I had apparently managed not to notice them for four years.

I don't know if this is proves

  1. signatures and such aren't so bad (because I didn't even notice them for four years), or
  2. that by not editing and commenting his posts, this user has continued for four years to believe that "appreciated as always" is actually a good idea! The thanks got more profuse as time went by!
  • I am going to be cleaning up the comments on that question - most of them are not relevant to it. – Oded Dec 27 '13 at 20:50
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    @Oded: though I hope you'll leave the comment directing the commenter to this thread, at least until he sees it. – John Saunders Dec 27 '13 at 20:51
  • Certainly - that comment has been left in place. – Oded Dec 27 '13 at 20:52
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    :/ wonder if that guy hasn't seen your comment (which you leave every time you, as a hero and a scholar, remove tags from titles) many times and finally snapped. I've seen it dozens of times, but it doesn't bother me. – Won't Dec 27 '13 at 21:19
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    I have to say, the noise level is high. And it will never end, every google hit on an SO question has a tag in the title. Teaching SO users to not do this when they see it done consistently is a job never done. – Uphill Luge Dec 27 '13 at 21:51
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    I believe it's working. It's only subjective, but in the tags I follow, I believe that I see fewer of these now. I also see more other editors doing the same thing. – John Saunders Dec 27 '13 at 21:52
  • Re: your edit... I tend to think both 1 and 2 are true. – Shog9 Dec 29 '13 at 3:52
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    "My problem with that is that nobody reads the edit description" -- and that many (new) users probably don't even know how to see the revisions to start with. (So, I do appreciate people taking time to comment like that.) – Arjan Jan 2 '14 at 19:16
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I don't have a problem with using comments in the way that you use them.

I have used comments in the past to inform the OP of an edit and why I made it, just as your standard comment for removing the tags from the title. The comment is directed specifically at the OP for the purposes of education.

My opinion is edit descriptions should describe the edit and what was done, and if room, maybe a brief explanation as to why. This is there for reviewers (which you don't need obviously) and for future reference. There is not enough room in the edit description to provide the level of education that is necessary for some specific edits (not to mention that the OP rarely will read it)

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Personally, I don't see an issue with such comments.

Instead of just the OP seeing why an edit occurred, others benefit from explicitly seeing both that a post was edits and why it was edited (and implicitly how it was improved).

This helps with teaching new users as well as the OP.


Frankly, seeing "That's not what comments are for" brought to my mind the question - what are they for then?

  • 3
    They are for post clarification. I'd say this falls within that realm, even though it's somewhat meta. – Robert Harvey Dec 27 '13 at 21:22
  • @TheGrinch, there are ocasions when we need a small meta discussion with the OP, an editor or comenteer. And it's not worthy to make it Full Meta(l Jacket). – brasofilo Dec 27 '13 at 23:32
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    @brasofilo: That's fine. Just don't expect such discussions to be a part of the permanent record; they tend to get deleted once their purpose is served. – Robert Harvey Dec 27 '13 at 23:33
  • @TheGrinch, I don't. I expect self-cleanup or a janitor's one. Point being comments can be meta and that's ok ;) – brasofilo Dec 27 '13 at 23:37

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