So I've just tried to edit an answer for the first time, here:

Rejected three to two.
I'm not really trying to 'fight the decision'. I mean, I don't really have a stake in this.

But I'm kind of confused by the (canned?) response:

This edit changes too much in the original post; the original meaning or intent of the post would be lost.

Lets start with intent. Surely this was:

  • To attempt to provide an alternate answer the question, by means of dropping to shell and invoking POSIX-standard command. (Which happens to be command in this case).

So I really don't think the edit changes 'intent'.

As for meaning, well yes, it does change the meaning - it changes it from something that doesn't work -
but only just quite - to something that does, essentially by prefixing four characters and adding a set of quotes. If this is why it was rejected, it would seem to me to fly in the face of:

Is it OK to edit a correct answer for fullness instead of answering?
Constantly editing answers to appear correct (second response, not re: "constantly").

This was effectively the basis on which I was justifying the edit, as it isn't remotely close to this situation: Adding to partially correct/partially complete answer

So: if anyone could clarify this for me, it would be appreciated. What's best practice to follow at this point?
Comment? New answer?

(I assume its kind of bad form to say "I tried editing this, but it was rejected, so..."
But honestly I'd kind of like to do so, since I really don't think it needs a new answer, or commentary.)

  • 1
    So don't change the code of the post. It is considered a radical change. It may change the (in)correctness of the post.
    – Himanshu
    Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 10:50

2 Answers 2


Try a new answer because I guess your motive is to help the user. And you are right, few times too much edition of question do change the meaning of the original question. But the user who asked the question has the right to edit it again. So, if he feels that the question is losing its meaning, he can re-edit it. You can of course make a comment asking him if he is looking for the same question or if he has something else to state.


I think you might have a better luck with more substantial edit comment. You wrote:

So close to the right answer! So I thought I'd try an edit here, rather than post yet another response.

This may suggest you are not fixing minor issues, but really changing answer's meaning.

If your edit comment would look more like what you wrote here, for example:

prefixing four characters and adding missing quotes

It would give reviewers better insight on your intentions.

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