I recently made an edit to this question. But it was rolled back a few seconds later. I tried to improve the grammar, rephrased some of the sentences and updated the formatting to make the code more readable. But when I asked in the comments about the rollback, this was the reply made by the OP:

I rolled back because of too few changes (and grammar.. well, it's vague). No sense in this. Because: 1. You've broken my traditional question style. 2. You've put your code style while I prefer to leave mine. Correcting format may be "many letters", but "little sense"

I personally don't think it was a valid reason to rollback. I don't see why anyone should have a "traditional style". In my opinion, a question should just be a question — without any specific styles. And once it's been posted on Stack Overflow, it belongs to the community and is subject to further improvements.

At least, that's the impression I get from reading this Help Center page:

Some common reasons to edit are:

  • to fix grammatical or spelling mistakes
  • to clarify the meaning of a post without changing it
  • to correct minor mistakes or add addendums / updates as the post ages
  • to add related resources or hyperlinks

Try to make the post substantively better when you edit, not just change a single character. Tiny, trivial edits are discouraged.

I think this edit qualifies the first two reasons above. I'm asking this just to be sure; was my edit out of line? If not, what's the appropriate course of action now?


Just to be clear: I have no personal grudges with the asker, whatsoever. This is meant to be a constructive discussion, and I hope it doesn't offend anyone. Also, please try to make your answers address the issue in general, not specific to this particular case.

  • 10
    Hell no. All else being equal (which it isn't; I much prefer your revision), "personal style" has already been ruled irrelevant on Meta. Apr 15, 2014 at 10:11
  • 2
    I personally wouldn't have touched his code but the grammar fluff around it was a fine edit.
    – rene
    Apr 15, 2014 at 10:14
  • (In case someone is curious: I undeleted the question now because of the reasons @michaelb958 listed in this chat message.) Apr 15, 2014 at 10:43
  • Ok, seems that something weird is going on here. I realize that discussion is "in general" - but I don't want to be an example. Last time we've talk about that, @AmalMurali - you've deleted the post. Now it appeared again. Ok, it's your right - but, please, do respect both my code style and language. The edits you've suggested are just your opinion. And (I hope) I'm free to agree with them or disagree. But if someone pushes his own preferences on me - I find it wrong. Your edit was about style. And (a little) - language fix (arguable). So the edit was: many letters, little sense
    – Alma Do
    Apr 16, 2014 at 6:23
  • 3
    @AlmaDo There is no opinion involved there. The edits to the text were significant improvements. In fact, if I were to have encountered the post my edits would have been more significant than those, correcting even more. You can not Big Lebowski your way out of there and claim it's just like his opinion man. For the code you have a point, but for the language not so much.
    – Bart
    Apr 16, 2014 at 7:42
  • @Bart it's, again, your opinion. About language - it's arguable. I see I'm in minority here. Thus I came only to tell my point. I didn't find those edits as a significant improvements. Thus, I've rolled back. That's it. My point. I found it as is opinion-based. To be honest - such things as this thread discourage me. I'll really think twice before asking again.
    – Alma Do
    Apr 16, 2014 at 7:48

2 Answers 2


The grammatical improvements you made to the post were sound, however I generally advise folks to not touch code in posts, especially if it's the question, unless the formatting that was provided by the author makes the post unreadable.

Edits that:

  • Change coding style
  • Actually fix bugs in questions (thereby rendering the question moot)
  • Drastically change the voice or intent of the author (outside of grammar and spelling)

.. are generally rejected.

In this case, the only 'taboo' thing was the change of style. There are many cases where new users don't realize that we have code blocks, so indenting a big lump of code four spaces to the right is a nice thing to do if they haven't - but leave it at that, especially when it comes to questions.

  • Finally, someone with understanding what I feel after that edit was made, then argued and now discussed for all to see. I'm glad that this person has after nickname. My point is: my code style and grammar are ok. I'm not defending it, but: who said that editor opinion is more important than mine? In this case it's about opinion-based stuff. It's about "my opinion" vs. "editor opinion". And I don't see any single reason why editor opinion is "better" than mine.
    – Alma Do
    Apr 16, 2014 at 6:28

I totally agree with your edit. It is okay in my opinion because:

  1. The post is more readable.
  2. The fluff is removed from the title, again making it clearer and more readable.
  3. It is easier to evaluate the actual code after adding additional spaces.

The only thing I personally would have left out is changing this:



echo $v;

It does not add much to the readability, etc.

You should also remove the PHP from the title, since tags don't belong there.

  • 1
    @PeterJ: I disagree with your edit ;) Apr 15, 2014 at 11:14
  • It's ironic that an answer about whether or not an edit is valid gets 2 invalid edits. Apr 15, 2014 at 15:17
  • Just joking. Trying to show how subjective editing is. Apr 15, 2014 at 15:45
  • The idea that anything that could possibly be a tag is automatically forbidden in titles is a strange one. I don't know where it comes from.
    – TRiG
    Feb 16, 2021 at 11:54

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