A second or two after I made an edit on a post, I noticed that the original author of the post made an edit that changed absolutely nothing. Neither the Stack Overflow difference algorithm nor two different text difference analyzers showed any difference between the two when I pressed source for both edits:

No Difference Edit Picture

The revision history can be found here:

Usually there is a message that shows up if the content was not changed that says something along the lines of Someone has already submitted an edit. Yours would need to be more substantial in order to added. But, I guess that did not happen here.

Stranger still is that the message for the user was the exact same as the message that appeared on my edit even though they certainly did not edit 4 characters in the body.

It seems as though this is just useless clutter for the revision history and there is not any significant reason to keep that edit in the revision history or even to allow it to be submitted.

I figured I would put the bug report here because it seems like if it happens for Stack Overflow, it would be the same across all sites.


Edit with no differences to content (whitespace was changed in that question)

Just to show that absolutely nothing was changed, this is one of the other websites I used to assure that the sources of the two are indeed exactly the same.

  • 1
    @Anna what request was declined? :) Jun 11, 2014 at 14:04
  • @ShadowWizard This is reported as a bug. I'm acknowledging that this is suboptimal behaviour but it won't be fixed at this time.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jun 11, 2014 at 15:47
  • 1
    @Anna very smart, I must admit, cheers! :) Jun 11, 2014 at 19:14

1 Answer 1


There are only 7 seconds between your edit and the other edit. The OP made the exact same edit, but you submitted faster.

It's perfectly possible to have an editing race condition, where both you and the OP have an edit window open, both you and the OP submit the edit close together. If the edits are even exactly the same, you end up with an empty edit revision, because there are no differences to show.

  • Still, if there truly is no difference shouldn't the system not even bother to put the second one in the revision history or delete it after it sees that there is no difference?
    – Anonymous
    Jun 10, 2014 at 17:31
  • @Anonymous: That'd be more work. This is rare enough, why bother? Jun 10, 2014 at 17:32
  • True. I guess it really wouldn't be pressing at all for the database so there is no real reason to implement it.
    – Anonymous
    Jun 10, 2014 at 17:33

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