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My question is about an option in rejecting an edit on an answer:

[O] attempt to reply
This edit was intended to address the author of the post and makes no sense as an edit. It should have been written as a comment or an answer.

I think this option is not useful for answer posts when this below option is a better choice:

[O] clearly conflicts with author's intent
This edit deviates from the original intent of the post. Even edits that must make drastic changes should strive to preserve the goals of the post's owner.

I think, I have misunderstood the reason behind having the first option, so please help me by clarifying its purpose.

3 Answers 3

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You are right. That reason doesn't make that much sense when it comes to edits on answers.

One situation I could think of is where the edit is in the same street as the answer from the author (so it doesn't deviate from his intend), but it still should have been a comment or separate answer.

You could think of an edit like:

To take it a little further ...

Such edits could indicate an addition to the post in line with the original post, but still should be another answer.

I see no problem in hiding this option by the way, since they are so closely related, I think no one will ever notice the subtle difference.

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  • I have a problem in relating your answer to rejecting an edit on an answer, Can you please clarify me? ;).
    – shA.t
    May 6, 2015 at 8:27
  • My bad. I just misunderstood your question (your italics were on answer, not on edit...) I will rephrase. May 6, 2015 at 8:46
  • @shA.t: Can you check my updated post? May 6, 2015 at 8:53
  • So, corresponding to your answer, I have not any misunderstanding ;).
    – shA.t
    May 6, 2015 at 9:09
  • I guess so... ;) Maybe it is sought a little far, but I can understand it is there. May 6, 2015 at 9:10
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An "attempt to reply" to a question might be an answer. An "attempt to reply" to an answer might be a comment.

Imagine an answer that says "to X, you first Y and then Z." Someone suggests an edit that ends the sentence with "though this will not work for many systems not considered here, such as A and B."

Does this edit make the answer better? Or is it really a comment? Are A and B in scope? Does the question explicitly exclude those?

What if the edit ends the sentence "which is really unfair and wrong, but company Blah will not change it"? Is that really a comment?

Sure, you can always reach for "clearly conflicts with the author's intent" but that doesn't mean "attempt to reply" is wrong when that's what the edit is trying to do.

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The purpose of the two separate answer is thus:

In the first instance, it's looking at edits that try to direct a message at the post owner.

Original question body example:

How do I floop the pig, to win at Card Wars?

If it is edited to become:

How do I floop the pig, to win at Card Wars? I've told you in my answer, but you refuse to accept it!

Then that's both an attempt to reply, and quite obviously conflicts with the intent of the author, but as it's more specific to the situation, you should pick 'attempt to reply'.

If instead it's edited to be:

How do I floop the pig <ins> use the Cornfield to power my Huskerknights</ins>, to win at Card Wars?

And the edit reason was given as "Flooping the pig is not how you win at card wars", the editor hasn't tried to reply to the question asker, but overridden their intent in asking.

The difference being, is that the 'attempted reply' user can be educated on commenting, whereas the the 'clearly conflicts' author needs to be educated on when new questions should be posted, posting a frame challenge answer, or a change in attitude towards other posters.

Both are invalid reasons to edit, but the outcome for the editor (not the post) are different.


Source: I'm a moderator on [scifi.se] and I've handled suggested edit reviews elsewhere before.

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