Usually I'm not done editing so all they're doing is creating unnecessary revisions that I just clobber anyway. I don't care if I put "it's" when I meant to put "its". Leave it alone, at least until I'm done.

Does anyone else have this problem?

I suggest that when someone creates a post they have a 5 minute window where no-one else can edit it. The same thing would happen when you edit a post. I believe a lot of clobbering occurs during this window.

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    Soooo tempted to edit the question... – mmyers Oct 16 '09 at 14:41
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    Another thought is to get the 'its' vs. it's right so users don't see a glaring mistake that tempts them to edit your question. – George Stocker Oct 16 '09 at 15:01
  • @George: that's only one example of a premature but misguided edit for a trivial issue. – cletus Oct 16 '09 at 15:19

On the one hand, I've see the problem. For typo correction, I'll usually wait to edit for this very reason.

On the other hand, in cases where a new question really needs editing, that's 5 minutes for it to collect abuse and down-votes on the first page of questions while the (often ESL) author struggles to stop the bleeding.

I think we can put up with a bit of the former to allow us to help out newbies in the latter.

  • Questions may be a possible exception to this suggestion. My problem is with spurious (typically low-value) edits to answers but then again I've answered way more questions than I've asked so perhaps my experience is skewed. – cletus Oct 16 '09 at 15:32
  • I haven't often seen this... Fast and furious edits to questions are common, as they are frequently written by new users who for whatever reason have become accustom to a quick-and-dirty writing style. I see more down-voting than editing of answers written in this form... perhaps i'm looking at the wrong (right) answers? – Shog9 Oct 16 '09 at 15:57
  • I see the same. For what its worth i usually stick to waiting or commenting in the grace period on answers as well, can't talk for other users though. – Georg Fritzsche Jul 5 '10 at 0:08

How do we know when you're done?

Seriously -- I'm not trying to be a jerk here. When a question is posted, some folks with edit privs will see it & edit it if it needs editing. There's no clear indication of "when you're done" editing your post.

Now I can see this for answers, where you might want to get in quickly and get the early bird advantage. But for questions, you should certainly be able to get all of your editing done before you hit the post button.

Just my 2 pennies.

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    +1. I also don't see the issue with clobbering someone else's edit if you aren't finished editing your own post. – TheTXI Oct 16 '09 at 14:44
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    For a start, less than a minute after it's posted and there's a fair chance it's not done. – cletus Oct 16 '09 at 15:17
  • I will concede however that this is more of an issue with answers than questions (then again I answer way more than I ask so who knows for sure?) – cletus Oct 16 '09 at 15:22
  • It does happen on questions meta.stackexchange.com/questions/26199/… – Brad Gilbert Oct 16 '09 at 15:33
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    I would still not consider it an abuse. Like TheTXI said, it's no big deal if you clobber their edits. – John Rudy Oct 16 '09 at 15:42
  • It's easy to see when you're done: When the edit label appears, you know the answerer is done. – Johannes Schaub - litb Jul 4 '10 at 20:00

I disagree, but conditionally. I take into account the reputation of the user's post I am editing. If it's a user that traditionally doesn't edit their work or is a low-reputation user, I'm more likely to edit their material as soon as it's posted to keep it from being closed. If it's a user like you, I'm much less likely to edit it soon after it's posted, and may not edit it at all.

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    That's pretty much my policy also. – mmyers Oct 16 '09 at 15:25

I usually give the last editor of any post, at least a 3 minute grace period.

There is nothing more annoying than thinking you're going to edit a post again, without leaving another edit to the edit history, and then have someone else edit it in the mean time.


As I said in the comments to John Rudy, I don't know what the big deal is about the conflicting edits. If you post and someone else edits it before you are done, then your newest edit is just going to come out on top anyway.

If you post and someone else is in the process of editing and don't post it in time before your own edit, you already have the tools to roll it back to the appropriate position.

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