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I have recently reached the possibility of using the "review queues". Often and willingly I try to help the community of Stack Overflow as I can, focusing mainly on the "first questions" section.

The problem that I very often find is represented by this discouraging message:

The edit queue is full at the moment - try again in a few minutes!.

Discouraging because after having corrected an answer syntactically, conceptually, etc. etc. and having, therefore, taken the time to make sure that this was as correct as possible, the above message appears.

As written in this post, it is clear that the the suggested edit queue has a fixed size and as written in this post it is also clear that saying that the post doesn't need any improvements when it really does is wrong.

At this point, it becomes really difficult to be able to make a useful and effective contribution if the message "The edit queue is full at the moment - try again in a few minutes!" appears only after pressing the "Save edits" button.

So in conclusion, what I would like to do with this post is discuss about some possible solutions that I have found:

  1. Once the "first answer" section is open, highlight, in the box of possible actions, the fact that the "the edit queue is full at the moment" so that a person doesn't even start correcting the answer.

  2. Before entering a question in the "first answers" section, check that the review queue is not full (or in any case there is at least one place always free, for the person who will access it through this section).

  3. Your ideas / opinions.

P.S. Consider that the specific use case I'm bringing you is Stack Overflow, where a question has a full edit queue after a few seconds.

Furthermore, also consider that access to these queues occurs only after having achieved a certain reputation, therefore it always offers the possibility of submitting an edit to those who want to help others more scrupulously than those who are always ready to edit every single answer competing with other users to get a meager +2 reputation, seems to me the least (for the avoidance of doubt, by "more scrupulous" I mean that the system still has its own metrics to understand if the work done by a user is correct. And if it isn't, it restricts their access to these particular queues).

4 Answers 4

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Yes, not being able to submit an edit after you've done (possibly extensive) editing is frustrating. It's not possible to prevent this 100% of the times, because the queue can become full between starting and submitting the edit (though it should be possible to allow the edit anyway if it was started when the queue wasn't full – a couple more edits won't matter).

When this happens, you could

  1. leave a comment indicating how the post could be approved
  2. use the Skip button and hope somebody with edit privileges will make the necessary edit. Especially if they notice your comment.

There are enough first questions/answers on Stack Overflow to be reviewed which do not require editing (either because they're already OK, or because they can't be salvaged with editing) so you won't be in danger of running out of work...

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  • 3
    I agree with you, especially with your second proposal. In any case, in my opinion, it would be at least useful to point out that the queue is full and your proposal to deactivate the "edit" button seems to me a reasonable solution.
    – Elidor00
    Commented Jan 5, 2022 at 8:55
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There have been several proposal about the edit queue size, they can be grouped into 3 categories.

  1. Notify the editor before they start editing that the review queue is full
  2. Increase the pending suggested edit limits
  3. Lower the reputation requirements to submit edits and make them a function of the user's approved suggested edit rate

I think suggestion 1 is probably the fairest to the editor, because as I tried to explain in this answer option 2 would exhaust the review queue capacity just as quickly and option 3 has a number of drawbacks tied to the subjective nature of reviewing.

The bottleneck in the suggested edits review queue is the number of active reviewers. So, we could hypothesize the most efficient solution might be giving editors and reviewers a well organized and clear set of criteria to work with. I think that is likely to increase both engagement and efficiency on both end of the queue.

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    As I said in the comment on the first answer, I completely agree with your first option. Perhaps it should be understood how to notify this in the best possible way.
    – Elidor00
    Commented Jan 5, 2022 at 8:59
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I just encountered this for the first time. I spent several minutes updating and cleaning up the answer to a question I came across — a useful answer that was just a bit outdated — and didn't find out the edit queue is full until after I had done all the work and attempted to submit the change. I kept coming back every few minutes and trying again, as suggested, and the queue was always full. After about half an hour I just gave up and closed the tab. This is extremely discouraging. I doubt I will ever bother attempting to edit anything on SO again.

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Whenever I determine a question/answer needs editing and select the edit option, the next thing to do is click 'Save Edits', immediately.
This tells me a few things;

  1. Whether somebody has already edited the post and its pending so no more edits can be made
  2. Whether the suggested edit queue is full
  3. Whether my edit queue is full

If either of the above are true I get a message stating either or both and I can skip or wait depending on what the state is. If it just says I haven't made any changes etc I know I can spend the time to edit with a reasonable chance to submit.
Of course it's not foolproof since the queue may fill or another user post an edit before I complete my edit but at least I start with the knowledge that I'm not wasting my time.

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  • Don't you need to change 6 characters first? Or do you really see the 'queue full' message immediately?
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Jan 5, 2023 at 11:12
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    No, it will tell you the state of the queues regardless, and of also that you have made no changes and need to change at least 6 characters.
    – moken
    Commented Jan 5, 2023 at 11:16
  • You're right, but I don't think this is the right way to go about it. Also because an edit could take a long time which would then be wasted once someone else has already made some (interesting or not) changes.
    – Elidor00
    Commented Jan 5, 2023 at 13:12

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