There is a trimming routine that removes or changes certain punctuation at the end of a title. For example if you try to end a title with ... it will be removed from the title, when you hit submit. This is not the subject of this question.

It seems that when you edit a question the trimming routine is performed on the title regardless of whether changes were made to the title.

This means that when you make changes to the body of a question it can also trigger unexpected changes to the title. For example when you edit a question, whose title ends with any number of consecutive periods (e.g. 3 in the case of ...), the periods will be removed from the title, even when no change was made to the title itself.

In order to leave the title unchanged when editing you must add an extra . or something, which itself will be removed. You have to know to do this ahead of time, because the UI still displays the original title until the edit is submitted.

It's rather difficult to notice this is happening unless the trimming brings the title down under 15 characters in which case you will be prevented from submitting your edit with the message "Title must be at least 15 characters".

This can be very confusing. You haven't made any changes to the title, but the UI won't let you submit your edit.

I do not believe this is the intended behavior. I think either trimming is expected to be idempotent, in which case this issue would be impossible, or trimming should not occur when no change is made to the title.

  • 2
    Careful testing showed you're correct. Nice find.
    – CodeCaster
    Oct 27, 2022 at 20:39
  • 3
    We do intentionally trim periods from the end of titles. What's the intention of having an ellipsis in a title?
    – Catija StaffMod
    Oct 27, 2022 at 21:07
  • 4
    @Catija On code-golf specifically I can say that we are very particular about our titles, since they are not simply summaries of the question. But the bug isn't that it's being trimmed but that it's being trimmed at a weird and un-intuitive time with no feedback. Oct 27, 2022 at 21:19
  • 1
    Which is not to say it is essential or crucial, just that when it does come up naturally it is incredibly weird and confusing. Oct 27, 2022 at 21:35
  • An exception ought to be made for "etc.". Or add an escape mechanism. Oct 28, 2022 at 0:53
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Stop rewriting trailing exclamation marks as question marks (the answer by an ex-staff explains more about the current mechanism) Oct 29, 2022 at 15:43
  • @MetaAndrewT. No. Please re-read this question. It is about a specific thing that happens when editing question which already have certain punctuation. Oct 29, 2022 at 15:45
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  • @Rob No. Please reread this question. It is about a specific thing that happens when editing question which already have certain punctuation. I'm not complaining about the filter existing, I'm pointing out that the filter has a bug in a specific circumstance. Oct 29, 2022 at 16:15
  • 1
    Your question: "It seems there is some sort of automatic trimming that occurs any time a question is edited regardless of whether that edit actually effects the title. ... I do not believe this is the intended behavior. I don't really get why this trimming happens in the first place but it probably shouldn't happen when no changes are made to the title.", the answer: When there is text that are not alphanumeric characters they are stripped, and the change is not rendered in the preview.
    – Rob
    Oct 29, 2022 at 17:23
  • 1
    @Rob Ok yes I see. That is a facet of the question, but a small one. I've rephrased it to be clearer, it is very specifically about the fact that unprompted, unintuitive changes to the title occur when editing the body of a question. Oct 29, 2022 at 17:26
  • Trimming of excess is sometimes done silently, that can be confusing: "Tell me beforehand when I max out the number of tags". The render in the preview could show a bottom square bracket for removed text: ⎵ , ␣ or ⌴ (\⎵ , \␣ , \⌴), that would be removed when posting.
    – Rob
    Oct 29, 2022 at 18:56
  • @Rob Yes, but the issue here is still not that it is done silently. It is that it is happening at a time that is completely unpredictable causing confusing messages about title length. This is in the question. Oct 30, 2022 at 5:23
  • ... and using the BSB would prevent the first problem. When a Q or A is submitted all parts of it must be correct - whenever a title contains characters that couldn't be in an URL (since that's how questions are referenced) the URL (title) is modified to conform to what is expected, which you didn't expect. --- When you click the button a number of checks are made, they aren't enumerated in a toast.
    – Rob
    Oct 30, 2022 at 9:31
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    @Rob No, you continue to misunderstand. This is only about editing a question, the title already is a certain way. The title before the trimming already is the title, because you are editing the question. This has nothing to do with the url. The unexpected change is not from the preview, or the entered text. Really please read this question again carefully, because you clearly have a misconception about it. Oct 30, 2022 at 14:09


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