There are many questions which have bad SO/markdown syntax, most notably when referring to code. I like to fix this syntax and add the appropriate language tag so that the code is nicely formatted. However, often my edit is not big enough to be allowed, even though the net effect of the edit would in fact be a substantial improvement to the question.

Has there been any consideration to change the edit size requirements for such circumstances?

update see my feature proposal here: Proposal: inform <2k user who attempts <6 char edit that they need 2k to do it


1 Answer 1


You could just use the <!-- language: lang-foo or tag --> syntax that was recently added instead of adding the tags; as a bonus, this works even when multiple languages occur in one post. (But be advised that this doesn't preview correctly yet.)

Also see the formatting help link when writing/editing a post; e.g. MSO's formatting help.

  • I did not know that. In the first case, where does that markup go? In the second case -- what are you referring to? May 16, 2011 at 17:34
  • @John: Okay, I've fleshed out my answer to make things a bit clearer now.
    – SamB
    May 16, 2011 at 18:06
  • 2
    This has been noted as being abuse of the system, and is not looked upon favorably. Please do not just post filler HTML comments just to pass a minor edit. See here for one example.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 16, 2011 at 18:11
  • @SamB I'm saying "minor" in the sense of how many characters, not on the impact. I'm aware that code formatting can have a significant impact, but it doesn't change the fact that adding complete junk onto a post is not a wise move.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 16, 2011 at 18:17
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    @Grace Note: Well, I try to avoid it, but sometimes there is really a very small edit (by SE's metric) that nevertheless seems to be important. (For instance, if the title is misspelled, that is bad.) I do try to find actual changes to make, but sometimes there really isn't much to change, and I don't want to add actual text to the end of someone's question for no reason...
    – SamB
    May 16, 2011 at 18:23
  • I guess I don't really do that for code formatting anymore, except in the case of questions that are missing a small number of backticks: if there are longer passages of code, the <!-- language: lang-foo --> annotations are almost certain to be missing, and I can add them to meet the quota.
    – SamB
    May 16, 2011 at 18:28
  • But, really, what am I supposed to do? Leave stuff looking wrong on the internet?
    – SamB
    May 16, 2011 at 18:30
  • @SamB Use a comment instead of a suggested edit. Keeps the point of the edit visible, leaves one less editor having to go clean up the complete junk, and lets you be on your way knowing that the fix will be done. Also, keep in mind that you can edit titles without editing the body, and that will let you not be subject to the 6 character limit. Just keep that up, while suggesting the more substantial edits and participating in the rest of the site's purposes.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 16, 2011 at 18:31
  • @Sam - Anyone abusing the system risks having the edits rejected. That can cause a one week suspension of the edit rights, if it happens too often. I for sure would vote to reject a single character edit with a filler tag.
    – Bo Persson
    May 16, 2011 at 18:50
  • Hmm. Okay, I took out the part about <!-- filler -->, but now the conversation above is rather hard to understand...
    – SamB
    May 16, 2011 at 18:58
  • Thanks @SamB for the reference to the code language stuff, that's useful. Yeah, I'm anti-filler too, but really that practice just indicates either a problem or a lack of information. see my feature request here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/91533 May 16, 2011 at 19:03
  • @Grace: I'm not sure how it lets me know the edit will happen; some of the questions in question might not have seen activity for quite a while. And this really does seem controversial; see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/77233/…
    – SamB
    May 16, 2011 at 19:06
  • @SamB Doesn't look all that controversial to me - Jeff says rather definitively that you need 2k for such small edits, "end of story". I almost tacked on a "Just get 2000 reputation" myself, if I didn't feel it was a bit tactless.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 16, 2011 at 19:09
  • @Grace: well, he might be right about the Trilogy, but I doubt he speaks for the moderators/high-rep users of all SE sites...
    – SamB
    May 16, 2011 at 19:24

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