A user has edited the question

How to find basic, uninflected word for searching?

and because of the nifty way in which the "edited by" annotation was placed, I can no longer click on and open the question. See screenshot below. I can't click the question text because of the styling of the "Edited by tchrist" addition. Of couse, kudos to tchrist for being innovative in annotating edits :)

enter image description here

I surely can find a way around this by clicking on the question author's answer, then clicking the question their on their user page, but my questions are:

  • Should annotating that you edited a question/comment be allowed to affect the navigation to a question?

  • Should users be allowed to upvote/downvote/remove an edit to signify that I think the annotation entered affects the usability of SO and users' ability to navigate to question they may be interested in?

  • Should SO prevent this type of annotation when saving edits?


I tested in other browsers and here's what I get for my Win7 box: FF 4.0 - can't click on question IE 8.0 and Chrome 11.0.696.71 - can click on question (unicode text rendered as boxes with small enough line-height)

  • 4
    It's not a "fancy edit annotation". It's "I put a bunch of unicode at the top of the post". It's an issue with fancy characters, not an issue with edit syntax.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jun 1, 2011 at 19:42
  • Why does that annotation prevent the title from being clickable? It looks fine, and it works fine for me (although I only see boxes).
    – mmyers
    Jun 1, 2011 at 19:44
  • It looks like the "Edited by tchrist" text has a large enough line-height and is stacked above the HTMLElement that has the question text. For me, FF 4.0/Win7, but IE just renders the higher order characters as small square boxes. Adjusting my post to mention that I am only blocked from clicking in FF 4.0/Win7....
    – mrk
    Jun 1, 2011 at 19:46
  • 1
    Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/44011/… (and, FWIW, in the meantime I've come to agree on that with Jeff for the most part)
    – balpha StaffMod
    Jun 1, 2011 at 20:42
  • I don’t understand what was wrong⁈ Please explain‼ Here’s a similar gem that to all appearances has been received with a trumpet fanfare, no less. I even tested that particular answer ᴀʟʟ 4 ᴍᴀᴊᴏʀ ʙʀᴏᴡsᴇʀs: *Opera + Firefox Safari + Chrome. If there’re unwritten rules forbidding certain characters, there shouldn’t be,so either ① remove the restrictions or ② document them.
    – tchrist
    Jun 2, 2011 at 0:23
  • +1 I've yet to see a better argument in favor of the ability to downvote edits. Jun 2, 2011 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


Any "edited by X" annotation is just useless noise, in this special case even actively harmful. Any 2k+ user should know better than to add a signature to his edits, and any edit that contains one should not be approved anyway.

I don't think a solution for crazy unicode stuff that breaks navigation is really necessary, it should just be edited out by another user. Downvoting is the wrong method here, anyone can suggest an edit and editing it out is the best solution.

  • +1, I'd flag for moderator attention with a note to contact tchrist to stop those sorts of edits.
    – user7116
    Jun 1, 2011 at 21:52
  • I don’t understand how any particular characters “break navigation”. Please explain. Not only did it look perfectly fine to me, I had zero problems with “navigation”. Please explain what you could not do, and why, because otherwise I will not be able to knwo what I am “not supposed” to do!
    – tchrist
    Jun 1, 2011 at 23:52
  • @tchrist After testing with other browsers here were my results on my Win7 box - FF4.0 broken, IE 8.0 and Chrome 11 were fine (except in IE and Chrome, the "Edited by tchrist" appears as little square boxes, not "Edited ..."). So, it was only an FF4.0 issue for me. Now on to what was wrong... Upon mousing over the question text, my browser wasn't firing mouseover events or changing the cursor to a hand (ie recognizing the question text as a clickable link). My next attempt was to select text around the question and what I found was that the "Edited by tchrist"....
    – mrk
    Jun 2, 2011 at 0:57
  • @tchrist (continued)... text, when selected with my mouse had a tall line height. This line height extended both above and below the "Edited..." text to such a degree that it was basically stacking over the HTML element of the question text. Interestingly, the HTML element with the "Edited..." text extended fully to both left and right sides of the text, not just the text. So I guess FF 4.0 gave the "Edited..." element had block style instead of inline style?? Hopefully that details it better for you, let me know if not. I found it interesting behavior for sure.
    – mrk
    Jun 2, 2011 at 1:02
  • @tchrist - What browser/os did you use where you could see the characters and still get hover behavior and clickability on the question text?
    – mrk
    Jun 2, 2011 at 1:09
  • @tchrist - On a completely unrelated note, still love the bighorn sheep book.
    – mrk
    Jun 2, 2011 at 1:14
  • @Mark: Darwin (Mac), Opera, Symbola installed. But I didn't really notice the hover thing. Do you mean it wasn't clickable from the main listing of many questions, or just from the question itself? It sounds like some sort of bug. Are there similar problems with this one? I far I am going to have to write a Unicode Cookbook pretty soon. And I do agree that a vanity byline on an edit is a bit much; it’s that I did a lot of formatting, and felt a bit guilty for risking changing that much.
    – tchrist
    Jun 2, 2011 at 2:20
  • @tchrist It wasn't clickable from the main listing. The only way I could find to click it was to click on the author's name, and then from that page, I could see the question (without your Edited by tchrist line) and click on it. Checked out the Modern Perl, that Unicode issue doesn't manifest itself in the main listing of the question or anywhere near the title with the post.
    – mrk
    Jun 2, 2011 at 4:05

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