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I recently visited a couple of old questions that I had posted and there were a lot of edits (mainly grammatical but not all) that I wanted to make. I edited a couple of them and went back to the homepage and the homepage had all of these edited questions on it. It seemed like a disruption in the natural working of the homepage. How should I go about it? Should I leave it on the system to realize that it shouldn't flood the homepage with the dozen old posts I choose to edit in half an hour? Or should I refrain from going on an editing spree?

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  • $\begingroup$ Of course, if the changes are "mostly grammatical" and the posts already have answers, I don't see the big deal of leaving the errors alone if they are minor (I mean, it was fine enough to get an answer at the time....) $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Mar 14 at 10:20
  • $\begingroup$ To be clear, are you asking about main, meta, or both? $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Mar 14 at 10:38
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty Mainly for the main website, but yes, also for the meta. For the meta, I was less concerned as the traffic is relatively low and one doesn't get rep. points etc. so it seems less unethical to cause your questions pop-up on the homepage. $\endgroup$ – Feynmans Out for Grumpy Cat Mar 14 at 10:44
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    $\begingroup$ Extending my previous comment, if all you're doing is changing the capitalization scheme for titles (as was done for a few of your Meta posts), I'd suggest you not edit that post. Edits should strive to make the post more readable & does not change the readability of the post. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Mar 14 at 11:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Dvij Frankly, I'm more annoyed by a five-question flood of trivial edits on meta than on main, because they stick around for much, much longer. If the discussion is done and over with, then let it rest. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Mar 14 at 11:03
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos Thanks for your suggestion. Yes, for meta posts, I mainly changed the capitalization scheme as I recently became a devout follower of a capitalization scheme that I didn't espouse to earlier :P For posts on the main site, there were some more serious grammatical issues which must have reduced the readability. I will stick to not editing more than a question within a couple of days I suppose. $\endgroup$ – Feynmans Out for Grumpy Cat Mar 14 at 11:08
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty I see. Anyway, I have edited through all my meta posts so that won't happen again. :P Also, I see that the general opinion is to avoid trivial edits--so I will stick to not editing more than a question per a couple of days. Thanks for the inputs. $\endgroup$ – Feynmans Out for Grumpy Cat Mar 14 at 11:09
  • $\begingroup$ Amusingly, I just made a non-content edit to this post :-) $\endgroup$ – DanielSank Mar 20 at 6:21
  • $\begingroup$ @DanielSank FYI, that may have been somewhat counter productive. OP seems to have edited his question titles to Use the Full Capitalization Style. While I definitely prefer the version you edited, it's probably not worth an edit in itself, especially if OP prefers the other style. $\endgroup$ – JMac Mar 20 at 11:01
  • $\begingroup$ I myself find that capitalization a bit jerky to read, and even in title-case, I don't think words like "on" are typically capitalized. $\endgroup$ – user191954 Mar 20 at 11:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Chair I wrongly capitalized "on" but as such, I like the title-case for a title. $\endgroup$ – Feynmans Out for Grumpy Cat Mar 20 at 11:57
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    $\begingroup$ For reference, our FAQ on titles says to capitalize only the first word & nouns. So DS's edit is correct & OPs want for editing titles of old questions to do just that is misplaced $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Mar 20 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ @JMac As noted by Kyle Kanos, there's a FAQ on titles, which exists precisely so that we can follow a consistent guide instead of worrying about individual users' preferences. $\endgroup$ – DanielSank Mar 20 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ I edit if the question has come to my attention by getting a vote, positive or negative, and is already on the front page. Also if a comment has brought to my attention an old post and I see something that needs a change $\endgroup$ – anna v Mar 24 at 3:48
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Yes, you should avoid flooding the front page. I recommend doing them in small batches of say 2 or 3 posts at a time.

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    $\begingroup$ This is true on main. On meta, where the question churn rate is much, much lower, I would refrain from any non-essential edits. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Mar 14 at 10:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Emilio Fair point. I assumed Dvij was talking about main. I remember seeing his flood, and although it didn't bother me, I was a little puzzled at first as to what was happening. $\endgroup$ – PM 2Ring Mar 14 at 10:48
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If you really want to go on edit spree, you could reduce disruption by editing recent posts alongside with your own. If you commit yourself to improve 2-3 recent posts before you touch another post of your own, the disruption will be much less harmful.

It would be even better if you take longer breaks from editing, either by doing something outside the site, or going through a review queue or writing a new answer to an old question.

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I think the answer really boils down to how you answer the following question:

Do the changes you want to make improve the readability or accuracy of the post, or is it just superficial changes?

If it's the latter, don't worry about editing it then because no one will care/notice ever.1 If it's the former, then you are probably fine to make the edits, depending on the quantity of edits you want to make.

That is, if you want to improve say 2 questions on main, I don't think anyone will mind. If it's closer to 10 (or even beyond!), try spreading it out over a several days/weeks.

If you're looking at old Meta posts, you really need to be considerate since it takes a long time to move off this page (I currently see a post edited on Feb 5 at the bottom of the page; on main question at the very bottom was last touched 5 hours ago). I would be very wary of making changes which are not large/significant improvements to the post.

As mentioned in the comments, we do have an FAQ on titles that says in item #6 to not capitalize every word in the title, only proper nouns and the first word should be capitals. So if your goal is merely to change the capitalisation scheme (as was done for a few of the updates by OP on Meta) to Capitalizing All The Words, don't. Just leave it and worry about factual errors.

As a last note, when you make your edits, please do not makes your post look like a revision table. Don't add "Edit $n$" anywhere in the post, instead you should seamlessly integrate the new material in the original post. All SE posts are version controlled, so interested parties can just check out the diffs if they're so interested.


1. Of course, if someone else has added an answer or edited the post, so it's already on main page, I think you should be free to edit it as needed.

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In my opinion, improving the content of the site is more important than worrying about what's on the front page. If you want to edit, then edit.

So what if your questions wind up on the front page? They won't be there for long anyway, and there's nothing wrong with old questions getting attention.

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    $\begingroup$ For clarity, does this apply to meta as well? Does this OK, say, thirty edits in a row? $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Mar 20 at 12:46
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty That's a rather absurd scenario. If all thirty were on the same post, the homepage would only allot the question one spot anyway, for the most recent edit. $\endgroup$ – user45266 Mar 21 at 1:34
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    $\begingroup$ @user45266 To state the obvious: that refers to edits of thirty different questions. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Mar 21 at 7:30
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty It's still rather absurd. How many people even have thirty questions that all need trivial edits? Better yet, when would one ever intentionally do all thirty consecutively? User DanielSank isn't arguing that it's always perfectly fine, only that generally the edits are more important than the homepage's clarity. IMO, it depends on how trivial the edits are. $\endgroup$ – user45266 Mar 21 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ @user45266 That's a nice moving goalpost you've set up there. This answer's text explicitly claims that there is no limit to the number of allowed consecutive trivial edits of old questions. The absurdity is on the part of this answer, and the question to Daniel is whether he stands by that claim. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Mar 21 at 22:08
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty I just feel like Daniel posted a good general policy/ruling, and you extrapolated it to a ridiculous extreme. $\endgroup$ – user45266 Mar 22 at 4:37
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    $\begingroup$ @user45266 There's nothing in this answer about "keep it to a reasonable number" or anything like that; since OP's question is nothing more than "should I keep it to a reasonable number?", failing to set a limit amounts to a "general policy/ruling" that gives an OK to those ridiculous extremes. The only real content in this answer beyond those already posted is "ridiculous extremes are also OK". $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Mar 22 at 9:55
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty It seems like this is coming down to how much one infers from OP's response. I think OP doesn't mean that extremes are valid, and you think that OP gives the "OK" to literally any number of edits. Whatever. We can agree to disagree. $\endgroup$ – user45266 Mar 22 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ @user45266 It's you that pushed an extremely aggressive line of questioning on a simple request for clarification from this answerer. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Mar 22 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty If I came off as aggressive, I apologize. $\endgroup$ – user45266 Mar 22 at 15:48
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    $\begingroup$ @user45266 Assuming 2 minutes per edit (if it's only grammar fixes), 30 questions could be edited in 1 hour. That's not ridiculous, in fact, it's a likely scenario for someone with 30 question putting the advice from this answer into practice. $\endgroup$ – Dmitry Grigoryev Mar 26 at 8:17
  • $\begingroup$ @DmitryGrigoryev My objection would be why someone would edit 30 of their own questions in a row. Thirty seems a lot to do consecutively. $\endgroup$ – user45266 Mar 26 at 17:20

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