Well, the community really doesn't like editing, even good ones, and now supports crackpottery, there;'s no point of the editing feature. Please disable it to avoid such nonsense in the future.

Well, until (or if not) this feature is incorporated, I'll continue editing though.

By the way, I'm only suggesting this for Phys.SE, not the entire SE network.

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    $\begingroup$ We like editing, just with a different definition of "good ones". $\endgroup$ Sep 26, 2013 at 7:06
  • $\begingroup$ What statement? Also, see David's answer. $\endgroup$ Sep 26, 2013 at 7:59
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    $\begingroup$ Can we just stop with the nonsensical over reactions to things, stop trying to rile people up, and just behave? Is that too much to ask? $\endgroup$
    – tpg2114
    Sep 26, 2013 at 11:14
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    $\begingroup$ I will say as a member of the community, I do not appreciate anyone speaking on my behalf without my consent, particularly when they have my particular views completely wrong. $\endgroup$
    – user29350
    Sep 26, 2013 at 12:20
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    $\begingroup$ @DImension10AbhimanyuPS you mention the community, of which I am an equal part $\endgroup$
    – user29350
    Sep 26, 2013 at 12:24
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    $\begingroup$ @DImension10AbhimanyuPS I have read the linked thread and all of this one - I don't see a 'majority', at most there were 10, maybe more (if one were to count the downvotes as from different people), considering there are several thousand members - that is not a majority. Many will be like me - impartial. $\endgroup$
    – user29350
    Sep 26, 2013 at 12:29
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    $\begingroup$ @DImension10AbhimanyuPS maybe the same people who upvoted the question, also downvoted your answer and this question. But that is a moot point - it still does not constitute a majority. I will not be taking sides, and the only view I have is for the status quo - not influenced by anything here, but my own experience. $\endgroup$
    – user29350
    Sep 26, 2013 at 12:33
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    $\begingroup$ @DImension10AbhimanyuPS the point remains though - by claiming the 'community' doesn't like edits etc , without any qualifier, it will give you negative attention due to the generalisation - that's how it got my attention $\endgroup$
    – user29350
    Sep 26, 2013 at 12:37
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    $\begingroup$ Let's forget for a second who posted what. Downvotes indicate disagreement, no? So heavy downvoting indicates that "the community" (that evil, heartless thing that only wants to squash you) doesn't agree that editing should be disabled. Let's look at the votes on the other post -- +4/-2. So there is a split opinion on whether "seemingly meaningless edits" are permitted or encouraged. I fail to see how you make any conclusions that the evil, monolithic community has decided to ban all editing forever. $\endgroup$
    – tpg2114
    Sep 26, 2013 at 13:17
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    $\begingroup$ And it was "meaningless" in the eyes of the OP, and the mixed voting AND the answers indicate that not everybody agrees all edits were meaningless. So I fail to see how that conclusively determined that the community is done editing for life and that homework and crackpots can rule the site and anybody who contributes will be suspended by moderators. $\endgroup$
    – tpg2114
    Sep 26, 2013 at 13:26
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    $\begingroup$ The positive answers were saying "No, we don't support trivial/meaningless edits but the things you listed aren't meaningless." Your answer was saying "This is an attack on me and here's why" which people disagree with. And even at +4 on the question, that hardly says the community doesn't want edits. At best you could said it means we don't want meaningless/trivial edits, but that's hardly conclusive as well. $\endgroup$
    – tpg2114
    Sep 26, 2013 at 13:42

4 Answers 4


The SE sites are intended to act as a reservoir of knowledge, and I find them pretty good in this respect. The best answers are almost blog articles in that they don't just answer the question but explain the issues around the answer and sometimes even related material. It takes a lot of time and effort to write a really good answer and it continually astonishes me that busy academics are willing to take the time out of trying to do their day job. I won't name any names to spare your blushes, but you know who you are :-)

Anyhow, everyone makes silly mistakes when typing answers, especially since the pressures of real life mean answers are sometimes rushed. My answers are often edited to correct spelling and grammatical errors, and I will edit answers whenever I notice such errors. Such editing is an important part of making the site useful for future readers.

It's rarer that I'll edit the meat of an answer since that seems a bit rude. Typically I'd ping the author and suggest clarifications or corrections. I'd almost never edit a question I perceived as lazy or crackpottery because I think such questions are best ignored.

So good edits are an essential part of how this site works.

The question is obviously part of the ongoing campaign against the lazy and crackpot. I find such questions just as annoying as everyone else does, but there are a huge army of the lazy and crackpot out there, and anyone who thinks edits are a useful weapon against them is sadly deluded. Just downvote, or if you have the reputation vote to close, and don't do anything that going to bring attention to unsatisfactory questions.

I do think we should have a "could be answered in 5 seconds using Google" tag and reason for closing, but that's a meta post for another day.


Okay, I am posting as one of the community, not on their behalf though only on my own.

As a community member, I appreciate substantial and effective edits to any post, and especially on my own. By substantial and effective,

what I mean

  • If there is a plethora of grammatical, spelling etc errors - making it readable

  • Without changing the meaning of the post, fixing terminology

what it does not and NEVER will mean

  • changing the meaning because someone disagrees with the notion put forward

  • vandalism of any kind

  • putting meanings that should be included in an answer.

  • a way of bumping inactive posts to the front.

So, as a member of the community, I do want edits

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    $\begingroup$ @DImension10AbhimanyuPS a handful of people is not the majority' - you are taking this out of all proportion. $\endgroup$
    – user29350
    Sep 27, 2013 at 6:24
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    $\begingroup$ @DImension10AbhimanyuPS A positive vote indicates an individual member agrees and a downvote means an individual member disagrees. I do not see any conspiracies etc. It is not fair to refer to a community member as a 'stack overlord' - and it will not help your cause. $\endgroup$
    – user29350
    Sep 27, 2013 at 12:31

The ability to edit any post is one of the major features of the Stack Exchange system, disabling it would make the site much worse. There is virtually no chance at all that SE would disable editing entirely.

But even though the ability to edit is very useful in general, there are certain types of edits that have more drawbacks than advantages. Every edit adds some overhead as it bumps the question to the frontpage for review. A high frequency of edits can drown out the actual new content on the frontpage, in such a case even if the edits themselves are good, the effect of all the edits at once in a short time is negative as it makes the frontpage useless for a while.

While a question is still new and on the frontpage, there is no disadvantage to bumping it for even a minor edit. Though one should always try to fix everything about a post, and not fix a typo while leaving other large errors unfixed.

For old questions the situation changes a bit. Significant edits are always welcome, but there is some disagreement about minor fixes. Personally I still think that fixing typos and grammar mistakes is worth it for old questions, with the restriction that I would not go and hunt for this kind of stuff to fix, and that I would be especially careful to try and fix every problem in that post to avoid further, unnecessary bumps.

Closed questions that are likely to be deleted anyway should not be edited at all. Unless you make an edit that would fix the question and make it fit for reopening, one should not edit closed questions at all.

Radical edits are generally discouraged. If you disagree strongly with an answer, just post another answer yourself and downvote (or even flag/vote to delete) the other answer. The exception are questions that would be closed if they stay unedited. Drastic edits to make a question follow the site rules is generally acceptable.

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    $\begingroup$ There is not a single post there that says that edits are not welcome anymore. I don't know where you're getting that from $\endgroup$ Sep 26, 2013 at 10:32

Nah, editing is good. Editing is nice. The real problem here is with what's displayed on the home page. The questions and answers with the most recent activity are displayed. This 'activity' is too broad. Here's what I propose (someone must have probably proposed the same thing in the past):

When someone edits a question or its answers, let there be a checkbox discussing the nature of his edit. It could have options like: "Fixed formula in answer", "Minor typo fixed in question", "Retagged for more clarity", etc.

Based on the field he checked in the box, pages can be considered 'active' or not


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