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In this edit a user who is relatively new to this stack (although apparently not to SE as a whole) removed a part of an active question (the recent question about My Cousin Vinny) which indicates that the included image had been changed. The user, in the edit reason, linked a meta.se thread https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/127655/316262 in which it is suggested that edits should not normally be mentioned in the body of questions. On this stack, indications of question and answer updates, particularly in response to comments, but also second thoughts are often included in the body of posts. Especially when there is back and forth aimed at improving posts, it seems to me that including such indications is often proper, and indeed I think it should be encouraged in some cases.

I think this is a case where the nature of this particular stack is such that we should have a local guideline that is contrary to the general network view, and that such edits removing indications of editing should be reverted. Do others agree?

Edit: I have rolled back the edit in question.

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  • Just FYI.. someone else rolled it back again.... Y'all are haggling over one line. :)
    – Scott
    Feb 1 at 22:33

3 Answers 3

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Note, yes relatively low rep at this stack. But I'm not new to the SE network... not by a long shot.


Indeed.

I specifically included notes on edits due comments on the question.

Once edited, comments could, and probably were, interpreted as out of place.

By clarifying the edits I made, my thought was it would assist viewers who either:

  • A) didn't have privileges to view the edit stream (I don't know when those kick in), or
  • B) were unfamiliar with how to view the edit stream.

Traditionally I would never include anything regarding edits in the question. However, it seemed entirely appropriate in this instance. Especially given the nature of this stack.

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    Out of place comments are to be flagged "No longer needed"
    – Trish
    Feb 6 at 8:10
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On this stack, indications of question and answer updates, particularly in response to comments, but also second thoughts are often included in the body of posts. Especially when there is back and forth aimed at improving posts, it seems to me that including such indications is often proper, and indeed I think it should be encouraged in some cases.

I think this is a case where the nature of this particular stack is such that we should have a local guideline that is contrary to the general network view, and that such edits removing indications of editing should be reverted.

Do others agree?

Yes, but only those that add value to the post in the way described above by David.

The likes of the one that prompted this thread was, in my opinion, correctly deleted as it added nothing to the post and was just unnecessary noise that is better suited to the Edit Summary:

Edit: better, less annoying (custom) gif. Clarified acquittal/dismissal a bit.

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We don't need a local rule. The general Stack Exchange policy is entirely sufficient, because it works with the tools and system we have.

It is never necessary, nor really appropriate, to mark any part of the question separately, like with headings such as "Edit:" or "Update:".

The question should always be written as if that's the only version, and everything prior was a draft. This is not Reddit where we need or want to leave a record of discussion with a single person. Anybody can view the full history of a post at any time.

If it matters enough to know when each part of the post was made or altered, it's easy to find that (much easier than with a heading in the post, since it includes a timestamp and all users involved!).

In this case, this is literally the purpose of the edit summary. The text should have been included in that place, not the body.

I am removing it as irrelevant meta commentary; it is only needed to understand something about the post on Law SE, not in order to answer the question about law.

Please use the appropriate tools in the system. They exist for a reason; alternatives such as this are inferior for both accessibility and moderation.

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    I most strongly disagree, and I will continue to mark sections of questions and answers as updates when it seems to me appropriate to do so here on Law.SE. I will not edit war over this particular question, but I invite the OP of the question to roll it back again. Feb 2 at 0:15
  • There is literally a tool for this. There are systems built around people using this tool correctly. Why would you insist on ignoring an established system, actively subvert it, then try to invent your own worse alternative, and make work harder for others?
    – user4657
    Feb 2 at 2:08
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    I am in fact a more consistent user of the edit summery than most posters here.. I don't ignore it. Have a look. But I think in some cases it is highly useful to also indicate in the post itself certain changes, particularly changes in response to comments.. One purpose is to give credit when I adopted an idea or picked up a fact suggested in a comment. Another is to indicate a change in view, particularly when comments might otherwise seem hard to understand. I do not expect that most readers will look at the edit history, so if a change is important, I mention it in the post also. Feb 2 at 6:14
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    I would add that so far it seems that 4 people have agreed with me here, and 1 (I suppose you) has disagreed. No one has yet expressed agreement with you in this thread, although the original editor did in the edit that I reacted to. Five people is not a large sample, and of course this may change, but I don't yet see overwhelming support for your position. Feb 2 at 6:20
  • Yes, I'm well aware that upvoters on Law Meta frequently think they should diverge from what Stack Exchange has set in place. Being popular doesn't make it sensible or useful, when it is a shapeless block from someone else's jenga tower being forcefit into this jigsaw puzzle.
    – user4657
    Feb 2 at 6:43
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    "Being popular doesn't make it sensible or useful". The issue has absolutely nothing to do with "being popular". Sometimes indications of edits are indeed helpful, like when they streamline subsequent clarifications which otherwise would make prior answers look odd. Your references to "shapeless block", "jenga tower", and "this jigsaw puzzle" make the rest of your comment pretty much unintelligible. If anything, these terms you choose make us wonder about your sensorial [mis-]perception of SE posts. Feb 6 at 21:20
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    I think revision diffs are more useful when multiple people have made changes. But if an wants to crystallize their own thinking, it can be difficult to dispose of one's own creative efforts. Just from the point of view of encouraging participating, I think the policy of allowing "edit" or "update" notes is more welcoming.
    – grovkin
    Feb 8 at 22:48
  • Forgive me for trying to use an analogy, I'll make myself more blunt: we don't need manual, idiosyncratic, untrackable in-line notation of edits and updates, this isn't the 90s. Even suggesting the idea makes no sense, if one is beyond the superficial level of "log in, ask question here, write answer there, vote goes up and down". I understand posts as they exist in the ecosystem of Stack Exchange, which has a variety of tools and functions that do much more, and which are made pointless when people make whimsical decisions without knowing the effects.
    – user4657
    Feb 10 at 8:33

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