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How come an edit was rejected if it improved the formating?

Isn't changing $\sum_x^y...$ to $\displaystyle \sum_x^y...$, 8 times, an improvement on an answer ?

(notice the above it's just an example of the edits I made on the original answer that I am refering to)

One of the "justifications" was: This edit deviates from the original intent of the post. Even edits that must make drastic changes should strive to preserve the goals of the post's owner.

The other "justification" was: This edit does not make the post even a little bit easier to read, easier to find, more accurate or more accessible. Changes are either completely superfluous or actively harm readability.

I've suggested edits a lot and most of them were accepted (see) that's why I was really surprised when I saw rejected edit. I tend to use \displaystyle or the double dollar sign, each time I see something like $\sum_{i=1}^{\infty}...$ (wheter on my own post or in someone else posts) but not on titles.

But it's not like I want to impose the use of \displaystyle on every post I come across. For example, if I see a post with this $\sum\limits_{i=1}^\infty...$, then I leave it as it is.

Also for the first time (since the last days of july) I got a downvote on one of my questions, acceptable/well question.

The only thing that I did change recently was my user name. Is it because of the arab female name?

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  • $\begingroup$ math.stackexchange.com/users/486983/elli-saba?tab=activity . If you felt it wrong to reject, they should be exposed ... math.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/1291829 $\endgroup$ – Roddy MacPhee Dec 8 '19 at 19:49
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    $\begingroup$ OK, I've looked at your last few suggested edits at the link @Roddy provided, elli, and I think it boils down to what Xander wrote in his answer here: the last edit was rejected because of the inline use of the displaystyle summation symbol. None of the accepted edits at that page had that, so the accepted edits were not just like the rejected one. I am convinced that the rejection of the suggested edit was made purely on typographical grounds, and had nothing to do with anyone's perception of your gender or ethnicity. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Dec 8 '19 at 21:22
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    $\begingroup$ I'm also convinced that the other suggested edits I looked at were excellent suggestions, and I'd like to encourage you to continue suggesting edits. And if, occasionally, an edit gets rejected, take it as an opportunity to learn something about the customs for presenting math on this website, and not as a personal attack. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Dec 8 '19 at 21:25
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson it was kinda silly to thought that it was because of my name (but it was the only different thing that I did). The thing is that it really surprised me because I've always used \displaystyle when I see something like $∑_y^x...$, $\lim_{x→y}...$ or $∫_y^x...$. When I don't use that, I use $$..$$. And nobody did ever complaint about it until now (after a lot of edits suggestions). $\endgroup$ – Bellatrix Dec 8 '19 at 21:49
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    $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson to your last comment, Thank you. I try to improve them for the best, IMO $\endgroup$ – Bellatrix Dec 8 '19 at 22:02
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    $\begingroup$ @ellisaba: As someone who has been using LaTeX for well over 30 years, let me say what my problem would be: summations in display style require extra spacing above and below the line; that tends to look bad in the middle of a paragraph, which is precisely why summations in in-line mode take their limits the way they do. In addition, the summation symbol in display style is substantially larger than summation in in-line mode, again requiring too much space. Integral symbols are slightly different because the limits don’t require extra space, though the symbol does. [...] $\endgroup$ – Arturo Magidin Dec 9 '19 at 3:44
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    $\begingroup$ @ellisaba: [...] In general, you should avoid display style symbols that are too big in the middle of paragraphs; if you don’t like the in line symbol, or you think it is too cramped, then that’s a sign that the formula should be displayed, not that it should be typed in displaymode while staying in the paragraph. I would have rejected that edit on purely typographical grounds. $\endgroup$ – Arturo Magidin Dec 9 '19 at 3:46
  • $\begingroup$ @ArturoMagidin I see. I'll take into account your comments about LaTeX next time. Thanks for your suggestion. $\endgroup$ – Bellatrix Dec 9 '19 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ This is a moral duplicate of this old question, which is about \dfrac rather than the general case. $\endgroup$ – user1729 Dec 10 '19 at 10:44
  • $\begingroup$ I removed the discussion of names since it seemed to have run its course. $\endgroup$ – quid Dec 10 '19 at 12:44
  • $\begingroup$ @quid ok // may I know why did you delete my firsts comments too? $\endgroup$ – Bellatrix Dec 11 '19 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ @ellisaba because it was unrelated to this post and therefore created confusion. $\endgroup$ – quid Dec 11 '19 at 21:41
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No. $\displaystyle\sum_{x}^{y}$ is not an improvement over $\sum_{x}^{y}$. Display style mathematics should be used in displays, and in a diminishingly small number of other circumstances. Display style math in an inline context stretches the vertical space on that line (which makes the line spacing inconsistent; see above), and is generally considered poor form. In my opinion, the reviewer(s) made the correct decision.

An answer to a related query on TeX SE has the following to say about fractions in inline math:

An important general aspect of what's considered to be good typography is the creation of an even amount of "color" -- or "average grayness", if you prefer -- across pages and across paragraphs within a page. There are obviously many factors -- so far unspecified -- that determine a page's "average grayness". E.g., are the paragraphs on average quite long or quite short? How tight is the interline spacing? Are successive paragraphs separated by extra whitespace? Are there lots of displayed equations? Taken together, these aspects should indicate fairly clearly when (and when not) to use \frac and friends in inline math situations.

While they are specifically addressing the issue of fractions, the basic advice remains the same. Good typesetting should give a relatively uniform "look" or "color" to the page. Display style elements tend to be visually heavier and tend to produce extra white space on the page. This is generally considered undesirable.

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    $\begingroup$ Completety agree. That it stretches the vertical spaces make the text so weird. I would not do that between the text (if I had to, I would add an equation instead) $\endgroup$ – Arctic Char Dec 8 '19 at 1:40
  • $\begingroup$ $\tiny{\displaystyle\sum_x^y}$ is probably worse. $\endgroup$ – Roddy MacPhee Dec 8 '19 at 2:01
  • $\begingroup$ "Display style mathematics should be used in displays" which displays do you refer to? $\endgroup$ – Bellatrix Dec 8 '19 at 18:23
  • $\begingroup$ @RoddyMacPhee of course it is. When I see books I see something like $\displaystyle \sum_x^y...$ and not $\sum_x^y...$ $\endgroup$ – Bellatrix Dec 8 '19 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ I've always used \displaystyle when I see something like $\sum_x^y...,$ $\lim_{x\to y}...$ or $\int_x^y...$. When I don't use that, I use $$..$$. And nobody has ever complaint until now. $\endgroup$ – Bellatrix Dec 8 '19 at 18:29
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    $\begingroup$ If there is enough space to not interfere with line spacing it's fine. $\endgroup$ – Roddy MacPhee Dec 8 '19 at 19:16
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    $\begingroup$ displays are what math on its own line is called. $\endgroup$ – Roddy MacPhee Dec 8 '19 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ fonts.com/content/learning/fontology/level-1/type-anatomy/… $\endgroup$ – Roddy MacPhee Dec 8 '19 at 21:01
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    $\begingroup$ @ellisaba; Just because you’ve always done something doesn’t mean that you were doing it correctly or in the best way. One can do something consistently, and still do it less than optimally. $\endgroup$ – Arturo Magidin Dec 9 '19 at 3:47
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Reasons it is unlikely to be looked at favorably:

  • It spaces lines out way more than required ( and can create typographical widows)
  • It can usually be replaced altogether with something that will fit inline ( like $x_n+\cdots+x_1$)
  • Making it tinier to avoid using inline math, just makes it hard to read ${\tiny{\displaystyle\sum_x^y}}$ for example.
  • You didn't change an ellipsis to \ldots or \cdots, it's an incomplete edit, makes it look petty while wreaking havoc.
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  • $\begingroup$ Roddy, to your last bullet, $\sum_x^y...$ was just an example, it's not how it was in the original post (was a series). My only concern about my question was the \displaystyle // I don't understand your 3rd bullet $\endgroup$ – Bellatrix Dec 8 '19 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ \displaystyle is a command to treat inline (single dollar signs in text) math as you would math on its own line. You'd have to shrink it to avoid line spacing issues (it's typed larger than inline math usually is, at last check). This makes it nearly illegible. $\endgroup$ – Roddy MacPhee Dec 8 '19 at 18:49
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    $\begingroup$ I don't see how points 2 and 4 are relevant. $\endgroup$ – YiFan Dec 9 '19 at 22:54
  • $\begingroup$ I only mentioned the last because of the question presentation. point 2 was in case they plane on invoking it inline ( like they did in the suggested review). $\endgroup$ – Roddy MacPhee Dec 9 '19 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ @YiFan It's my fault that point 4 doesn't looks relevant on Roddy's answer. I should have specified in my question that $\sum_x^y..$ was a merely example. Of course that I still can edit my question, but that would bump it again on the main page $\endgroup$ – Bellatrix Dec 9 '19 at 23:45
  • $\begingroup$ plan * stupid brain. $\endgroup$ – Roddy MacPhee Dec 9 '19 at 23:48

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