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I won't be surprised if it has already been discussed, but anyway.

I relatively often make minor edits to my own answers: typically a typo in math or in English, or a slight modification of the logic to make it clearer. And as well to other answers or questions, usually for a typo, often in a name, or in maths if it's really trivial and doesn't justify adding a comment (the latter is debatable).

I am also aware that all edits, however tiny, push the question to the top of the question flow, and that often causes endless discussions about whether or not the edit should be made at all.

But I think it's not the right way to look at the problem: here the technical details (pushing to top) influences how we regard an edit, even if there is a motivation to do it. Not adding the extra burden of having to see it again becomes more important than doing it, and it seems wrong.

For instance, correcting a typo in a proper name is always justified to me, but it does not necessarily justify pushing the question to the top, as it's not a significant modification of the question or answer that would make it worth of seeing it again.

Another case I often have is a number of edits after the first publication of an answer: usually it's not perfect at once, and I have to add modifications, if only to answer comments by the OP. In a few cases, the answer was so long and complicated that I had to do change it many times, and it's an unnecessary burden (there are ways to deal with this, but I don't think they are perfect either).

So my suggestion would be: allow to flag the edit as minor, and add a filter to the question list to allow masking minor edits (or just mask them without any additional filter). It already exists on Wikipedia, for instance.

There is a flaw: an ill-intentioned editor could manage to hide an edit he does. There are a few ways to circumvent this:

  • Allowing only users with enough reps to mark as minor: after all, we don't know if newbies know well what is considered minor, and it may require some time to adapt. Might be possible to remove the rep bar if editing one's own answer/question.
  • For newbies, edits pass through a review queue anyway.
  • It might be possible to mark as minor only if the diff is small enough (possibly not enforced for one's own answer/question).

Just a suggestion. I don't even know if it's actually feasible within the SE framework. But I believe it would help a lot to avoid unnecessarily feeling guilty for something that is really ordinary.

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    $\begingroup$ I would be okay with that, provided the question asked has not previously been closed, reopened. Relevant edits should be made withing the first three hours of posting an answer. We ask askers not to keep editing their questions, so as not to create a "moving target". The same should apply to answerers, so that answers keep being transformed after a reasonable period of time. If only up to ten characters are changed by a user on their post, that should be fine (typo, grammar error), but edits of 20 or more characters by the poster should need to be examined, for "why now", etc. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Aug 23 at 15:26
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    $\begingroup$ In short, I don't think edits should necessarily get an automatic pass, to go undetected. Too many askers attempt to vandalized their posts after receiving an answer, and change posts along the way, and the same applies to answerers. So I think we can be forgiving of minimal editing by author, within a short period of time, and not after a post is closed and reopened. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Aug 23 at 15:30
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    $\begingroup$ @amWhy Yes, it's the problem that comes to mind immediately. Having a reputation requirement would limit the problem, as it's mostly caused by new users. And there is still the review queue. Not sure it would be enough to prevent problems. $\endgroup$ Aug 23 at 15:33
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    $\begingroup$ Um... I think the correct approach is to avoid minor edit: if you have to correct a misspelled name, do it and at the same time, do all the other modifications that you found necessary. Then there won't be multiple edits. $\endgroup$ Aug 23 at 15:52
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe try having a character limit again? Like the comment do. $\endgroup$ Aug 26 at 1:47
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    $\begingroup$ I would like to correct typos in questions and answers I see. Sometimes they are quite old. Having a minor edit filter would make this more reasonable to do, and would improve the quality of questions and answers in small ways. $\endgroup$
    – Mars
    Sep 2 at 19:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Jean-ClaudeArbaut I have removed discussion tag since this post focuses on feature request. Is it fine? $\endgroup$
    – user876009
    Sep 3 at 4:37
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    $\begingroup$ @Mars, there's nothing wrong with correcting an occasional typo. The problem only arises when someone corrects a large number of posts over a small bit of time, flooding the front page with old posts. Correct three or four posts a day, no one will complain. $\endgroup$ Sep 3 at 7:44
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    $\begingroup$ Why does SE work the way it does? As I understand it, if there can be any edits without bumping the question, then that will be an opening for spammers, revenge edits, etc. $\endgroup$
    – GEdgar
    Sep 3 at 15:35

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