Recently, I've found out that questions with $ \TeX $ markup in their title are excluded from the Hot Network Questions. This made me think about my editing habits.
One of my favorite topics is functional-equations. It very often happens that I encounter a post about this topic with a title similar to one of these:
- "How to solve this functional equation";
- "Find a function satisfying a given condition";
- "Hard functional equation";
- "Function problem from [author's name]'s [book name] on page [page number]";
- "Problem [problem number] of [contest name and year]"
These kinds of titles say almost nothing about the content of the post (other than being about functional equations, which is obvious from the tag). In fact, other than in the case of famous functional equations that have a well-know name (like additive functions satisfying Cauchy's functional equation), it seems that there is no way of differentiating two post on functional equations by looking at their titles, unless the equations appear there. Without that, one might open many post that he/she is not interested in, or miss ones that he/she is interested in. Also, for many posts about other topics, adding a brief formula in the title will be a huge change in conveying the intentions of the post, and the issue is not limited to posts about functional equations.
These made me start to edit any such post I encounter and add the functional equation (or the formula related to the content of the post) to the title. But seeing this meta post made me wonder whether that's a good idea. Fortunately, most of the posts I've edited in this fashion were ones inactive for a long time, and as a consequence, they couldn't appear as Hot Network Questions at the time. But the point that remains to be true is that it's me editing the post, and it's not the choice of the owner of the post or those that have posted answers to it, whom are affected by it. Also, it made me wonder whether there are issues other than this, that can be the result of this sort of editing, that I'm unaware of.
So, is it a bad idea to continue doing such edits? Is it a generally encouraged/discouraged behavior? Are there better alternative ways to achieve the same goals? Also, are there issues other than the mentioned one regarding editing titles?