Reacting against edits

I just want to mention it because it's not the first time that this weird thing happened to me. Sometimes when I edit a question or answer, I see the poster makes minor edits to remove my name. I got used to it and interpret it as "I don't like to see your name next to mine, go away"! Today an old user did the same thing twice, at first I thought I was wrong but when I corrected the typo again, they made a minor edit just to get me to stop editing. I was bitterly disappointed by it. Should I take an action in these cases or is it better to ignore it? While editing is a core, fundamental Stack Exchange value, or so I've been told.

• I thought "instead of leaving a comment, I'll just quickly edit the typo" was a better idea. Note that I was not fighting, I was helping the poster! – Gigili Aug 6 '12 at 23:24
• I am the one involved. I had just posted an answer, was proofreading the result, found some typos, as usual. There was also a puzzling message about an edit. Uploaded my typo fixes, found a newly introduced (not by me) typo, corrected, uploaded again. Ended up making minor wording changes a few more times. As usual! I am happy to have my typos corrected, but it would be useful if this is not done during the fluid few minutes after posting. – André Nicolas Aug 6 '12 at 23:27
• Why didn't you reply to my comment to explain? I didn't know you were in the habit of editing your answer a thousand times. – Gigili Aug 6 '12 at 23:35
• Well, not a thousand. But a half-dozen or more is common if the post is of any length, initially for content and then sometimes for prettiness (tags, displaymath). I had no idea what was meant by the phrase "behaving like a new user." Presumably not a good thing, but I did not know what not good thing it was. – André Nicolas Aug 6 '12 at 23:35
• I am sorry that we ended up editing at cross purposes. When I saw your comment, I did not even know that you were attempting to edit. I thought the comment was an amused one about my editing incompetence. The incompetence is true enough, it often takes a few passes before typos, in particular missing caps, are fixed (my shift key sticks). – André Nicolas Aug 7 '12 at 0:09
• I doubt that anyone has ever made an edit just to remove another person's name from being associated with an answer. I doubt that anyone has ever made an edit just to stop someone else from making edits. What appears to be the result of malice usually has another explanation. – Gerry Myerson Aug 7 '12 at 0:50
• I think that you're being paranoid. – Asaf Karagila Aug 7 '12 at 2:06
• @AndréNicolas, FWIW, the edits you make in the first minutes are in fact coalesced into one big edit, so it is pretty much a good idea to do what you do. – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Aug 7 '12 at 3:04
• People tend to do many edits in the first few minutes after posting, when they proof-read it again or notice some minor things that were not caught in preview. Several times I've been helping some users with improving their TeX. When I was near the end of the lengthy post I received a notification that it was edited by the OP. (So I have to be fast or I should wait a few minutes.) Nevertheless, cleaning posts (correcting typos, improving TeX) is a good thing to do, it is better in recent questions (to avoid bumping old questions), so I am glad you're doing it and I hope you'll go on with it. – Martin Sleziak Aug 7 '12 at 6:02
• Hi Gigili, I didn't read the comments and unless someone had linked me here I would not have seen this thread at all (as I don't follow meta): Just want to say that this might all be a coincidence. It might happen if you edit one of my posts because I generally do not check who edits my posts. So if it happens: ignore me. And maybe it's good to generally ignore it since it's just random people on the internet, so what does it matter, hey? – Rudy the Reindeer Aug 7 '12 at 13:24
• And what Asaf said. I think it's very likely to be a coincidence. – Rudy the Reindeer Aug 7 '12 at 13:25
• @AsafKaragila You have got to be kidding! Why would you make a nasty personal attack in response to an honest question? Or is today "pick on Gigili day"? It would be nice if we could keep the conversation here polite. – user22805 Aug 8 '12 at 3:31
• David, this is not how a meta thread should be. It mentions a particular user. This is a flat out accusation. I think she can get paranoid sometimes, I doubt that anyone here cares too much to "remove her name". Instead I think that people care about correcting their own mistakes. – Asaf Karagila Aug 8 '12 at 5:11
• @AndréNicolas Thanks for your comments. Sorry that I reacted this way, but it seemed to me at the time that there was something malicious going on. I know it's happened to me before too. It's good to hear that it wasn't the case this time, so thanks. – Gigili Aug 8 '12 at 9:12
• For the sake of transparency: I removed an earlier comment objecting some aspects of some of Gigili's comments. Her latest comment to André made this comment obsolete, as far as I'm concerned, and while I'm all for documentation, I don't think it is necessary to preserve everything... – t.b. Aug 8 '12 at 9:33

2 Answers

You should assume good intentions when multiple edits happen in a short time. Edits that are judged to be more substantial will silently overwrite smaller edits that happened in the meantime. The grace period for edits makes this even more complicated, and can lead to completely misleading edit histories. E.g. the emtpy edit you can see in the version history on your example is likely caused by overwriting edits during the grace period.

• The obvious solution (as mentioned in the comments to the question) to this is that editors should really wait until the grace period is over in order to avoid interference with the answerer. Better leave a comment if you don't want to wait, especially if it's such a tiny correction as the one all this is about. – t.b. Aug 7 '12 at 9:12

It is better to ignore it. ${}{}{}$

• OK , thank you. – Gigili Aug 6 '12 at 23:09
• Very, very often, the only issue is that the poster does not even know you edited anything. – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Aug 6 '12 at 23:09
• Well, yes. But I'm pretty sure that was not the case. – Gigili Aug 6 '12 at 23:09
• Unless you read minds, it is impossible to know. Ask the poster in a comment to the answer in any case. – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Aug 6 '12 at 23:10
• I did mention it and got no response which means I have nothing to say. And it did happen twice. You can just look at the last edit the post has made which is empty. Anyway, I'll ignore it. – Gigili Aug 6 '12 at 23:11
• The tone of the comment can read is rather out of place, really; if that is what you meant by «I did mention it», I suggest you rephrase... Would you mind deleting it? – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Aug 6 '12 at 23:13
• OK, now that doesn't make sense. Are you saying $y=\frac{3a^2-x^2}{2x}$ and $y\frac{3a^2-x^2}{2x}$ are not different? I first thought it was meant to be multiplication. I don't follow your reasoning, sounds you're defending such behavior. – Gigili Aug 6 '12 at 23:14
• Please avoid turning this into a conflict waaaaaay out of its sensible proportion. «Defending»? – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Aug 6 '12 at 23:15
• I do mind. You can delete it if you found it impolite. I was surprised and said something with heavy irony. I see nothing impolite or disrespectful. – Gigili Aug 6 '12 at 23:15
• Very well, I'll take your advice (as I have no choice) and will ignore it. – Gigili Aug 6 '12 at 23:18
• «Heavy irony» rarely helps, as you probably have noticed. I will not delete the comment —I tend to value the documenting value of not deleting things. – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Aug 6 '12 at 23:21
• @Gigili : I think you need to start giving other people the benefit of doubt or you will end up being a very angry man ... – BlueTrin Aug 7 '12 at 10:54
• @Blue: she's angry, but not that angry ... – The Chaz 2.0 Aug 7 '12 at 14:18