Sometimes, when I review suggested edits, I notice that the editor fixed some minor aspect of the post, while ignoring some other easily fixed problem(s).

For example, just now I've seen a suggested edit to replace a single $.$ in a mathematical formula with a $\cdot$, which is fine (if tad minor), but there was an obvious typo in the question title (jumbled letters) left untouched. There was also a minor issue with capitalization, which I would completely ignore had it been the only problem.

I chose to improve the question and fix the other problems, only to find that the edit has already been approved, and my edit is not sufficiently substantive, but that is a little beside the point I'm driving at here.

In cases like this, do you think the edit should be approved? Or if you chose to improve it, do you believe you should say that the suggested edit was helpful, even if it missed some rather obvious faults?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Every little improvement is helpful, so I don't see why it shouldn't be approved. If you can improve other things in the post, do so. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander Gruber Mod
    Commented Jun 1, 2013 at 15:44
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ @AlexanderGruber: In that case, why even allow rejection of an edit on grounds of being too minor? Excessive editing of very minor things could, as I understand it, force a post into CW, which would be bad. $\endgroup$
    – tomasz
    Commented Jun 1, 2013 at 15:45
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ @Alexander: Because sometimes these things amount to pure gaming and exploiting the +2 rewards. And we want to give those rewards to the people actually bothering to look at the post... $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jun 1, 2013 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ Well, that and what Asaf said. $\endgroup$
    – tomasz
    Commented Jun 1, 2013 at 15:46
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I think $.$ to $\cdot$ is enough to earn a guy $2$ rep. (I always viewed 'too minor' as for invisible/near invisible edits, like \text to \operatorname, modifying {} in formulas, and so on.) But perhaps I place more value in appearance than others. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander Gruber Mod
    Commented Jun 1, 2013 at 15:49
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ @Alexander: Strange. If you place more value in appearances you should appreciate things which correct the kerning and spacing. In particular the switch from \text to \operatorname, or so. :-) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jun 1, 2013 at 15:57
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @AlexanderGruber: Don't get me wrong, I would edit my own post to make a change like that, and maybe I even would edit someone else's (though I usually prefer pointing it out to the poster), particularly if there was something else to improve. But improving minor spelling/notation flaws in several edits by different people, and leaving the fixing clearly unfinished (so that others have to finish the job, or the post still looks bad) doesn't seem like praiseworthy effort. $\endgroup$
    – tomasz
    Commented Jun 1, 2013 at 15:58
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Maybe you can use a criterion for determining if a suggested edit is helpful: if you have to (apparently) expend more editing effort than the edit proposer to improve the post, then you should feel free to uncheck the "suggested edit was not helpful" box after adding your own fixes. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 1, 2013 at 17:29
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't see this, and I agree that overall it is a minor edit. But using a baseline period to denote multiplication is one of my a pet peeves, so I would have accepted an edit like this on that basis alone. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 1, 2013 at 17:47
  • $\begingroup$ My usual course of action is to copy both title and body from my editing window (I have an enhanced clipboard program to facilitate this) and re-edit the question. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Commented Jun 1, 2013 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Lord_Farin: I just have Linux and its double buffer, one for actually ctrl-c/ctrl-v and one for selecting text and pasting with a middle click. After one is used to work with that, it's nearly impossible to work otherwise. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jun 1, 2013 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila Oh, I meant using \operatorname out of context, e.g. in $$\forall x\in X \operatorname{ such that } x>y\ldots$$ or other non-operator text within mathematical expressions. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander Gruber Mod
    Commented Jun 1, 2013 at 21:16


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