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(This is very much related to Andrew's post Improving editing suggestions etiquette, but with a different emphasis. Hope it's OK to have this as a separate question.)

Now that everyone can suggest edits to any post, it might be helpful to discuss how we handle the edit suggestions. The cause for my question is this post: Use (or redefine a) \tag command in text mode. It seems that an anonymous user proposed to fix the typo in "pair of parensis" (which is good), and the suggestion was to change it to "pair of parenthese". This still contains a typo and hence shouldn't have been approved, but that actually isn't the point I want to make:

I think the main point is that the edit suggestion didn't go far enough; just this one edit couldn't really improve the post: There's inline code to mark, there are more typos, the wording could be improved. I'm not demanding that a proposed edit has to catch every single bit, but such incomplete edits don't justify bumping the question half a day later (and moving it one step closer to community wiki).

So here's what I propose: For anonymous incomplete suggested edits, reject the edit and make a more complete edit. Same for very incomplete edit suggestions by registered users. If you want to give the registered user credit, have a look at the meta question mentioned above: Improving editing suggestions etiquette.

(Personally, I see pros and cons in suggested edits: On the one hand they can and do help improving our site, on the other hand I think it takes more effort to see if an edit was good than doing it myself.)

  • I have to admit that I accepted the edit, as I thought it very likely that the anonymous user was the original author (who is unregistered). – Caramdir Mar 15 '11 at 17:14
  • @Caramdir: Ah, that sounds like a good reason. But 1. you gave me reason to post this :-) and 2. it might still have been better to reject, but that would have meant a lot more effort for you then ... – Hendrik Vogt Mar 15 '11 at 17:32
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I agree.

There should also be (read: there is) an [improve] button that allows you to "edit the edit" as it were.

  • I didn't mention the "improve" button since this is already discussed at that other post Improving editing suggestions etiquette. What I (and Andrew) dislike about the "improve" button is that you get two edits to the post when you use it, thus bringing the post two steps closer to CW. – Hendrik Vogt Mar 15 '11 at 11:07
  • There should be also a possibility to tell the suggester why you rejected his/her edit. I had the cases where low rep users suggested edits to a high rep users answer to their own question to just tweak some of the settings (changing 'chapter' to 'section', or adjusting values). I find this things should be posted as comments instead. In certain cases these could make an answer wrong which would the reflect badly on the OP on the answer, so I normally don't like to approve these. – Martin Scharrer Mar 16 '11 at 8:10
  • @hendrik there is now a way for moderators to revert auto community wiki and protect against it, see: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2974/… and meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/1770/… – Jeff Atwood Mar 16 '11 at 8:14
  • Thanks a lot for that info! (I had followed the discussion on meta.math.sx, but didn't expect such a quick result!) – Hendrik Vogt Mar 16 '11 at 8:20

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