I'm sometimes puzzled by a question from the deep past that suddenly becomes active. I've recently seen it happen with this question, but I'm sure it has happened before. In this case an answer was edited and appostrophies added around a name of a latex command...In my opinion this should NOT trigger the question becoming active...though I'm not sure what is the best way of doing that.

I propose adding a 'This is a minor edit'-tickbox when editing an answer/question (like in wikipedia) to indicate that the question should not become active, subscribers to the question should not get notified etc.

What do you think?

  • 6
    'Minor edits' have come up before, both here and on the main meta site, and are status-declined. Basically, people should be very wary of minor edits on old material.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Oct 4, 2011 at 21:27
  • hmmm. but it happens ALL the time...oh well. Oct 4, 2011 at 21:29
  • Yes...so I read some of the discussion about it...I guess once Jeff is against an idea there's not much that can be done....oh well. Oct 4, 2011 at 21:45
  • 5
    It's been a while since I read that discussion, but one obvious problem is how to avoid people deciding that their major edit is minor. Also, some 'minor' edits, (even changing only a couple of characters) could be simply wrong. Every so often such an edit is proposed by a user without full edit privileges, and needs to be rejected. Of course, reputation limits could help with this problem, but not eliminate it.
    – Alan Munn
    Oct 5, 2011 at 1:49
  • 1
    Here's the (oldest?) meta.SO feature-request for this: meta.stackexchange.com/q/26483/146482 Oct 6, 2011 at 12:02

1 Answer 1


This is intentional and natural.

Touching old questions surfaces them for the community to vet, revisit, and assist in improving.

(In practice there is little difference between a "this is a minor edit" checkbox and an "I am not evil" checkbox. One man's minor may be another man's total invalidation of the post.. by whose standards is this minor?)

  • true. and I've more or less given up on this once I read your answer in the meta.SE...but that's not because I agree...I think that just as users reputation allows them to do more things, we could also have a reputation-limited option of a silent edit. I understand the worry, but it would be nice to have a mechanism by which some members could go over the old questions and answers, and edit them for the better, without the whole community being distracted by the effort. See for example the issue with about-to-be broken picture links. Oct 7, 2011 at 16:02
  • 2
    Another idea is the following: have the minor-edit box, but only use it to flag the question, so that users can see from the list of questions that that question bubbled to the top because of a "minor-edit". how they repond to that is their choice...but let's assume most users are honest and most people do agree on what is minor, and most people would prefer to skip over a question that only has a minor edit, rather than try to understand why that question came up again.... Oct 7, 2011 at 16:11

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