15

While fiddling around an issue I’ve just met, I’ve discovered a likely related issue which needed another MWE and description. I wanted to edit my question, but that would mean nearly doubling its length. However, a comment is out of the way (it is too short).

Should I edit my question in such a case? If I do should I try and make clear what is new and what isn’t (better for returning readers) or should I try to make it as coherent as possible at any given moment (better for new reader)? When it becomes stable (or when it gets a satisfying answer), should I refactor the question for future readers or not?

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    I edit my questions all the time, and often, changing a sentence her, a point there. If it clarifies the question, I think it's of value to do so. Think of future readers. – Steven B. Segletes Jun 25 '13 at 1:58
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    Just bring it on! :P (contingent upon Werner's remarks heh) – percusse Jun 25 '13 at 11:33
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    werner's answer covers everything very well, but i'd like to stress that if the update is code for a mwe, please put it directly into the question; it's terribly hard to untangle a strung-out code blob. – barbara beeton Jun 25 '13 at 14:08
14

If the addition to a question is minimal, you can leave a comment as clarification. For almost everything else, I would suggest that editing your question is a far better option than having a discussion-style commentary. Comments are not always shown - it depends on the number of them, and the votes they've received.

There are some considerations in terms of question edits:

  • Edits go "unnoticed" within the first 5 minutes of any previous edits. This gives you time to perfect an edit, if needed, without affecting the revision history with every edit;
  • Don't change the question. That would not be considered an edit;
  • Add pictures (even as a new user; just remove the preceding !) and code (in the form of a MWE);
  • (For the more advanced editor) Consider whether the question tags are valid and, if needed, change them as well during an edit;
  • Too many edits and your post is converted into a community wiki, stopping future "royalties" from trickling in;
  • Don't edit your question to insert an answer. It's called a question for that reason and we'd like to keep answers separate from questions.
7

I'd distinguish two cases.

  1. The question still doesn't have an answer
  2. One or more answers have been given

In the first case, adding information can help in getting an answer; in the second case, I'd be very cautious in doing a substantial addition that could invalidate the answers.

So, as usual, “it depends”. If you feel that the addition is worthy and only requires just small adjustments to the existing answer (or is already covered), do it. But, please, add also a comment to the answers, so that the posters can get informed about the changes. They might remark that the addition is too substantial, so you can resort to "plan B"

Plan B is to be used whenever none of the conditions above are satisfied; it is rather simple: make a follow-up question.

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