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Lately there have been some changes to the suggested edits review system. This now makes it impossible to reject edits as 'too minor' (which, in my opinion, is something terrible, but that's not what this is about).

I have the feeling that some users on this site are misusing the editing system.

It's great that some of you want to capitalize every 'i' on this site, change every 'you're' to 'your', and all the 'its's to 'it's's. But please, please, please, if you edit, make sure you edit everything that can possibly make the post better.

Example: 3.5mm headphone jack frequency range

(I'm mostly active on EE.SE, so I take an example from there, but this issue is network-wide).

Sure, the 'i' is annoying. But what about the 'Thanks'? What about all the sentences that don't start with a capital? What about the abuse of capitals in 'Analog to Digital'? What about 'I have been searched'? What about the utterly useless texts 'please help me!' and 'please say simple!'?

What's just completely annoying me is that some people are treating data space (because every edit takes space) of others as if it's free. Because every edit takes data space. It's like visiting someone and drinking all the coffee he has in stock. You don't do that, even when coffee is cheap and they have more than you can ever drink.

When I reviewed the first edit suggestion on this one, I just couldn't accept it. I really wanted to skip, because I didn't think a question that was so clearly off topic deserved a proper edit to fix all the grammar, so I didn't want to waste my time on editing it either. But I knew that if I would skip, the edit would most likely get accepted.

In the end another reviewer accepted the edit, but changed something himself as well: he removed the thanks. Great, again, but really. Do you guys only check for ' i ' and the bottom of the post when you edit? I truly think every post deserves more than that. So please, if you're going to edit, edit everything.

My guidelines

I think the system works. Some people just don't use the system properly. I feel there should be some editing guidelines. Ideally, the main points would show up on the edit page. But in this post I would just like to draw everyone's attention one's more to the problem.

This is how I would like to see editing being used.

For editors

  • Check the whole post for things to improve. If you feel like your time is too important to edit everything you see, leave it to others. If the post is so messy that nobody's time is unimportant enough, the post is really messy, the OP shouldn't expect an answer anyway and the question will most likely get closed as unclear what you're asking.

  • Don't edit for the 2 rep alone. This really isn't helpful to anyone, and the next privileges aren't as awesome and special as you think.

For reviewers

  • If you're reviewing an edit that is way too minor, either reject and edit or skip. The initial suggestion doesn't deserve a place in the edit history, and the person who suggested the edit doesn't deserve the 2 rep, so don't accept and edit.

    In this particular case I didn't skip because I was really, really annoyed. My apologies.

Related: Minor edits without impacting activity queue

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    \$\begingroup\$ Good points, +1. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Oct 14 '14 at 13:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd also warn editors to check everything including the title. Since it's way up there, sometimes the editor misses pretty gross errors on the title. And that's what goes in large print on the question list, so it's important. \$\endgroup\$ – Ricardo Oct 14 '14 at 15:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ricardo Very good point, thank you. (I actually miss it myself sometimes when I review) \$\endgroup\$ – user17592 Oct 14 '14 at 15:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Personally, I'll never edit to remove a Thanks. Politeness is never wrong, despite some near-religious objection to an expression of courtesy. I don't include a thanks in my own questions, in deference to custom, but won't remove them in others. (though, if I slip and add a thanks someday, and someone removes it, I might be tempted to roll it back to see what happens!) \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Oct 14 '14 at 21:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman even though I used to be a fanatic thanks-remover, I'm not really sure on this one anymore. The standard says no if I remember correctly, but on the other hand when I write a question myself it feels strange not to include thanks (I don't in the end, for the sake of the standard) - when people start adding personal greetings, their name etc, it's really too much though. \$\endgroup\$ – user17592 Oct 14 '14 at 21:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Mountain out of ant hill. Seriously, this seems whiny at best. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Oct 14 '14 at 22:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Here's another example of a stupid edit: electronics.stackexchange.com/q/134407/4512. The runon sentence is still there, the broken English is still broken, and there is still "Thank you" at the end. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Oct 15 '14 at 12:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Olin I submitted another edit to the question you linked, but you are correct, both Roh and I missed the run-on sentence. Still, it's better to iteratively improve a post than do nothing at all. \$\endgroup\$ – JYelton Oct 15 '14 at 17:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JYelton: Not necessarily, since iterating will bump it to the top of the active list each time. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Oct 15 '14 at 18:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Olin: So the real problem is the queue bumping rather than the editing. I suppose I haven't considered it as big an issue as the meta posts are suggesting it is, because I am usually on the "newest" questions tab, rather than the "active". \$\endgroup\$ – JYelton Oct 15 '14 at 18:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also noticed when you reject and edit it doesn't record the suggested edit from from I can see: electronics.stackexchange.com/posts/134561/revisions (original was just a title only edit) \$\endgroup\$ – PeterJ Oct 16 '14 at 12:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is nothing new and the Stack Exchange policies about how to edit are quite clear. The problem is the alarming number of people doing incorrect edits and the number of people approving them. If you visit the Stack Overflow site which has far more traffic than EE, you get hundreds of incorrect edits like this every day. It is a fundamentally wrong design choice in the whole Stack Exchange edit system, where you give far too much trust to random nut-jobs, with no way to put them in place except auto edit ban and the broken, easy-to-dodge review audits. \$\endgroup\$ – Lundin Oct 22 '14 at 8:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Lundin I didn't claim it to be anything new, I just wanted to draw some attention to this issue on this particular site. \$\endgroup\$ – user17592 Oct 22 '14 at 9:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CamilStaps Good points +1, ok and if you will call me agian in the future, please use chat-room. I mean chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/15/electrical-engineering Thanks \$\endgroup\$ – Roh Jan 10 '15 at 17:16
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I agree with @Keelan completely. Sometimes questions only have one minor issue, such as a typo or non-capitalized "I". These are the ones I wish would not bubble up to the top of the active questions queue when edited, but nevertheless I feel should be corrected.

I've come across several posts that were previously edited, and only certain things were fixed. When I edit questions I really do read the whole thing and try to edit it not just for capitalization but also for readability. It's not always easy, however, because some posts are just very badly written. (It may be an iterative process, assisted by asking the OP in comments, etc.)

The "thanks" politeness topic is somewhat of a debate. I agree with TheTXI's and Jon Skeet's answers. The take-away point being that this is not a forum. It should just be information as useful and concise as possible. Leaving various forms of thanks and greetings in the question just seems to invite more noise, and pretty soon you have something like Yahoo Answers, where it is difficult to trust anything.

I really would like if the site would provide some guidelines for new posters along these lines:

  • Please don't include "thanks" on your question. Show appreciation by voting for answers that help answer your question.
  • You do not need to "sign" your post, your user info is always automatically added by the system.

I do not have any brilliant suggestions for how to handle how "minor" edits bubble up on the active queue. Having an incentive (such as rep or badges) to edit is nice, but it also leads to a situation where you have to police the edits to ensure they are valid.

I don't edit for reputation, so why bother? It's simple: I like this site, and I care about the quality. I'd rather find useful information about electronics that's highly readable and not just SMS text and amateurish-looking posts on arbitrary forums.

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