I've a problem in understanding the feedback I get, mostly from one specific reviewer (although it's not limited to him per se); I got "This edit does not make the post even a little bit easier to read, easier to find, more accurate or more accessible. Changes are either completely superfluous or actively harm readability." feedback numerous times:

https://electronics.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/129264 https://electronics.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/129267 https://electronics.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/129326 https://electronics.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/129335 https://electronics.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/129347

All the edits done by me in a batch (mostly oscillator-related, because I was digging up that stuff during my research) were done in the exact same fashion I was doing for the last 5 years on SO: typography, defluffing, style corrections. Most of the times I've removed "developer story", salutations, added/removed missing/extraneous typographical characters or formatting markers etc.; those are IMO hardly things one would call "not making the post even a little bit easier to read & actively harming readability."

I'd understand if the feedback was that "I change the author's intent too much" (although I don't think it was the case in any of the scenarios). What's more funny, is that the reviewer who rejected those suggestions also accepted my other ones, virtually identical in scope and extent:

https://electronics.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/129265 https://electronics.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/129266 https://electronics.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/129320 https://electronics.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/129324 https://electronics.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/129331 https://electronics.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/129332 https://electronics.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/129333

Am I completely in the dark here, or is there something wrong with the reviewer's feedback?

  • \$\begingroup\$ While the first one clearly falls under the category of polishing a turd (and who am I to tell people what hobbies they should have?) the other edits mostly invoke the question "uhm, why?" in me (inevitably thinking of trying to collect the rep instead of really contributing). Therefore I suggest you tel us a bit about your motivation on why you did those edits, specifically the longer ones that only seem to be of a personal reading/writing style thing rather than substantially improving the post whatsoever. Maybe then we can point out a flaw in that reasoning (or not, depends). \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Nov 28 '16 at 15:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PlasmaHH I use those questions for the only reason I ever use EE - to learn things. If a question is fluffed, riddled with errors and/or garbage - I can't benefit from it. I edit them, because, one day, I might need the knowledge stored within them again - and digging through the garbage again, when I can do something or anything to at least try to remedy the problem - is just not my approach. If I'd like to rep-whore, I'd rep-whore; one'd see hundreds of questions and/or answers posted by me just for the sake of it. 5 years is long enough IMO, I think I passed that test. \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 28 '16 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting, I personally see the questions here as a library of questions for everyone, not just for myself, so even if I find some information uninteresting for me, I do not remove it, because it may be valuable for other people. \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Nov 28 '16 at 16:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PlasmaHH you're saying that "Searching over the internet looking for something suitable is exhausting when you aren't entirely sure what the hell you are looking at in the first place." is an information that should be passed to further generations by EE.SE? or that we have to know that OP's "electronics skills are pretty much like my old college russian skills", that he "would prefer not to spend 3 weeks catching up so I can build a simple amp to scare some cats! lol", and that "If anyone can help me out, it would be greatly appreciated.", "Thanks in advance!"? \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 28 '16 at 16:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ for most of this, yes, as it provides valuable context of what knowledge the OP has, and what technical level an appropriate answer should be written in. If a "Thanks in advance" destroys a question so much for you that you are unable to benefit from it, then you should probably work on that. People usually ask questions because they are not familiar with the matter at hand, thus having a hard time describing thing. Providing context is important, and leaving in a little trace of human interaction doesn't hurt most people reading it. \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Nov 28 '16 at 16:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PlasmaHH if internet Q&A is about human interaction for you, then I can't help you, mate. I prefer interacting with people I know and like, not with strangers on the internet, and we can agree we disagree on that. Thank you for your input, it's made things clearer for me. FWIW, I preferred the old EE, with Olin's snarky comments on people telling him their life's story instead of data directly relevant to problem. The ship has sailed, though. #SOalreadyinhell, yet again. \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 28 '16 at 16:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ given that nobody of the higher rep people that consist and contribute to the community (including olin) have edited these questions in several years time I think there is a mismatch between the community and what you perceive it is. Also have you noticed that Olin is actually doing the comments to get clarification/information instead of editing the questions into what he think the OP was trying to say? \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Nov 28 '16 at 16:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ My final suggestion would be to ask (and maybe answer) a few questions on your own before trying to go on an editing crusade, to have a feeling on what the community expects from questions and answers. With that said, I will go home now (oh those pesky traces of human interaction, or is this an implicit information that you can't expect any interaction from me in the near future? Well, thats probably irrelevant fluff information) \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Nov 28 '16 at 16:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PlasmaHH I'm not into pointless discussions, especially not today. Again, I thank you for your input and I wish you good luck, here on Meta, and I wish you'll be having a great time on both EE and other SE sites. I hope time proves me wrong and that it'll prove you're right. Till then, mate. \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 28 '16 at 16:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps someone got a bit annoyed at floating many old posts to the top of the active queue all at once. \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Nov 28 '16 at 20:39

I've looked at all the ones you posted. Only half are legit.

  1. The most egregious. You deleted some key information. No, op was not just "trying to build an audio device". He explicitly told us what he was actually trying, Trying to Drive a Piezo Buzzer. That alone merited a roll-back of your edit, which I just did. Sure it can use some help but deleting facts is not a valid edit!

  2. You removed a nicety and a salutation. It's a push, borderline trivial edit.

  3. Same as 4. You actually deleted a keyword that makes people think OP is trying to modify a commercial product instead of their own design. ALSO grammatically incomplete. You forget to edit in the adjective "A" in multiple places. Incomplete edits claiming to fix grammar make an ss out of me and you.

  4. Same as 3. Same edit attempted twice.

  5. You remove the part explaining OP's experience, but not the whole fluff about not knowing electronics well. Why exactly do one but not the other? Also the Salutations.

Approved though:

  1. Slight change to inflection, nothing bad.

  2. Best edit out of all of them. You inlined the links.

  3. Simple grammar edits. Good.

  4. Grammar, and removed actual fluff.

  5. You added a run-on sentence but otherwise neutral edit.

  6. Second best readability edit with no content changing.

  7. Simple cleanup.

Just from going over them, the set that were approved completely ARE SO MUCH BETTER than the set that were rejected.

They are different in scope. Less content, more formatting changes. Had I seen those edits, I too would have rejected the first half, with #1 being marked as a harmful edit, the others trivial or approve/reject and edit.

Besides, your own evidence shows that user is not single-mindedly out to get you or anything.

They approved multiple of your edits, and others agreed with rejecting some edits. Your stats show 90 approved 5 rejected, a 94.5% acceptance rate. Stop complaining about "feedback problem". You made some bad edits and they were rightfully rejected, but overall still batting 900.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I can understand your explanation for 1, 3 & 4. I don't see how 2 & 5 ain't legit, when we have a quite definite SE&EE consensus that those kind of edits are legit - meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2950/… meta.electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/5185/… ; also, as to your question "why" in 5) - in each and every one of them, I've tried to leave critical information about OP's experience. If I've failed, IMO it only proves I'm not perfect, as any of us; I've tried at least. \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 30 '16 at 10:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ That said, I've accepted your answer, as you're, arguably, the only person currently who answered my question at all, giving me actual feedback I can make use of, and for that I sincerelly thank you. \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 30 '16 at 10:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ As an aside, with a rollback of 1), if you restored important information with it (with which I can mostly agree, after reading your rationale), IMO you've also restored a ton of fluff and needless repetitions by OP. My question would be, what's your opinion on the current quality of that post's writing (not the question itself) - does it warrant an edit action as it currently stands? \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 30 '16 at 10:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Like I said, 1 could use some edits, as long as you avoid removing important information. 2 I said was a push. Not that it was bad. 5 just seems arbitrary and incomplete. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Nov 30 '16 at 19:34

You need to be very careful when editing someone else's post, and this is especially true on a site like EE.SE, where the content is highly technical, and the people who come here have hugely varying levels of experience and skill.

I only looked at a few of your examples, and in the very first one, you deleted a large amount of the original text, some of which was valuable context for anyone who wanted to attempt to answer the question. In order to write an answer that is compatible with the OP's level of experience, it is often necessary to "read between the lines", and any of the original lines that you delete might have been crucial to that process.

Because of the highly-technical nature of Electrical Engineering, we tend to focus a lot more on content and a lot less on form (punctuation, etc.) than perhaps other sites do. We limit our editing to particularly egregious examples — the ones that are so bad that it actually impedes understanding.

I just looked at your third example, and noticed that your edit included just as many grammatical problems as the original text. You need to make sure that your edits are an improvement, not just substituting one set of problems for another.

  • \$\begingroup\$ for each and every statement I removed, I can provide a strict rationale I've used; please point to those items of information I've removed that weren't redundant, made explicit and/or obvious in other part of the question. \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 28 '16 at 16:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ also, could you say what's wrong with the statement "I am having a problem with Pierce oscillator designed to work with my SMART Card reader."? I've read it about a dozen of times, and can't find any severe error in it. \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 28 '16 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps, but in doing so, you imposed your own "voice" on the post, which obscured the OP's "voice" and eliminated a lot subtle clues about context. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Nov 28 '16 at 16:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @vaxquis: Right the first one. You removed "I'm more of a programmer then a circuit designer (read: I'm not good with EE stuffs at all) but I'm working on an arduino project and it's not loud enough" which is two points of valuable context. Then you added "to be simple and have high output volume" which is simply not what the OP said. As per my comment on your original post, lay out these rationales so we can point them out \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Nov 28 '16 at 16:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ Missing article. It should be "I am having a problem with a Pierce oscillator designed to work with my SMART Card reader." Granted, this was in the "style" of the original post, but did not in itself constitute any significant improvement to understanding. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Nov 28 '16 at 16:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaveTweed is a single missing article "just as many grammatical problems as the original text [had]"? I beg to differ. If a missing particle is a valid reason to reject an edit which a) removes more than two sentences of pure fluff, including "cant" and broken grammar, b) fixed "pf" to "pF" & "pierce" to "Pierce", and if that's, quote "just as many problems" - then I concur and won't submit any more edit suggestions to EE from now on. \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 28 '16 at 16:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @vaxquis: the "pierce" to "Pierce" surely was an important, but you changed the sentence from "trying to build" to make it sound like there is an oscillator already present. Also that question was more than 5 years old, and clearly people understood it good enough to answer it back then \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Nov 28 '16 at 16:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would say that the age of the posts is a problem too, the majority is like 5 years old, if the community wanted them to be edited, then they would surely have been. \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Nov 28 '16 at 16:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Never again" is a bit too strong, but perhaps it would be a good idea to take a break from it for a while in order to get a better feel for which kinds of edits are acceptable here and which are not. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Nov 28 '16 at 16:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PlasmaHH "if the community wanted them to be edited, then they would surely have been"... Oh, how wrong you are there. As an anecdote, I've seen "We love dicks." carefully crafted into a Wikipedia page, untouched for a couple of weeks. The community is just a sum of people; if you discourage enough of them, you're left with yourself and your soul clones. (BTW, the oscillator was already present; he already stated it was built but malfunctioning) \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 28 '16 at 16:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaveTweed I believe that a process with negative feedback won't magically reverse its direction. I've seen where SO went a couple of years ago; I haven't seen a reversal nor do I anticipate one. EE was a hegemony, but a beautiful one. Now it's not a hegemony; it's also no longer beautiful in any sense that I know of. I hadn't gotten any real answer from any SE site in years... I've been taught that repeating the same error and expecting a different outcome is a sign of insanity; I prefer to at least try to stay sane. Thank you for you time, Dave, I hope I'm wrong in my assessment here. \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 28 '16 at 16:37

I can only see edits from you starting in around May of this year, not "the last five years", and in general, there are only a few a day, unless you're tweaking your own answers.

Most people will overlook trivial edits, unless they start piling up. Yesterday, you made a dozen edits (trying for the Strunk and White badge??), and it looked like you ticked a reviewer off. Some of the edits were trivial, and others changed the context of the question a little too much for some tastes.

If you feel strong enough about a post to edit it, it doesn't make much sense to get miffed about another community moderator feeling strongly enough to turn down the edit.

  • \$\begingroup\$ FWIW, stackoverflow.com/users/719662/… - that's about 1k of edits done in total; also, you can easily check that I've been registered on SO since 2010. to quote: "were done in the exact same fashion I was doing for the last 5 years on SO"; also, I've already stated why I did what I did in the comments, e.g. here. It's actually quite sad when people answer without even bothering to check the facts. \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 29 '16 at 18:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ BTW, before considering me a newbie on EE in any sense - check how many votes I've cast here, and compare that with other users. The figure should show how much I did read here. Add the fact that I seldom vote on answers, and that I've lurked on EE for as long as I've been on SO. I don't ask on EE, because I don't need to ask if I can figure the answer myself. I don't answer on EE, because there are people more knowledgeable than me here, and they are usually able to answer before I'm even able to start to formulate an answer. SE's gamification fails for me. \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 29 '16 at 18:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ that aside, I can agree with your 3rd paragraph, though I was hardly "miffed" IMO - I asked what am I missing here; if that's a "miffy" approach - then I'm a miffy, huffy guy - shame on me, I'm not gay enough for SE nowadays it seems. Note that I don't have a problem with the rejection itself, but with the reason given. What everybody here described would constitute a rejection based on "changing author's intent", not being "[not making the post] even a little bit easier to read". \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 29 '16 at 18:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @vaxquis It's not the question that makes me think you're miffed, but the extended defenses during all the discussion. FWIW, reasons for turning down an edit are no more meaningful than many close reasons. You may have thought that the reason was insufficient, and two users have offered what might be the reasons behind the reason. Then you launch a defense against each reason, telling us why we're wrong. It's a community-moderated platform, and justifying reasoning simply isn't required. A moderation action is a moderation action. \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Nov 29 '16 at 18:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ as to close reasons - I got scorned a couple of times because I mistakenly clicked the wrong close reason on the questions that actually got closed (and later deleted). I agree with that; either we are sloppy and lazy, or we ain't. Please, understand that I don't have a problem with the event, but I have a problem with the attitude. I'm telling you why you're wrong, because, frankly, you are. About 10% of what Plasma, Dave & you wrote actually answered any of the concerns I raised or brought me any information and insight - \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 29 '16 at 18:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ the rest was mostly set on showing me I'm wrong in voicing my concerns, in asking for guidance, in expressing my opinion, and in trying to discuss the things I consider dubious - and that was done mostly by raising up absurd (as I've written above) accusations about me; to sum up: 1) I'm a rep whore, 2) I'm a badge whore, 3) I should do what I'm told to, because that's how community works, 4) I should do what I want, because the community will fix it anyway, 5) those posts were too old and unimportant to be edited, 6) those posts are too important to other people than me to be edited \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 29 '16 at 18:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ ah, I've forgotten to add that I'm a) too inexperienced to edit questions, b) shouldn't edit questions because of that, c) I should first get the experience needed before editing the questions, d) I should get that experience by editing the questions. Also, I'm miff, but that's not an insult - that's a superlative. Also, my edits are lousy English because I've forgotten a particle once. Also, although we have a meta consensus that editing old questions is OK, I shouldn't do that, we have a consensus that trivial edits are OK, but I shouldn't do that also, and we have a consensus \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 29 '16 at 18:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ that I must be warm, understanding and welcoming to other people, but that doesn't apply to how other people should act versus me. Strange, I couldn't find that one in the FAQ here, probably missed it. The only thing that's missing is for somebody (feel free to do that if you fancy) to say I'm either trolling, venting or ranting, and call my replies "wall of text", and we'd be completely set. I got used to that on SO, and dropped answering & asking there completely. Like I've said, I'm honestly thankful for the input; less time spent on SE is more time for myself chuckle. \$\endgroup\$ – user20088 Nov 29 '16 at 18:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @vaxquis I stand corrected ... \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Nov 29 '16 at 18:57

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