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    • CommentAuthorMariano
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2010

    I've noticed that when someone makes too many edits to a question, the question becomes Community WIki automatically... Too much editing should not be encouraged, I guess, but sometimes it is in the nature of the subject that 'getting it right' may take several iterations... Can this be changed?

    While I imagine no one wants to maintain a different codebase, the number of edits at which this happens should not be too hard to change (on the other hand, IMO after a few edits, the question should not go back to the main page, and that may be slightly harder to achieve)

    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2010 edited

    Ah yes, the question I asked two days ago which has a total of 15 (maybe 16 now) revisions? The reason I did that was because I posted the question, and nobody answered it for a while, so I kept thinking, "How can I make this clearer?" or "Maybe I can change the title because it's really unappealing at the moment?" I ended up having to offer a bounty on it, which I would have done on the first day, but the current system doesn't allow you to add bounties until 48 hours after the question was posted. I would have preferred adding a bounty to having to wait two days to get an answer. In fact, I posted about this on meta yesterday or two days ago. It's really frustrating to get hung up on a point in a book and then have to wait (all the while making no further progress in the book). That's not to say that I expect people to answer my questions, but rather, I'd like to be able to offer an incentive for a quicker answer.


    Currently, I can't change the CW rules, but I'm also not convinced that it's much of a problem. I think a post becomes CW if it is edited more than 8 times or by more than 4 users (but I'm not 100% certain about these numbers). The "most edited recent posts" tool that I have suggests that it's not very common for a post to be revised more than 8 times, so this problem doesn't come up very often, and I do think it makes some sense to discourage people from making lots of small edits. Note also that edits that happen withing five minutes of each other count as a single edit in the revision history, which should mitigate the CW problem.


    Well, the five minute time limit is really useless. Sometimes it takes more than five minutes to fix a post. In an ideal world, we'd have something like a "half-hour revision period", after which point the post would be bumped to the top, but these aren't things that you have direct access to.

    Are there any chances on changing the restrictions on offering bounties? The two-day waiting period seems really silly and pointless.


    I think the five minute rule is useful. It reduces the number of revisions I make by a factor of two or three, since my most common edits are when I notice a few typos as I'm looking over what I just posted. Since these <5minute edits aren't stored in the revision history, it's hard to gauge how much other people use it. All I can do is recommend that if you're actively thinking about a post, try to make big edits. If you have something small you want to fix, leave a comment and delete the comment once you've fixed the post.

    Out of about 3000 posts made in the last month, only about 5 of them have been converted to wiki because of too much editing. This number isn't exact because I don't have a good way of telling how many posts were converted to wiki because of too many users editing rather than too many edits by one user, but it's clear that the problem (which I'm not convinced is a problem) doesn't come up much. It sounds like what you (Mariano and Harry) want is for posts never to be converted to wiki as a result of too much editing (and that the bumping behavior be modified somehow). I think the slight pressure against lots of editing is a good thing, but I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.

    If a question is converted to wiki because of too much editing, are the subsequent answers made wiki (like they are if the question were wikied by checking the box)? Based on Harry's question, it looks like the answer is yes. That's a behavior I really do want to change; there's no reason an answerer should be penalized because the questioner edited too much. It's late now, so I'm going to bed, but I'll post a request on meta.SE about this issue tomorrow. Or, if somebody else posts it, please also post a link here so I can go vote it up.

    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2010 edited

    I basically cut and pasted what you said. I only did this because I need reputation on meta.SE to vote up other requests.


    Anton, I agree. I find the five minute rule very useful, for the reason you give in your first paragraph.

    • CommentAuthorMariano
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2010

    Actually, I think that the problem is that the answers become CW, not the question itself.

    The five minute rule is quite useful, as everyone else who also has this syndrome which makes you blind to typos right up to the moment something is published knows!


    By the way, here are two meta.SO threads about this topic:

    I also reposted the "don't force the answers to be CW" request to meta.SO, but I'm afraid I didn't make it sound very good. CW is already a monster, and I find it hard to justify making it more complex.