Can someone explain why this question was closed? To my opinion it was a clear question. However, since it was closed as unclear what you're asking I explained it with an example and the edit was rejected for 2 reasons:

  1. This edit was intended to address the author of the post and makes no sense as an edit. It should have been written as a comment or an answer.
  2. This edit deviates from the original intent of the post. Even edits that must make drastic changes should strive to preserve the goals of the post's owner.

The 1st reason make no sense at all because the edit was intended to explain the question with and example and not to address the author of the post.

About the 2nd reason: can someone explain me why

This edit deviates from the original intent of the post? 

and why isn't it obvious that this was the OP's question?

  • 1
    I would suggest using the markdown tools for formatting and input of links. Using html tags can be sketchy at best and problematic when input wrongly.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 17:31
  • I see. Thanks for your edit.
    – User15
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 17:32

3 Answers 3


Your edit certainly makes the question clearer and more answerable, but it's not certain that the OP intended to mean what you wrote.

You're assuming they're entering a list of items sequentially by using a new row for each item, and not updating those rows later. If you have to take into account row updates, you'd need an automatic "last modified" timestamp for each row and then sort by the timestamp.

To get clarity on the exact situation of the OP, we'd better ask them, not just assume they mean what you think as illustrated above. If the OP comes back and helps us out with some more info, then we can reopen the question.

  • Well the question was to "sort based on when the rows were added" and not edited.
    – User15
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 17:38

As one of the community members who rejected your edit, it clearly overstates what you believe the question to be is far from a simple enhancement; you are putting major chunks of words and ideas in the original poster’s mouth by creating an edit of that size with new content. Screenshot of the rejected edit below for reference.

Not only is this bad practice in general, in this case a new user with a vague question basically get’s their question hijacked and what message does that send to them?

What you should be doing instead is requesting the user clarify their question a bit more in the comments. Clearly state they should edit their own question to add context. If they don’t you can’t help them any further. If they somehow comment to you directly with details then—and only then—should you give them an “assist” by taking their detailed comment and integrating it into the question.

But as it stands, you cannot presume to edit anything to the degree you attempted to and simply expect it to be accepted just because it seems better to you.

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  • So I'm still waiting for at least 1 example of What else may have been their question? Why wasn't it clear in the first place?
    – User15
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 17:59

Your edit seems to assume a detailed knowledge of OPs problem that exists in no form anywhere near their question or answers.

While it is good that you are trying to clarify their problem in order to get them an answer, from the reviewers perspective it seems more like you are adding detail of a problem that you are having in an attempt to hijack the question.

The current question is unclear, if you have a question that is somewhat similar but you can make it a lot more clear and useful then it would be much more beneficial if you asked your own question instead.

  • It doesn't matter what exactly the OP has in their excel sheet. The idea of the question is the same, it was just missing an example.
    – User15
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 17:43
  • But you have no way to say with 100% certainty that that example is what OP truly honestly meant. I can see that it is quite likely, but there may be some subtlely different path that they were taking and without their input you cannot say that this is what they meant. Edits should not put words in their mouth. If you'd have mentioned it in a comment, and they had agreed, then that would be fine, but your words are not their words until they agree they are.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 17:50
  • What else may have been their question? I think it was clear in the first place.
    – User15
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 17:54
  • 1
    @User15 We don't know what their question may have been, that is exactly the point. Put aside your assumptions and stick to what the original question actually said. Clarify via comments, get the users agreement, but don't tell them that they are asking the wrong question and put your "right" words in their mouth. I've stated my stance on this before meta.superuser.com/a/9442
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 17:58

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