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An edit I made was rejected. The reason given is

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.

I wasn't trying to address the author, I was just trying to improve his answer. He provided step by step instructions and said you would have to reboot after each update. I found out that is not true - you only have to reboot once at the end. So I tried to improve his instructions and save time for everyone who comes across his answer. It took me an hour to install all the updates; it would probably take someone 2 hours if they had to reboot after each update. I don't see how my edit "makes no sense".

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    maybe the reviewers felt it would be better if you left it as a comment - I'd have accepted your suggested edit though. – Sathyajith Bhat Feb 19 '16 at 6:40
  • According to the FAQ, comments are temporary and not expected to be around forever, and should really be edited into the post if it adds helpful information. – pacoverflow Feb 19 '16 at 6:52
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    to be clear, when I said leave it as a comment, I meant leave it as a comment asking the author to update the post saying "there's no need for multiple reboots, one is enough." – Sathyajith Bhat Feb 19 '16 at 6:53
  • What's the difference between the author making the edit and me making the edit? – pacoverflow Feb 19 '16 at 6:57
  • In this specific case, none. – Sathyajith Bhat Feb 19 '16 at 7:20
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    In this particular case the OP is still around (Last seen 17 hours ago) so adding a comment for him to improve his question is appropriate. Where the OP hasn't been seen for a long time a suggested edit would be more useful (and when you have 2k+ rep you will be able to make the edit directly). – DavidPostill Feb 19 '16 at 12:23
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    Your edit would have changed what the author said. The edit was rightfully rejected for that reason alone – Ramhound Feb 20 '16 at 5:24
  • @Ramhound Community Manager Shog9 disagrees with you in his post where he says: "Best of all — edit and improve the existing questions and answers!" – pacoverflow May 20 '16 at 2:25
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As one of the "reject" reviewers, I believe I am eminently qualified to comment here.

Your edit changes the meaning of the post, effectively putting words in somebody's mouth that they did not say. The poster of a question or answer is, understandably, given a good deal more leeway in making significant changes to their content. If you have 2K reputation, edits like these can be acceptable (because they're applied immediately) if you really know what you're talking about.

If you had left a comment, the poster likely would have updated their answer if the information was correct (and edit reviewers aren't expected/required to judge technical accuracy). Once that was done, the comment could go away.

  • I think that if an edit shouldn't be allowed since it changes the meaning of a post, then it shouldn't be allowed regardless of how much rep you have. It is also debatable as to whether my edit changed the OP's meaning, since the point of his answer was to get all the updates installed, and my edit still achieves that result, just much faster. – pacoverflow Feb 20 '16 at 20:47
  • @pacoverflow But how are reviewers supposed to know whether the changed technical information is correct? What if somebody proposed an edit that was wrong? Though your way may have achieved the goal, it changes what people following the instructions in the answer would do - i.e. it changes the meaning. It's useful information, but it should have been a comment. About 2K-itude: it's the consensus of the community that unilateral edits can make very small or very large changes that suggested edits cannot. You could make your case on Meta, if you'd like. – Ben N Feb 21 '16 at 2:34
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I'm the author of the original post. I had to reboot. That's why I wrote the instructions as I did.

  • I understand. But the purpose of StackExchange is to build a repository of answers that people can find later, and if an answer can be improved, then it should. That's why I made the edit. If you don't feel like editing your answer, then that is fine, I will post my own answer. – pacoverflow Feb 20 '16 at 20:50
  • Which is fine, but edits should not change what the original author said, saying you don't have to reboot to solve a problem does not really add very much anyways. – Ramhound Feb 22 '16 at 16:48
  • I edited Step 5 to emphasize that reboot was necessary for me and may not apply to everyone. – RJo Feb 23 '16 at 0:28
  • Addendum - Though it took awhile to nail it, the unspoken key point about @pacoverflow's situation is that it can take a lot of time to reboot, so avoid if it you can do so with confidence. – RJo Feb 23 '16 at 0:34

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