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A week ago, I came across this question, and the answer by Steven Stevenson:

Windows 7 desktop icons are blank

When I first noticed the answer, it was just a wall of text. So I decided to make the answer easier to read, by breaking the answer up, and performing some minor formatting.

After a while, I got a notification that my edit was rejected for the following reason:

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.

I tried to see if I had any recourse; request for further peer review, or even reply to the rejection. However, I found that I was unable to do anything to appeal my edit. I decided to think on it for a while.

I came back today, to find that the user who posted the answer re-formatted their answer in pretty much the same way I did (exception on breaking up the word batchfile).

Was I wrong in attempting to edit his answer, or was my edit rejected erroneously?

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Yep, that was me that rejected the edit.

I did so because on the Markdown edit viewer (which is where I look at edits) all you see is this:

enter image description here

From that it looked like all you had done is change "batchfile" to "batch file" in a few places and add a single code quote conversion. This does not meet my criteria for making a good improvement to the post.

It's not until you look at the rendered view that you see this:

enter image description here

Which is, as you say, actually an improvement in readability.

  • Thanks for responding, and taking another look at it. I can understand now your reasoning as I didn't make enough changes, but at the time I was confused. I'll keep this information in mind. Thanks again. – Service Manager Aug 2 '16 at 17:49
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    @ServiceManager Sorry for the confusion, if I'd have seen the rendered view rather than markdown I would have probably considered it good, as it is I rejected purely based on the markdown where there isn't enough. Seeing both together here makes it a tough choice, but in all honest I'd probably allow it. Judging by OPs edit to their answer I don't think they liked "batchfile" -> "batch file" but liked the rest of the intention in your edit suggestion. – Mokubai Aug 2 '16 at 17:53
  • I forgot to ask, is there any way for me to delete that edit, to regain some reputation? – Service Manager Aug 3 '16 at 13:46
  • @ServiceManager Suggested edit results are stored forever. You can't lose any reputation from edit rejections; the two points you lost since posting this question were from a recently downvoted answer. – Ben N Aug 3 '16 at 13:47
  • @Mokubai Ok. It is strange, I could have swore I saw a screen stating I lost 2 reputation for the rejected edit, but now I'm unable to find it. Thanks though. – Service Manager Aug 3 '16 at 14:23
  • You can only gain reputation for suggested edits, never loose it. -2 rep sounds like a downvote. Could be that it happened at a similar time making you think the two were related when they were not. – Mokubai Aug 3 '16 at 14:27
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    So what is the conclusion? Provide a more comprehensible edit summary, in particular avoiding the over-used "Improved formatting" one? – Peter Mortensen Aug 4 '16 at 13:29
  • "I'm still torn on whether or not you did "enough" to improve the post." This statement is absurd. We only reject edits as insignificant if they (A) polish turds, or (B) miss fundamental improvements that are necessary to improve the quality or readability of the post. In other words, you'd be right to reject it if they just changed the spacing of "batchfile". But this massive improvement to the formatting and readability is more than significant to meet the arbitrary "significance" threshold for a suggested edit. Because you can think of some more possible edits doesn't mean you reject it. – Cody Gray Aug 6 '16 at 12:36
  • @CodyGray Hence why my answer states that all I saw was the spacing of "batchfile" as per the markdown viewer and rejected according to that, a later comment states that I would probably have accepted it. As Peter mentioned a more comprehensive edit reason could have made me think that the "formatting" was more than just editing the spacing on two words. – Mokubai Aug 6 '16 at 14:53
  • @Mokubai Perhaps stepping back and looking at why this became an issue. The root cause of this is not that you rejected the edit for less than valid reasons, but that the markdown edit viewer does not show the rendered versions, leading you to believe that the edit did not improve the post. The fix is to suggest an improvement to the viewer. Or to somehow programmatically require the reviewer to view the rendered post before rejecting it. – Xalorous Aug 8 '16 at 22:56
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Here's the Suggested Edits review task, for anyone interested.

Your changes were good, but they didn't go far enough. Specifically, you left code-like stuff (file paths and commands) italicized, which is less than ideal formatting. Such things should be monospaced using backticks (`). Quote formatting (>) is appropriate for English text that's been copied from somewhere, but long-ish commands should be formatted monospaced on their own line, which can be done with four spaces:

cmd /k echo I put four spaces before the 'cmd'

As a small nitpick, things like "ADDENDUM" shouldn't be capitalized; it looks less than professional. In fact, "Edit:" and company shouldn't even be there. New information should be integrated into the post; we have the revision history if we need to look back.

The post owner's edit went through automatically because nobody needs approval to edit their own posts.

  • Thank you for this information. I will keep this in mind if/when I edit posts. – Service Manager Aug 2 '16 at 16:58
  • "you left code-like stuff (file paths and commands) italicized, which is less than ideal formatting." Why? File paths and commands aren't actually code; monospacing them doesn't serve any functional purpose, just a semantic one. And it has a very real cost: it decreases readability. It's up to the author whether they want to use code formatting or italics, obviously, but imposing this requirement upon an editor seems completely wrong to me. – Cody Gray Aug 6 '16 at 12:34
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    @CodyGray Code formatting clearly sets off file paths and commands from the surrounding punctuation because it has a visual box here, unlike italics. (Notice how the original post had included extra spaces before commas and periods to set special text apart, which is not grammatically correct.) – Ben N Aug 6 '16 at 14:02
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    Your changes were good, but they didn't go far enough. Shouldn't the bar be improves the post, which is achievable, not perfects the post, which is not? – Xalorous Aug 8 '16 at 22:57
  • @Xalorous I think the implication was that going further would have increased the chances of having the edit accepted, not that the current form should have been rejected because it didn't go that far. – Kevin Brown Aug 9 '16 at 2:48

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