I'm referring to: https://superuser.com/review/suggested-edits/770815

Mainly I'm wondering about the following aspect...

The original sentence was a little confusing: "To get a list names ever exited in monthly worksheet."

I changed it to: "To get a list of all names ever exited in each monthly worksheet."

I think it's much easier to read if it uses correct grammar, especially because I made sure not to change the original intend.

I'm still new to this site, and I'm trying to find the ins and outs. So I would be very thankful if s.o. could elaborate if the edit was rejected correctly and if so why?

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    I was one of the people who rejected your proposed edit, and Ramhound already provided a very good explanation regarding the rationale behind my decision. But please, don't get me wrong: we truly appreciate your time and effort! Although your Suggested Edit improved the original answer, there were simply too many grammatical mistakes still remaining within the answer to justify approval. – Run5k Jul 11 at 23:05
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    on a side note: not allowing for a small quality improvement on a proposal doesn't sound logical in the big picture. The ultimate goal is to improve quality of the questions and answers. Beside the organizational issue (that it gets bumped to the top of the list, which is a fault by design an can be changed) I don't see a reason to limit proposals to large improvements. But I could name several good reasons to allow small improvements. - should I post this as a new question? – Albin Jul 13 at 8:52
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    @robinCTS (I hope the others will read my comment as well it seems I can only adress one person at a time) thanks everyone those comments give me a better insight. I see a pattern of a general consents emerging between users with high reputation levels emerging here. I think one of the problems is, that the goals/rules of reviewing are not defined very well in the help center. The term "make it significantly better" is very subjective which makes it a very bad guideline for newcomers. – Albin Jul 13 at 8:54
  • … I haven't checked, but I suspect there are a lot of posts around this issue. I don't think posting another one will either result in a change or even a productive discussion as the current situation is probably the best compromise for a complicated issue. – robinCTS Jul 13 at 9:58
  • As for the issue of pinging multiple users (yes, this has also been brought up before ;-) ) If you think it's really necessary, just add more comments that simply say @OtherUsser cc ^. You can always deleted those comments after the user has replied or after a certain time. Adding and deleting such comments won't affect the flow of the comment thread. – robinCTS Jul 13 at 10:04
  • I gave the whole issue some thought, and I have a few point I would like do discuss in regards to my edit. Even on a subjective basis, I have some doubts that the reasons you guys presented for rejecting my review don't contradict themselves. I'm not sure if the comments are a good place for such a discussion. Would it be better to open a chat room? – Albin Jul 14 at 4:29
  • @robinCTS if i dont use the "@user", will users who left a comment in the past will be notified about my new comment? Or do I have to use your suggested "work around"? – Albin Jul 14 at 4:31
  • @Albin You have to use the work-around. Basically the OP always gets notified, plus the one user explicitly "pinged". (It is slightly more complicated than this, though. See How do comment @replies work? for further details.) All previous commenters do not get spammed with notifications ;-) – robinCTS Jul 14 at 4:39
  • @Albin As for opening a chat room, I'm not sure what's better. Meta works differently to the main site. It is more about discussion, rather than a Question plus Answers with the comments just used for clarification. I will defer to the more experienced meta users. – robinCTS Jul 14 at 5:11
  • @Ramhound cc ^ – robinCTS Jul 14 at 5:34
  • @Experienced Users: what should I do? Use comments? Open a chat? Use s.th. else? – Albin Jul 14 at 17:02
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – Albin Jul 14 at 17:03
  • @Ramhound which example are you referring to? – Albin Jul 19 at 16:53
  • @Ramhound well there is no way to verify you're statement, so I wouldn't really say that it counts as a valid argument. And it could also be that you are wrong. By now I experienced it two times that the reviewers decision were definitely wrong (one concerning a edit, one concerning to close a question). – Albin Jul 19 at 22:05

I'm the other user who rejected the suggested edit.

Basically everything that Run5k and especially Ramhound have said applies. It was not just a matter of not correcting all the grammatical errors in this particular case.

As a side note, suggested edits also need to be substantive. So, for example, if the only issue with a post is the typo "teh" (should have been "the"), a suggested edit to fix that will be rejected. (The underlying reason has to do with wasting reviewers' time and bumping the question to the top of the Questions Page, as explained further down.)

Once you reach 2000+ reputation, though, the rules change. As edits are no longer reviewed, trivial edits are allowed. However, as the question is still bumped, you should try to limit the trivial edits to questions with recent activity.

I think one of the problems is, that the goals/rules of reviewing are not defined very well in the help center. The term "make it significantly better" is very subjective which makes it a very bad guideline for newcomers.

You are totally and absolutely right! The rules/goals of reviewing are neither available in one specific location, nor are they clear. They are also very subjective (and understandably so for a self-moderated site).

The best advice I can give is to check your history for rejected edits and even non-unanimous approvals to learn what is acceptable. (There are differences even among the different "stacks" in the Stack Exchange network.)

The only other rules of thumb I can offer are:

  1. Always split a wall of text into paragraphs.
  2. Always improve all the grammar. (If you are neither fluent in English, nor have an excellent grasp of its grammar, you are at a severe disadvantage, and it might be best not to edit any posts where grammar is more than a minor issue.)

  3. Inlining screenshots/images should be safe even if there are no other issues to fix.

  4. Ditto for formatting code blocks.
  5. Avoid edits that just add back-tick formatting and <kbd> HTML tags.
  6. If the question is clearly understandable and easy to read before editing (both very subjective, though), then any suggested edit runs the risk of being rejected.

not allowing for a small quality improvement on a proposal doesn't sound logical in the big picture. The ultimate goal is to improve quality of the questions and answers. Beside the organizational issue (that it gets bumped to the top of the list, which is a fault by design an can be changed) I don't see a reason to limit proposals to large improvements. But I could name several good reasons to allow small improvements.

You can't allow un-reviewed edits by low rep users as this would lead to a massive spam/abuse issue. With a review system, you can't allow small quality improvements as this will swamp the unpaid volunteers doing the reviews.

As for bumping edits, how are you going to distinguish between a trivial (i.e. unnecessary) edit and a minor one that nevertheless substantially improves a post thus necessitating giving it more visibility?

The simplest* solution is to bump all edits and rely on a system of checks and balances to allow/disallow edits (since it is already in place for other reasons).


*Though not necessarily the best. A better solution would be to allow editors/reviewers to optionally suppress bumping, with the reviewers being able to override the editors.

  • 1
    Good answer. re: guidance being hard to find, I agree. But here's a gem on review guidance, that by extension, provides guidance on posting and editing. It should be pointed out users as they hit rep thresholds that enable them to edit and review: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/155538/…. Another relevant one: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/74430/…. – fixer1234 Jul 14 at 6:42
  • @fixer1234 Thanks. I was aware of that first link but decided not to use it for this case as 1) It is written from the point of view of a reviewer; 2) It doesn't explain in detail the basic things I mention here; 3) It contains approval recommendations that seem to be contrary to actual reviewer practice (at least here on Super User). -§- Good idea about pointing it out to users as they cross rep thresholds, though. … – robinCTS Jul 14 at 7:38
  • … I can't recall having seen your second link before. I just read through it now, though, and none of the answers address the question any better than what I've done here. In fact, some contradict others, one contains outdate info (the auto conversion to Community Wiki), and Shog9's answer is an nice tangential ramble but doesn't address the question directly (although the three posts linked to in the first sentence do). Reading through all this did remind me of the solution I had come up with to the bumping issue - allowing reviewers/2000+ reppers to optionally suppress the bumping. – robinCTS Jul 14 at 7:38
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    re: contradictory guidance--that's part of the education. There are a number of areas where there are conflicting schools of thought on what's right, and little hard guidance. It's good to be aware (and tolerant) of practices that might conflict with our own views about what's best. :-) – fixer1234 Jul 14 at 7:38
  • There's very poor awareness of this among users in general, but bullet #3 -- inlining images (such as screenshots) -- requires permission of the image owner, because it makes a copy on the SE imgur and applies the Creative Commons license. Editors do not have the authority to change the license on linked images. – Ben Voigt Jul 22 at 13:26
  • @BenVoigt Interesting. I would have thought that if it was a screenshot captured by the OP themselves, the mere posting of the link would constitute acceptance by the OP to apply the Creative Commons license. (I'm not a lawyer, though, so…) However, I can see how that might be an issue for third-party images. – robinCTS Jul 22 at 13:36

The original sentence was a little confusing: "To get a list names ever exited in monthly worksheet."

I changed it to: "To get a list of all names ever exited in each monthly worksheet."

You failed to identify that exited isn't the correct word grammatically. The author was looking to use existed. Even the correct word, that the author meant to use, is a poor word to use which means a different word should have been suggested (i.e the word created or generated).

I think it's much easier to read if it uses correct grammar, especially because I made sure not to change the original intent.

I don't agree with your conclusion. You failed to address even half of the grammatical mistakes in the answer.

Again, you may need formula like if(isna(vlookup(...)), "", vlookup(...) to get rid of the #N/A text when a given name not found for some specific months.

Should have been:

Again, you may need a formula like if(isna(vlookup(...)), "", vlookup(...) to get rid of the #N/A text when a given name not found for some specific months.

You failed to identify the grammatical mistake in this sentence.

Once the full name list is got, later monthly update can be appending name list from new monthly to old full name list then re-filter it.

Should have been:

Once the full name list is determined, future monthly updates can append the name list from the previous month's list and then re-filter it.

From a database's point of view, this is in fact to get a union of name lists in monthly worksheet (including removing the duplicates);

Should have been:

From a database's point of view, this is in fact to get a union of name lists in the monthly worksheet (including removing the duplicates);

I would like to add, even my suggested corrections to the author's extremely poor answer, does not address all the issues it has. Most of the original sentences don't actually make sense. The quality of that particular answer is extremely poor.

  • 3
    @Albin, it's not just that your edit didn't fix everything, it's that the edit didn't make it better. What you did "fix" wasn't what needed fixing, and those changes weren't really substantive improvements. – fixer1234 Jul 11 at 23:06
  • this sounds like some old "war on drugs" anti-arguments: if you can't fix the whole problem, then don't even try to fix or improve a part of it – simpleuser Jul 12 at 5:07
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    @simpleuser, that probably isn't an ideal comparison. For starters, the original answer had zero up-votes and one down-vote, so it wasn't exactly a high-quality contribution to begin with. Now, what happens if we adopt the method that you have subtly suggested? It could conceivably take seven or eight edits to fix everything within that answer, and while that happens it is getting bumped to the top of the Super User main page over and over again, taking attention away from much better Q&A. If there are just one of two comprehensive edits, that rather large problem is avoided. – Run5k Jul 12 at 5:25
  • @Run5k thanks now I understand the why. Not really sure why Ramhound kept repeating that I didn't correct all the misstakes since I wrote in my first comment that I understood this point, or did I miss s.th.? Thanks Ramhound for pointing out the help center, that helped! – Albin Jul 13 at 8:05
  • @Albin I can't see the one (?) deleted comment, but I can't see any repetition by Ramhound in the comments that you didn't correct all the mistakes. Yes there is repetition in the answer, but 1) each one is under a specific point. 2) It is a very important issue. § To be fair, the first one in the answer is probably redundant, so I'll edit it out. – robinCTS Jul 13 at 10:15
  • @robinCTS, once again your contributions are truly appreciated. However, I would tend to be much more conservative when it comes to editing recent answers like this one within a Meta question, especially when the author is still actively engaged in the conversation. It's simply a professional courtesy. – Run5k Jul 13 at 15:56
  • @Ramhound ok, I think I just got confused because of the deleted comment. So for now never mind. – Albin Jul 13 at 19:17
  • @Run5k Once again thanks for your feedback! I will try to limit such edits in future. It did cross my mind whether or not Meta worked differently. As the sentence I removed didn't directly address the quote it fell under, and was essentially repeated two (non-quoted) sentences later, I decided to risk removing it, and take the rap on the knuckles if Ramhound deemed it necessary ;-) – robinCTS Jul 14 at 5:32
  • can be append? What's that be doing there? – TRiG Jul 16 at 9:49

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