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Should we have a grace period of X minutes on edits or a way to mark changes as "minor"?

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I normally spend quite a lot of time writing my posts. However, after posting them I read them again and normally find some subtleties that I want to change: some commas, a better title, these kind of things.

These are not relevant changes and I don't expect them to be part of the history of the post but, instead, belong to its initial revision.

For this, I wonder: wouldn't it be useful to have some grace period for the edits in a post, so those done within 5 (?) minutes after posting do not count in the revision history.

Also, it could also be interesting to implement a Wikipedia-style check to allow marking a specific change as "minor", so in the revision history you can toggle between all changes and just "major".

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1 comment

Yes, same here. It seems no matter how much I look over a post before posting, I always find something to fix right after posting. Olin Lathrop‭ 3 months ago

2 answers

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A "minor" toggle on edits makes sense even if there's no mechanism to hide minor edits from the history, if people can filter them out visually. I think this can serve some use; I've sometimes used the "minor" indicator in Wikimedia histories. I wouldn't consider this an important improvement that should be prioritized, though. In any event, I think only those with a certain level of edit ability should be trusted to mark edits as minor, since others might more likely do so incorrectly.

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4 comments

I agree it would be nice to have a "minor" edit type that doesn't bump the post. However, how do we decide what is minor? I'm not comfortable trusting everyone to be truthful about an edit being minor. Perhaps this is a higher ability than edit. Moderators should be able to review all minor edits, and deal with them accordingly if deemed not minor. Olin Lathrop‭ 3 months ago

I think we always want edits to bump posts; otherwise a "minor" designation could be abused, unless we also add in other logic to determine that it's not really minor, which gets complicated. I think what the question is suggesting and this answer is supporting is a way to treat them differently in the history, which I agree sounds potentially useful. Monica Cellio‭ 3 months ago

@Monica: If someone truly just fixed a small typo in an old post, then bumping the post is not useful, and usually detrimental. I agree the problem of claimed minor edits really being minor is real. That's why I suggested moderators being able to review minor edits, as they can do now with comments. I doubt the activity would be very high. If it ever gets to where moderators are overwhelmed, then we can decide then how to deal with it. Olin Lathrop‭ 3 months ago

@OlinLathrop , what I meant (and forgot) to include in this suggestion post was that only people with a certain level of edit ability should be able to mark edits as minor. I'll edit it in now. And then there should be no need for review. (And all edits should bump.) msh210‭ 3 months ago

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Afaict, the benefit of a grace period is minimal — (a) that people can avoid the very slight embarrassment that comes with having to edit a post immediately after doing so, and (b) that if someone edited something private (like a birthdate) into the post then it can be removed if he catches it soon enough — but at what cost? (1, and least importantly) The moral cost of lying. (2) SE/SO, after instituting a grace period, had to then add in code that removed the grace period in case a comment had been posted meanwhile, so that people wouldn't complain that their comments made no sense in light of the post history. This special-casing, besides requiring extra code, also makes edits within the grace period crapshoots: you don't know whether your edit will count because maybe someone will have commented right before you hit Save.

I recommend not having a grace period.

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2 comments

Good point. While useful, the logic of the grace period can become a bit cumbersome. Still, in 95% of the cases it works quite well. fedorqui‭ 3 months ago

Minor edits can still be useful. If flagged correctly, then it shouldn't matter if a comment was posted right before the edit. Minor edits should only be for fixing obvious typos, spelling, grammar, etc. Anything that actually changes the meaning should not be flagged as a minor edit. Olin Lathrop‭ 3 months ago

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