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There's a lot of old questions on the front page today. They have been bumped by edits which follow a pattern of replacing Raspbery with Raspberry in the question title, sometimes along with other minor changes (example). Is this a behaviour we want to encourage on this site? If it's not, could a mod reach out to the user doing the edits, as they didn't participate in any other way than editing and thus I cannot ping them by leaving a comment on one of their posts.

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    It is unacceptable that a user who has never made any contribution to this site could pervert the review process and make unnecessary work for others. I routinely reject edits with trivial spelling or grammar edits, but they seem to end up approved anyway. – Milliways Nov 13 at 12:35
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    As the user that made these edits please can I say that I wanted to add something to the community. I thought I was doing something helpful and did not expect to have been pursued on my Stack Overflow account and being told to "STOP IT". Is that not the sort of bullying behaviour SE is trying to eradicate? I did try to edit typos in the question body but was told that I had to change 6 other characters (which is tricky when the typo is only one character long). I have posted many questions and answers in other SE forums and have since posted a question and answer in this Pi forum. – Mike Poole Nov 13 at 17:19
  • @MikePoole Hi. I wasn't trying to discourage you from doing edits and I'm sorry if this came across in such a way. However, you are encouraged to do substantial edits until you have 2K reputation. The 6 character limit is there precisely because of this, and I can only repeat the advice goldilocks gave you about doing "more fixes on fewer posts". The ultimate goal of edits is to make poor questions answerable, and those edits should be made a priority w.r.t. inconsequential spelling fixes. – Dmitry Grigoryev Nov 14 at 9:57
  • @MikePoole And if you're serious about "bullying", please tell me what exactly you find unacceptable, because I fail to see it. – Dmitry Grigoryev Nov 14 at 10:22
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    @DmitryGrigoryev I was not referring to you when I referred to bullying, you have been great. I was told to "STOP IT" by another member of this stack on a different stack. – Mike Poole Nov 14 at 12:01
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I have just seen a number of these too, which I "rejected and edited", as they only had one instance in the title that had been fixed, whilst there were (a number of) other (often exact same) typos, as well as other issues, remaining unfixed in the rest of the post(s).

Fixing just one instance of the typos, whilst leaving the others, doesn't really merit a rep increase, IMHO.

BTW, you can ping someone - if they have made an accepted edit - in the comments, using the @.


In addition, a lot of the accepted edits to which you refer, still have "raspberry" misspelt as "rasberry" in the body of the question, as well as other glaring typos... for example, Raspberry Pi to Airplay media server. Obviously, at this point, it is not really worth going through them again, to finish off these half-completed edits, which should have been picked up during their review.

Update

I've left the editor a comment to suggest doing more complete edits. There appears to have been some confusion relating to the 6 character minimum:

I was informed that I needed to make changes to more characters. How can I fix just a few characters that have been misspelled?

That is to say, as they were prevented (by the system) to make just a few (< 6) character changes to the question body, they only made changes within the title (although, they weren't aware that once they had changed the title, that they could then make the "less-than-six-character" changes in the body - see the loophole below).

Loophole

After looking into the link provided by goldilocks, Title edit plus minor/no body edit return 'too short' error, and doing some tests - using an anonymous account changing one of my own questions on 3DPrinting - if you add (or change) even just one character in the title, then you can change just one (or more) character(s) in the main body of the question.

It is a weird loophole. If you make no changes in the title, then you have to make 6 or more characters change in the post... if you change the title (slightly), then you can make tiny changes (of less than 6 characters) to the body. Obviously, this doesn't work on answers (as they have no title), only questions.

That said, obviously, it is still not a good idea to make trivial edits. It is best to try to fix all of the issues with a post, rather than leaving them for reviewers to do, as it can cause elevated blood pressure...

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    "If you are only going to do half the work, better you not do any at all," is a common sentiment -- but that does not make it a logical or particularly rational one. – goldilocks Nov 13 at 14:36
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    Good point... however, I've left the editor an comment to suggest doing more complete edits. There appears to have been some confusion relating to the 6 character minimum – Greenonline Nov 13 at 14:41
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    Thanks, I didn't know you could ping an editor in comments like that. I suppose the comments you have left will provide the right guidance. – Dmitry Grigoryev Nov 13 at 14:51
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    Hmmm, just noticed this: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/79342/… Which if it is still in effect implies that he could have made an edit shorter than 6 characters if an edit was made to the title (although who knows, perhaps that was changed again because it creates a loophole). Or I've misread that and it means the number of characters changed in a title previously did not contribute to the 6 required in the body. – goldilocks Nov 13 at 14:53
  • @goldilocks - I've just checked this - using an anonymous account changing one of my own questions on 3DPrinting -, and if you add (or change) even just one character in the title, then you can change just one (or more) character(s) in the main body of the question. A weird loophole indeed...! – Greenonline Nov 13 at 16:27
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    Ah so perhaps Mr. Poole (who I notice has been an SE member for 9 years) was playing the innocent a bit. I still think "fix it all or don't fix it at all" is the wrong way to look at it though -- there would be way more than just this kind of thing caught up in that. It stops me from editing all the time, and I'm not being reviewed. It's like a pile of dishes. I look at them and think, I'm not going to clean all of them now so just let it go. I have been kind of a terrible roommate in the past. – goldilocks Nov 13 at 21:10
  • @goldilocks I honestly did not realise that there was an exception to the 6 characters rule and I suspect a great many other people would be unaware of it. Now that I am aware I am glad that it is possible to be more thorough; although, sadly, this experience has made me more reticent about editing SE RPi content rather than more eager. – Mike Poole Nov 14 at 18:33
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    @MikePoole It does seem obscure. I have the odd feeling I've learned about and then forgotten it at some point before. Anyway, I apologize for being a bit presumptuous and overly dramatic -- I think perceptions/assumptions are a bit of a factor here in that this is sort of about perceiving/assuming people are "gaming the system". As I've said a few places I am mostly on "your side" but do recognise there are some valid concerns on the other. Probably I should run for a real office somewhere :D – goldilocks Nov 14 at 19:06
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Yes, it was even more annoying approving them all. However, it is a positive contribution no matter how minor. It's a bit embarrassing somebody didn't correct those in the first place.

I've never been a fan of the default front page, "Top Questions", partially because of this and the perhaps-even-more-annoying, more-or-less randomly revived questions1 that get pushed by Community (a sort of Big Brotherish alias for an SE bot) using much the same mechanism (by updating the modification time, just without actually changing anything). I prefer the less ambiguous

https://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions

Using the "Newest" tab.

Is this a behaviour we want to encourage on this site?

There is some controversy on the topic of people who make tiny edits whilst they can still score a point for it, then once that stops (beyond a certain rep level you get nothing for accepted edits), they stop. However, it seems like an intentional arrangement (so IMO they are not abusing the system, the system invites this).

Again, stepping back from the annoyance, which is highly localized (limited to people voluntarily checking the edit queue and people who deal with the front page immediately afterwards), this is still a positive contribution: What's pathetic is that there are all the questions with "Raspberry" spelt wrong in the title, which is the ultimate cause of the problem.2

But it is pretty trivial. All that said, if you regularly review the edit queue and really don't like this, decline the edits and politely include the reason (eg. "too trivial").


  1. They are questions with no upvoted answers.

  2. And/or the "Top Questions" criteria itself; if I had my way it would be only new questions and questions with new answers.

  • I agree that any edit which improves a question should be accepted. What unsettled me here is the fact that the same typo got fixed in unrelated questions, as if the user has typed Raspbery in the search box and started fixing the typo in the search results, regardless of whether questions had other problems besides the typo, or whether they were worth fixing at all. That's why I'd prefer that someone told the user what's wrong, instead of mass-rejecting their edits, which is only a good strategy if we want less contributors. – Dmitry Grigoryev Nov 13 at 9:23
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    I disagree that the edits are "is a positive contribution" - none of us are confused by Rasberry, Rasbeery or any of the other similar "errors". Correcting them is actually removing information - that the questioner is prone to errors and/or incapable of proof reading - a vital skill for programming. – Milliways Nov 13 at 12:51
  • @Dmitry I actually thought he had perhaps automated it completely (presuming the http api would allow for that), until I hit one were Raspberry was "corrected" to a different mispelling. It wouldn't bother me if he had, and I would hold it against someone for being smart enough to search for common mispellings and correct them, if they are so inclined. – goldilocks Nov 13 at 14:34
  • Either way, what it comes down to for me is the individual opinion of the reviewer -- I'm not going to lobby for a site policy one way or the other. If it is a hassle for you, skip them or don't review edits period (it's actually the only queue I check regularly besides "reopen"). – goldilocks Nov 13 at 14:34
  • @goldilocks That's too bad. On many sites, repeated editing of question titles is handled by mods (example), and IMO mods are in a better position than regular users to communicate on such issues in a non-confrontation way. – Dmitry Grigoryev Nov 13 at 15:01
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    The counter to community norms is at bit perplexing considering this is exactly what the "Community" bot does -- of course, it does this with the best of intentions, but the net result here is that legimately new questions or answers get swamped off the "Top Questions" page by what is mostly a load of crap no one could bother answering or voting on in the first place. Which is why, like I said, I don't pay much attention to the front page -- which admittedly colors my perspective on this. Mebbe you will win me over yet ;) – goldilocks Nov 13 at 15:07
  • @goldilocks In my eyes, "a load of crap no one could bother answering" should not be left alone. It should be downvoted so the next time the community bot deletes it instead of bumping it to the front page. – Dmitry Grigoryev Nov 14 at 9:52

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