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I recently reached the 2000 rep milestone (yay!), and started using my powers for good (e.g. on the installation tag).

However, I noticed that it doesn't make me put in an edit summary - why is this? Does it mean that one is not required, or that I can leave it out when I think it is unnececary?

  • 2
    I think the edit summary is there so you can put what the edit was and why you did it - this is useful when looking at the revision history of post, and can inform the owners of the posts you are editing of good practice and formatting - e.g use code blocks for terminal output. (well done by the way - your almost top here :D – Wilf Jul 9 '14 at 11:37
  • @Wilf wow - hadn't realised! :D very proud :p although a lot of that (230+) was from a not very good post (not amazing, not auful) that got a lot of traffic... – Tim Jul 9 '14 at 12:31
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<2k users have to justify their edits to the review queue. Once you cross that and earn the Edit privilege you no longer have to explicitly explain everything you do.

That said, if you're pushing major edits around on other people's posts, be courteous and explain what and why you're doing something. Doesn't need to be a book, just a note so they understand what's going on. It helps prevent new users getting uppity and also lets them know how we expect things to work.

In cases where you really turn a post over, it's not an awful idea to leave a comment too.

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I almost never put in an edit summary.

This is probably a bad thing, but to be honest, the system makes it so easy to see the history of an entire post and the diffs look so good I usually just let the edit speak for itself.

What I do is I tend to use the summary as a teaching tool if I am editing a new user's post. So for example if I edit in a bunch of comments I say things like "Adding comments, remember to put new information in your question, not a comment!" and so on.

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    Funny thing is that they actually never read them :( – Braiam Jul 9 '14 at 17:38
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    I operate similarly - I use the edit summary only if I feel the edit itself is not self-explanatory. But sometimes also as a way to sort of be courteous. For example sometimes I leave summaries like "I am assuming this is what you meant, feel free to revert if not". – thomasrutter Jul 11 '14 at 5:21
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I almost always put in an edit summary. I find it helps me to remember if I covered all the bases. Nothing about tags? Capitalization, grammer, clarity? It forces me to review what I've done and sometimes allows me to catch something I've missed.

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