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N00b member, long time contributor at Freegeek and other on-line and off-line volunteer activity.

Certain that it's not your intent, but the hidden rules of the road visible only to the experienced here do not add to the new user experience. Y'all have a lot of tribal lore, rules which do not appear in your FAQ or new user communication, and the first month of activity here revealed that some of y'all are agressive in enforcing them.

The very issue of editing the Original Post by users itself without their consent is transgressive, and users, IMHO, deserve a gentle explanation in the FAQ or a New User Introduction communique that you do that, and why.

Please, greybeards, before you send your post, turn yourself around and think of how the public would perceive your corrective posts, and ask yourself: How can I steer folks without negatives?

Thank you kindly.

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    Sorry to say so, but "why do people edit my posts" is part of the FAQ: askubuntu.com/help/editing – Bruno Pereira Nov 1 '13 at 13:07
  • About edits, please check meta.askubuntu.com/q/7510/169736 and the answers here meta.askubuntu.com/q/7317/169736 – Braiam Nov 1 '13 at 13:52
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    Bruno, the title of that post is obliquely concealing to an outsider, and although it is available if one drills down, you have to know it's there in the first place to know to drill down. i.imgur.com/PRZtfyM.png shows it is not available to the inexperienced. – K7AAY Nov 1 '13 at 16:30
  • Braiam, those posts are not readily available you you don't know to look for them. I only found meta.askubuntu.com by accident today, and the 'meta' concept may be clear to you but I can assure you it is not clear to many above-average Ubuntu users, many of whom I teach. – K7AAY Nov 1 '13 at 17:23
  • From the help center on Editing (my emphasis): Editing is important for keeping questions and answers clear, relevant, and up-to-date. If you are not comfortable with the idea of your contributions being collaboratively edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you. – brasofilo Nov 19 '13 at 15:37
  • And, brasofilo, had that been clearly explained, I would not have made this post. For which, I notice, I'm being marked down for having had the temerity to ask. – K7AAY Nov 19 '13 at 22:12
  • I know this is ancient history at this point, but I would also like to point out, as someone whose facial hair growth is genetically limited to the whiskers on my one chin mole, that we are by no means all "greybeards" here. – Amanda Jan 13 '16 at 21:06
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The fact that we as a community do not only ask or answer but also edit is not really that hidden.

Every new user is very much encouraged to read our about page. The huge banner at the top of our main page will immediately link to this about:

enter image description here

Its not really much text there and a lot of images help to quickly get an idea of our concept.

Only a little bit down the page you will find an own paragraph on editing, and why we do so:

enter image description here

If this was not clear enough we can easily proceed to visit the help center to find informations on our model. The help center is accessible from every page, and it is especially prominent on the help section of the page when asking your first question.

There you will find a section:

In this section much is being said on how editing works.

Note that all above is accessible to new - even unregistered - users, more than to users who have gained some reputation. Greybeards such as me will not be given those links as easily as they show up for newbies.

If in all these informations given there was something vital missing we should be told so, as only then we will be able to fix these help pages to meet your needs better.

  • It's a very busy page. More whitespace and larger fonts would help. – K7AAY Nov 19 '13 at 22:13
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Certain that it's not your intent, but the hidden rules of the road visible only to the experienced here do not add to the new user experience. Y'all have a lot of tribal lore, rules which do not appear in your FAQ or new user communication, and the first month of activity here revealed that some of y'all are agressive in enforcing them.

Rules are not hidden from new users. Any extra privilege granted to higher reputation users is documented at:

Other than these documented privileges, there is no discrepancy amongst any of the users. And let me assure you that there are no extra rules which higher-rep users are able to see.

The very issue of editing the Original Post by users itself without their consent is transgressive, and users, IMHO, deserve a gentle explanation in the FAQ or a New User Introduction communique that you do that, and why.

Information about editing is here:

And, being able to edit/suggest edits to other user's posts is one of the core strengths of Stack Exchange Model.

Other than that:

Help Center is relatively new, so if you find any particular information missing over there, let us know and people would fix the issues. You may also propose changes which you think would be helpful to get new users acquainted with the Stack Exchange Model.

  • Aditya, let's take an example. I posted askubuntu.com/posts/364901/revisions and the first response, for five days, was a fellow who told me I needed to format the post 'properly' with no explanation of what was proper, and no explanation in your 'Help Center' of what constitutes proper formatting. That poster has since removed his comment so I cannot link to it for you, but as a new user, that experience was very vexing. – K7AAY Nov 1 '13 at 16:22
  • @kiloseven: You could have asked the commentator to help you find the formatting guidelines. I am sure the user would have guided you to the appropriate link. The formatting help is already there in the toolbar: i.stack.imgur.com/jXymQ.png... You may also pop into chat for instant help.. – Aditya Nov 1 '13 at 16:38
  • The user did not. I did ask. – K7AAY Nov 1 '13 at 17:20
  • @kiloseven As a long time user here I thought this was an arbitrary icon that didn't mean anything, since there is nothing there to explain it. It should be fixed, but the site has a bunch of things that should be fixed and is a work in progress. – Richard Nov 1 '13 at 18:26
  • Concur. I'm not going to hold my breath until y'all do it, but IMHO is oughta be done. – K7AAY Nov 1 '13 at 22:46
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I wouldn't even thought that anyone could complain about the edit capability.

  1. the edit process is secured (I've never seen offensive edit):

  2. thank to people editing my questions or answers, I learn new functionalities about this site.
    These functionalities were "hidden" to me because I've not read the complete help of this site.
    Gaining knowledge is a step by step approach.
    And edits from other make me gain some steps.

  3. The final goal is not about people who post questions or answers, but the goal is to provide a clear documentation to user's problems:

    • someone may have the right answer to a problem: he just describe the solution
    • someone else may share this solution, and wants to add links to improve the answer
    • someone else may share this solution too, he adds screenshots to help other to understand the answer
    • ....

well, thanks to edit the documentation is improved.

  • Yep, I learned a lot checking for the edit history. When browsing elsewhere I'm always "gee, I'd like to propose an edit to this post..." – brasofilo Nov 19 '13 at 15:34
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I agree with some of what you're saying but disagree with other parts. Just hours ago I was berating the fact that some users down-vote without communication. I hate the fact that users even can down-vote without indicating why.

But editing... While it might seem radical, it's really just there to improve the quality of the questions and answers. It's not a feature I would expect to have to explain past what the site documentation already does.

We do try to outline what is and isn't on topic and also what we expect from users in our site help. If you think we're missing particular things (things that we're enforcing on unsuspecting users) let us know and we'll try to improve the documentation.

  • The very issue of editing the Original Post without user consent is transgressive, and users, IMHO, deserve a gentle explanation in a New User Introduction communique or at the top of your Help Center.. The Stack Exchange way is very different, and a better introduction to why you do that is a good idea. – K7AAY Nov 1 '13 at 17:25
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    @kiloseven I disagree. I think the "how the site works" is advertised quite prevalently (as others have said). It isn't designed to work like a forum or a bug tracker. If people come here with those preconceptions and ignore the many prompts and signs around the site (not to mention the FAQ and other help documentation) that's hardly our fault. – Oli Nov 2 '13 at 12:02
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    Would somebody who spent no effort learning about the site be shocked if their posts were edited? Possibly. Would that feeling subside once they found out that's sort of the point of Stack Exchange? Probably. Would additional commenting change that process of being shocked and then learning how the site worked? Not a great deal. – Oli Nov 2 '13 at 12:05
  • The notification bar pointing users to 'about' and 'help' disappears after you register, I wonder if we could get SE to make this visible to new users (say, below 500 rep) with an option to hide it confirming that they've read it? – Flyk Nov 19 '13 at 1:05
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I think that the rules of the road are pretty clear - help lays them out pretty clearly but then there's more.

One of the nice things about the SE ecosystem is we have a source of clear, low noise information on the topics that sites are about. A lot of the 'agressiveness' and evolution of community norms - or as you call them 'hidden rules of the road' are aimed at that.

I'm a low reputation user on AU (yes, I am trying to fix that!), but I'm pretty familiar with stack-exchange community culture. Allowing community edits of your questions allows for a few things - we can fix up links even when the OP is long gone, fix language and grammar, especially for ESL speakers and so on.

If your reputation is low enough to suggest an edit, your edit is reviewed by two users with enough reputation to do an edit on their own, and they can improve, and mark your edit as being helpful or not - so there's oversight.

Here's what I see on the SU suggested edits

enter image description here

Lets say you're unhappy with parts of an edit. You feel that it has fundamentally changed your answer and is complete and utter garbage, unworthy of a review audit, you can roll it back, or better yet, take the aspects that work for you and refine your answer further. If you find you're in a rollback war, then custom flag it (or get on chat and ask a mod). We expect edits to make questions better, and thats probably what a new user would notice.

I personally choose to comment when I feel a question needs substantial changes or additional information, rather than make major changes (and yes, I have argued with one of the site founders over this) .

In short its a system that works pretty well once you think about it, cand get used to the way we do things. Its one of the things that makes SE a great source of information.

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