Now and then, you run into edits to (good) answers like this one. Especially when the answer is "fresh" and you may assume the poster is still around and capable, my opinion is that suggested additions should be done to the poster in a comment, instead of bypassing him or her in an edit. Given these conditions and if the addition is valid, you can be pretty sure it will be integrated in the answer. A good example of how it should be done in my opinion is this one Which is better printf or echo?.

I fully support the idea of collaborating on (the quality of) an answer, but it does not collide with some acknowledgement of authorship in the first stage of an answer (the question is about editing recent answers). I am convinced it serves the quality in general as well, since the poster feels responsible for the answer.

That is why I reject edits to fresh answers usually, but more than once, my fellow reviewers seem to disagree. What is the general idea?

  • I would think that any edit that adds to the scope of the issue being addressed (and therefore making it a better answer, or question) should be allowed, versus someone needing to answer something again in a different question, thread, or coincidentally/offhandedly in a separate topic entirely. – No Time May 17 '14 at 20:28
  • @NoTime on older answers that need to be updated / additional information, I fully agree. On (very) young answers, given by capable people, I would say let OP finish the job and suggest changes in a comment. It does not serve the quality of the post if the poster feels it is living its own live before you have had the chance to look at it again a few hours later, even if the added info is valid. I know I practically always keep working on an answer until I think it as it should be. – Jacob Vlijm May 17 '14 at 20:54
  • I try to put it in the answer that it is a running response, almost like a work log. Unless I am doing a short answer. I guess I haven't run into a lot of edits which have messed with my answer in any large way. I know I have done some edits that assumed things, but I assume if the OP doesn't want the edit they can choose to not accept it. – No Time May 17 '14 at 21:07

my opinion is that suggested additions should be done to the poster directly in a comment, instead of bypassing him or her in an edit. This has nothing to do with the addition being valid or not.

Good information should never be in comments, that's for metawork, if it's something that is useful to users it needs to be in the answer.

The ability for us to wiki-ize answers to make them better and add context is the best part of Stack Exchange, that's why edits like this are great contributions. The original poster will get a notification of the edit so they'll also have a chance to peer review, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

If the content is good, passes your technical review, and makes the content better, then accept it, especially if the original poster is around, collaborating on answer is much more powerful and beneficial to the community. I love it when someone helps me work on an in progress answer.

  • Thanks for pointing out. Still learning the language of Stack Exchange. – Jacob Vlijm May 20 '14 at 11:32

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