When editing posts, is it good or bad idea to remove introductions ("Hi, and I am new to here") and endings like ("Thanks in advance"), in addition to more important changes like multiple spelling errors and formatting?

Closely related, how about removing clearly unnecessary information? Fictional example:

This computer, located in my basement, next to ... is used as router/firewall. The problem is with firewall settings.

For example location of computer might be important, if question is about instability, which might be caused by environment or by software.

In my opinion it makes post cleaner and removes clutter, but on the other hand it removes something original questioner wanted to say.

Somehow related to Is it possible to "over edit"?

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I don't think a simple "Hi" and "Thanks" hurts a post so certainly wouldn't bother edit a post just for that reason, but I do see your point.

There are, of course, examples out there where people go way over the top with the "sorry for my English", "I'll love you long time if you help me" style comments so if you had to do other major work on the post and some of those comments got trimmed down, I'd approve the edit.

  • Yes, obviously just removing "Hi" is not good idea. I edited my question. – Olli Feb 16 '11 at 13:13
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    And "sorry for my English" is thing that should be removed after grammar is fixed, I think. – Olli Feb 16 '11 at 13:15
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    I think if you have to go in and fix something else like grammar or formatting - removing the Salutations and closing comments like Hi and thanks is acceptable. – Marco Ceppi Feb 16 '11 at 13:55
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    as @marco said, it can be OK to remove hi and thanks so long as you're cleaning up other things along the way. But edits to change just that are generally not strong enough to be substantive changes, which is what I like to see in an edit. Make the post substantively better. – Jeff Atwood Feb 16 '11 at 17:58

Here's the question from the parent Meta:

I usually won't go out of my way to edit out "Hi"'s and stuff, but if I'm editing the question anyway I'll go ahead and trim it out.

  • I tried to find similar questions using google without much luck, but obviously I didn't try hard enough. – Olli Feb 16 '11 at 14:28
  • It's ok, one of the nice things about being a smaller site is that stackoverflow itself has usually solved our problem way in advance. – Jorge Castro Feb 16 '11 at 14:42

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