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I have noticed several users going through old questions and making very minor changes to the questions, and every single answer, where edits could be as simple as removing a space or adding code formatting to a particular word. This results in the SQA landing page having multiple old and answered questions on the front, instead of newer unanswered or 'hot' questions.

Should we be accepting edits when they're this trivial? Surely the only reason must be someone is aiming for a badge, or trying to accrue points? I can't fathom why someone would be going through four-year old tickets and editing every single thing on the page.

What are peoples thoughts on this?

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If the edits improve the question, even when they're small, I accept them. If they make no difference to how effective or readable the question is, I reject them.

I also reject tag wiki edits that are direct copy/paste from other sites and don't give any usage guidance for the tag.

I personally think that's the basic intention of the edit system, and it's quite possible that someone's edits could make an older question a lot better. That said, trivial edits aren't a good thing and I'd certainly prefer more of these to be rejected as not making any improvement to the question or answer.

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Yes, I've been doing this on a daily basis recently. I have some reasoning behind my activity:

  • I am relatively new to SQA - I knew about the site, but I was not active and stumbled upon it from time to time. Then, I've discovered several high-quality questions and answers and, since quality assurance is part of my job, I got curios and started to explore the contents on the site. I've been basically going through every single topic since then - some of the content here is "gold"! I've learned a lot
  • having been a long-time contributor to StackOverflow, I've got into a habit of improving the questions and answers - if I see there is anything to improve in a post - a code is not aligned/indented correctly, typos, formatting issues; some edits are minor, others are not - it does not really matter much - when I look back and see if the post got better - I am happy and move on
  • of course, I want to establish myself on the SQA site - getting badges and reputation is nice, but I am long past the gold edit badge, long past getting reputation for edits - and I am still doing it

Apologies for the occasional noise on the main page though. I usually either watch the "Questions" tab, or the favorite tags instead.

  • The edit function specifically states "We welcome all constructive edits, but please make them substantial. Avoid trivial edits unless absolutely necessary.". I regularly go onto the main page, see a good question, and then realise it was asked in 2014 but someone had edited a single word which bumped it. I disagree that typos are substantial, and think that establishment on the SQA site shouldn't be at the detriment of the site itself. However, this may just be a sore topic for me - I worked on an app when this occurred and it frustrated me to no end - and I do fully understand your reasons. – Edward_Haigh Jun 28 '17 at 8:38
  • @Edward_Haigh I hear you :) This is a controversial thing I guess - my thinking is that making posts cleaner is definitely not harmful to the site's content - the content is only getting better if we were to compare what was before and after the edit. But, I agree that, generally speaking, edits should ideally be substantial - that's actually in practice is rarely the case (judging but what I see on SE day-to-day). We are probably just using the site in different ways which are not directly compatible. Thanks. – alecxe Jun 28 '17 at 13:25
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    Perhaps the problem is not in doing minimal improvements to answers like spelling and formatting corrections (that, I as a perfectionists, appreciate) but in the fact that the mechanisms that moves questions to the top of the page is done wrong. Perhaps it should it move only questions with substantial changes. – dzieciou Jul 3 '17 at 11:23
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    Yes. @dzieciou ! that is the problem. Add that to the automatic pushing of older post by the system and I similarly keep coming across posts written by a user 5 years ago who probably abandoned the site after their one question and never visited again. – Michael Durrant Jul 3 '17 at 20:43

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