I feel like I am involved in an edit war. It's not the first time, but today has been particularly bad.

Take my recent post for example:

How can I alter the value of a Views filter and thus have the output altered before the view renders?

My last count this was edited, what, 7 times?

I would like to point out that nothing was wrong with my post and the way I worded it. In fact, I consciously made choices and subtle distinctions with phrasing, adjectives, and word choice to help make clear, more or less, that the only references I could find were for D6 when the problem I was trying to solve was for D7.

Instead of constructive comments or actual answers to my post, I got a lot of people "Willy-nilly" editing it.

The first edit, the guy even admited it was a bad edit. Secondly, even after he edited it, it did not make sense. It was grammatically incorrect, and it went from a version of native English speaker to non-native.

I changed it back.

Now, it has been changed again. The most current editor asked me not to take it personally. It's not that I take it personally, but even THAT edit I feel does not do justice to the one I originally posted.

You know, I do appreciate some light editing. After 10 hours of programming and all this text starts to blur together, I do indeed appreciate someone helping with grammatical errors; I do indeed appreciate a correction if I type views_query_alter instead of views_alter_query.

But, you know, I went to college. I'm pretty sure I understand how to convey what I want to get across. What really gets me is that many times, rather than fix a couple misspelled words or missing punctuation at the end of a sentence, a person actually alters the meaning of what was originally being said.

What's going on here? Are people zipping through the edits trying to get some badge or something?

In my opinion, more harm than good is being done with people having so much heavy editing power. I remember getting my edit capability about a year ago, with what, 300 points or so? How about we raise the bar to 3000?

Now I have 5 comments on a question I am anxious to have answered that have absolutely nothing to do with the question or helping resolve it.

  • I'm not sure what is wrong with my edit with the question you are referring to. The issue of version tags in questions as I mentioned, has been discussed at great length. Also, if you check my edit vs your original question, you'll see that all I've done was move a link to be inline, rather than clutter up the paragraph you wrote. Also I left a couple of code tags in surrounding the code that were left in by a previous editor. I haven't changed the grammar structure or touched the meaning of your question.
    – Chapabu
    Mar 25, 2013 at 14:57
  • I am in favour of increasing the edit cap to 3 or 4 thousand though, and I have noticed that some other questions are being edited and having their meaning completely changed by people who don't have English as a first language (through no fault of their own). I'm going to refrain from actually posting an answer here though as I am involved with the referenced question, I don't think it would be constructive.
    – Chapabu
    Mar 25, 2013 at 15:00
  • @Chapabu it's not that anything was wrong with your edit, it's just that I don't feel anything was wrong enough in mine for it to merit being edited in the first place. Take the subtle difference, for example, of how the URLS are displayed. Personally, I make a choice to always show the full URL of the link I am referencing. I think many Drupalers understand that node issues, etc, are heavily referenced in presentations or hyper links as "issue #342353." I personally find that very helpful, and I know other drupaler's do as well (many drupalcon slideshow presentations use this format).
    – blue928
    Mar 25, 2013 at 15:08
  • .. I mean, if there is a policy that states "URLs have to be hyperlinked in a phrase" then I missed that and I concede. But, otherwise I just don't see the point of editing posts for stylistic reasons. I too greatly support raising the edit bar into the 3000 or 4000 or so range. At this level, most people will definitely have their 'drupal legs' and I think editing will be more constructive overall.
    – blue928
    Mar 25, 2013 at 15:11
  • There is no "links must be inline" rule, I just thought that it would make your paragraph clearer if I moved it (that's why I didn't move the second link - it was bracketed on a new line and didn't affect the readability). I'm sorry if I annoyed you :-) I am totally in agreement with the idea of increasing the edit rep cap though, as some users do appear very "trigger happy".
    – Chapabu
    Mar 25, 2013 at 15:18
  • Unless you want to talk about that post in particular, try to keep those specific out of the comments. I will post my thoughts on this once I can figure out how to separate out what is "MPD as moderator" versus "MPD as a DA user".
    – mpdonadio Mod
    Mar 25, 2013 at 16:05
  • 3
    I personally dont have anything against my post being editet, When I made a typo, Since english is not my first language. It is great someone wants to help me out with correcting that. I think its so important that when reviewing that the editor knows the answer, and can maybe see the question is correct. but it needs a bit of altering before the answer is crystal clear.
    – Vic
    Mar 28, 2013 at 18:56

1 Answer 1


TL;DR Yes, it can happen, and there certainly wasn't anything wrong at all with the way you originally posted the question. It was clear, well reasoned, well supported with references and showed an abundance of research effort. In general though, I think the benefits of a collaboratively edited site outweigh the potential problems, which can be largely mitigated by using the site tools.

The "heavy editing power" is what Stack Exchange sites are all about; it's one of the cornerstones of the network, and I'd be very surprised (shocked even) if that was to change.

Yes, it can be annoying when someone edits your post in a way you feel is incorrect, but that's what we have rollbacks for. And yes, that can result in so-called 'rollback wars', but that's why we have the facility to lock posts for content disputes. Remember, the moderators are always only a single flag away if you feel something untoward is happening.

All edits made by users with less than 2000 reputation are subject to approval anyway, so there are safety nets in place to deal with the less experienced users. When a user with higher reputation is causing a problem, that's when the moderators need to get involved.

Speaking to the specific case of hyperlinking - I would have done exactly the same thing as the editor in this case; where it makes sense to do so, links should be made inline. This helps to progress the semantic web as a whole, and is just much easier to read.

There's no rule as such about making hyperlinks inline (not that I'm aware of anyway), but there is certainly a convention of doing so throughout the SE network. As such, we try to keep that convention going across the board by converting plain URLs, which are messy and ugly, and potentially very long, to their textual equivalent.

It's no problem if your tastes are different to that, of course, but please don't be offended when someone makes such a change to one of your posts - it's just the convention being followed (correctly in my opinion, though others may disagree).

When your original intent is changed by an edit, then obviously that's not on, and it needs to be rectified. But again, that's why we have such a sophisticated editing system. You can roll it back yourself, and if someone persists in editing it erroneously, flag for a moderator to sort it out.

Just to address this comment:

Instead of constructive comments or actual answers to my post, I got a lot of people "Willy-nilly" editing it.

Don't forget - not everyone will be able to answer your question. That shouldn't preclude them from participating in the site in other, well-established ways, like editing. They need to do it properly of course, but not having answered the question is irrelevant to that process.

Lastly, if you're worried that conversations in the comments will detract from your question - again, just flag for a mod's attention. We can clear up un-constructive/off-topic comments so the question can shine on its own again :)

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