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The Reputation Privileges state that editing should be:

  • to fix grammatical or spelling mistakes
  • to clarify the meaning of a post without changing it
  • correct minor mistakes or add addendums / updates as the post ages
  • add related resources or hyperlinks

It also says, "Try to make the post substantively better when you edit, not just change a single character. Tiny, trivial edits are discouraged."

So, can anyone tell me how I could edit someone else's question and make it better? Should I presume that I understand the question being asked better than the asker? Or would it be better to simply make a comment on the question that clarifies or asks that the question be clarified?

Also, with regard to the "Tiny, trivial" part, does that mean I should not correct spelling/grammer errors should I see them? One of the sample reasons for editing is "corrected spelling, fixed grammar", after all.

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    Well, for starters, if I could edit here then I would fix the spelling of "grammar" and "privileges". I don't consider spelling to be trivial. ;) – mmyers Nov 23 '10 at 4:17
  • Neither do I, but is that something to edit or ask the poster to edit? fixed btw. – Michael K Nov 23 '10 at 13:07
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    Now, it's fixed :). and I just did what you asked about. I fixed a single letter in your question. And I feel fine about it. – Walter Nov 25 '10 at 15:29
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I have a simple rule for moderation: If you are unsure, just don't do it.

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Answers should age like wine

It should become better and more relevant. Any edits that supports it, should be encouraged.

Micro edits are still fine :)

On stackoverflow, I have made number of micro edits, even if it is discouraged.

There is an incentive to garner votes / acceptance of your solution. The heat of answering a question early means, your answer may be technically correct but unappealing as an answer. I have always felt like going back and doing the micro edits to improve the answer. This means that those who will search for these questions will get better edited answers.

For me, the following has been some of the common use case for edits:

  1. Re-structuring an answer to improve the quality of statement
  2. Include additional relevant discussion, specially on Stackoverflow
  3. Initial code has pithy variable names, change them to some thing more descriptive.

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