Hot answers tagged

27

If you have a good answer to a question that's no longer there, it would be a great pity to leave things as they are, rather than have the benefit of your effort available to be easily found. This is a problem that does come up a fair bit; generally once a good answer to a decent question that was posted appears, the poster should normally do no more than "...


26

The proportion of unanswered questions is indeed slowly growing because (among other things): the number of people answering questions is growing more slowly than the number of people asking questions. the proportion of very poor questions is increasing rapidly, sapping the time-resources of the very people who tend to answer questions into dealing with ...


19

Like so much around here, this pivots on the slight tension between Individual posters with short-term goals of getting an answer, who almost always want to express appreciation of your attention, their need for an answer, their gratitude if you provide one, and so forth. That's all fine, and I have no inclination to dismiss or downplay politeness. The ...


18

This is a series of side-notes to @Glen_b's excellent answer. Editing is a public service. Even some small edits can just clean up a post and make it easier for everyone to read, which is a positive contribution. Often an edit can change a question that looks too messy to wade through to one that looks readable. Editing can and should help the OP, who ...


17

This is IMO totally reasonable. In fact, I've seen other sites organize tag clean-ups to try to get the community involved in similar behavior. About the only thing to be concerned with is mass retagging without community approval. Users are just expected to use their best judgement about the boundaries between mass retagging and cleaning up a few questions....


16

While the MathJax/LaTeX table formatting is nice, it's a lot of work. I would not ask anyone to do it as a matter of routine. The added value is small, despite the prettier appearance. If we spend a lot of time making perfect tables, fewer posts will be edited. Better several readable posts than one perfect one. In this instance, I think best is the ...


16

These proposals are quite different. Reduce the incentive to edit. To a reputation gain of 1? To 0? Already the incentive is very small and matches the idea that such edits are small (but positive) contributions. And the implication that any member is driven just by a desire for reputation is hard to test: we don't know what people's motives are unless ...


15

My thoughts first on what one does if one is writing a question: If you're quoting a paper, you should quote it verbatim and then explain why the original is wrong (including quoting the correct statement from the earlier reference). If you really want to make it obvious, include "[sic]" inside the quote, immediately after the part that's wrong to highlight ...


14

The preferred solution is to flag the moderators, who have additional tools for limiting edits and, if necessary, limiting the abilities of individual users to interact on this site. Mods can also create chat rooms and invite anybody--whether or not they have ever posted anything--to a private conversation. Occasionally this has helped reconcile ...


14

Based on number of posts: Time of day: Looks like 3:00-7:00 (all times are UTC) is half as busy as 14:00-18:00 day of week: Saturday is the least busy day, followed by Sunday combined: 6:00-7:00 Saturday is just over 20% as busy as 15:00-16:00 Wednesday via this query -- http://data.stackexchange.com/stats/query/51030/posts-by-day-of-week-and-hour-of-...


14

I would like to express an active preference for the "code format" tables over Latex ones in most circumstances, particularly if the table has been aligned properly. The ease of copying tables of data into a spreadsheet or script for further analysis or graphing is a huge advantage and something I regularly make use of. I have occasionally had to copy Latex ...


14

I now have some experience with CV and other SE venues. I think CV is more challenging than others because questions are more technical and scientific, and also because subspecialization is the rule in statistics. My recommendations to improve your likelihood of getting a correct answer are the following: try to put your question in a comprehensible ...


14

kjetil b halvorsen is not bumping up old posts. They are improving questions, which in turn bump the questions because that is how Stack Exchange works. kjetil b halvorsen has edited 3,291 posts whereas you have edited 24 posts so far on CV, so you may not noticed it. Stack Exchange users have repeatedly asked on main meta to have an option to edit the ...


13

[Just to make clear, though my answers should always be read this way: this is personal opinion] You don't need to have any intention of answering a question to edit it. the difficulties facing the initial user may not be as conspicuous because the editor may have inadvertently filled in some critical conceptual gaps in the OP. Where feasible, it's ...


12

I'll talk about what I try to do, and let others voice their opinion on its suitability or unsuitability: 1) I always try to fix spelling errors in titles, even if its the only thing wrong. I think clean, clear titles matter. 2) Since this is a permanent repository, I'd prefer to have good spelling and formatting in posts, but I think it's pointless to fix ...


12

There are some good answers here. My policy (and I think the default overall), is that if I edit, I remove all peripheral comments, be they 'thanks', '-Bob', 'I'm not a statistician, sorry about the dumb question...', etc. A topic that hasn't been covered much yet is deciding when to edit, or to approve suggested edits. If the only thing that needs to ...


12

I don't think there's a formal policy, but I'll talk about what I've noticed myself doing. If someone just says 'thanks', I tend to leave it, even when doing a lengthy edit, even though it strictly doesn't belong. However, if I'm removing a subsequent signature, I may take 'thanks' as well. If it's a long rambling thanks (say a couple of sentences) I take ...


12

I'd say No in broad terms, but as usual much depends on the details. Positively, substantial new information could help a thread considerably, but that should typically be added through comments or very possibly as part of an answer. But what's substantial? For example, if someone edited a literature reference to add detail or to add a URL, that's an ...


12

The code in the question was this: df = data_frame(group = as.factor(rep(1:5, each=100)), x = rep(seq(-3,3, length.out =100), 5), y=as.numeric(dnorm(x, mean=means[group]) > 0.4*runif(10))) In your answer you adapted it to df <- data.frame(group = as.factor(rep(1:5, each=100)), x = rep(seq(-3,3, length....


11

My answer is simply: Please just show the code. To downplay the code, there are obvious possible signals, such as: The code is given at the end of the answer for those interested. Here is the code for those interested. If the code is not interesting or useful or not in a language you use or can translate, you can ignore it in a flash. That comes really ...


11

Given that we have at least a few vision-impaired readers who have mentioned this fact on our site (and no doubt many more who don't post or don't mention it), I think we should attempt to add at least brief alt text as a matter of course -- it's just a matter of replacing "enter image description here" with a description of the image. Even a brief one-...


11

I routinely review every active question. Old questions become active whenever they're touched by somebody. The "Community" bot often touches old questions that might have some value (because they were upvoted or answered). I can no longer do this as thoroughly as I used to because there are about 200 new active questions every day. That's why we have ...


10

I'll second @AbbyT.Miller's sentiment that titles are often more important than other aspects of a post. In deciding whether to edit, remember that this bumps the post to the top of the main page. Some things to consider are how active the main page is at the moment (it's less of a big deal when traffic is slower) and where the post is currently (it's ...


10

I want to agree with Glen_b here, but more emphatically. Once a question has been asked and has received an answer, it is not appropriate for the OP to change the question. That wastes the time of the person who answered, and gives the false impression that they did not answer the question correctly. Once answers have come in, edits to the question should ...


10

I try to control myself as I understand that it is not the way things are done around here but I often have the impulse to fix even small things, Wikipedia-style. That way, we can develop a tidy and clean knowledge base over time. I feel that fixing typos and grammar mistakes, helping non-native speakers like myself, even gradually improving each other's ...


10

Based on the discussion in chat and here my understanding is: Pleas for help should be removed as part of a larger edit, just like "Thanks", and <poster's name/signature>. Smaller edits produce benefits (they make threads more readable for future readers, and set a better example of the site's standards and expectations for future posters) and costs (...


10

In general you should not fix a single letter typo; one exception would be if it's an important word in the title (since people search for those!). The fact that the system tries to prevent you from making very small edits is deliberate -- it tries to stop you because you probably shouldn't. The editing-privilege page says "Tiny, trivial edits are ...


10

Please don't guess what the original poster (OP) intended. When the meaning is clear but poorly worded, then rewriting should be fine. The danger lies in making implicit assumptions (of which you might not even be aware) in formulating your original understanding of the question. Be cautious. This is what the commenting mechanism is for: post a comment ...


10

(To make sure this gets an answer) As whuber mentions, there's an automatic mechanism to detect large numbers of edits and flag the moderators (the community bot is a source of a variety of flags of unusual/noteworthy behavior ... including this issue). We can then take a look and see if the behaviour is a problem or not. For example, someone may tend to ...


9

There are minimum reputation levels to earn the privilege to edit: 100 to edit CW posts, and 2k to edit non-CW posts (and 20k to edit tag wikis). There is no minimum to suggest edits, however. The suggested edits just need to be approved by reviewers like you and I. When you are reviewing edits, you have several options: one that I use in cases like you'...


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