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phoebusg's avatar

What do you think about Post-edit improvements - whilst keeping the original?

Asked by phoebusg (5241points) October 4th, 2010

I am all about efficiency, and also creating and using references more efficiently. As such, it would be nice to reference your previous fitting answer to a current thread, but be able to add to the previous (say beneath it after a separator etc). Would add a lot of value to older threads.

You could also see how your answer/knowledge improved over time.

Side ideas, being able to re-edit it and showing that, but for the viewer to easily be able to parse the original answer (that got all the lurve…).

I also tend not to answer if I have already given a similar response. But it is harder to easily link previous responses through fluther.

Discuss.

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18 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I like the idea of being able to link more easily to a past post though.

phoebusg's avatar

@marinelife I think you missed the description. I can rephrase if it’s unclear. Let me know.

JilltheTooth's avatar

So copying, pasting and revising are not what you had in mind?

jaytkay's avatar

Repeating previous text just makes the thread cumbersome for me. Forums like that seem to fill up with paragraph after paragraph of previously written stuff, and it’s difficult to figure out what is actually new and what is just repeating text from upthread.

A lot of people quote a thousand words when they only need to cite ten.

wundayatta's avatar

What you are asking is pretty confusing. I think I get the part about adding to old answers. It would be kind of like seeing a history of annotations on a recipe card.

What I’m not clear about is what would happen on the current question. Do you bring everything on the past answer forward? Or just the main part, to which you add something, and then the addition gets posted on the past post?

I’m really not sure what you’re on about.

My instinct, without really understanding it, is to say it’s too complicated to be a good idea. If you want to make changes that show your current thinking, then write a new comment. If you want to copy the old one forward, then do that.

I have great difficulty finding past answers, anyway. So I don’t think this would be very useful. I think you should write in response to the current question, not adapt something from the past.

CMaz's avatar

We are oft to blame in this, —
‘Tis too much prov’d, — that with devotion’s visage,
And pious action, we do sugar o’er
The devil himself.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I would like to edit my recent answer where I meant to say “Hamlet” and instead wrote (and left) “Hamelt”. It sounds like a fast food offering involving pork and cheddar cheese. Not what I intended.

Jeruba's avatar

In effect this would mean a permanently open editing window for posts. No. Chaos.

If I want to make a new comment and incorporate a past one, it’s easy enough to either copy and paste the pertinent portion or note that I’m building on a past response and include a link. This is clear and easy to follow. I don’t want to look at a thread from March 2009 and have to figure out how much of it has been written since, breaking the internal logic and continuity of the original, nor do I want to be drawn back into amplifying old remarks because somebody else in that thread has added something. We’d find ourselves in a morass of never-ending past debates. Seems to me we have enough of that in just staying current.

What I would like is a much better way to find my old posts. Sometimes even when I remember exact words correctly, I can’t get them to come up in a search. I would like a search function that limits the results to all posts by a named user, oneself or someone else.

phoebusg's avatar

@Jeruba not exactly. The original should be visible.
For the copy/paste method in general – it’s pretty hard to keep track of your own past answers in the same field as the new question. Yes, exactly. Right now it’s quite laborious to go through your old answers. Searching by user would be handy.

downtide's avatar

@Jeruba I definitely second the idea of being able to search your own answers (or anyone’s answers?). Today a question was asked that was very similar to one I answered last week and I wanted to give the same response. The only way I could find it was to scroll back page afterpage of my answers.

But I vote no to the OP’s idea of editing, unless the same time-limit is imposed as it is now. Threaded comments would be nice though. So I could have put this comment directly under @Jeruba‘s one.

phoebusg's avatar

@downtide I’ve talked about threaded comments that follow content-hierarchy before. People didn’t get it or agree either. Regardless, fluther needs some necessary updates to make it more reference-friendly.

YARNLADY's avatar

There is a way to see the date of previous entries, by moving your mouse over the space next to the “flag as” box. It doesn’t make much sense to me to keep it hidden like that.

I the way some other sites link all the like comments and don’t require the @somebody in front, but Fluther has decided not to do that.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I might have friend my brain on GRE homework tonight but I am having a really hard time understanding exactly what you’re talking about. Can you give an example?

augustlan's avatar

Better search is on the way, guys! And threaded comments is something we’re actively thinking about, too.

I don’t think we’ll ever allow unlimited editing. It’s way too easy to vandalize a thread, by changing an old answer into something completely different.

Jeruba's avatar

I hope we’d be able to opt out of threaded comments. I have difficulty following them and would rather just see everything in chronological order.

jrpowell's avatar

=There are usually 15 comments (average). My brain can do that and I only visit when I am drunk. It isn’t hard to keep track of. I just don’t see the need for them. And I fucking hate them.

phoebusg's avatar

@augustlan yeah, unlimited editing wouldn’t work. What I was thinking was different.
We have the current editing function – you have X time to finish your edits before it’s “set in stone”. After that, you could extend the answer, or if you decide to revise it, the original would still be visible – but possible to hide it. Would allow for improvements and improving older threads rather than continuously adding ‘new’ content that is not new.

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