I've just rolled back part of an edit to this question that got approved while I was writing a edit rejection.

The edit was approved even though the edit made changes to the original question's code (well list of commands... you know what I mean!). Surely the person asking a question knows better than any of us what they did or didn't do?

Not sure if I'm right or wrong and love to hear what others think but this is how I see it: if you see a fault in someone's code/list of commands/output then, as a matter of principle, this shouldn't be edited in the question but rather posted as a comment or - if the problem seen within the code block explains their fault - an answer querying the mistake.

2 Answers 2


I approved that for several reasons the main ones being that

  • The changes cleaned up and fixed the op's syntax which I felt was for illustrative purpose only (I think they would have given an error without the -u)
  • The question is old and has no answers
  • The editor is a core developer on the Mercurial project and has been cleaning up lots of Mercurial related questions and answers for the last week or so.

It's not like he changed the question and then provided an answer to that. So overall I felt it was a justified edit.

  • Fair enough Iain - I wanted to talk about the principle of not changing stuff in code blocks, with that question as an example, rather than focus on that one question. I know the guy who proposed the edits knows what they're talking about, I know the edits were probably innocuous and I trust you, but I still feel as a point of principle that there are some things we shouldn't clear up as part of an edit, or allow others to clear up, because these mistakes might be instrumental to the problem being discussed.
    – Rob Moir
    Commented Dec 23, 2011 at 12:36
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    In general I would agree that changing code blocks isn't a good thing however each edit has to be taken on it's own merits. So a blanket ban isn't a good thing either.
    – user9517
    Commented Dec 23, 2011 at 13:05
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    True enough. Perhaps I chose a bad "example" then, the exception that proves the rule...
    – Rob Moir
    Commented Dec 23, 2011 at 13:18

I made the edit, and tried to clean up like Iain says -- the ./* served no purpose other than to complicate the command. It's not a big deal, though.

Btw, thanks for all the quick approvals of my edits! — I'm sorry to give the reviewers so much extra work over the Christmas holidays :-) As you've probably guessed, I made it my holiday plan to go through all the Merurial questions and improve what I could.

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    And your improvements are very welcome... Well worth the approval time!
    – Rob Moir
    Commented Dec 25, 2011 at 12:04
  • @Rob Moir: thanks! :-) Commented Dec 25, 2011 at 13:56
  • Nice holiday plan! Much appreciated :) Commented Dec 25, 2011 at 19:18

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