After I edited someone's Question or Answer, it feels real awkward to see my name mentioned in front of the author of the respective Q. or A. I feel that instead of displaying editor's name there should be only a small modest button, which says Edits. If you wished to click on that Edits-button then you'd get the history of editing.

(If an editor must see their name, as it is now, then it should be at the most an option; I doubt that there would be anyone insisting on displaying their name under such circumstances but perhaps it may be an option too).

The main point of the proposed change is that the authors' satisfaction should not be diminished by an editor's editing.

Traditionally, to amplify the visibility of an editor would be unprofessional, would work against the integrity of editors, would be prone to the conflict of interests.

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    $\begingroup$ Discrete, or discreet? $\endgroup$ – Yemon Choi Nov 1 '14 at 4:35
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, @YemonChoi (too much topology can cause havoc). I'll correct it in a moment. $\endgroup$ – Włodzimierz Holsztyński Nov 1 '14 at 4:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Yemon: If you edit discreetly, you can choose neighborhoods small enough, so that nobody notices the edit. So it's discrete. On the other hand, I think that in general discreet would correspond to something like meager, or null, or both. Maybe "Universally null set", in some sense. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Nov 1 '14 at 9:11
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    $\begingroup$ The point of displaying the information is not as an honor for the editor but so it is clear who is to be held responsible if there is an issue! Assume your responsibility as an editor and do not look for ways out of it. :-) $\endgroup$ – user9072 Nov 1 '14 at 12:05
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    $\begingroup$ An interesting aspect, not mentioned earlier is the case of potentially low quality questions. They are often formatted poorly, and I don't want my name on that question unless i am sure that it is MO level. So I won't fix the formatting. Although sometimes the question is appropriate to MO and it would be beneficial to fix the formatting. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Soltész Nov 1 '14 at 14:37
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    $\begingroup$ @Daniel: If something is unfit for MO, flag it as low quality, or vote for its closure. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Nov 1 '14 at 17:48
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila Sometimes I am sure that the question has a formatting problem, but I am not able to determine whether it has any content problems. :-) $\endgroup$ – Daniel Soltész Nov 1 '14 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Daniel: Either bite the bullet, or wait until you see some response that indicates that the question is fit for the site. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Nov 1 '14 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila This is my current strategy. My point was that it would change (in a good way) if the bullet biting part would not include my name on a random question. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Soltész Nov 1 '14 at 18:05
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    $\begingroup$ I am hesitant to edit posts for a version of the reason Włodzimierz identifies: I don't want to displace the author's name on the front page. I couldn't bring myself to correct Bill Thurston's typos for this reason. I did edit a Gower's post, but early enough that I was fairly certain my name would be displaced (and it was). $\endgroup$ – Joseph O'Rourke Nov 3 '14 at 0:46
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    $\begingroup$ To add insult to injury--say that a user E did a good job on editing user A's question or answer. User E would be happy to stay quietly in the background. But now a user F adds their trivial modification. Now F's name is in front of author A's name, now F is getting the whole credit for the editorial progress. O-la-la-la... $\endgroup$ – Włodzimierz Holsztyński Nov 3 '14 at 5:36
  • $\begingroup$ How does one get an access to the history of an MO post (like in wikipedia)? $\endgroup$ – Włodzimierz Holsztyński Nov 3 '14 at 5:38
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    $\begingroup$ To get access to the history you can click on the link in the center (that you dislike so much :-)) Absent such a link there is typically not that much history but sometimes there is a little (close/open absent edits can for instance create such a scenario) A direct link is meta.mathoverflow.net/posts/1958/revisions (without the "meta" if it is on main, and the number is the post id) There is also meta.mathoverflow.net/posts/1958/timeline but this is sort of an experimental/hidden feature. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Nov 3 '14 at 7:10
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, @quid. Let me study this stuff :-) $\endgroup$ – Włodzimierz Holsztyński Nov 3 '14 at 7:22
  • $\begingroup$ @JosephO'Rourke I do not fully understand "I don't want to displace the author's name on the front page." I can see the point immediately after the question got asked first (a couple of hours), but later on what do you displace. If you do not edit it the post is somewhere waydown in the active list and basically invisible from there. [In addition to the user having last modified the post being often an answerer (so the name on the frontpage is anyway not OP of question).] And if the post is found from the votes list it is anyway OP's name that is dispalyed. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Nov 3 '14 at 11:24

I see your point and it makes sense. However, it is a fundamental aspect of community moderation that edits should be anything but discreet. It also makes sense for editors to be clearly visible as that information is very useful for moderation tasks.

That said, I agree that it is not necessary for the editor to be the same size as the original author as it is now:

Editor = Author

Something more discreet like the following would be just as useful.

Editor < Author

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    $\begingroup$ Or just the "edited 43 mins ago" part, as a link. And if a moderator or a curious individual (the OP for example) would like to see who edited it, he can click it and get to the revisions page? $\endgroup$ – Daniel Soltész Nov 1 '14 at 3:01
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    $\begingroup$ @DanielSoltész So you want to make those that keep an eye on the quality of edits click and wait for another page to load over and over again? What is the return for imposing this extra burden on me (for example), except more whitespace? It is relevant to know who edited as easy as possible. If I notice an edit by a new/inexperienced user or some that I do not consider trustworthy I will check what they did, by contrast if I see an edit from say François I see no need to control what he did. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Nov 1 '14 at 11:57
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    $\begingroup$ @quid I understand your point. From my point of view the situation is often like this: I see a post, it is nice, but he did an annoying typo or formatting mistake. Thus I edit it, and now my name is there next to the OP's, although my contribution is negligible to the question. I completely understand your point too. So is the software capable of doing something like the link "edited 43 min ago" but if you hover your mouse over it, it shows the user who edited and sufficient additional information? $\endgroup$ – Daniel Soltész Nov 1 '14 at 14:12
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    $\begingroup$ @DanielSoltész this would certainly be possible, but I do not think it is very useful. The issue is quite simply that some want the editor quite visible while some other want the editor not so visible. This is hard to reconcile. (A semiserious proposal: mainly you edit via proposed edits anway at less than 2k, just propose the edits anonymously.) $\endgroup$ – user9072 Nov 2 '14 at 12:32

By the way, why shouldn’t the “edited” element show all users who made changes (that are now visible only in /posts/⋯/revisions), not only the last one? Or, in rare occasions, say “edited by many users”.

The current design suggests that no more than two persons can contribute to a non-community-wiki posting, that is not true. Feel free to elaborate this (eventual) feature request further.


Let me propose another alternative, which i think fits everyone's needs. Why not put the name of the editor away from the name of the OP? For example to the upper right corner under the asked-viewed-active stats.

This would still display the editor's full name, so the moderators would be happy, and this would not amplify the visibility of the editor needlessly so the OP can also be happy.

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    $\begingroup$ The upper right corner is not an option for answers. Anyway, what I wanted to mention is that on the mobile version of the site, the editor is placed below the author rather than to the left, separated by a horizontal line (another one of those also separates the author from the post). Even this small change seems to make the situation visually more clear. $\endgroup$ – Emil Jeřábek Nov 2 '14 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilJeřábek May I ask, why is it not an option? $\endgroup$ – Daniel Soltész Nov 12 '14 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ Isn’t it obvious? This specific spot happens to be next to the question, but it is nowhere near any of the answers. It just doesn’t make sense to put there a combined list of all editors of all the answers down below. Making such a combined list would be quite confusing by itself IMO, but if we go that route, we might as well put the list at the very bottom of the page where it would be equally far away from the posts it refers to, but at least it wouldn’t interfere with positioning of other elements in the sidebar. $\endgroup$ – Emil Jeřábek Nov 12 '14 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, i see. I would only propoe this solution only if the last edit of the question (and no edits of any answers) would be visible there. It would be a silly place for the edits of the answers. :-) $\endgroup$ – Daniel Soltész Nov 12 '14 at 22:34

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