I noticed tonight that a well-intentioned user has been doing a lot of minor edits of formatting of old questions with the effect of filling most of the active question list with old questions bumped by minor edits. Did we ever reach some sort of consensus as too how many minor edits a user should restrict themselves to in a single day? I know on the old meta, now known as tea, such issues were discussed.
The OP wrote: I know on the old meta, now known as tea, such issues were discussed. I am collecting here some relevant threads which I was able to locate. I am making this CW - feel free to add more links, if you consider them relevant.
- Editing old answers by other users; François G. Dorais said there: "It's fine and encouraged to improve old questions and answers. However, keep in mind that it's mildly annoying to have many old questions bumped up to the front page at once, 3 edits per day is acceptable."
- Must we raise the dead for umlaut's sake; Gerry Myerson's advice: "Re-tag two or three questions a day until they're all done."
I believe that I am the user that you are referring to. I apologise to anyone I have inconvenienced.
The majority of the edits that I have done over this short period of time were fixing very similar errors which caused the output to split over several lines. I think I got carried away because I wanted to fix all of them (there aren't that many to fix). However, I did not think about the effect I was having on the front page. I will take a break from these edits for the rest of the day, but (if it's OK with everyone) I will continue to do one or two a day so that all instances of this error are rectified within a week or so.
Today, I have spotted Pietro Majer bumping close to 20 (and counting...) of his answers to the front page with minor edits. (Sorry to be so blunt in naming a respected user, but I guess I'm a little annoyed.)
It's happening again, more than 15 minor edits by one user. Clearly it is just not well known how much this affects the "Active" view. The view by newest Questions is unaffected. I have no suggestion, aside from revisiting "Silent” Edits for MO?"
Some time ago, still unaware of the mechanism of the active tab, I had the idea of correcting the wrong spelling of the name "Hölder", too often written "Holder" by laziness or ignorance, in every occurrence in MO posts. As a result, we had a huge wave of Hölder-related questions over all MO users, a fact I was sincerely sorry about (my excuses again). However, I completely forgot the incident and unfortunately I happened to do the same some days ago, this time in order to eliminate the annoying double backslash. I am now sure that I will never do that again. Nevertheless I think the MO archive of questions and answers is a very rich and useful source, so that we should find a way to allow and even promote improvements of older posts, especially about making corrections and adding new links and references. Certainly, a good compromise is to introduce a bound on the number of minor edits. Yet some edits, like the above mentioned, would be done better if all at a time, once and for all. So my modest proposal is the following: Allow free edits on some special days. How often, it has to be decided. So everybody will be prepared to see, say, on the first Sunday of every month, the active tab turned into a total mess, wildly shaken all day long.