Instructables

Should be possible to edit comments

We should be able to edit comments that we have published. I found an error in a schematic I posted, for instance, and I should be able to go back and revise it instead of deleting the whole comment and re-posting. This is a common feature in other forum software.

endolith (author) 1 year ago
Here's an example of a comment that is factually wrong and needs to be edited to correct it: http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-True-Random-Number-Generator/?comments=all#CM5KX7DH0OJ3OZP
Actually it seems to me it should be possible to trim comments or at least reorder them so that useful feedback for other readers doesn't get lost in meandering side paths.
lemonie5 years ago
Sort of Wikipaedia like? I just know people are going to get into arguments and then change what they said. It's a bit like teacher telling you to use a ruler and put a line through it instead of using Tippex (audit-trail, or is that just a neatness issue?) L
endolith (author)  lemonie5 years ago
This is a standard feature on every web forum I have ever used, and I have never seen any problems or complaints about it. Have you ever actually used it?
No. But I don't like the idea of saying something, having a redponse and then changing what you said. Because then the respondee has to go back and change their response. And it can go on... This could be abused by people, if it hasn't in the forums in which you've used it, I'd suggest that the community is different there. Imagine a situation where an answer is solicited, and then the question changed to put that answer in a completely different context. L
endolith (author)  lemonie5 years ago
No. But I don't like the idea of saying something, having a redponse and then changing what you said. Because then the respondee has to go back and change their response. And it can go on...

It just won't happen, and if it does, it won't be as big of a deal as you're trying to make it.

Instructables forums might be abused, so we shouldn't have forums at all?

The Internet might be abused, therefore we shouldn't have the Internet?

Imagine a situation where an answer is solicited, and then the question changed to put that answer in a completely different context.

Why don't you imagine one? Imagine the worst case you can think of. It's really not a big deal at all. Not only can everyone tell that the post was edited after the fact, the "victim" can alter or delete their response at any time.

There are THOUSANDS of forums with this functionality, as it's built into vBulletin and phpBB. It's ridiculous to claim that Instructables has such a dysfunctional community that it would be a problem here when it isn't anywhere else.
Well I'd like to correct "redponse" to "response", so I'm not at all against the option. I don't think it would be productive to discuss this much further, but having seen some lengthy exchanges, it helps to have a clear transcript of the dialogue. I made no claims of dysfunctionality (or did I go back and edit them out...?) L
Sorry. I (just one user out of I'bles thousands) have already been in the middle of a discussion where one idiot made exactly that accusation against a member of the staff. Because comments _can't_ be modified post facto, not even by staff, several of us were able to point out said idiot's wrongness.
Oh, I can think of some bad ones. Lemonie has a good point. Users will abuse that feature. It can and will happen.
lemonie5 years ago
But then you'd get arguments about what people said and meant (and people can get into lengthy discussions...). Could you just reply to the original and point out the error? L
endolith (author)  lemonie5 years ago
No. It would be much better if we could edit the comments directly.
endolith (author)  endolith5 years ago
Typically this is done by appending "Comment last edited by X at 00:00:" and then showing the reason why the user edited it.


Comment last edited by Endolith at 04:12 EST: Modified schematic to fix error on pin 13
I think, ideally, that you should be able to edit posts that nobody has replied to. As soon as a reply is made, the post is locked, to prevent later edits causing problems.
endolith (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
You can currently do that by deleting the comment and re-posting it. So in a sense, I'm asking specifically for the ability to edit comments that people have already replied to.
In that case, I would say "no".

The temptation to edit posts to make replies wrong, or look silly, would be overwhelming for some posters, which could turn the forums into childish arguments.

So there.
endolith (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
The benefits would far outweigh any hypothetical (non-existent) problems. I don't think you've really given this much thought.
Mainly because it's not something that needs much thought - if you pay attention to what you type, and read it through when you are done, your posts should not need editing.

If you need to change the way you have said something because of new information, or a change of heart or mind, then you should add that as a new post, later in the thread.
endolith (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
If you need to change the way you have said something because of new information, or a change of heart or mind, then you should add that as a new post, later in the thread.

And people will continue to read the old erroneous one and be mislead, with the correction lost in the ensuing discussion. There's a reason this feature exists on thousands of other forums.
As GH said;

They are not non-existent problems, as I have a few sites institute this, and later become a hot bed of argumentation (I NEVER said that.....yes you did right......oh....you erased it ! I did not, you did too....). A lot of PHP boards allow this but the post is flagged with an edited flag. Still, I have seen a lot of abuse of it. One site, Care2, gives you about 2 minutes or so to edit your post, then it is locked.
I don't think you're giving this very much thought. The hypothetical benefits do not in any sense outweigh the known and demonstrable problems. If you make a mistake in a comment, either delete it and repost, or create a new post (or/and followup to yourself) superseding the previous.
They are not non-existent problems, as I have a few sites institute this, and later become a hot bed of argumentation (I NEVER said that.....yes you did right......oh....you erased it ! I did not, you did too....). A lot of PHP boards allow this but the post is flagged with an edited flag. Still, I have seen a lot of abuse of it. One site, Care2, gives you about 2 minutes or so to edit your post, then it is locked.
gmjhowe5 years ago
I see what you mean. But really, most the time, if its a simple typo, it doesn't need to be corrected, as most people can work it out in their heads. It would be a nice idea, but not really needed on a site like this.
NachoMahma5 years ago
. No matter what you do, somebody will abuse it. IMNSHO, that's not a good reason to rule it (or anything else) out. . Considering the demographics of Ibles, would probably require a "Member In Good Standing" flag, that could be revoked if need be. . Since all posts are timestamped, I don't see where it is really necessary to be able to edit (although it would be a nice feature). If you make a mistake, post a comment with the correction. Not a perfect solution (comments can get separated by "subthreads"), but it works.
. Since all posts are timestamped
-Just a minor problem for us internationalers. ;)

I think if comments were allowed to be edited it should either be a) a one edit only, or 5 minute timeout.
Chicken22095 years ago
I think so....
but one of two things need to happen
  • the post needs to be shown that it was edited. Maybe just an edited after the name or a different color font
or
  • The original post needs to be left unharmed while the edit just appears below the comment. EX:
i lkie pie

EDIT: I like pie
I think that the corrrections should go like this.


Edit: Feb 16, 2009. 8:40 PM

corrections*