Editing of thread-contributions after replies


Dear Forum,

it is now the second time that posters change/edit details of their posts after I’ve replied to their posts.

If these changes concern typos or formal aspects, they are perfectly ok, but if they concern the meaning in a way that my reply becomes silly or irrelevant, I judge this an extremely bad habit.

That said, I would prefer to live with typos and formal glitches than accepting the possibility to change/edit the meaning of pervious posts.




Hi Herbie, edits can be seen by clicking the edit icon on an edited post (maybe not for all users?). But I supose people dont generally check this, maybe edited text can be highlighted?


Thanks Sverre Grødem,

highlighting could be an option.

In general I think editing should be disabled. Why not correct important things in an additional post: Form follows function!

The edit icon is only presented for my own posts.




Aha, for me it is visible on all edited posts, clicking it shows a log of changes to the post. This may be a user-level thing. But if everyone cannot see it then I supose it is redundant in the type of situation you highlight in this thread.


Thanks once more Sverre Grødem,

sorry, it’s in fact visible for me too. I wasn’t quite sure where to look, but I think it doesn’t really help with the problem, because who is inclined to use this feature, except the concerned poster. Then starting a quarrel on the forum wouldn’t be quite constructive.

In short: The Edit-feature is bad.




I totally agree.

Though recently I edited a reply of mine when I discovered an error in what I claimed. I was happy to be able to make an edit (keeping my original statement), since I feared that putting the correction in a reply would make the new information harder to find.

I guess that I like the edit feature in some cases, but too much hiding of original content / the “real” and chronological conversation is bad.

I could live with this.



Dear Forum,

for good reasons I should like to again draw your attention to this problem:

Please don’t change those parts of your posts to which someone has already replied.

Curtis Rueden told me Off-Forum, that he informed the “ImageJ forum staff” about this issue and about the unexplained deletion of some of my recent posts.




It was not unexplained—I sent you a private message about it. Please check your private messages by clicking your user icon on the top right, and clicking the envelope icon. I would also suggest you enable email notification when someone PMs you; you can do it on this page by checking the “Send me an email when someone messages me” box.

Everything that happened in the thread was just a misunderstanding which you blew out of proportion in a way that negatively and substantially distracted from the original discussion, hence the deletions.

Regarding the edit feature: I agree that one should avoid editing the meaning in ways that confuse the flow of discussion for current participants or later readers. However, in general I think the edit feature is a huge step forward compared to email, which is locked in stone forever. Some examples:

  • Not all topics are conversations—the forum can also be used e.g. to create guides or documentation, at which point the ability to fully edit in the future remains extremely useful.
  • Editing is very useful to update/fix URLs which have gone defunct.
  • Editing is useful to annotate an old post with now-misleading-or-incorrect information. You can use strikethrough to leave the old text in place, and then write “Edit: …” to explain the updated situation.

I strongly vote to leave the edit function as is. Also because I would have to be the one to implement the change technically, and I have no bandwidth to do it. I see no clear advantage that would justify the quantity of time such a change would require.