Are they really so bad that so very many of them need editing?

The real problem I have with this is the side-effect this has of changing the date and author on the main page - not that Kaveh seems to feel like editing lots of posts is worthwhile (that is a different question which I am definitely not asking here).

Perhaps the real solution is that editing by a moderator should not actually change who and when the post was authored? That would solve my issue completely.

Before anyone mis-interprets my intent here: read paragraph #3 above again. That's the important one. I am not picking (nor do I wish to pick on) Kaveh's behaviour, only its effects on the site. I am definitely not suggesting any change in behaviour, but a change in how the system works.

  • $\begingroup$ a similar discussion meta.cstheory.stackexchange.com/questions/1337/… $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 2:32
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    $\begingroup$ In the question linked by @Marcos, Jeff Atwood said the prominence of editors is unlikely to change. at one point Kaveh was using a pseudonym "Retag" when he was just performing retagging functions. overall, I think the detail work Kaveh (and others) do is important, and I think your frustration arises from the fact that SE features are sometimes contrary to academic culture. I'm not sure what to suggest. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 2:57
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    $\begingroup$ if you go to the 'question' page instead of the front page, then it will display author, that is what I have done to avoid this problem. But I agree, because I often click on questions expecting to see an awesome Q from Kaveh or Suresh and instead realize that it is just a random question that they edited the tags on :(. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 3:28
  • $\begingroup$ that being said, I really appreciate all the hard work Kaveh and the other moderators put in for re-tagging questions and making the site run smoothly! Thank you guys! $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 3:31
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    $\begingroup$ short answer: because Kaveh is awesome! long answer: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/83196/… $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 5:42
  • $\begingroup$ I am very frustrated by the fact that all minor edits hit "catch-all" feeds (again). While tag edits should definitely affect tag-specific feeds, this is annoying for others. Sometimes questions pop up where "Active" says several months ago. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 6:56
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    $\begingroup$ If the issue you are raising is not Kaveh editing the tags but Kaveh’s edit affecting the date and the author on the main page, then please edit the title of your post so that it matches your intent. Currently, although you are trying to avoid the reader from misinterpreting your post in the text, the title is asking for misinterpretation. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 7:40

2 Answers 2


I am in full agreement with you. Please see this and this. We have already asked for this feature, SE didn't agree. (Maybe they will change their opinion if more people complain about it. I think at least we should get something like this).

I edit questions which don't use one of the top level tags (for classification reason). I would prefer if people use one of them when asking a question and I wouldn't need to do this retagging. I try to restrict my tag edits to the questions on the front page so it has a less annoying effect.

ps: I don't use RSS/email to get the updates so maybe this is a bigger problem for people using them.

pps: I think a reasonable solution is to have something similar to the minor edit checkbox on Wikipedia. It works on Wikipedia well even with completely anonymous users, surely would not create a problem if the edits are made by high rep users.

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    $\begingroup$ I like the suggestion of a minor edit checkbox. And, BTW, thanks for adding good tags, that is a useful services. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 12:56
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    $\begingroup$ Yes. Kaveh is extremely disciplined about doing the grunge work of retagging questions correctly (among other things) and the system insists on promoting these up as full edits. We've argued about this before with Jeff Atwood and lost. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 18:04
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    $\begingroup$ I agree that a minor edit checkbox (that would avoid bumping up the question onto the front page) would be a good thing. They seem to work well enough on Wikipedia. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 19:33

The front page, like the Active sort option it mimics, is designed to report the most recent activity on the site and sort by it. This means the initial asking of a question, any time a question gets a new answer, and any edit made to any post. This is reflected by showing who the source of said activity was. On other pages (like on Searches, or with the newest, votes, and similar sorts), we display the original author.

If the active sort retained its recent-activity-sort, but the time stamp and author instead reflected the original author of the question, then the order of posts on the page would be unintuitive. Even if the sort order was known (which, thankfully, the tooltip explains), you are left without a means of knowing what the activity was, or who was behind it. This is counter to the purpose of that sorting, which is explicitly to draw attention to the activity and who was behind it.

Contrast the faq sort, which does display the original author. Putting aside the incredibly vague tooltip, there isn't any data on the page to explain the sort order, making it equally unintuitive. However, the focus of the page is on the questions themselves for being asked very often. The raw link data isn't quite all that important, compared to the intended convenience of being able to quickly find questions to use for frequent duplicate closures.

As recommended in the comments, I suggest using the newest sort if you want to watch for potential new questions from users you respect or admire. Active sort is intended to point out when people post new answers or make changes to posts, and noting who and when it was (and, on the front page, linking directly to that activity via time stamp) is very conducive to the intent of that sort method.

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    $\begingroup$ I think the main issue here is not whether the 'active sort' view is a bad one - I think your arguments in favor of it are good ones. The issue is whether retagging should constitute an actual edit of significance, and whether it's useful to separate minor edits from major edits when defining activity (i.e activity = major edit). $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Suresh I think that's an important issue, just that it's an issue for an entirely different question, though. One that has been discussed often, but still only tangential to the issue here which seems to be more of "The editor is shown on the front page, not the question author". $\endgroup$
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 17:11
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    $\begingroup$ This does not address the (often-repeated) concern that appeared again in this meta-question. Please understand that you are dealing with a group of people for whom anonymous reviewing is the norm. The problem goes well beyond this particular issue. There are researchers who do not participate because of the presence of badges and reputation points. I am still formulating a suggestion, and I hope to post something to Meta Stack Overflow early in the new year. The bottom line, though, is that some site features directly contradict research norms, and researchers are rubbed the wrong way. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 17:11
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    $\begingroup$ @GraceNote My suspicion is that the complaints are not about "editor's name is shown" but rather "editor's name is shown for a mere retagging". I could be wrong on this though. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Suresh There's a focus that I see on "The original author is being displaced". The nature of the edits don't seem to come up in the request itself, nor the fact that revised posts are still being shown on the front page. That's how I'm reading it, and in that impression, allowing minor edits wouldn't actually solve the issue (due to the fact that even excluding edits, new answers will also displace the question author). $\endgroup$
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ @GraceNote true. Maybe it's just my opinion on what the issue is. I'll let others clarify if necessary. separately, I don't think anyone minds if a new answer displaces the author, because that would constitute a major edit. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 18:33
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with Suresh's comment (i.e. that was my biggest problem) that "editor's name is shown for a mere retagging". One the sites where I have enough reputation, I retag, but I don't care at all to get 'author' credit for that! [I would be ok if the system counted that in the background, not in the foreground, as it currently does] $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 0:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Jacques In that scenario, are you not opposed to the editor's name being shown on substantial edits, or the answerer's name being shown when a question is newly answered? $\endgroup$
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 0:50
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    $\begingroup$ @GraceNote: correct. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 23:01

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