Thank you for helping to improve site content!
The help center page on editing gives these guidelines:
When should I edit posts?
Any time you feel you can make the post better, and are inclined to do so. Editing is encouraged!
Some common reasons to edit are:
to fix grammatical or spelling mistakes
to clarify the meaning of a post ...
The body of this question asks specifically about the case where editing isn't possible. I'm going to give a broader response based on the question in the title.
We have a custom here of not editing people's p'sak-seeking questions for them, even when it's clear how to fix the question. I understand that we do this for educational reasons and to impress ...
This is my approach; others can feel free to disagree:
For my own posts I specifically link to certain resources and not others. I prefer linking to something which actually contains the original version, rather than a mere transcription of the words. This retains the tzuras hadaf, as you noted, and often contains other useful information (e.g. various ...
I endorse both msh210's answer and Monica Cellio's, which I'll summarize as two alternatives for what to do right away:
msh210: Close the question, leave a nice, welcoming, explanatory comment, and leave it for the author to come back and edit so that it fits our mission.
Monica Cellio: Edit the question so that it fits our mission, and leave a nice comment,...
Edits that go against the author's intent are bad whether the post is an hour old or a year old, so please don't do that. Here are some things you can do instead:
Provide a better answer (if you can). This also bumps the question.
Bring it up in chat. While most people don't use chat, many active users do and they might have ideas about how to address ...
As long as you don't invalidate any upvoted answers, then generalizing a question is considered ok.
Indeed if all answer posts to a question answer the wrong question, it is probably better for the site to bring the question in line with the answers and post the intended question elsewhere, instead of deleting all the valuable answers. This way we get more ...
This is a good issue to raise, and I think there is a simple approach to deal with the problem:
All questions and answers should ideally be as good as possible. Whether a question is old or new is not so relevant. If you see a post that is deficient, you can do any of the following:
Leave a comment expressing the problems
Edit it to improve it
I agree with Alex's answer.
I think that the general rule to apply for editing someone else's work is that you should make sure that your edit improves the post without violating the [on-topic] intent originally expressed in it, sort of parallel to "zachin le-adam shelo befanav". So, like Alex says in his last paragraph, if you have a reference link that ...
In my opinion, no, it doesn't still hold true in such a case. A closed question is one that should have no answers. (In an ideal world, it would be closed before it got answered.) It should indeed be edited to be brought on-topic (or, if it's not editable to be brought on-topic, should be deleted or have an historical lock put on it), and any no-longer-on-...
I think it's important for askers of such questions to realize that this site is not meant for p'sak and that they should consult a rabbi. While it's possible to improve the post by editing out the p'sak-iness of it (and I've done so myself), it is probably wiser to leave it closed until the asker has had a chance to read why it's closed, to read the caveat. ...
Mi Yodeya edit
Mezuza on an elevator?
If you have the ability to improve the quality of the question without taking away from its intended meaning, you should go ahead and do so.
In this case, the question would certainly be improved by the addition of sources for its assumptions, as indicated by multiple comments to that effect. The only reason I can think of not to add a source would be if ...
I am under the impression that the question title is supposed to be a summary, and the question body is supposed to be a complete question. I can't now find evidence on Meta.SE of a formal guideline to this effect, but I would like to see us (continue to) operate under this guideline, editing as necessary to fix questions that don't contain all the ...
One thing I have observed on several sites is that new users don't understand editing. That's not surprising; most forum sites are post-once, and then the discussion happens in comments/answers from there. Even though the "edit" link is there, right under the question, people don't always notice (or look for) it.
When I'm asking a new user for more ...
I would say that the answer should not be deleted. We don't want to do something that might discourage users from posting valuable answer content. If answers are subject to deletion (or downvotes) because of a modified question, that could make people hesitant to invest time in posting good answers. Instead, the question edit should be rolled back, ...
I agree with Monica Cellio's answer
In addition, I agree with msh210 in the question that "a written work [should] be self-contained (to the extent possible) and not dependent on its title, of all things."
I find that whenever I encounter a question post whose body, for whatever reason, doesn't clearly express what question it's asking, my brain has to do ...
A picture which is of text (e.g. a scan of a book) and which is included in a post for its textual content, as some of the pictures on MY are, should have as its alt text something that can be read by a screen reader (and search engine) in lieu of the picture — e.g. the entire text. (And if someone's using the entire text as the alt text, then he may ...
My understanding is that both of the approaches you list are fine:
1) The original answer is deficient to the point of being deletion-worthy, so taking the necessary next step by adding summary to go with the link is a very reasonable edit.
2) There's nothing wrong with writing answers that are derivative of other answers, even to the point of just ...
If you try this, you will discover that such edits are rate-limited. Further, such activity would catch the attention of the moderators, which would lead to a discussion with you. Persisting in such activity would likely lead to a suspension. (I recognize, of course, that you would not do such a thing and are asking this question out of academic interest ...
I don't think you're being overly sensitive in general. And Judaism puts a value on tasteful language. (Citation needed. I think it's on daf 2 of P'sachim.)
That said, I think snot is tasteful enough (and what else would you call it?).
Bum is not really in use in the States, and I'm not entirely sure of its register elsewhere, but if (as I suspect) it's ...
I think that that's important information that should be in the question body itself. Quite obvious, as i was the one who asked the OP to edit in the source. :)
From the help center:
When should I edit posts?
Any time you see a post that needs improvement and are inclined to suggest an edit, you are welcome to do so. The original author of a question or ...
If you're writing an alt-text for an answer, please stick to one language.
English and Hebrew braille use the same characters, and run in the same direction. This means that a Hebrew word in the middle of an English sentence can be very confusing to someone using Mi Yodeya through a refreshable braille display. I don't know if most visually-impaired users ...
While we're at it, a mouseover text can also be added. Consider an image from my answer here:
[![munich with rashi]](http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/bsb00039616/image_1)
: http://i.stack.imgur.com/lXXRR.png "Bavarian State Library in Munich #436(14"
This displays as:
If you are already adding in an alt text, try adding a mouseover text as ...
Instead of posting and then deleting, you can save your answer in a file on your computer, and continue editing it there. Then, when you're ready, paste it here and post.
Here is a markdown editor app for Google Chrome that will save your document in the browser.
Is there an authentic source for such a partial hair covering for women?
What's the best rewording of "midas harachamim aleinu hisgalgli" for those uncomfortable with it?
Is the ...
It seems to me that there's little value in rescuing an old question that was closed for soliciting opinions, having a bunch of opinion-based answers on it. It would be much cleaner, if you're interested in answers to the objective alternative, to post the objective alternative as a new question, written well and carefully to solicit objective answers.
One option might be to publish, then delete your post. When you are ready to proceed, undelete it, edit and republish. Would be good to hear confirmation from a moderator before you try it with a lot of content though :-> (users with more than 10k reputation will be able to see your post but not to vote on it - so maybe good to put a quick note at the ...
Others (and not only moderators!) editing someone's post is an integral part of Stack Exchange. For background, I recommend you read the entirety of these three pages:
The second of those three says (a bit bluntly):
Obsolescence can be hard to judge sometimes. We mods try not to delete still-relevant comments, but we might miss sometimes. This is particularly true if, as DoubleAA mentioned in a comment, a big long thread is being cleaned up. (Which usually comes to our attention via flags.)
Here's a scenario that has happened to me several times: big long comment ...
It's because there is already a pending suggested edit. Until it's approved or rejected, other edits can't be suggested. The edit is doing exactly that btw. :P
See Why is the edit button disabled? on MSE.