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I have been a user for 6 months now and I have seen this many times. So I decided to ask this in meta as I found no better place to ask it.

Why don't the users who edit the questions just leave a comment or answer?

I don't mean the reason for edit, I mean the answer to question or a hint as a comment.

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    $\begingroup$ Why should they? Usually, if they want you to learn about why they edited, they leave a comment. You can also check the edit summary by clicking on "edited X mins ago". $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. Oct 6 '15 at 19:14
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You ask:

Why don't the users who edit the questions just leave a comment or answer?

Editing, commenting, and answering are 3 different actions.

The first - editing - relates almost entirely to clarity, style, grammar, typesetting, and general readability (and not just on chem.SE). On chem.SE, editors can optionally leave comments concerning what they did when they edited a post. You and others can see the comments made by the editors pertaining to what they did if they leave a comment on the edit.

The second two - commenting and answering - are closely related and apply almost exclusively to the science part of the post and not with the items covered by editing. Comments are typically shorter than answers, and sometimes comments are answers, but they're not necessarily being presented to the OP and the community that way.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hot Meta Network Question FTW. $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. Oct 6 '15 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ Word, @inɒzɘmɒЯ.A.M. $\endgroup$ – Todd Minehardt Oct 6 '15 at 19:37
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Keeping the original answer below, but let me rephrase: Not everything that happens to your post is related to giving you an answer. We can edit even without knowing the answer. We can choose not to answer because we don’t feel like it, we don’t like the question or our supervisor is nagging us to do some work-up. Answers are voluntary.


Usually editors don’t comment when they edit because it is, sorry, bloomin’ obvious what the edit did/was supposed to do. Sometimes they don’t even leave an edit summary. If at any point during the edit the editor feels that it would be worth to drop a comment to help the user in the future, i.e. by linking them to the relevant meta posts, they will do so.

Remember that on Stack Exchange, posts are not ‘yours’. In fact, it is Stack Exchange’s policy that the only thing that is yours concerning a post is the reputation that you gain (save community wiki posts). It is up to the entire community to improve posts, remove spelling errors, rewrite sentences, make them clearer, improve formatting etc. So what you are experiencing is normal Stack Exchange behaviour.

And of course, leaving answers is totally unrelated. I can edit posts even without knowing what the answer would be. So why would I answer?

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, not sure if he's talking about edit tutorials. $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. Oct 6 '15 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Jan as i said I don't mean the reason for edit. you could just comment a hint to the answer. @ inɒzɘmɒЯ.A.M and i am not talking about edit tutorials $\endgroup$ – Chinmay Chandak Oct 6 '15 at 19:29
  • $\begingroup$ @ChinmayChandak see last paragraph. $\endgroup$ – Jan Oct 6 '15 at 19:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Jan yes, editing is unrelated to leaving answers – except for the Explainer/Refiner/Illuminator badge $\endgroup$ – Loong Oct 6 '15 at 19:39
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Don't mix stuff up.

We would edit because we want to improve the quality of the contributions to the site. We would answer because we want to build a library of chemistry knowledge, and as a consequence, help you. I don't see how these are related.

Please be more specific and vivid about what you're saying, so I could elaborate on my answer. Right now, this is the only answer to your question.

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  • $\begingroup$ But why don't editors just leave a comment as hint, when they edit the post ... $\endgroup$ – Chinmay Chandak Oct 6 '15 at 19:24
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    $\begingroup$ @Chinmay What if they don't want to? What if they don't know the answer? What if a Godzilla is chasing them and all they could do is editing your post? What if they know the answer but don't feel like answering? What if they're waiting for someone with a better view on the matter? $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. Oct 6 '15 at 19:27

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