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I'm not a regular user, but I have a curious glance at the front page now and then, and I tend to see a lot of questions bumped to the top by trivial edits - for example, adding a space before a punctuation mark. They're often older questions.

It seems like most stackexchange sites try to avoid this, because it prevents actual recent activity (new questions and answers) from being visible on the front page. For example, on the Food and Cooking site, recipe requests aren't allowed, so the recipe tag is not terribly useful, and I've been gradually removing it, so as not to bump many questions at once. Why has the French stackexchange taken a different tack?

  • I won't reply to your MSO question. I've got enough experience to know that a question turns quickly into a debate focusing on tiny irrelevant details as soon an actual example is provided… But feel free to discuss on the FL&U chat room with me, I'm there quite often. – Stéphane Gimenez May 2 '12 at 18:13
  • @StéphaneGimenez: I don't actually frequent this site, but obviously the curly/straight quote example is taken from here - a friend had mentioned that to me. So my apologies; that post was really not intended to be directed at you. Skimming the front page, it looks like you're doing generally the site a great service by editing. – Cascabel May 2 '12 at 18:29
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I plead guilty for most of these trivial edits. It's nothing concerted or planned. Only that when I see typos, I correct them. I don't think that bumping old questions is harmful, especially since we have not that much activity. I don't plan to refrain myself from correcting mistakes when I see them, either.

  • Surely bumping questions is more harmful given the low activity, since it's easier to drown out the smaller amount of actually new activity? I'm all for correcting mistakes, and I do it myself, but it's far kinder to the front page if it's done on questions when they're still new, and done to old questions in moderation. I'm not a moderator, but the attitude that bumping large volumes of old questions is okay is very much at odds with everything I've seen in the community over the last few years. The question isn't whether the edits are valid; it's whether they should be done like this. – Cascabel Feb 23 '12 at 21:12
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    @Jefromi I don't think it drowns anything out. The newcomers will want to see everything anyway, the regular users check the most recent activity. And so far no question has experienced a lack of attention.And I definitely won't keep a list of “questions to correct later”. – Evpok Feb 23 '12 at 21:25
  • Are you suggesting that newcomers read everything on the site? And that regular users want to see all recent activity including proofreading edits? Or that regular users see question/answer recent activity some way other than the front page? Again, this is at odds with what I've heard many, many people say across the community: large numbers of edits do drown out other things on the front page. – Cascabel Feb 23 '12 at 21:29
  • @Jefromi I think that regular users check the newest questions in addition to the recent activity. And that reading old questions don't harm newcomers. – Evpok Feb 23 '12 at 21:33
  • Newcomers who can provide answers would be best served by seeing newer questions on the front page. Regular users do indeed check the newest questions, but speaking as a regular user, and again echoing what I've heard from the community, the front page is useful if you want to keep up with new answers as well - which is common for those of us who, despite our interest, who don't immediately know the answer to every question we see. Some regular users prefer the front page for exactly that reason - it was, after all, designed for it. – Cascabel Feb 23 '12 at 21:37
  • Okay, then. Explicit what I should do with these typo. – Evpok Feb 24 '12 at 7:35
  • When I've asked about making large numbers of edits (e.g. retagging all the recipe-tagged questions on cooking, or similar things much earlier in the history of SO), I've been told that it's best to edit old questions a few at a time, then in the future try to catch them while the questions are still new. (The -1 isn't from me, by the way - I don't really agree, but I'm obviously not an active member of the site, so I'm open to the possibility that it's for some reason not as bad an idea here.) – Cascabel Feb 24 '12 at 17:13
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    @Jefromi We don't have much traffic, so bumping old posts makes the home page feel a bit more alive. That being said, I do disagree with making too many such edits, and I wouldn't edit an old post for a single unimportant typo or for whitespace. – Gilles 'SO nous est hostile' Feb 24 '12 at 18:40
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    @Jefromi "Newcomers who can provide answers would be best served by seeing newer questions on the front page." I don't exactly agree with this. As a newcomer, you don't care if a question is new or old for that site, because — again — as a newcomer, everything is new for you. I avoid editing more than a handful of posts at once, though. – Alenanno Feb 25 '12 at 10:48
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    I can't recall having edited more than a handful of posts at once, either. – Evpok Feb 25 '12 at 10:51
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    @Alenanno: But bumped questions may already have answers, while new ones may not. And okay, you might have slightly bigger hands than me, Evpok, but as long as y'all are aware of it! – Cascabel Feb 25 '12 at 16:06
  • @Jefromi You can add answers everywhere, even to questions that have accepted ones. :) Once I got an answer un-accepted because someone else answered and the asker liked that answer better... So it's not that much a problem. It is if you bump too many questions, though, and in that case we agree. – Alenanno Feb 25 '12 at 18:52

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