Help talk:Minor edit

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
WikiProject iconWikipedia Help Project NA‑class Mid‑importance
WikiProject iconThis page is within the scope of the Wikipedia Help Project, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's help documentation for readers and contributors. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks. To browse help related resources see the Help Menu or Help Directory. Or ask for help on your talk page and a volunteer will visit you there.
NAThis page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
 Mid This page has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

Is there an established guideline to link to instead? Should this become one?[edit]

I was about to link Help:Minor edit to explain a potential problem with an edit, which might have been incorrectly marked as a "minor edit", possibly to avoid scrutiny. Is there no established policy or guideline about this? ~ ToBeFree (talk) 14:48, 27 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's reasonable to link here for that purpose, and it's true that misuse can be a way of trying to avoid scrutiny. However, the reason that this isn't a guideline, and I don't know of any guideline such as WP:DE that mentions it, is that the boundary between minor and not-minor is too subjective to be enforceable. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:28, 27 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's a shame in my opinion, as the minor edit mark is quite extensively used and trusted. I think the guidelines for this feature could and should be made objective enough to be considered a policy. This feature has been around for so long that enough experience and information has been gathered on its use to be able to establish a clear line. If not I think this feature should be removed as it's just stupid to have it without regulations, since many misuse or even abuse it then. It seems to me to be fairly common. Particularly are there many who seems to believe that updating sports articles and statistics is considered minor, while I think it's clear from these informal guidelines – uhm, information – that that's not what the Minor edit function is intended to be. But it's not mentioned here, so I cannot say for sure and strike down on those who do it. Details like that can be worked out to form a clear and concise guideline. --Mango från yttre rymden (talk) 19:34, 2 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm of the There Are No Minor Edits school -that last time I clicked that button was when I'd accidentally published a page I was still working on- and furthermore not only they are counted in the ESU, they have the option of having summaries of their own (which are themselves counted). Edit is an edit is an edit. kencf0618 (talk) 13:57, 8 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Marking articles as stubs[edit]

Should marking an existing article as a stub count as a minor edit? Saint1997 (talk) 14:02, 30 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, not at all, since doing that changes the assessment of the page. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 08:59, 21 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

mea culpa: I've been doing it wrong — but so it goes[edit]

Note: This developed into a small personal essay on the theme of policy: can't live with it, can't live without it. If that's not your bag, feel free to ignore the hell out of my further remarks.

I've been using "minor" for many edits where I consider controversy to be extremely unlikely, but not impossible.

Recently I change a link target from:

  • In physics, quantum vacuum state is a fancy concept about not very much ...


where clearly 'physics' was too broad (this is close to a recent edit, but not exact).

Quite a number of my edits concern what I think of as "scoping" links in the article lead text, many of which do not resolve as precisely as one might like.

I suppose I'm applying the golden rule, because I think to myself: if[added] I was prickly about this article, is this edit a good use of my attention? Even prickly pears have attentional constraints, although maybe we should entirely eschew the use of "minor" all the better to wear them down :-)

Another thing I'm doing is flagging a substantive edit as "major" but then clicking "minor" for fiddling with my most recent changes, especially if the article is stale (coming on my tracks) and not much time has elapsed (it's usually under about five minutes).

These are articles where any editor showing up at all might only be a weekly or monthly event, and I have trouble wrapping my mind around making the first edit "major" followed by a slew of belated proof-reading of my own work, also uniformly marked as "major". Is that really useful? Or is this guidance here too nakedly controversialist in attitude?

Even after reading this guidance, I think marking the major contribution as "major" and a flurry of minor buffing shortly thereafter as "minor" is the better route.

On more heavily edited articles, or more controversial subjects, I've absolutely used "major" for tweaking a single word to a nearby synonym.

My user name is "MaxEnt" for a reason. It's short for maximum entropy, which is a concept from information theory.

You've got one bit to signal the best use of attentional resources.

I think one big puff of smoke from a dormant, obscure article which hasn't received any substantial love for a month or a year suffices to alert the natives in the valley below. In that context, out of a flurry of edits, if the major swings of the axe are all marked "minor" and a few clean-up whittles are marked "minor" the available bit is earning its livelihood.

In a context where editing is highly contentious, the bit best earns its livelihood when used precisely as documented here — because in the collective editing context, your edits are few among many.

I happen to have a small animus to the random overuse of capitalization. Often this is merely lazy. Sometimes it's a side effect of Wikipedia defaulting to proper page titles, even for subject which are clearly not proper terms. Editors will less experience seem to treat this as a cultural signal: when in doubt, capitalize like the natives who run the place, as gleaned from page title conventions.

These days people who mainly exist on social media seem to think that a few extra capitals sprinkled at random signify the fresh piney scent of big-boy pants. Capitalization as aromatherapy just about makes my head explode.

Along the spectrum of capitalization, there are many, many grey areas. Some of those grey areas are not all that grey, but it's not impossible some heirloom cultivar of prickly pear might object to changing things. I suspect I apply the 80–20 rule to my mental construct of prickly-pearness: am I clicking "minor" on 20% of the arguable edge-cases to get 80% of the useful effect?

From my background in information theory, if you're going to make good use out of a 1-bit language, you have to be of flexible mind, and take into account the background signal in the article's specific context.

But perhaps my nuance has been in the pickle jar for too long (fifteen years of hanging around) and as such is not suitable for written policy.

I would say about 80% of my edits are intended mainly to boost the signal from dress code: it's good for the long term viability of Wikipedia that most articles look like they've been edited within the last decade (no few have a last substantive edit dating back to 2007, that golden era where half of all edits were supplied by relative neophytes, soon to take one good hard at the crash of 2008, quickly assessing that further involvement with Wikipedia was not their A-list).

Then there's the quantum barrier. Some pages have obvious defects, but there's no simple, self-evidently non-controversial edit to push the article back onto a better track. My aging spider sense tells me that many editors try to stay far away from "owning" a quick fix. It's shocking what kind of conspicuous garbage can survive in an article that has fallen into a quantum rut.

I fancy myself having put on the miles over a very long span of time to wade in and sever the Gordion knot with a butcher knife. It's often possible to change one problem that nobody wants to touch for years and years into three equally large problems which will actually manage to attract the right kind of TLC in short order.

By one metric, the article has moved backwards (you've substituted one conspicuous problem for three problems, equally conspicuous). By another metric (barrier to participation), the article is now moving along in the right direction again.

The next editor who comes along might choose to jump onto "right direction again" or might choose to jump onto "moved backwards". There's no predicting this. So I accept that a fair percentage of my "Gordian" whacks will be reverted in short order. If half of them live to see the next morning, it's still a valuable contribution as I see things.

My problem with social engagement is that I'm editing Wikipedia while I'm also living my private research life. Because I also do so much editing in my own wiki, most of my edits are almost autonomic. It's takes away some time from my day to constantly groom Wikipedia, but not too much attentional resource. But as soon as I get involved in social discussion of my attempted contributions, attentional resources are commandeered in a big hurry. Now it's time (okay) plus something I really can't afford (distraction from my life mission).

It's legendary in software development how mistaken we can be about what our users actually do out there. And this is no different on Wikipedia. As a defined community, we tell ourselves certain stories about how this whole thing works, and these stories are largely what they need to be, but they fall rather short of being the truth on the ground. I earnestly believe that my contributions are more valuable because I judiciously ignore much of the official policy around the edges. Anyone can go through my edit history and say that half of my edits fell short of the desired norms—as if to imply I fell short only for lack of the right psychological mindset.

But I can look at this and compute a specific cost function. The extra ten minutes fussing here would have precluded ten other small edits somewhere else. A good exchange or a bad exchange? It's one of the deepest themes in all of economics: how freely we expend resources when we perceive those resources as coming out of any other person's wallet.

On the other side of the coin, central policy can't go around instructing newbies to consider their actions in terms of detailed cost models for every other creature they might encounter in the ecosystem.

All the same, it's a bit sad to see official policy on the "minor" edit flag thoroughly tilted toward adjudicating rage wars. I'm at the stage in life where I can instantly imagine just about every way an apparently "small" edit can trigger someone else to have what we used to call "a hairy big one". (Before the advent of the smartphone camera, we could happily presume a shaggy aggravated sasquatch was lurking behind the nearest wide tree at all times, so the phrase had a good implicit cover story to its anatomical subtext.)

That said, not all hairy big ones are created equal, and it will be a long road to talk me down from stubbornly persisting in filtering the guidance here through a long-established perspective on the precise whereabouts of the 80–20 sweet spot. — MaxEnt 15:02, 24 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 23 June 2022[edit]



R = Read E = Every C = Chapter A = After L = Learning L = Lifestyle Mnemonic devices are memory aids that help us organize information for encoding (Figure 8.19). They are especially useful when we want to recall larger bits of information such as steps, stages, phases, and parts of a system (Bellezza, 1981). An effective study technique for me that has been used is forming index carding by writing information down for reviewing. Visual print examples (printing out my PowerPoints for more visual reading) and (audio)listening to the videos over and over again. I have to visualize it being said in my head to recall it. It is similar to strategies suggested in this chapter by recalling what you have read. Recognition identifies the items that you read. Relearning a sense of already knowing the information just to refresh on it.Carolhumphery (talk) 00:42, 23 June 2022 (UTC) 00:42, 23 June 2022 (UTC)00:42, 23 June 2022 (UTC)00:42, 23 June 2022 (UTC)~§ Carol Humphery HadleyCarolhumphery (talk) 00:42, 23 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Not done: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Help:Minor edit. Please make your request at the talk page for the article concerned. Mnemonic is not protected. 💜  melecie  talk - 00:45, 23 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

what qualifies as a minor edit clarification request[edit]

what is the etiquette for adding [citation needed] tags. is this a minor edit or not? i'm assuming it is. but, it's not clear to me that is correct. can a moderation expert please update the what to/what not to sections of help:Minor edit page to clarify this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Seanmcd27 (talkcontribs) 08:16, 23 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is not a minor edit, and the help page covers this where it says Adding or removing visible tags or other templates in an article. -- John of Reading (talk) 08:30, 23 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As an infrequent editor I wasn't aware of a topic about visible tags. Nearly all edits worth bothering to login and fix are going to be visible. Why is visibility relevant? I still think adding this to the prescriptive what is/is not section would be helpful. That's the obvious first place to look when questioning what is/is not a minor edit, especially when seeking clarification of a vague statement or unfounded assertion which is a weakness in reference material that is a common source of confusion. Seanmcd27 (talk) 08:43, 23 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Usually for me I will consider typo or syntax error correction as minor edit. Chongkian (talk) 04:05, 2 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How to mark an edit as minor in mobile WP?[edit]

Because normally there's no option for a minor edit when editing in mobile WP... Sheep (talk) 11:34, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Sheep8144402: It doesn't appear to be possible. Many interface features are omitted in the mobile version. PrimeHunter (talk) 14:52, 26 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Obvious factual errors" is not like the other things in 'What is a minor edit' .[edit]

I think we should remove this from the list, what is, or is not, an obvious factual error is highly subjective and contradicts the idea that minor edits shouldn't change the meaning of an article. JeffUK 20:34, 29 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]