Help talk:Edit summary

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Avoiding wiki links[edit]

Is there any “proper” way to avoid turning double-square-bracketed text into a wiki link? For example, in this edit I “cheated” by adding a zero-width space as a null character between the closing brackets: [[. . .]ZWSP]. Either way, the answer should be made clear under Help:Edit summary#Properties, instead of just mentioning that nowiki doesn’t work. Vadmium (talk) 05:41, 2 April 2011 (UTC).

Perhaps <nowiki> was broken when you tried it but it seems to work now. <nowiki>[[User:Vadmium|Vadmium]]</nowiki> comes out as [[User:Vadmium|Vadmium]] which I think is what you want. Wellset (talk) 20:34, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
I rather think that Vadmium was asking in the context of edit summaries, where extension-style markup like <nowiki>...</nowiki> is displayed literally, and is not processed, which means that Wiki markup like [[double square brackets]] is always processed. So in answer to the original question: it does seem that the only way to display double square brackets literally in an edit summary is to put something between the first and second, also between the third and fourth, that defeats the wiki markup processing. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:34, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
Ouch! Thank you – I knew exactly what Vadmium was asking but somehow I managed to answer a completely different question. I can't believe I was so stupid; I don't know how I did it. Tiredness? Mea culpa. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wellset (talkcontribs) 20:47, 21 October 2013 (UTC)


Kanjari is situated near Anand, Gujarat, India — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ronak54 (talkcontribs) 20:30, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Feel free to edit the page if you have appropriate sources. But I see that your account has been made for the sole purpose of making this one edit a few years ago so... I think this section should be deleted. Kndimov (talk) 14:58, 7 March 2014 (UTC)


Why are edit summaries by default enclosed in a C-style comment (i.e. /* */)? Attys (talk) 19:20, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

They're not; that part is the section heading. You should add your edit summary after the closing */ - for example, when replying here, I have used
/* Syntax */ they're not; that part is the section heading
When you view a watchlist, page history, or similar, such as the history of this page, you should see that both entries show "Syntax:" in grey, with the user-entered part after that, in black. If you click the little arrow → it should take you to that particular section. If you alter the part between the /* */ that section linking is broken. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:51, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
It's still a fair question why the section heading in edit summaries is enclosed by /* */, when == == (or === ===), the Mediawiki section markup, might be more consonant with the article's wikicode. Maybe the thinking was: hey, edit summaries are comments, and /* */ are quite widely used block comment delimiters. --Lexein (talk) 22:18, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
I suspect it is used internally by the MediaWiki software to create the link. --  Gadget850 talk 00:32, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
That is undoubtedly true: if I edit a section and alter its heading, but leave the /* Section heading */ alone, the → link fails; but if I alter both in the same manner, it succeeds. I think that Lexein's question is more in a historical context: why did the MediaWiki devs choose /* ... */ rather than == ... ==, all those years ago? If they had chosen == ... == way back when, I'm sure they would have written the software to detect that markup in the edit summary. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:48, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Yep, I forgot "historically", to my doom. --Lexein (talk) 13:50, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Initiative for mandatory Edit summary[edit]

I think there's very little argument for maintaining the current status of "optional" edit summary.

Anyone who's changing Wikipedia should be obliged to give reasoning, especially for reverting and should have no problem doing so.

Optionality not only gives room to disruptive editing and vandalism but elevates such by the absence of any mandatory justification for your action.Commissioner Gregor (talk) 02:13, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Hello, Gregor - I see that you're a fairly new editor. There is a history of such initiatives not gaining much traction, for a variety of reasons; one commonly given is that the requirement doesn't guarantee that the summary will be helpful or true. Search for "require edit summary", especially at the various Village Pumps.
Your best bet for wide discussion of such an initiative is not necessarily here (a not widely watchlisted Help Talk page), but with a Request for comment. Just by the way, I support strongly encouraging brief, helpful, edit summaries (see #Should be a guideline. above), and I have a 100% summary creation rate, largely because I set Preferences -> Editing -> "Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary" to on. --Lexein (talk) 02:42, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
{moved comment out from inside my comment, and prepending referent} [As to your first point:]
Nothing can give a real guarantee, so I don't see why this is much of an argument, tbh. Apart from stimulating the community to think twice about the legitimacy of their edits, it will also make them reassess their idea - is it really righteous what I am doing here? Even if one is against general obligation on any edit, I think there's even more truth to it when you look at reverts. You simply can't undo another's contribution without justifying - this resembles some sort of thievery, in my opinion, to be honest. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Commissioner Gregor (talkcontribs) 03:19, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Note that I like the idea of strongly encouraging edit summaries. We have the stick, we probably need a carrot. I think there's a need for positive feedback for new editors or IP editors who do leave EC - a "thank" would suffice, IMHO. --Lexein (talk) 07:00, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
How would this policy be enforced? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:29, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
... @ Peter, presumably by not allowing the "Save Page" to function without an edit summary. I too have a 100% summary creation rate, for the same reason as Lexein.
I would support that.
— | Gareth Griffith-Jones | The Welsh Buzzard | — 11:58, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
That might force the editor to type something into the summary box, but not necessarily anything more useful than a blank summary. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:30, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I had realised that, but it would deter many who just visit in order to vandalise.
— | Gareth Griffith-Jones | The Welsh Buzzard | — 12:47, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
You don't think that a vandal will either just put garbage in the summary box, or if the sneakier type, enter a plausible looking edit summary? Either way, if you are patrolling you still have to look at the diffs. An edit summary will only be useful if the editor wants it to be useful.• • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:40, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Peter, distressingly I have to accept that it would not achieve what we want. So we are back to the evergreen controversy: make it mandatory to register and log-in.
— | Gareth Griffith-Jones | The Welsh Buzzard | — 20:01, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Perennial proposals. --  Gadget850 talk 20:07, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
— | Gareth Griffith-Jones | The Welsh Buzzard | — 20:20, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
+1. I knew it was logged somewhere as such. --Lexein (talk) 07:00, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
(ec x 2)I have mixed feelings about that. I certainly think it is preferable, but not enough evidence to tell if it would improve the overall success of the project if it was obligatory. Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 20:22, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
However, blank summaries and the like could be checked for and disallowed. PS I'd strongly support forced ESs for non-IP editors. If they abused ESs, then we could block them, whereas at the moment it seems we are all powerless. Trafford09 (talk) 22:10, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
What would you classify as abuse of edit summaries, and
Why should editors who take the trouble to register and log in be treated more harshly than IP editors? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:16, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
I'd classify abuse of ESs as, say, misleading ones (content changed but ES="spelling") or useless ones ("update", 'change"). You quite rightly say that we more responsible editors do take the time & trouble to register. But isn't that therefore something that a rogue IP user is less likely to bother to do? So, whilst IP users are perhaps harder to monitor & catch, I feel it'd be easier to spot & block a registered user, who's gone to at least a little trouble to initially 'buy in' to WP. Then IP users stand out more, as prob. worth greater monitoring or more cautious AGF approach. Trafford09 (talk) 08:14, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
An edit summary of "update" might be useless to some; but it's useful to me. It's one of the "tells" of this guy who changes IP address frequently, types in appalling English, and never provides a reliable source for his highly-speculative wishes. When I see "Update!!!" in the edit summary, I get the coffee in and click his contribs. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:42, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
LOL. I'm not displeased by section title (autofilled) + updated, but the exclamation points... oooooh, I dunno. --Lexein (talk) 04:26, 14 October 2013 (UTC)


I would like to see a suggestion added here, to the effect of "give as much and as detailed information as you can about what you did".

e.g. "I made some changes" is not a useful edit summary. Nor is "I corrected a sentence" or "I corrected an error."

I've seen a rise in these non-useful edit summaries lately and I'd like to be able to point editors at specific text here that asks them to do better. Jeh (talk) 21:25, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

What to do?[edit]

A number of editors have asked a (very good) editor for clearer edit summaries. Especially on articles that are contentious. But I don't seem to have made a convincing plea. See discussion and reaction here. Is there any way someone else can more clearly than I did express the community sentiment? This is an excellent editor -- but now many of us have come to his talkpage with the same concern, and I seem to have failed in summarizing and conveying the community view to encourage any change in behavior.--Epeefleche (talk) 00:46, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 14 April 2014[edit]

I am John White & I am trying to make edits to my bio that is posted on Wikipedia. I ask for your assistance in making these edits.

John White LaBelieves (talk) 14:34, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

LaBelieves (talk) 14:34, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

@LaBelieves: Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Help:Edit summary. Please make your request at the talk page for the article concerned. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:23, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 12 May 2014[edit]

Please edit page so that points 'This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011)' & 'This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (February 2011)' go away. Please delete any information for which references cannot be found. Gautam.rayakar (talk) 13:17, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done This is not the page to repeat questions that have already been asked and answered three times at Wikipedia:Teahouse/Questions. Arjayay (talk) 14:04, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

Proposed addition to "Avoiding personal attacks"[edit]

There is a proposal to add a short paragraph to the "Avoiding personal attacks" section of the No personal attacks policy page. The discussion is Proposed addition to "Avoiding personal attacks". Your participation is welcome. Lightbreather (talk) 00:15, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

joey yap book isbn[edit] (talk) 15:31, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Cannolis (talk) 15:37, 11 September 2014 (UTC)