Help talk:Edit summary

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Not Necessarily Helpful[edit]

I don't think edit summaries are necessarily helpful. (1) If you are watching the page, you probably should check the edit itself. Otherwise there is no way of determining if the summary is misleading or not. As this page says, editors should not give misleading summaries, but this is preaching to the converted. (2) Pasting the text of your edit into the summary space is just annoying in many cases. It's quite pointless on a discussion page because you have to read the thread to understand the context. (3) Many attempts to explain edits are incomprehensible without looking at the edit itself. I'm not saying that people shouldn't provide edit summaries, but I think the insistence on them is over the top and counterproductive in some cases.--Jack Upland (talk) 19:53, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

I agree that edit summaries are not necessarily helpful, but that is not an argument against using them. Do you have a specific suggestion? Robert McClenon (talk) 00:47, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
I think of it the other way: with the appropriate edit summary I will look at a change that I otherwise might not. If you are seriously watching a page, I suppose you should always look, but I have many pages that I am not that serious about. If I made one change to them, I put them on the watch list. I have Manual of Style on my watch list after asking some questions in its talk page. Most things I don't follow, though. Edit summaries are useful, but maybe not so useful as one might hope. Gah4 (talk) 06:29, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
In the big picture, the habit of leaving an edit summary is always useful to others. At the basic level, it tells others that you acknowledge that Wikipedia is collaborative. And it saves other editors' time. After you've been editing for a while, you will come across certain editors repeatedly and get to "know" them. If they tend to leave informative edit summaries, you may find that when you come across edits of theirs in a page history, the summary (or lack thereof) is often enough to tell you whether you want to review the edit. Plus, when you encounter an editor who is new to you, you can often tell from a quick look at the edit summaries on their contributions page what kind of work the person does here. Eric talk 14:12, 24 November 2016 (UTC)
(talk page stalker) I agree with Eric. I leave an edit summary for almost every edit I make to an article (except for reverting vandalism). Sometimes this is only a single word such as "clarification" or "conciseness" but this helps the discussion progress if another editor disagrees with my edits. DrChrissy (talk) 17:43, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

Spaces get lost for links in edit summaries[edit]

The space(s) before a link in an edit summary get removed, unlike in articles. If you put them inside the link, they work. Is it supposed to be that way? And why no edit summer for a new section? Gah4 (talk) 06:45, 4 November 2016 (UTC) This edit has an edit summary with space before its link. Gah4 (talk) 06:47, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

No comments on this yet? Is that the way it is supposed to work? Gah4 (talk) 17:51, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
@Gah4: This talk page is for discussing changes to the text of Help:Edit summary. Many talk pages have low activity and some posts get no comments. You can ask questions about using Wikipedia at Wikipedia:Help desk or Wikipedia:Teahouse/Questions. The new section tab makes an automatic edit summary with the name of the section and the text "new section" like in [1]. The arrow "→‎" to the left of the section name is a link to the section. If you want another edit summary then you have to use an edit link and create the section by manually writing the section heading inside == ... ==. I don't understand what you say about spaces. Spaces are not removed before a link but multiple spaces everywhere may be displayed as a single space like in normal wikitext and html. Your edit summary in [2] does have a space before the link. PrimeHunter (talk) 18:18, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
Which page is for discussing the processing done to edit summaries? If you look at the edit summary for this post, such as in your Watchlist, there is no space between the y of summary and the H of Help_talk. Or maybe it is a browser bug? Gah4 (talk) 18:36, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
It seems to be a Safari feature. With Firefox, I get one space, even if I put in more. Safari shows it with no space, but cut and paste sees them all. Strange. Gah4 (talk) 18:40, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
@Gah4: I see a space in both Firefox and Safari 5.1.7 on Windows Vista. Technical problems can be discussed at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) or Phabricator but it sounds like a minor issue for some Safari users. I wonder whether your Safari has problems with italics. I see a space in all these:
  • OK, now I get an edit summary Help:Edit_summary
  • OK, now I get an edit summary Help:Edit_summary
  • OK, now I get an edit summary Help:Edit_summary
  • OK, now I get an edit summary Help:Edit_summary
PrimeHunter (talk) 18:56, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I see spaces in all of those. It only seems to happen in the edit summary, either in Watchlist, or in Show preview before Save Changes. Looking at the HTML, all the space that I put in are right before an <a> tag, and seem to get lost, but only, as far as I know, in edit summaries, when Safari displays it. It might be an HTML error, (that is, undefined in HTML), or a Safari bug. I have Safari 8.0.8 on OS X. Thanks for the help. Gah4 (talk) 19:03, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
@Gah4: I see a space in this attempt to mimic an edit summary:
PrimeHunter (talk) 20:17, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I see the space, too. Mimic doesn't work, only real ones work. Gah4 (talk) 20:32, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
OK, here is a somewhat minimal set of HTML that does it. I can put this in a file with .html extension, and load it with file:/// .... .html

<html> (<span dir="auto"> OK, <a href="/wiki/Help_talk:Edit_summary">Help_talk:Edit_summary</a></span>) </html>

Gah4 (talk) 21:08, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

@Gah4: dir="auto" tells the browser to choose between ltr (left-to-right) and rtl (right-to-left). This is probably done because some users use right-to-left languages in edit summaries. Maybe your browser chooses right-to-left for the space and link. Do you see a space right after the link? I tried this in a html file:
(<span> OK, <a href="/wiki/Help_talk:Edit_summary">Help_talk:Edit_summary</a></span>) end<br/>
(<span dir="auto"> OK, <a href="/wiki/Help_talk:Edit_summary">Help_talk:Edit_summary</a></span>) end<br/>
(<span dir="ltr"> OK, <a href="/wiki/Help_talk:Edit_summary">Help_talk:Edit_summary</a></span>) end<br/>
(<span dir="rtl"> OK, <a href="/wiki/Help_talk:Edit_summary">Help_talk:Edit_summary</a></span>) end<br/>
I see a space right before the link in all four. The first three look identical. In the fourth I see no space before "OK" but instead a space right after the link. PrimeHunter (talk) 21:59, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, that is what my Safari (8.0.8) does, and also Firefox 45.4.0. Gah4 (talk) 01:38, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
There is another that I have noticed for some time, maybe also in edit summaries. Some text, maybe only italic, but maybe others, when followed by a closing paren, has the paren too far to the left, overwriting the last character. Maybe related, though I didn't think about it before. Gah4 (talk) 01:38, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
OK, I updated Safari to 10.0.1 and it seems to have fixed the problem. Thanks all. Gah4 (talk) 04:43, 10 November 2016 (UTC)