I recently asked a question about why the F-35’s engines are exposed to gunfire unlike the YF-23. One of the edits however edited this part of the post from:

1) Why does the F-35 have only one engine unlike the older models
2) Why is the F-35's engine clearly more exposed to bullets and rockets than older models


  1. Why does the F-35 have only one engine unlike the older models
  2. Why is the F-35's engine clearly more exposed to bullets and rockets than older models

The only thing changed in the edit was turning the parentheses to dots. I’ve rolled it back to the original question I posted but I’m not sure what I actually should do. Should I just leave the question as it is with the pointless edit or should I roll it back or something else?

  • $\begingroup$ Why do you care? Number 37,514 on the list of things to worry about. $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Oct 31, 2015 at 23:11

3 Answers 3


It's actually slightly different; rather than returning plain text, it's using Markdown, causing SE to return actual list items in an ordered HTML list.

I guess whether that's pointless or not depends on your perspective, but I personally would leave it.

  • $\begingroup$ A bit of an old thread, but it certainly isn't pointless, as the correct use of an ordered list is a very good thing for screen readers and accessibility. For most normal users it's fine, but for those with sight problems it makes a huge difference. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Story
    Mar 16, 2016 at 15:25

The edit isn't pointless and I would consider it beneficial. The markdown item lists (bullet or numbered) provide you with benefits:

  1. There is more whitespace, and that increases readability
  2. If you look at the source of this post, you'll see I numbered this entry as "1".

    Markdown auto-numbers your list. Helpful if you add items and don't want to re-do the numbers. You'll also note this column is indented, letting you know that it relates to the above item in the list.

    Markdown handles this case by simply indenting these lines by a single space.

While this is a minor edit in that it only took a couple changed characters to trigger the markdown itemized list syntax, it isn't a pointless one. You'll find that aviation.se and stack exchange/stack overflow in general promote a culture of editing and moderation among all of its users. You'll find that as you post more you'll have many people editing. Don't take these edits personally, they are only striving to improve your post.

Also note that you have to same ability to edit other peoples posts. With low rep you have to suggest edits that other users have to approve before they take effect. Once you earn enough reputation though, you'll be able to edit any post on the site without going through an approval process.

  • $\begingroup$ ► fix grammatical or spelling errors ► clarify meaning without changing it ► correct minor mistakes ► add related resources or links ► always respect the original author $\endgroup$
    – Hyden
    Nov 26, 2015 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ From what I've seen Stackoverflow doesn't "appreciate" edits that have no effect on the question. The edit in my question was pointless. $\endgroup$
    – Hyden
    Nov 26, 2015 at 16:19
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Hyden Stack exchange (on busy sites) don't always like that kind of edit from users without edit privileges that clog the review queue. From users with edit privs they are fine. And I stand by my statement that improving readability is far from pointless. $\endgroup$
    – casey
    Nov 26, 2015 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ What is exactly is the readability. You say that it adds more space. $\endgroup$
    – Hyden
    Nov 26, 2015 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Hyden The additional whitespace and indentation/justification increase readability. $\endgroup$
    – casey
    Nov 26, 2015 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Hyden uxmyths.com/post/2059998441/myth-28-white-space-is-wasted-space $\endgroup$
    – casey
    Nov 26, 2015 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ From what I just read that article is mainly about how whitespace is important to add in. Not how much whitespace. It does not say additional whitespace adds readability. And what I mean by that is that the elements were not cluttered originally and all the whitespace did was add extra space. $\endgroup$
    – Hyden
    Nov 26, 2015 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Hyden Perhaps we weren't reading the same article. I'm any case if you disagree with me then downvote and move on. You aren't making a convincing argument against my position. $\endgroup$
    – casey
    Nov 26, 2015 at 16:44

The question Why can people edit my posts? How does editing work? in the Help Center is frank on this point.

If you are not comfortable with the idea of your contributions being collaboratively edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you.

  • $\begingroup$ I don't agree with that, to use an analogy when your account gets hacked the company in charge could easily just say "If you are not comfortable with the idea of people being able to hack your account then maybe using [x] isn't for you.". $\endgroup$
    – Hyden
    Feb 14, 2016 at 17:00
  • $\begingroup$ @hyden Editing is a legitimate use of the Stack Exchange sites. The analogy doesn't work at all. $\endgroup$
    – Greg Bacon
    Feb 14, 2016 at 20:55

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