Length of Time to edit a post before you can't edit it any more.

I have found that after I first make a post, I can edit it for about five minutes but no longer.

I understand the administrators of this board have made the decision as to how long people should be allowed to edit their posts. But, I find it very difficult to live with the approximately five minutes time limit although I fully understand (well, maybe not all that fully) that you have had many, many years of experience with this and have settled on a time limit that you have found works well for this board and its members.

My problem is that after first writing a post, I will look it over and almost always have some changes that I’d like to make. I’m not just talking about simple changes like spelling and grammar - although, the spell-checker on most every modern board is really pretty awful. They allow all kinds of errors and I realize there is really not much that can be done about that. Words can be spelled correctly but the spelling needs to be changed because they are in the wrong context. I’m sure I don’t need to explain that any further. I would guess we all run into examples of that many times every day.

I’m not going to waste your time by asking you to lengthen the period in which we can edit our posts. However, I would like to ask you for some tips or suggestions on how I can avoid the problem of wanting to edit my posts after five minutes or so.

The best strategy that I have come up with on my own is to initially write my posts in a word processor or editor and then save it somewhere and come back to it and take a look after about 10 or 20 minutes.

The problem with this approach is that I think people want to make their posts in the “heat of a discussion or argument” and they do not want to let 20 or 30 minutes elapse before they post what they have to say. They want to get their say in before someone else makes that same point or before someone raises a counter argument to them.

This paragraph is a good example of another reason why I’d like a longer amount of time in which to edit posts. I find that I often think of another supporting argument to my original post 20 minutes or so after I write it and I would like to add that point. My previous sentence is a good example of this.

Of course there are many, many reasons why it should not be left too long. But, I’ll will leave it to someone else to state those reasons if they feel a need. One good reason that comes to mind is that I can always make a second post if time runs out and I have something more I need to say. (like this previous sentence which, fortunately, I thought of, in time).

You know, it would be great to have a document somewhere that offers tips and suggestions regarding living with this 5 minute time limit.

P.S. I am not criticizing the admins or complaining and I hope that no one views this thread as my wanting to start a war with the admins here.

Well, there is always the preview feature that allows you to watch your posts as they would appear without actually posting them and then refining them for as long as you like.

The reason for the time limit is also exactly what you said: when you’re in a heated discussion, you don’t want people making changes to their argument after you’ve already responded to their posts. Make another post if you like, but it really messes with following the discussion when a quote in a reply doesn’t match what the post actually says. I believe that 5 minutes is a very reasonable compromise.

The reason I stated that, “I hope no one views this thread as my wanting to start a war with the admins”, is because I started another thread titled “The Look and Feel of this Place” on Aug. 29, 2012 and I got the distinct impression that some of the members here did indeed think I was trying to start such a war.

Well, everyone else manages to live with it.

This is probably the most common strategy used by those who find that they need to edit, although I don’t know why you’d need to wait 10-20 minutes before editing.

Well then, what it your proposed solution? Would you like there to be a button that pauses all discussion for 20 minutes while you compose your response? Whether you edit in a word processor or whether the board software allows you to edit, the same amount of time is going to pass before you finally get your post together. I’d suggest that if your initial, unedited posts are so badly composed that they are not worth posting, then don’t post them.

Then you can make another post.

There has never been a demand for such a thing until now. Why not compile one yourself?

This is the best strategy. Use it. Nothing you say is so valuable that it can’t be said twenty minutes later. Even if somebody else says it first. If it’s that valuable then what difference does it make who says it?

What’s wrong with making a second (or third) post saying “another point in favor of…”


“I’ve been thinking about this and…”

or simply

Personally I’d rather read several shortish thoughts and comments posted as they occur to you than one long ever-changing screed.

I agree with the others.

First, compose your response. You can do it either in the board editor, or in a separate system. I’ve done both. I used Notepad when I had issues getting posts to save to the board and I didn’t want to lose them so I could repost. But currrently just use the board edit window.

Second, use the “Preview Post” button. This displays your post as it will appear on the board. You can check typos, code formatting, and even just read for clarity and coherence. I find I don’t have to wait 20 minutes between first draft and review, just the act of reading through a second time from start to finish will often find those errors that really annoy you.

Third, get a good version, post it, and let the conversation proceed. If the thread is as busy as you suggest, there have been other comments made by others while you were posting, so you need to review them anyway before repyling again. Why go edit the message you already posted, when there are new comments to absorb? Instead, start a new post, with “I thought of additional comments to support what I said before” or “Thinking some more,…” or whatever.

Just add your additional remarks in a new post. As long as you don’t post 3 or 4 posts in a row, it’s not a big deal. And even then, doing that once in a while is okay, it’s doing it often that gets tiresome.

My sense is that 10 minutes would be a better compromise – but of course, the exact optimal time is a subjective thing. Is there any body of statistical theory or psychological theory (or something-or-other theory) by which to compute the optimal time to allow?

Clearly, we need for vBulletin to automatically measure the “heat” of any particular discussion thread at any point in time, and dynamically adjust the length of the edit window accordingly. The hotter the discussion, the shorter the window.

[sub]Surely there must be an app for that – or a back-end add-on[/sub]

ETA: The idea might not be as silly as it sounds, come to think of it. For a measure of the “heat” of a thread, vBulletin might use a rolling average of the mean-time-between-successive-posts, perhaps also factoring in the character-count of those posts sometime. For even more sophistication, also include some lexical analysis of the vocabulary used in recent posts. :slight_smile: ETA2: Got all that (and this) in the edit window!

If you happen to be a bit dumb like me, it might help to read your posts out loud in preview, rather than in your brain.

Sometimes my brain will put in shortcuts (spelling, ideas, etc) that only make sense to it. No matter how many times my brain reads what it wrote, it will understand what it meant. Then, when I read it out loud, :smack: :smack: :smack: what the hell brain, just what the hell are you thinking?

I share the OP’s frustration. Back in the day the board had no edit window, which was much worse. The saying at the time was, “Preview is your friend.” It still is. Adapt.

Senegoid is correct that there must be some setting which is ideal. At another low traffic board I post at, 1 hour works well. But at this board the downside of long edit times would be suffered by the volunteer moderators who have to deal with the inevitable nonsense. Posters see all the upside of long times and few of the disadvantages. And frankly, if I was given 10 minutes, I would want 11, then 12. :smack:

I commend the OP’s inclination to use a text editor. I do that sometimes as well.