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Questions and answers are often edited following a query in a comment to expand or clarify something. This is clearly a good thing. What I want to discuss here is that sometimes this is edited prefixed with "Edited to explain..." or "Edited following the comment from...". For example, this answer.

To someone reading the post for the first time, this seems an unnecessary extra complication. Personally, when I edit I write so that a new reader will be able to read the post seamlessly - if they want to see the edit history that is available separately.

Which approach should we recommend?

Should we impose this decision or let people make different individual decisions?

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I dont think theres a fixed rule. The only reason will add a edit is if i ammend significant portions of new info while retaining the old post. I might then add a title, bold text, that reads: "Edit", "Ammend", "Clarification" ...

The important thing is that the text remain self contained. In the linked question personally i would just use "clarification". I dont especially see the linked question as problematic for a new reader. It may serve a purpose for re-reading and done properly does not detract anything from the message.

If a text depends on the edit then its bad. But keep in mind most users never see the message versions. Quite frankly they should not.

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