When we substantially modify an old post should we edit directly or post a version 2?

post by Chris_Leong · 2019-10-11T10:40:04.935Z · score: 13 (4 votes) · LW · GW · 5 comments

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

5 comments

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comment by habryka (habryka4) · 2019-10-11T21:47:07.824Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

On the backend, we implemented a revision system for posts that allows us to mark edits to posts as "major revisions" which marks all the comments on that post as outdated, and also allows users to view past revisions of the post. As an example, see this [? · GW] post.

I hope we can soon get around to building some more user-facing UI for this, which allows users to edit a post while marking the revision as major, probably causing it to reappear on the frontpage.

comment by G Gordon Worley III (gworley) · 2019-10-11T20:22:01.826Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I generally think new posts are a good idea. The old post is what it was when it was written. If you no longer endorse it or think you can write a better version, do so and link it from the original. I think there is value in being able to find and read old versions of things as they were when they were written without the past being edited out of existence, letting us see the trail of how an idea was shaped and formed and how the author grew in their understanding and ability to express themselves. Additionally the comments on a post may no longer make sense if you substantially edit it.

comment by Adrian Petrescu (adrian-petrescu) · 2019-10-11T21:02:42.070Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

In the interest of creating long-lasting artifacts (and just keeping links from the outside fresh), I think they should be edited in-place.

However, it would be great if substantial changes could *also* be re-published to the RSS feed (though with the same URL), if the software allows for that, since that's the only way some of us consume it.

comment by ryan_b · 2019-10-11T15:32:14.396Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Is this not the default behavior with the RSS? When I edit one of my posts, it shows back up in the daily post queue.

comment by ryan_b · 2019-10-11T15:44:30.198Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I favor editing directly, except in cases where a new position has been taken. Then I favor a second post, because this will allow us to capture the development of the ideas. This would include any important reversals or entirely new dimensions of the idea.

Putting all subsequent versions of the same post in a sequence would be a good idea; then people who come to one of the posts could see there were previous versions and/or subsequent versions. I wonder if some kind of tag or titling convention would be helpful.