Allow users to check edit time limits

Such limits are great, but average users, though being allowed to post, should also be allowed to look up what the time limits are too somewhere. And not be forced to ask an administrator what they are. Yes, I’m talking about all sites, not one particular site.

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Just today (I or somebody else) was forced to (get out of bed early / come rushing home / stay at the train station with the Internet) because they weren’t sure if they would still be allowed to edit a post a few hours later (say the difference between 22 and 26 hours after they made a post, assuming secret 24 hour limit.)

E.g., “Oops, I want to correct that typo in a post 22 hours ago. Can I do it when I get home, or must I go home now?”

Sure, just log in. If you see a pencil there, that means you can edit.

But if we need to find a computer or our cellphone, just to check, because there is no way, without asking an admin, how long we will have left to edit… well that is:

  • Something the Discourse designers think “users don’t need to know”.
  • But something that “users would like to know”
  • And even if most users “don’t usually need to know”, but
  • Would do no harm if some users had a way to find out, without needing to ask an admin!

Note I am talking about all sites worldwide.

Sure, you could say, “Well, just add a new reply”. But often that is overkill when just wanting to fix an embarrassing typo… just heaps on more embarrassment.

One idea of how to let users know how long they still edit posts on a particular site would be: when they mouseover the pencil icon: instead of just “Edit this post”, also have “22h 48m remaining”.

That way, right when composing the post in the first place, users will get an idea of how long they still will have to edit. Because they will probably edit it several times right after posting, and each time they will see the mouseover. Or at least they can always check (and don’t need to come rushing home to see if the pencil is still there.) (The only hitch is if the admin changes the limit. But that shouldn’t happen too often…)

And just for compatibility, have a new setting, for admins only, and off by default,

Keep editing time limits a secret from users (or “Don’t allow users to see editing time limits”.)

(Or call it “Allow…” and on by default.)

By the way, let’s say we are within five minutes of the “secret limit”, and we take seven minutes to perfect it. When we attempt to save our edit, what will happen?