I keep getting edits rejected based on the belief that I am changing the intent of the answer or not making the answer more correct. The reviewers are wrong on both points, I am actually changing incorrect terminology when it is clear what the answer intended to refer to. Why have the same reasons for the rejections been given despite the clear edit summary which states this? It seems counter productive to require an edit summary and ignore it.

Some of the edits were approved and later rejected as well.

  • 7
    In at least one edit, I saw you inject opinion (addition of "and unsuccessfully" into a sentence), changing the tone of the authors words.
    – casey
    Jun 29, 2015 at 14:16

2 Answers 2


I have to agree with derobert. I don't see a single valid edit in your profile. In fact, I have rolled back the two that were approved. Let's look at your edits:

  1. https://unix.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/95906

    Here, you completely change the meaning of the post. Let's have a look at your changes:

    1. An operating system is a combination of a kernel and a userland. Basically, the kernel manages the hardware while the userland provides a comprehensive interface to the users.

      was changed to

      The kernel manages the hardware while the userland provides a comprehensive interface to the users.

      You simply arbitrarily decided that no, the OP should not be explaining what an OS is and instead should be talking about the kernel. Why? You broke the flow of the answer, that sentence now makes little sense and doesn't say anything relevant (the question was about operating systems). The edits go downhill from there:

    2. GNU was started way before Linux, and provides with a large amount of utilities to build a full operating system.

      Was changed to

      GNU was started way before Linux, and provides with a large amount of utilities.

      Why? The aim was in fact to build an operating system. In any case, removing that, again, changes the meaning of the sentence.

    3. And as each other is essential to have an operating system, why not naming the association GNU/Linux so each project is put under the spot?

      Here you had some room for improvement since that sentence has grammatical issues. Instead on focusing on those, you chose to insert opinion (emphasis mine):

      GNU feels both are essential, thus the naming the association GNU/Linux so each project is given advertisement?

      Where did that GNU come from? The post's author is not trying to give the GNU foundation's opinion, why are you? Changing under the spot to is given advertisement is actually helpful but not the rest.

    4. You then changed "BSD operating system" to "BSD distributions". I could live with that but, again, it's really not necessary. Finally, you changed

      And as an universal operating system, you can run Debian with a FreeBSD kernel and a GNU userland


      And as an universal system, you can run Debian with a FreeBSD kernel and a GNU userland

      What in the world is a universal system? How is Debian not an operating system? You could have at least called it a distribution or even a system distribution but a system?

  2. https://unix.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/95907

    Here, on the same post again, you changed

    The Free Software Foundation argues that the majority of Linux distributions are in fact GNU systems, which happen to use a Linux kernel. They base this claim on the fact that GNU was a longstanding project to develop a free operating system before Linux came along, and that the kernel was only the last missing piece.

    to (emphasis mine)

    The Free Software Foundation argues that the majority of Linux distributions are in fact GNU systems, which happen to use a Linux kernel. They base this claim on the fact that GNU was a longstanding project to develop a free system distribution before Linux came along, and that the kernel was only the last missing piece.

    Well, the FSF folks themselves disagree with you (emphasis mine):

    The FSF sponsors the GNU project—the ongoing effort to provide a complete operating system licensed as free software.

    And the GNU folks as well:

    GNU is an operating system that is free software—that is, it respects users' freedom.

    Here, you were not only attempting to put words in the post author's mouth, you were also doing the same to the FSF and GNU.

  3. https://unix.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/95908

    Here, again, you tried to change the term operating system to system distribution. What's more, you left an edit reason that suggests you don't actually understand the terms you are using:

    Linux and Hurd are operating systems, not userspace tools. Systems and system distributions are not the same as operating systems.

    First of all, the answer never claimed that Linux or Hurd were userspace tools! In addition, both Linux and Hurd are kernels and not operating systems.

    In any case, both the FSF and GNU agree that what GNU is making is called an operating system (see above), so I really don't understand why you would call it otherwise.

    In addition, you added a qualifier that changes the tone of the sentence in a way that the OP did not intend:

    Of course it is true that Stallman has promoted such names independently [...]

    was changed to

    Of course it is true that Stallman has promoted such names independently, and unsuccessfully [...]

    Where did that come from? The author did not choose to say that. Many of us, including yourself, obviously, do actually use the GNU/Linux term. Calling RMS's attempts unsuccessful seems biased at the very least. Most importantly, however, it alters the original intent of the post.

  4. https://unix.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/95954

    This is the same as edit 2. If your edit is rejected, don't try and force your opinion. Instead, either back off, or leave a comment to the OP explaining your position or post here, on meta, as you have now done. Next time, however, do so before attempting to reedit.

  5. https://unix.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/95955

    Here, you are yet again trying to force your view. As if that were not enough, because your first bad edit was approved, the author of the post rolled it back. Yet you insisted and tried to push your edit again. Don't do that. As I said above, when your edit is rejected, don't resubmit it, either back off or post on meta but don't try and force it.

    To add insult to injury, you even wrote the word wrong and twice! Of your three attempts to write distribution, only one was spelled correctly, the others were diatribution and distributiona. At the very least, you should take the time to reread your edits.

In conclusion, all of your edits were either plain wrong or a matter of opinion. You should never try to push your edits. If an edit is rolled back (and this goes double if it was rolled back by the author) 9 times out of 10, the right thing to do is to back off or flag for mod attention or comment or post on meta or anything but attempting to resubmit the same edit.

  • Wow -- nice job. However, while I agree that Melj should accept that his/her edits were rightfully rejected, I think you are jumping to conclusions that this is really consciously political. It could be, but it could also be a sort of confused fixation about technical terminology with a pretty goofy fix -- making up completely new terms to replace ones you see as too ambiguous.
    – goldilocks
    Jul 2, 2015 at 12:56
  • @goldilocks I'm saying that pushing GNU/Linux over Linux is a political issue and should be left at the discretion of the post's author. It may or may not have been consciously political on the part of Melj, but the issue most certainly is and we, as a site, do not take a stand on it.
    – terdon Mod
    Jul 2, 2015 at 13:00
  • 1
    I don't think "Linux" -> "GNU/Linux" is a big deal but it is totally unnecessary; the former is really a colloquialism when applied to a whole OS. I think the more serious issue here is "operating system" -> "system distribution" and "universal system". As you say, what is a "universal system"? It could be almost anything. The correct term is operating system and it is kind of bizarre someone would want to change that... which is why I think it may be just a stubborn confusion, and not a political agenda -- whose agenda does a "universal system" serve, lol?
    – goldilocks
    Jul 2, 2015 at 13:08
  • Put another way, Melj may not see the supposed politics here at all; even the "and unsuccessfully" could mean just that -- this is not necessarily because anyone objects to the term "GNU/Linux" (pretty sure they don't) but simply because of laziness and ignorance leading to a convention. So like, "Bob tried to promote proper use of language -- but slang prevailed". That still makes the addition inappropriate editorializing, but it is not necessarily a political argument.
    – goldilocks
    Jul 2, 2015 at 13:16
  • 1
    @goldilocks fair enough. I reread this and you're right, I was seeing a political intent where there may well not have been one. I've removed those sections of my answer.
    – terdon Mod
    Jul 2, 2015 at 16:13
  • To clarify my edits were intended to remove mentions of GNU in a discussion about kernels. The political framing was unintentional. As for operating systems and kernels they are often the same thing and it is false that (for example) a text editor is part of the operating system. Such ambiguity is what I was trying to remove. GNU was attempting to make an entire system of free software for example, not an operating system. The fact that they redefined the term is confusing enough without Microsoft and Apple doing similar things.
    – user121246
    Jul 7, 2015 at 20:16
  • I cannot find my reference but RMS was lobbying for distributions to call themselves GNU/Linux for a few years, and was repeatedly turned down, before Debian agreed.
    – user121246
    Jul 7, 2015 at 20:20
  • 1
    @CaruniMelj no, OSs and kernels are not the same thing. At all. A kernel is part of an OS but it's not an OS itself. None of your edits removed GNU (which would also have been a bad edit) they either left GNU and changed the meaning or added GNU. A text editor can be part of an OS if it comes bundled with it. An OS is a collection of software. But why is that relevant? Where was a text editor mentioned? GNU was/is specifically trying to make an OS. It says so right there on GNU.org, why are you insisting?
    – terdon Mod
    Jul 12, 2015 at 10:54
  • @CaruniMelj And yes, RMS wanted GNU/Linux. That's his choice; we don't take a position on that, each author here may use the term they prefer and editing to insert one or the other is not appropriate.
    – terdon Mod
    Jul 12, 2015 at 10:57

Looking at your profile, it seems you've made edit suggestions on What makes a distribution GNU and are there Linux distributions, that are not GNU? mainly changing "operating system" to "system distribution".

In edit 95955, you spelled distribution wrong (as "diatribution", probably a typo). I don't think you can complain about that one being rejected. Not to mention, you entered that after the author rolled back your first (approved) suggested edit on that answer.

On the others:

  1. The author of the post and apparently several other community members disagree with you on the terminology. You're using a narrow definition of operating system (which is probably correct in certain technical/academic contexts, but not in general usage). And for example, you changed calling Debian an operating system to calling it a system distribution, but if you look at debian.org—they call it an operating system themselves.

  2. I'm not sure what people think of your additions about how successful Stallman had been at getting everyone to call it GNU/Linux. It strikes me as adding in your own take on it, which the author may not agree with.

In general

Please use suggested edits when you can make a post substantially better, not just for relatively minor terminology changes. Especially where the terminology may be correct by a strict technical definition, but common usage of the terms differs.

And if you want to argue with the author over terminology, try chat (that author is active on the site's chat room) or comments. Putting in a second suggested edit is rarely going to be productive.

  • 1
    I'd accept an edit that changed some uses of "operating system" to "operating system distribution", but I don't think everyone else has to. I would not accept "operating system" -> "system distribution" because that's a fake (as in made-up), near meaningless term.
    – goldilocks
    Jul 2, 2015 at 13:01
  • How is system distribution a made up term? gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.en.html
    – user121246
    Jul 7, 2015 at 20:18

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