Add comment edit histories

Editing a comment after others have subsequently commented can make the discussion thread really confusing when there is no evidence of the edit being made. And, some users edit their insulting/inappropriate comments, essentially deleting the history of poor behavior.

Most websites either don’t allow you to edit your comments after posting (I’m not endorsing that), don’t allow editing after a certain time period, or they allow edits indefinitely and display that a change has been made, often the actual changes between edits.

I would like iNat to adopt an edit history style much like is available here on Discourse–a visual display that a comment was edited + the changes that were made between edits. I do like that there is somewhat of a “grace period” on Discourse before edits are publicly logged; but I could go either way on that.

This should apply to all comments (on observations, journal posts, flags, taxon changes, etc), including the comments attached to IDs.

Previous Google Group discussion here.

I think we’ve discussed this and I’m not sure how much of an effect keeping every edit would have on our infrastructure (@kueda would know better than I). But I’d definitely be down to at least have an “edited” label on the content. A corollary, would a user be able to delete their comment, or just hide it?


If we can have the same sort of edit history as in Discourse? I can’t fault the way they deal with it here!

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I would be happy if Edit and IDs were locked if subsequent IDs and Comments were added. (except with perhaps a 5 minutes grace period, because I only see bloops I have made after the third read after posting).
If someone is willing to propose that I would second it.
That would eliminate the need for edit histories.


It’s doable, just not trivial (like adding an “edited” marker would be), so I guess we’ll watch the votes here.


I agree with this. I would rather just have it be clear what a person is responding to, without having to look at an “edit” page to try to figure it out.

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After using it for a little while longer, I think Discourse handles this pretty well, where edits for a few minutes after the comment was made don’t “count” toward the edit history (bloop grace period), but edits made after are clearly indicated with a bright little pencil icon and an easy to interpret edit history.

There are parts of iNat with comment sections, like flags and atlases, that I use as a wiki of sorts (see example on Zygophyllum) Not being able to edit my comments to reflect updated information would be annoying.