# Why has my suggested edit to rename some variables in an answer been rejected?

I have made an edit to this answer about 'Lissajous pattern simulator' to replace misleading names of two varables xStart and yStart with more appropriate in the context xTimeFactor and yTimeFactor. However two reviewers, Heslacher and Incomputable, rejected my proposal on the pretext of 'deviating from the original intent of the post'. Their comment additionally instructs that changes 'should strive to preserve the goals of the post's owner'.

Apparently, they did it without even a second glimpse at proposed changes. My edit was fully compatible with 'the original intent of the post' and precisely followed 'the goals of the post's owner'.

I believe the change should be obvious to anybody who looks where and how these variables are used – namely, they are multiplicative factors to time, not additive 'reference' or 'starting' point. (The starting point is defined by another variable xTimeOffset for one direction and implicit zero for another one.) After the rejection I presented my proposal in a comment and the author of the answer admitted I was correct and made the proposed change to the code, just using TimeScale instead of proposed TimeFactor.

So I'd like to hear why exactly my edit was rejected.
What are the rules, allowing rejecting valid edits?
And what is a way to appeal against such rushed rejection?

• While I wrote you an answer, I consider the following part of your question offensive: "Apparently, they did it without even a second glimpse at proposed changes." Both users have been around long enough to know how this site works, so there's no reason to shoot them down like this. – Mast Jul 9 '17 at 14:10
• @Mast Your comment 'Both users have been around long enough to know how this site works' says exactly the same what I said: they both rejected my change 'because that's how this site works', not 'because they evaluated the proposal and found it wrong'. – CiaPan Jul 19 '17 at 21:34
• You were looking for a way to appeal, not to change how the site works, right? Meta is your method of appeal, of sorts. Now you know how and why your edit was rejected and what you should've done instead. They evaluated the proposal and found it wrong for this site. – Mast Jul 20 '17 at 9:28

I didn't reject your edit, but I would have rejected it too.

Naming is hard, but the variable name shows the intent for the variable. Simply put, changing the variable name changes the real meaning of the variable.

Say we had a list named array. If you came along and dictatorially changed it to list, as "it's a list", it could lose some of the meaning behind the variable name. Whilst it may be a list, it may be intended to interface as an array, and so people don't think to add to the list when it's called array.

In this case start and time factor / scale are not synonyms and heavily change the intended meaning of the variables.

Whilst you may think you have better variable names than the answerer, the comments are the place to voice these views. This allows the answerer to say whether they agree with you and allows you to change the answer, or disagrees with you.

Either way, edits are not there for you to impose your views on another user, views the other user may not like.

Peilonrayz pretty much nailed what's wrong with your edit. I've reviewed edits like this in the past and to the best of my knowledge rejected them all. Let me explain what you could have done instead:

The correct approach here would've been either commenting on the answer with the suggestions or writing a new answer explaining why you think your suggestions are even better than what the previous answer used. Whether a comment or answer is more appropriate would depend on the tone of the response and the length of the response.

A lengthy response should get it's own answer. Basically, it's a review of it's own. This gives you the opportunity to present why your proposed naming scheme is even better without modifying the content of the other author's answer. Basically, you both get to say what you want to say and let the users/author decide for themselves which advice they want to follow.

• So that's what I did after the rejection of my proposed edit. :) – CiaPan Jul 19 '17 at 21:36