If you click on "edit" on one of your comments before five minutes have expired, you can edit the comment and then try to save it. But if five minutes expire before you click on "save", you can't do it. And you can't see the clock! I find this somewhat obnoxious. Is it possible either to make the clock available or to allow saving comments if editing begins before the time limit expires?

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To work around this, if the post fails, simply copy the edited comment (triple-click, Ctrl+C) then paste it into a new comment and post it, then delete the original comment. This requires about 7 key/mouse clicks that are easy once learned. The only problem with this scheme is that someone may have replied to the original comment in the interim. But that is rare. I see no reason why the software shouldn't allow you to post past the time limit (with new timestamp) if no interim comments have appeared. This amounts to doing exactly as I described above. –  Bill Dubuque Sep 16 '11 at 22:23
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A good reason against it is that editing does not change the time-stamp while reposting does. –  Phira Sep 17 '11 at 8:39
    
@thei That's why I said "with new timestamp" above. The software should probably always change the timestamp (even in the 5 minute window) whenever any subsequent comments have appeared since such subsequent comments may no longer make sense after their target has been modified. –  Bill Dubuque Sep 17 '11 at 19:24
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I was just about to post a somewhat similar feature request. While always allowing to save comments if editing begins before the time limit expires would make it possible to change comments arbitrarily late, a compromise would be to extend the time limit when editing begins, perhaps by another five minutes or at least by one minute. In most cases, that would prevent the "I made you think you can edit the comment but now you can't after all" effect. –  joriki Jan 10 '12 at 0:16
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1 Answer

You can "see the clock"; prior to editing, mouse over the time of the comment to see the exact UTC time in seconds the comment was originally posted.

The courtesy editing window is 5 minutes, both for comments and for posts (though the handling is different).

Remember that comments are meant to be little more than "post-it notes" on the units of real work in the Q&A system, questions and answers, and as such they have limited functionality by design -- less formatting, limited space, no revisions, etc.

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