Dummy edit and null edit
If the wikitext is not changed no edit will be recorded and the edit summary is discarded.
A dummy edit is a change in wikitext that has no effect on the rendered page, such as changing the number of newlines at some position from 0 to 1 or from 2 to 3 or conversely (changing from 1 to 2 makes a difference, see below). This allows an edit summary, and is useful for correcting a previous edit summary, or an accidental marking of a previous edit as "minor" (see below).
To refresh the cache of some item in the database a lesser kind of dummy edit, called a null edit, may be sufficient: one that does not cause any change in the wikitext, and no entry in the history, in Recent Changes, etc.: this can be done by opening the edit window and saving; a section edit is sufficient. See also A category tag in a template; caching problem.
When editing a page, a logged-in user has the option of flagging the edit as a "minor edit". This feature is important, because users can choose to hide minor edits in their view of the Recent Changes page, to keep the volume of edits down to a manageable level.
When to use this is somewhat a matter of personal preference. The rule of thumb is that an edit of a page that consists of spelling corrections, formatting, and minor rearranging of text should be flagged as a "minor edit". A major edit is basically something that makes the entry worth revisiting for somebody who wants to watch the article rather closely. So any "real" change, even if it is a single word, should be flagged as a "major edit".
The reason for not allowing a user who is not logged in to mark an edit as minor is that vandalism could then be marked as a minor edit, in which case it would stay unnoticed longer. This limitation is another reason to log in.
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