I'm sorry, I guess I wasn't clear. The link provided is pretty obvious in terms of usage, but where did ww get the link in the first place?
For an unrelated but similar example, consider me looking for history on the Chatterbox. The other day I realized that the link I had for CB history was dead (the nbpfaus.net link). I was given another link: last hour of cb. This works really well, but where did the link come from? Tribal knowledge? Random guesswork on node numbers? Leprechauns? In that example, if you click on Other CB Clients, at the bottom of the page is a link to Chatterbox FAQ, which has a link to last hour of cb.
That chain of links (or something similar) is what I'm asking about here. The link to Corion's site came from somewhere, I just don't know where.
My view is that "simply to flag them" (from Eric's, above, with which I gather you concur) is NOT enough. Yes, it's nice to know something has been changed, but unless one knows "from what" it doesn't solve the potential mysteries of the now-contextless replies.
Thus, I'm not sure that the magnitude of the coding work (by the PMDev's -- esp those with a better grasp of the guts of the Monastery) -- and the extra cost of retrieving and rendering by the server) is worth the effort.
And just FTR, Eric and I may not be in total agreement, but I do agree whole-heartedly with his remark, " There is no reason not to allow some updates, its specific types of updates that are harmful." It's just that I took your ideas as a springboard for a dscussion about ways to deal with the "harmful" ones, for those values of "harmful" which seem to me to detract from the value of the information here.
Update: But that may just reflect my feeling that it's good manners for those who come seeking help make the effort to observe our standards.
Fair enough -- I'm fine with using this as a springboard to continue with discussion, but I originally inferred that you had misinterpreted my point. Now that I understand where you're coming from I won't try to explain my own point further.
Part of the problem is that I really don't know how much work this would be, nor do I have any idea about how much of an impact it is. I suspect that it's a fairly simple change, especially if there's already information about the last modified time being recorded. If it's a one line alteration to a node template, for instance, I can't see a reason not to implement the change -- it may not provide tons of benefit, but if it's trivial to implement, everyone wins (not obtrusive enough to be detrimental to the people who don't care about the modification time). Obviously if it's a difficult change or would impact site speed considerably, drop the idea in the bit bucket and we can all continue on our merry way.
The best idea I have to deal with harmful updates would be a built in revision history, with difference comparisons -- akin to what most wikis have in place already. But I think that the quantity of work involved and the impact to the site would both be rather large (note: I'm understating how much work I think it would be). I personally would not be a fan of a node lock, I like being able to edit the things I write (particularly for grammar and spelling, without actual content changing).