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The question Why do people think functional programming will catch on? has disappeared completely from SO. Going there gives me a 404 error (and I have 20k+). What gives?

Migrated questions like What real life bad habits has programming given you? will take me to the new site, and it shows me a 404 on the new site since apparently it's been deleted from there as well and I don't have 10k on Programmers. But at least I know it's been migrated.

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And: the 404 of your second example actually nicely tells you what happened: This question was removed from Programmers - Stack Exchange for reasons of moderation. Not so much for your first example indeed. –  Arjan Sep 30 '11 at 15:17
    
Where did you find that first link? –  Shog9 Sep 30 '11 at 15:19
    
    
@Shog9: I think because this page linked to it: stumbleupon.com/stumbler/Rich121/10 –  staticx Sep 30 '11 at 15:22
    
This is really strange. 411283,411284,411286,41128 and others are missing, too. data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/q/114023 –  genesis Sep 30 '11 at 15:24
    
Those all exist, @genesis. Try plugging them in at the end of http://stackoverflow.com/questions/ (ex: stackoverflow.com/questions/41128) and notice how they still exist. They're answers... –  Shog9 Sep 30 '11 at 15:31

1 Answer 1

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Your first question was merged with this one. Originally, merging completely destroyed the source of the merge. Not soft-deleted, destroyed. This was... horrible. So it was changed. Now when a question is merged, the source is left as a stub with no answers, and when that is deleted, the site will automatically redirect to the destination.

Unfortunately, links to questions merged before the current "stub" feature was implemented remain forever broken.

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They don't have to remain forever broken... This could be fixed by manually regenerating the "stub." This probably won't ever be done, but still... –  NullUserException อ_อ Sep 30 '11 at 15:25
    
Ehm, and what about others missing? were they all merged ? –  genesis Sep 30 '11 at 15:27
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You should consider suggesting that as a feature-request, although I'm not sure enough information remains for it to be done in all cases. See: "destroyed" and "horrible". –  Shog9 Sep 30 '11 at 15:27
    
@genesis: those aren't missing, they're soft-deleted in the normal fashion (and hence aren't included in the data-dumps). Also, they're mostly answers. –  Shog9 Sep 30 '11 at 15:33
    
If I knew what the internals of merging are (eg: do merged answers retain their IDs?), I think I can help find these "missing" merges. I downloaded all data dumps and I am in the process of finding changes between the sets so I could try to figure out what went where. –  NullUserException อ_อ Sep 30 '11 at 15:34
    
@Shog9: Damn. I have forgotten soft-deleted posts aren't included in dumps. Is there any chance to get 10k data dump ? –  genesis Sep 30 '11 at 15:37
    
That should be fairly straightforward, @Null: answer IDs don't change; merging simply re-parents them. So if the parent ID changes from one dump to the next, that answer has been merged into another question. Anything merged before ~June 4, 2010 will lack a stub - so the previous parentID should now be MIA. –  Shog9 Sep 30 '11 at 15:37
    
@genesis: highly unlikely. –  Shog9 Sep 30 '11 at 15:37
    
@Shog9 Are stubs for questions merged after the change present in the datadump (if they haven't been deleted)? –  NullUserException อ_อ Sep 30 '11 at 15:44
    
@Null: probably. But I wouldn't depend on that for anything more than a sanity-check, since as you note they won't be if they have been deleted. I assume you're looking for a way to determine if a stub is needed for a given question ID: querying the site and checking the status code (redirect vs not found) is the only way to be sure. –  Shog9 Sep 30 '11 at 16:00

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