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I was reading Javascript to download contents from a folder of webpage, and I noticed a fault in the "time ago" system used to render "time elapsed" values.

Impossible duration

Obviously, I had not commented on the question before the question existed.

  • Question post time: 2011-01-11 11:59:02Z
  • Comment post time: 2011-01-11 11:59:53Z
  • Time of observation: 2011-01-11 18:03:00-18:04:00-ish

The question timestamp changed to "6 hours ago" pretty swiftly thereafter.

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Maybe it is implying that this person pre-emptively commented on a question he knew would come into existence. :o The universe works in mysterious ways! – animuson Jan 11 '12 at 19:25
@animuson: Although I am massively talented, I haven't cracked that one yet. – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 11 '12 at 20:15
Strange. Did you notice if the page had any lag in rendering? The same code renders both of those "humanized" date formats. – Jarrod Dixon Jan 16 '12 at 3:05
Not noticeably as far as I can recall. Certainly nothing of up to four minutes in duration! Strange one – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 16 '12 at 14:39

At a guess, the question and the comments have their own caches and you just got the result of the question cache being a bit stale.

Either that, or it is a new time warp feature on comments.

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"Time ago" is generated in cache? Wouldn't that be a bit daft? Note that the timestamps themselves are (a) probably accurate, and (b) never change. Just whatever translates those values into a "human-readable duration" is buggy at certain times... – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 11 '12 at 18:19
@TomalakGeret'kal - Actually, I think a time warp feature would be awesome (and the SO guys are the ones that can do it!) – Oded Jan 11 '12 at 18:20
Perhaps they could invent something to time warp me back to before I ever set foot on SO, and warn myself not to do it... before it was too late – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 11 '12 at 18:21
@TomalakGeret'kal - Another option is that this is done client side and for some reason the JS got to the comment markup first and then got a good long delay before getting to the question. – Oded Jan 11 '12 at 18:22
I witnessed no four-minute delays in the page rendering. (Also, it's not.) – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 11 '12 at 18:23
@Downvoter - care to comment? – Oded Jan 11 '12 at 21:24
It's me. Reasoning is above. I do not believe that this could be the cause. – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 11 '12 at 22:18

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