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With the exception of Area 51, if two sites show the same revision number, does that mean the code is the same in both the sites (excluding the theme code, and code defining constants used in the site)?

Is this valid also for beta features being tested on Meta Stack Overflow, and Stack Overflow?

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See – Somnath Muluk Jul 16 '12 at 11:14
Note that sites that have extensions (MathJax, Prettify, etc) run some extra code. – Manishearth Jul 16 '12 at 11:17
Seems like Gaming runs a Youtube thingy that isn't listed in the extensions. It must have its own tweaks. – Manishearth Jul 16 '12 at 11:18
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would say yes.

If two sites with the same revision number are showing different features then I'd say that those features are controlled by site configuration.

As there are nearly 100 sites using the same engine it would be a support and maintenance nightmare to have different code bases for different sites. I'm virtually certain that things like YouTube support, MathJax, code prettify etc. are controlled by the site configuration. Just take these three things as an example. If it was a different code base you'd need the following versions:

  1. Vanilla site with no features.
  2. YouTube support.
  3. MathJax support.
  4. Prettify support.
  5. YouTube + MathJax support.
  6. YouTube + Prettify support.
  7. MathJax + Prettify support.
  8. YouTube, MathJax and Prettify support.

That's eight versions. Add another feature and you've got another 8 versions to support.

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Hmm, Gaming has a Youtube embedder, and we have the new review section on a few sites. These do not show up in the /sites/ API query. Which means that it's an internal configuration, which probably translates to "runs different code" – Manishearth Jul 16 '12 at 11:20
Is that also valid for features being tested on Meta Stack Overflow and/or Stack Overflow? – kiamlaluno Jul 16 '12 at 11:20
@kiamlaluno - if the revision numbers are the same then I'd say yes. But that's just my impression as an observer of the SE development process. – ChrisF Jul 16 '12 at 11:22
@ManishEarthwantsmorewaffles - None of that precludes these features being enabled via configurations switches. In fact it makes sense that the YouTube embedder (and MathJax support) is controlled by configuration rather than different code lines. – ChrisF Jul 16 '12 at 11:23
@ChrisF: Well, the API returns most of the site configuration. Mathjax is listed there, but Youtube isn't :\ Then again, it's not a markdown extension, so it might be just a configuration field not listed by the API – Manishearth Jul 16 '12 at 11:27
@ManishEarthwantsmorewaffles - I'd say it was there but not listed by the API. – ChrisF Jul 16 '12 at 11:28
I believe that changes are tested internally on a, site, then pushed to MSO. If no-one on MSO has any issue then it goes live to the rest of the network - I'm still trying to find the source, however. – tombull89 Jul 16 '12 at 11:59

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