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I asked a question yesterday on SO and after many edits of the question and of the two answers we got to the point where I was able to confirm that both answers were correct. As I can only accept one (I'll at least up vote both), I'm trying to figure out which of the answers was correct first so I can accept that one. I tried the "oldest" tab on the answers, but wasn't sure if that sorts by original post time or last edit (if any) time.

How can I (a user with 2700-odd rep) figure out when each of those answers were finally edited with the right answer? Failing that, I'll take suggestions on how best to break the tie between the two answers.

p.s. the two answerers have to recuse themselves here :)

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closed as too localized by jadarnel27, Toon Krijthe, Jim, Bart, jonsca Oct 29 '12 at 15:06

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

The good news is that I think I got my question answered. The bad news is that I'm the same boat again with this question. Now to apply what I learned... –  Chris Gerken Oct 28 '12 at 22:52
Try meta.stackoverflow.com/posts/152887/timeline for another possibility. –  Daniel Fischer Oct 28 '12 at 23:01
I don't think "too localized" is right here, since this is really a question about how edit histories and timestamps work, not anything exclusive to the OP's specific case. –  Pops Oct 30 '12 at 10:24
@PopularDemand: Just curious - why bother making that comment? The ones who voted to close won't see your comment. Thanks anyway, though. –  Chris Gerken Oct 30 '12 at 11:04
To explain my vote to reopen. –  Pops Oct 30 '12 at 11:05
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3 Answers

You can always hover over times to view the exact UTC timestamp.

As for the "editing" you mentioned: Normally, you'd be able to click on the time next to the "edited" text and see the revision history. Each edit gets a separate timestamp. However, neither of those answers were ever "technically" edited. If they were, they were edited within the 5-minute grace period so there is no trace of the previous versions. So all you have to go on is when they actually posted the answers, there's no way you, the user, can tell how many times or when edits were made during the grace period (although developers can access that information, but don't go asking them for something as simple as accepting an answer).

All I can recommend is accepting the answer that helped you most. Which one gave you the best information? Which one will be most likely to help other visitors in the future having the same problem most efficiently? It really shouldn't matter who answered first.

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Note "yesterday" (in answered yesterday) is a time in this context. –  NullUserException อ_อ Oct 28 '12 at 22:50
"although developers can access that information" Source? –  NullUserException อ_อ Oct 28 '12 at 22:52
@NullUserExceptionอ_อ I don't remember at all what the question was specifically about, but someone (I think it was Shog) said he checked the logs to see that the post was in fact edited within the 5-minute grace period. I don't know the extent of the information they have available for grace period edits, though. –  animuson Oct 28 '12 at 22:56
+1 for most helpful versus first. (Acceptance is primarily a service to future visitors and the OP can even change it at any time as they see fit.) –  Jirka Hanika Oct 28 '12 at 23:23
@ChrisGerken Yup. Choose most informative over speed every time, please! If the nuclear plant was going to explode and one of the answers came in time to save the hemisphere when the other didn't, accept that. Otherwise, please always judge by which is most informative. I agree there's not much between them for that, but it's your question, not mine. –  AndrewC Oct 28 '12 at 23:27
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If you hover over the "answered $some_time" bit of the answerer's user card, you will see a tooltip that shows the exact time the post was made:

antiguru tooltip 2012-10-27 16:55:49Zm.buettner tooltip 2012-10-27 16:58:27Z

Looks like antiguru is the winner. Hopefully the same race doesn't happen here.

If the answers were edited (outside of the five-minute "grace period"), another note would be made to the left of those, saying "edited $some_time_later". You could also get a timestamp tooltip from that.

(The previous paragraph was added to my answer before five minutes had passed from the original post time, so it was rolled into the first "revision" of the post -- it doesn't appear as a separate edit although it was not part of the post from the beginning. This paragraph, on the other hand, is being made after five minutes, and will generate a revision, with the accompanying "edited" note. Some info about this grace period here: Is there an editing 'grace period' on answers after they have been posted? Note that I also have five minutes from the original time of that new revision to edit it without another revision being generated.)

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Would that be the time for the original post or the last edit? –  Chris Gerken Oct 28 '12 at 22:49
That's the original time. Edit information is shown to the left of that, as "edited $some_time_later", and you can get a separate tooltip for that. –  Josh Caswell Oct 28 '12 at 22:50
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The five minute period after an answer (or question) has been posted or edited is called grace period. Edits within the grace period don't show up in the revision history, as they are normally insignificant (fixed typos, etc.).

Either of the two answers has been edited outside the grace period. antiguru posted his answer 3 minutes earlier, but there's no way of knowing when and if those answers have been edited.

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