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When googling for information on how to do things, I often have to find my way among tons of garbage. There are two kinds of it: stupid sites and forums for wannabes (especially for ASP and ASP.NET, full of awful examples that cry for revenge) and high quality accurate - yet obsolete - docs and how-tos.

SO is very good at eliminating the first kind of noise; being relatively new, it hasn't faced information obsolescence yet. Will this change in the future and be a problem?

Some things are unlikely to change much, like "How do I move the turtle in LOGO?" Others change very often and, judging by the tags distribution, SO is mainly used for recent technologies.

In a year or two, will searches for ASP.NET MVC, F# and all "new" stuff tend to give obsolete answers?

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up vote 16 down vote accepted

The great thing about Stack Overflow is that content can always be edited (and if necessary, downvoted). If an answer becomes irrelevant to the latest version of some technology, it can be changed to add additional information about the version(s) of the technology that the answer applies to.

Stack Overflow is intended to be a living resource, unlike so much of the other web content out there.

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very well put – Stu Thompson Sep 2 '09 at 8:05

It would help, I think, if we included version numbers of whatever the question pertains to. For fast moving targets like Rails, which seems to dump tried-and-true gems in the bitbucket weekly, it is hard to pick and choose relevant answers to problems that occur on this version of the language I'm using.

That being said, it is immensely helpful that every question and answer has a timestamp. All too often I've seen a blog post / personal site / whatever that appears to have the answer I seek, only to find out that it was written two years ago ( => not worth the brain cells reading the title of the page).

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