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While trying to find the first alive question on SO, I discovered something strange.

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/20

will redirect to

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/8/are-there-any-conversion-tools-for-porting-visual-j-code-to-c/20#20

Why is this?

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1  
btw, this seems to be the first SO question: stackoverflow.com/questions/4 –  Earlz May 11 '10 at 22:40
    
The first question is only visible if you have 10k. @ear –  Gnome May 11 '10 at 23:03
1  
@The Cat: That makes me wonder if SO got off to a roaring start by closing its very first question as 'not a real question.' –  Jon Seigel May 11 '10 at 23:10
4  
@The Cat. How about a screenshot for us that are under 10k? :) –  Earlz May 11 '10 at 23:41
    
Found it: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3991/… –  Jon Seigel May 12 '10 at 0:04
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1 Answer

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Questions and answers are both stored in the same database table. See here.

ID #20 is the ID of an answer, which is inside a question with ID #8.

The database design goes against the RESTful URL design of /questions/x (since not all posts are questions), so if x is an answer, the devs decided to redirect there instead of bombing it with a 404. You'll notice that when you edit a post, the url is /posts/x/edit regardless of whether it's a question or answer.

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You can see this clearly through the URLs alone with /posts/ID/revisions. –  Gnome May 11 '10 at 23:06
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