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Back in January I asked for feedback on a new, experimental "timeline" question view.

We have finally come back to improve this view. We tried to incorporate most of the feedback from the previous round, and I'd like your feedback on those improvements now. You can only get to it via URL hackery and it is only on meta at the moment!

http://meta.stackoverflow.com/posts/{id}/timeline

The intention here is:

  • to provide an optional "pure chronological" view of a question
  • to more easily keep up with highly active questions, where the # of answers, comments, and edits is large

Yes, there are still a few bugs, but we plan to iron those out .. the goal is to roll this out as a feature linked from each question, sometime in the next month.

edit: the way comments are displayed out of chronology is currently rather busticated (and slated to change), but we did improve it somewhat.

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5  
I nearly edited the question to include a demo timeline (this question) but figured a comment would be good enough: meta.stackoverflow.com/posts/54366/timeline - it's nice to have something to click on just to see a demo, without any URL furtling. –  Jon Skeet Jun 20 '10 at 8:31
    
Thanks for fixing the undeletion weirdness! –  Grace Note Jun 21 '10 at 10:48

5 Answers 5

Checking the timeline for the formatting sandbox:

  • The originally provided tags are never shown (this is also true for at least one other timeline I checked).
  • The changes to tags are not shown (like they are in the current revisions view), just the new tags.
  • The "gobbledegook" revision from me on Jun 15 at 10:50 corresponds to an undeletion.

EDIT: The timeline for closed questions should report the time of closing like the revisions do.

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The timeline of the now deleted question I added with EDIT: is now a 404 but the question and revisions are still available to me as the OP. I suggest either I should have access to the timeline or not to the revisions, preferably the former. –  Mark Hurd May 19 at 11:48

When I view this question's timeline view, it almost looks like the two comments by mmyers and Jon Skeet are part of the question's content. Each separate element (such as a comment) should be broken out more clearly, such as with a horizontal rule, with its own timestamp in absolute date format.

Also, would it be possible to include comment edits as separate events, or will those continue to only be visible to moderators?

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I don't think comment edits should be included (just like the 5 minute edit window on posts). However, on that note, if you see meta.stackoverflow.com/posts/54345/timeline you will notice that comments that were made today are being recorded for yesterday, because they are grouped with my answer body. So there's a bit of a temporal disconnect with the comments. –  Grace Note Jun 20 '10 at 16:25

It looks a lot shinier, and I love that the timestamps now can be hovered. I also like that the location of the upvotes is also displayed. Many thanks!

Could we add data from rollbacks to the timeline? It currently doesn't include rollbacks, so for example this question with several rollbacks implies that Tom Ritter and Jon B made tag edits one after the other, and with no actual difference in tags no less. But the revision history shows that there were rollbacks between those revisions. I've noticed this in other posts that have had rollbacks in them.

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No, they don't show up. In fact, this question here has a deleted answer and it doesn't show up in the timeline link that Jon Skeet posted. –  Jon Seigel Jun 20 '10 at 16:34
    
I viewed the timeline for this question before reading the actual answers & this answer (when viewed in timeline view) had me very confused for a minute thanks to the screenshot. :) –  Alconja Jun 21 '10 at 1:47

I would like to repeat my earlier request that the red "revised" text link to the revision history rather than just being a fake link.

I don't like fake links.

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I like it.

One suggestion though, since it's meant to be a "pure chronological" view, would be to add markers in the timeline to show when comments were made. I agree that the actual content of the comment should be kept with the post since they generally need context, but you lose visibility of recent changes.

I think something like having a subtle note (say smaller, light grey text) in the timeline that says that a comment was made and when, but is just a simple anchor link to the actual comment which will appear further down the page under the post it's associated with (as it is now).

Visual example:

Best of both worlds

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