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When an answer is given to a question, there should be an indication somewhere to show what revision of a question that answer was associated with.

This helps in that questions can change drastically between versions, and it would allow users to see what revision of a question an answer pertains to in case it does not seem to pertain to the current revision.

For example, an answer that pertains to the current revision, could have the text 'Answered at current revision' or 'Answered at revision 4' or something similar.

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2 Answers 2

It's a nice idea, but I do wonder how often people would actually look at the original answer revision number. I doubt that I would, unless an answer really didn't seem to fit the question.

One implementation point: it should be the revision at the time of loading the page, not the revision at the time of posting the answer. In other words, if you changed the question while I was typing this answer, this answer should still be associated with the original question.

Admittedly there are times that could make someone seem prescient - if they opened the modified question in a different tab/window, then answered the new revision from the original window which only "new" about the original version... but I don't think that would cause that many problems.

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@Jon Skeet I agree, many times you don't look back at the revisions of a question. This is for those times, as you stated, when an answer really doesn't fit a question. For instance, there are times I may edit a question based on feedback. I would generally indicate that the question has been edited in the question itself, however there may be pre-existing answers that do not seem to apply. It may be useful to be able to easily tell that the answer may apply to a different revision and link to the correct version of the question, if one wishes. I am unsure what the best UI for this may be. – Laz Jul 18 '09 at 23:44

There are a couple of issues here.

Firstly, after a revision to any post is made you have 5 minutes to edit it and those edits won't create a new revision so the version someone sees when they start or finish posting may not be the version that is there 5 minutes later.

Secondly, this seems to be motivated by getting downvoted because an answer that was appropriate is no longer appropriate due to the question changing. I believe the solution to this is for those who answered a question to be notified when that question is edited (not counting retags).

Recent activity is not necessarily the right place for this because if you don't visit for a couple of days you may miss the notification so perhaps another mechanism is required.

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Automatic notification is not a bad suggestion. On your other comments, as Jon Skeet said above in his answer, the revision your answer is linked to is the revision you saw when you started to post your answer, even if the question changes in the interim, your answer would be to the question you saw. My motivated was not down-voting, although I can see that as a concern as well. It is motivated by the fact that when someone sees an answer to a previous revision, this may be confusing; or even worse it may be misleading if the viewer does not realize that it is an incorrect answer. – Laz Jul 19 '09 at 1:21
My point was that that 5 minute window could have many revisions. Currently those aren't tracked and I think that's a good thing. What you're suggesting would require changing that. – cletus Jul 19 '09 at 2:30

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