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How can SO tell which vote the user wants to delete?

The vote request URL usually follows this pattern:

stackoverflow.com/..../[postId]/vote/[voteTypeId]

If, for example, I accepted post 99 as an answer the request URL would be:

stackoverflow.com/..../99/vote/1

When I reverse a vote, however, I believe the voteTypeId is set to 0 in the request URL. So, using the example I gave, if I un-accepted post 99 as an answer to my question the following request URL would appear:

stackoverflow.com/..../99/vote/0

How can SO figure out that I want to un-accpet the answer as opposed to reverse another type of vote; like a favouite or an up vote, for example?

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If you're tracking the requests sent by the browser, why not try it and find out? I'm curious to hear the results. –  Jon Seigel Jan 13 '11 at 18:07
    
Jon, I did this earlier but there were no params sent with the URL request other than the postId and the voteTypeId. I did some further investigation, however, and found some partial conclusions. See my answer. –  Mohamad Jan 13 '11 at 18:49
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FYI: to comment-notify users, precede their user name with an @. –  Jon Seigel Jan 13 '11 at 23:46

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

After further thought I found out the follwing:

When users accept answers or add favourite questions, the vote request URL is a toggle request. The voteTypeId found at the end of the URL remains consistent whether this is a do or an undo action.

Using the earlier example, if I were to accept post 99 as an answer and then un-accept it, the request URL would be the following for both actions:

stackoverflow.com/..../99/1

This indicates a toggle request. This behaviour is also consistent when adding and deleting favourite questions.

Casting mod votes is different, however. When a user casts a mod vote the request URL is consistent with other vote types. Undoing a mod vote is handled differently; the URL request to undo a mod vote always ends with 0.

I imagine this is because mod votes are mutually exclusive; you can not have an up and a down vote on the same post. Therefore, the back-end will attempt to delete the mod vote regardless of its type.

There is a mystery 'LastvoteTypeId' included in the returning JSON when votes are cast. Its value is set to null when any vote is deleted. However, when a mod vote is cast, LastVoteTypeId returns as the voteTypeId of the respective vote. So 2 when the vote is a mod up, and 3 when the vote is a mod down.

I'm yet to ascertain what this does.

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