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When migrating a question to another Stack Exchange site, the full edit history of the question and its answers is lost.

I searched on meta, and, according to Jeff, this is "by design". I still want to make a case for why it should be kept.

As an example, a question I was participating on was recently migrated from Stack Overflow to IT Security. I had commented on some answer, which was heavily edited afterward. Now, parts of my comment makes less sense, and there is no way for people to look at what I was referring to.

Furthermore, clicking on the "migrated from stackoverflow.com 56 mins ago" link turns up a "Page not found". This means I cannot even look at the state of the question "pre-migration". Which is strange, since I believed that migrated questions were kept as closed on the origin website.

In a word, migrating a question lets you remove its edit history. I think it should be kept, if technically possible. If not, a closed version of the question should be kept on the website it originated from, with full edit history.

Note that if there were editors other than the original poster, removing their acknowledgements is a violation of the CC BY-SA license.

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Jeff deleted the original after migrating which is why you get a 404 (unless you're a 10K+ user). –  ChrisF Jun 25 '11 at 11:35
    
Related to meta.stackexchange.com/questions/7062/…, but Jeff's answer only addressed the last edit revision, not the full edit history. –  Lance Roberts Jun 25 '11 at 19:11
    
@Gilles Re attribution concerns: Does the migration of edited posts violate attribution requirements? –  Joshua Dwire Nov 25 '13 at 15:59

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

This is only an issue when the original is deleted, which is exceptionally rare. In general you can click on the link below the migrated question (migrated from...) and it will take you to the closed question on the original site with all the edit history.

There is little value in duplicating so much information across both sites, and if it was deleted there is likely a good reason the original and its edits are no longer available except to high rep users and moderators.

Edit: Looks like I was wrong - migrated stubs are deleted, see Jeff's answer to this question: Why was my question moved, and why was it then deleted off of the original site?


In regards to your comment - if your comment is no longer valid based on a question edit you should strongly consider deleting it and resubmitting a new comment if portions are still relevant. If you've made points that are relevant to the question, push those to a new comment or answer to the question.

One thing comments are meant to do is create change in answers and questions. Once that change is made, the comments themselves are no longer useful.

In other words, don't leave comments around that require future readers to read the revision history to understand.

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The problem is that it is not "exceptionally rare" for the original to be deleted. I searched through the top voted questions on "IT Security". Out of the first 9 questions that were migrated from other sites, 8 were deleted on the origin site (details: pastebin.com/ZwYMYNhR ). I guess I could delete my comment (editing it is only possible for a limited time), but in this case, my comment was argumentative, and hasn't yet been able to get the answer changed... I think I'll simply write a new comment, or maybe explain my position in a separate answer and let voting happen :) –  Etienne Neveu Jun 26 '11 at 14:25

We've made the link back to the original site from a migrated question allow users to see the original edit history, even if the original post has been deleted:enter image description here

There is slightly more info in this related question's answer.

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This is great, but only seems to make the request status-half-completed, as it only seems to apply to questions, not their answers. –  Billy Mailman Jan 15 at 20:22

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