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I am pretty new to StackOverflow, but I have now heard of database dumps and that the database schema was changed recently (?) so that a lot of joins could be avoided. On the post I read this people were advising others to have a look at the old schema, but no links were provided. How can I, if it is that I can at all, check the old database schema?

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Check the older database dumps. – Sathya Jul 3 '11 at 18:05
Note that the data dump does not expose the exact schema used in production, so any discussion regarding denormalization may or may not apply to the data dump schema. – Jon Seigel Jul 3 '11 at 18:12

You can check the old data dumps:

(scroll back to the beginning)

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