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More and more images go missing. Can the cooked HTML be rebuilt?

I'm very confused by the source of this question. I just pulled it up to link to it, and saw that the imgur was broken:

imgur broken fhc

OK, I'm sure I can just fix that by editing the question I thought. So I clicked "Edit", and mysteriously the image was correct:

image correct on edit fhc

But that's not what the actual HTML source code of the question shows!

source code fhc!!! OMG WTF BBQ!!!!

I thought maybe the system is smart enough to /i\.imgur\.com/i\.stack\.imgur\.com/g on it's own to correct older images on edit, but if that's what is happening, then why does the edit history show me that Robert corrected it himself?


I am confused, explanations?

  • Also, I have not edited this question at all yet so you can see what I mean. Oct 28, 2011 at 13:04
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    This, maybe?
    – Yi Jiang
    Oct 28, 2011 at 13:04
  • @YiJiang's独角兽 Related definitely. But if it was retroactively replaced why is it not correct in the HTML source? Oct 28, 2011 at 13:06
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    Actually, it's this Oct 28, 2011 at 13:39
  • You're correct @Sathya -- my question should be closed as a duplicate. Oct 28, 2011 at 13:41
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    But, it is Friday, a good freehand Interrobang question needed to be posted anyway... lmao Oct 28, 2011 at 13:42
  • LOL @TheUnhandledException freehands ftw! Oct 28, 2011 at 14:01

1 Answer 1


History is written by the victors, and sometimes those victors go back in time to rewrite that history, Terminator 2 style.

Since the rendered HTML view of the post (but not its revisions) is stored at the time of modification, it's possible for that snapshot of the past to be out of touch with this strange new reality. Of course, you could force the system to to a batch rerender, but that's kind of costly, so in cases like this it's easier to just perform a dummy edit on the post.

  • +1 for the Terminator 2 reference! Oct 28, 2011 at 13:43
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    I wonder how costly this really is. True, it's almost a year of posts that might need fixing. But when saving a single post the pre-cooking of the HTML seems to be instantaneous. I also wonder if the system will render on the fly, if it cannot find the cached HTML. If that would be true, then the only human effort would be to clear the caches?
    – Arjan
    Oct 30, 2011 at 18:51
  • @Arjan Hmm, that's a good point. If the on-demand rerendering would work, that seems like a reasonable option either way.
    – Tim Stone
    Oct 31, 2011 at 14:59

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