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I notice that I've had a spate of answers to recently closed questions. It seems odd that somebody's going to the trouble of deleting questions that have been around a long time and have gotten numerous interesting or helpful responses, but there it is.

I think a few of the answers I've provided are pretty insightful, and I don't want them to disappear from the Internet.

What's the easiest way to grab the original question and my answer, and post it to another blog (e.g. blogspot)? I'm looking for the simplest way to preserve formatting, etc, not wishing to waste time reformatting the posts.

It was a big hassle previously when I had to recover my Knuth postings (and I'm still a bit flabbergasted that people would vote to delete a hand-written note by Knuth answering a Stack Overflow question!). One of the moderators had to send me a pdf of the deleted questions. I sincerely appreciate it (thanks Marc Gravell!) but would like to avoid doing this in the future.

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    BTW, kudos on performing an action item (copying the content as permissible by the cc license).
    – casperOne
    Mar 5, 2012 at 3:06
  • Thanks for the editing assist casperOne, but I prefer my version. Mar 5, 2012 at 5:59
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    Wow! How did deleting that make the internet a better place?!
    – Benjol
    Mar 5, 2012 at 6:40
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    Sorry the version CasperOne has, gets to the actual question. Slipping in the rant isn't really helping anyone. Your rant is a next issue altogether.
    – phwd
    Mar 5, 2012 at 16:43
  • For help, this is useful. For ranting, this derails the entire thing
    – random
    Mar 5, 2012 at 17:31

2 Answers 2

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I don't think you can get around asking a 10k+ user or a moderator to copy a deleted question for you, but at least that task can be made easier.

I've written a user script that adds HTML and JSON export options to each question. The JSON loosely resembles the API format and includes the HTML and markdown bodies of all posts, as well as their comments and vote counts (if you have permission to view them). The HTML formats the content similarly to Stack Exchange and includes the necessary attribution. Comments are included, but initially hidden.

It should work all users, as far as their privileges permit. You can click here to install or update it, here to view the source on GitHub or here for more information or to report bugs on StackApps.

Here are the JSON and HTML dumps of the deleted Knuth question.

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  • May I ask... are there any legal ramifications of this? I had a question recently get closed, and soon will be deleted as I'm told, and I saved the HTML for the entire page. I'd like to include a link to it on my blog (having uploaded the HTML page to my personal website). How do I properly give credit to the "content creators" in such a situation?
    – Paul Hazen
    Apr 25, 2012 at 23:26
  • @PaulHazen The details of the attribution policy can be found here. As long as it's clear the content was originally from Stack Overflow (for example) and the author's names are included and linked to their Stack Overflow profiles, you should be fine.
    – Jeremy
    Apr 26, 2012 at 0:07
  • Perfect! Thank you for the clarification. I wasn't quite sure what to search for... brain fart on my part "attribution" would have gotten me here. Thanks :)
    – Paul Hazen
    Apr 26, 2012 at 0:16
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wget [link] should preserve it. It will look like an archive.

Assuming Stack Overflow doesn't manually delete the imgur images you should be fine

If you are using a blog with markdown for example, a Jekyll blog you can copy the markdown and carry it across. I have been thinking of a way to extract the markdown with least resistance but I have not reached very far in brainstorming.

Make sure to show proper attribution.

Update: I have mirrored (to an extent) the Knuth posting that was deleted

http://wolfrevokcats.com/did-knuth-ever-refer-to-taocp-as-the-most-purchased-least-read-computer-scienc.html

It's not 1:1 with Stack Overflow in terms of presentation but for content it will do for now.

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