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For the past year I have been quite active on SO and a bit on meta, but I had never heard of the timeline of a post until today in a comment on meta.

There was an announcement by Jeff Atwood two years ago of this feature as "experimental". (Timeline for that question).

This feature was requested by a user half a year ago, answer: this exists, but the link has to be built manually.

I think this could be quite interesting sometimes and I would like to use this, but I will not do so if I have to build the link each time by myself.

This feature has existed for two years and is still "experimental"? Who is using it? Who knows about it?

My feature request: Implement a link in the posts to their timeline. I am sure this nice feature will be used.

  • BTW, is there any other views? – om-nom-nom Mar 21 '12 at 21:34
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  • Possibly related: FAQ for how to access question's timeline The feature is just not that useful for 99.999% of people. – Cody Gray Mar 21 '12 at 21:38
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    @om-nom-nom, I found now this question List of unlinked pages on Stack Exchange sites – stema Mar 21 '12 at 21:43
  • Being a mod on a couple sites, I sometimes want to use this feature on others and forget how to get there ;) personally I think that it should be accessible if it's access-able. – Matthew Read Mar 21 '12 at 21:56
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    @CodyGray I tried one of those userscripts, it works good, but I expect this to be part of the page, because otherwise its not visible and if no one sees it no one will know the feature. A possibility would be to couple the availability of the link to rep or a badge like Strunk&White or Deputy. – stema Mar 21 '12 at 22:10
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    I wish it were just appending /timeline to the end of any urls. Editing the bit in the middle to /posts/ just feels funny. – sarnold Mar 22 '12 at 2:23
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    @Richard: This is probably a [status-declined]... They've stated multiple times that the timeline is a "failed project" - so adding a link to it is highly unlikely. I do believe they are planning to rebuild that thing eventually. – animuson May 16 '13 at 23:24
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    @animuson I hear what you're saying, but a little part of me want's to believe that they still care about this awesome feature. – Richard J. Ross III May 16 '13 at 23:40
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+50

I am happy to announce that a new and improved post timeline is now available to all users. It can be accessed by clicking the clock icon underneath the voting and favorite buttons that are located to the left of a question or answer.

screenshot of button

Clicking on the button will bring you to the timeline page for the given question or answer. This page shows everything that has happened to the post.

A new feature here is that by default the timeline page will exclude daily vote summaries. Logged-in users will be able to toggle these on. This will hopefully make the timeline easier to use, especially when looking at posts with lots of post activity.

screenshot of timeline page

Some other small changes:

Request: If there are bugs to report or more feature ideas, please make new posts for them. They will be very hard to track if they are left on this post.

This feature has obviously been a long time coming, and we are happy to be able to release it now. Special thanks for getting this feature done goes to Josh Heyer (Shog9). Shog did all of the coding for this feature (on top of his regular CM duties). For this, and so many more things, we show our appreciation and admiration.

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    I love this already, thanks! – CaldeiraG Jan 16 at 12:50
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    And an additional icon which looks nice as well, well done! – Jenayah Jan 16 at 12:51
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    yes yes yes yes yes yes thank you Shog (oof, bittersweet) – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 16 at 12:58
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    Thank you Yaakov and thank you Shog!!! I share the appreciation and admiration – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Jan 16 at 12:58
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    So sad that the work that Shog9 did is realised after they are fired; meaning they never get to fully benefit from it in the role they worked in. Thank you Shog, but a kicker too. :( – Larnu Jan 16 at 13:02
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    If for example comments get deleted, will the timeline be updated or altered completely? – Trilarion Jan 16 at 13:04
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    Great thing that Shog9 did this. Management congratulated him with firing. – Victor Stafusa Jan 16 at 13:47
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    Fantastic! This really helps with reviewing posts and helping users in complicated situations. – Mast Jan 16 at 14:20
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    Plus one for the freehand "click here". – Luuklag Jan 16 at 14:25
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    Thanks for noticing @Luuklag – Yaakov Ellis Jan 16 at 14:37
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    Thanks for doing this. BTW: you might want to edit your image of the button. I expect that many non-moderators will find it a bit confusing to see the additional mod-interface icons. It should be relatively easy to just paint out those icons with the background color. – Makyen Jan 16 at 15:54
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    "Delete votes are now visible to moderators" Where would you like your care package sent? This is fantastic; thanks Yaakov! – Cody Gray Jan 16 at 17:42
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    @Jax I agree that it's an unexpected placement for the button/link. It makes some sense for moderators, given what we can now see of where the mod-interface places additional post-interaction buttons. However, from a normal user's POV, all of the post-interaction buttons which are not voting/score/favorite/acceptance are located in the area below the post inline with the attribution for most recent editor and author (i.e. the "share", "edit", "flag", "close", and "delete" buttons). Having a link/button in a new place feels strange. – Makyen Jan 16 at 17:46
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    Nice one, Yaakov and Shog. ;) – Meg Risdal Jan 16 at 17:50
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    Thanks @CodyGray. Care packages can go here – Yaakov Ellis Jan 16 at 20:24
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Good idea - really surprised nobody suggested it before!

I think the most fitting candidate for the link is the question time stamp:

timeline link

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    This is indeed a useful feature - however I think placing it as link in the timestamp would conflict with clicking the timestamp for an edit; It would be strange if clicking on one timestamp had a certain functionality and clicking on a different timestamp had another. IMO there should not be differences in the behaviour of two (visually) identical links... – Lix Mar 22 '12 at 8:21
  • @Lix what edit? Currently the question time stamp is not clickable. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 22 '12 at 8:24
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    I mean after a post has been edited... – Lix Mar 22 '12 at 8:38
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    @Lix in such case the "Edited [x] [y] ago" becomes link - still don't think there's any conflict here. Edited brings you to edit revisions (of any post, not just questions), Asked brings you to question timeline. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 22 '12 at 8:39
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    +1 I like the idea and I think the "Power" users who are using this feature can distinguish between the Edit timestamp and the question asked timestamp. – stema Mar 22 '12 at 8:41
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    @ste - Power users aside I still think that there should be uniformity for timestamps containing links... – Lix Mar 22 '12 at 8:48
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    I don't want to just disagree with your opinion without suggesting something myself - perhaps above the voting arrows? – Lix Mar 22 '12 at 8:49
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    @Lix what about the time stamp in the questions index page - it brings you to the last activity so we already got "conflict" anyway. Adding yet another GUI element seems like unnecessary clutter to me for such minor thing, when we can just make something that already exists clickable. :) – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 22 '12 at 8:52
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    @sha - didn't notice that! WOW - no more scrolling! Toda for the info! And I agree with you about not needing additional UI elements... Perhaps this is the best option... – Lix Mar 22 '12 at 8:57
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    @Lix cheers, glad I was able to change your opinion! :-) – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 22 '12 at 9:04
  • It would be nice if this was extended to the mobile site when implemented. – Cole Johnson Apr 18 '13 at 17:16
  • @Cole totally agree. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Apr 18 '13 at 18:04
  • @ShadowWizard - nice suggestion .. But are you aware that about 50% of what you suggested is already available? Refer to my own answer to understand what I mean by that ... – Pierre.Vriens Apr 10 '17 at 12:05
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Update 12/23/2015: The old timeline experiment has been replaced by a filtered version of the moderator timeline. Extensive use in day-to-day operations has shown this to be an attractive and utilitarian tool, and one likely to be maintained for the foreseeable future.

The old timeline was rarely used (by moderators or anyone else), and linking to it made little sense; we may revisit this for the new version however.

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  • Well, that's certainly a shame. I see where you're coming from, and so I guess I'll bounty this and use my script. Just don't be surprised when I come complaining that the page 404's! – Richard J. Ross III May 17 '13 at 4:53
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    There are many other things which are much less often used and still linkable, e.g. "X asked today, Y this week" in the tags page – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You May 17 '13 at 5:42
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    I agree with this - I also use the script and almost never use it. But, unlike you, I miss it when I can't use it. Right now I was trying to see the latest updates to the page - precisely what the timeline is meant for. Because I can't find what has changed and I got a notification someone mentioned my name. So, I'd argue the timeline is bloody useful when a topic is big enough. And I do use it way more than many other a hrefs there, such as "active" and "oldest" tabs for answers, which I never clicked even once. Plus the script just broke. – cregox Jul 23 '13 at 20:14
  • How the moderators access the timeline? Maybe use similar design? – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Dec 23 '15 at 22:26
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    There's a "mod" menu on every post for moderators, @Shadow - so everything just gets jammed in there. There's also a link in the margin sometimes, but marginal links are not a good idea for general consumption. – Shog9 Dec 23 '15 at 22:27
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    I see. So maybe add a simple "timeline" link besides the familiar "share/edit/flag" below each post? – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Dec 23 '15 at 22:30
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Well, here's a greasemonkey script that does this for you, and while I'd really appreciate an official link, this will do (for me, at least) in the interim.

// ==UserScript==
// @name          SOTimeline
// @description   Adds a 'timeline' link to Stack Exchange/Stack Overflow posts
// @include       http*://*.stackexchange.com/*
// @include       http*://stackoverflow.com/*
// @include       http*://*.stackoverflow.com/*
// @include       http*://superuser.com/*
// @include       http*://*.superuser.com/*
// @include       http*://serverfault.com/*
// @include       http*://*.serverfault.com/*
// @include       http*://askubuntu.com/*
// @include       http*://*.askubuntu.com/*
// @include       http*://mathoverflow.net/*
// @include       http*://*.mathoverflow.net/*
// @require       http://code.jquery.com/jquery-2.1.4.min.js
// @version       1.1
// ==/UserScript==

$('.post-menu').each(function () {
    var shareLink = $(this).find('.short-link');
    var postId = shareLink.attr('href').split('/')[2];

    // add a timeline link
    $(this).append('<span class="lsep">|</span>')
           .append('<a href="/posts/' + postId + '/timeline">timeline</a>');
});

Screenshot:

enter image description here

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    I've updated the code to properly handle all Stack Exchange domains and use a current version of jQuery. – bwDraco Jan 8 '16 at 3:31
8

In the context of things that kind of link would probably work better jammed into the sidebar as you're looking into the total activity of the post.

finger licking

There currently exists a link to the lastactivity of the page so either pair it on by making the "active" label be a link, or slink a joint in below the "asked, viewed, active".

The links that sit under a post are so far mostly reserved for actionable items (editing, flagging, etc.) that peeking into a piquant timeline is not really in line with.

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6

I'm also a fan (and frequent user) of the timeline feature. And while I'd (also) really appreciate an official link, I've come up with another rather simplistic (but pretty effective IMO) workaround in the interim (= while waiting for the -tag to be removed).

Here are the steps I use to get to any timeline of a question, on any SE site:

  1. Click on either of these links below a question:
  2. Double click the last part of the URL (= edit or revisions), so that it gets selected.
  3. Type timeline and hit enter.
  4. (Optional) if you have defined a keyboard shortcut for timeline (eg: @tl) then just type @tl (which further reduces the effort required to type that timeline from step 3 to only 37.5% ...).

Note: The time it takes to complete all (3 or 4) steps should be somewhere around 3 to 5 secs.

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3

I use this chrome extension - Stack Overflow timeline

Clicking timeline prints it at bottom. CTRL + Left click or Mouse middle click opens in new tab.

enter image description here

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