Recently, I am working on stack overflow. I downloaded stack overflow dump files. But I have some questions. I downloaded two dump zips. One is dumped in 2010 and the other is in 2012. Then will all the informations in 'posts.xml' in 2010 be included in the 'posts.xml' in 2012 ? and what about 'posthistory.xml' ? and what about the others ? e.g. 'users.xml', 'badges.xml'.

  • 1
    I can't quite make out what answers you are in need of. What's the problem?
    – Oded
    Mar 29, 2013 at 22:24
  • @Oded For example, there are 'postId' in 'posthistory.xml'. I want to know this. Will the set of 'postId' in 'posthistory.xml' dumped in 2010 be a subset of 'postId' in 'posthistory.xml' dumped in 2012 ?
    – Qiongjie
    Mar 29, 2013 at 22:29
  • Yes, it should be. The files are full dumps, not diffs.
    – Oded
    Mar 29, 2013 at 22:31

1 Answer 1


Data dumps always include all the released data we have at the time of the data dump.

This means that a 2012 data dump will include all the data in a 2010 data dump + all changes since.

This is the case for all the different xml files for each site.

  • If there is post which was posted in 2010 and was closed in 2010, then its postid should be in 'posthistory.xml' dumped in 2010. But in 2011, that post was deleted. Then will its post exist in 'posthistory.xml' dumped in 2012 ? Thanks
    – Qiongjie
    Mar 29, 2013 at 22:37
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    @Qiongjie - deletes are "soft" deletes. They are all in the files with a delete date.
    – Oded
    Mar 29, 2013 at 22:39
  • someone told me I can retrieve posts from 'data explorer'. so could we retrieve all 'deleted' posts by using 'data explorer' ? if we can, could you tell how to write a query to retrieve 'deleted' posts ? Thanks
    – Qiongjie
    Mar 29, 2013 at 22:59
  • @Qiongjie - there is a search facility on the data explorer. You can use it to find existing saved queries such as that one.
    – Oded
    Mar 30, 2013 at 7:50

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