I have come across many questions from 2+ years ago that have answers with outdated info. For example, this question from June 2011 uses the jQuery .live() method, which was deprecated in jQuery 1.7 (November 2011).

Should the date be emphasized after two years, or a banner shown above the question? Something like "Note: this question was asked and answered over n years ago."

  • 1
    I suppose you could do something like Wikipedia where people can mark articles as out of date or needing updating. However, you would need to have someone who is a SME to know that .live() was deprecated in 1.7 of jQuery. In SO's case, commenting seems to the be best case to address this. – Brian Jun 27 '13 at 14:55
  • 2
    Comments are great, but an automatic "heads up" could be applied to every question older than a certain date. – Mooseman Jun 27 '13 at 14:57
  • I think what would be more helpful is having versions indicated as in the question as not everyone keeps their software fully up to date and they may still be able to use that function. – Joe W Jun 27 '13 at 14:57
  • @Mooseman Not every question is outdated after a few years. All posts are timestamped, so the user can judge themselves. – Rob W Jun 27 '13 at 14:58
  • I think this is a real problem. SO can't spread misinformation. This is more common in library questions (like jQuery) than one might think. – Benjamin Gruenbaum Jun 27 '13 at 14:59
  • @RobW Thus why I would suggest a "Heads up," and not an archive system or like. – Mooseman Jun 27 '13 at 15:01
  • @Mooseman Seeing "answered Aug 4 '08 at 15:26" is already a heads-up to me. Especially if there's a critical comment or downvote on the post. – Rob W Jun 27 '13 at 15:02
  • 1
    @RobW For those familiar with the site, yes, I agree. But if this is the first time you've viewed a question on the site, a more prominent "heads up" may be appropriate. – Mooseman Jun 27 '13 at 15:05
  • 2
    @Mooseman If one doesn't see the timestamp, odds are that they won't notice the heads-up either. Personally, I do not want to read through several disclaimers, post notices and other non-relevant stuff. I just want to see the question and answer. And what about the arbitrary 2 year border? If an API in a fast-moving field gets deprecated now, why should we wait 2 years before showing the warning? – Rob W Jun 27 '13 at 15:08
  • Sounds to me more like a jQuery problem. Java warns you when you are using a deprecated part of the API. jQuery could reasonably do the same thing. I don't think we should use SO to replace jQuery's poor documenting features (I don't know if jQuery does this or not, just sounds like it doesn't - if it does then I am wrong about it being poorly documented). – Brian Jun 27 '13 at 19:15
  • 1
    The real issue is that one answer can still be relevant many years down the road and another can be outdated shortly after its posted. – Joe W Jun 28 '13 at 12:30
  • 1
    Then in addition to voting for an answer, we should be able to flag it as out of date. More out-of-date flags, the more prominent the warning. – HDave Nov 7 '13 at 14:10

Add a comment or edit the answer to note the relevant versions; it may be useful to someone stuck with an out of date version of the language.

  • It's what should be done now, yes. But it's unlikely that this will happen to all questions on SO. – Mooseman Jun 27 '13 at 21:31
  • I see; you're wanting an automated thing that won't let anything through the cracks. – Ryan Frame Jun 27 '13 at 21:38
  • Not sure that's possible. But maybe just show a "heads up" banner above old questions to logged out users. – Mooseman Jun 27 '13 at 21:41

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .