I previously posted this as an answer (10k-only) to the announcement Revisiting changes to answer sorting menu: better use of space, moving menu into a dropdown, ascending/descending sort options, clearer descriptions, which was updated one day prior to indicate that the changes were deployed network-wide. However, I've deleted that answer and reposted it as a new question, because:

  • It was originally posted six weeks prior, and the team generally only monitors announcements for answers within 3-4 weeks. I commented three weeks ago to ask if it was still being monitored and got no response, which tells me it's not.

  • The employee who posted the announcement no longer works for Stack Exchange, so unless a current staff member has followed the announcement, no staff member is being notified of new answers there.

It seems like as part of the change to answer sort tabs across the network, the ?answertab= names in the URLs have changed:

  • active to modifieddesc
  • oldest to createdasc
  • votes to scoredesc

However, URLs that contain the old answer sort order names no longer link to those specific sort orders, instead going to the user's set sort option. This means that if I've shared a link to the specific answer sort order prior to this change being rolled out, the user will no longer be linked to that specific answer sort order, as they were before, which means those links are now broken.

Linking to specific answer sort orders is useful in many cases. As an example, sites which host community contests often link to posts with the sort by modified descending query string included so as to reduce the advantage of early voting on older answers. A change to the names of the buttons in the UI should not break earlier links to the sort orders.

I understand it's necessary to change the names to add potential future support for sorting in the opposite order (changing asc to desc and vice versa), but please retain the old URL names for backward compatibility purposes, so old links aren't broken as a result of this change.

(I previously requested on the prior announcement to only save answer sort selections on actually selecting the option in the UI and not when following external links to sort orders, and would like to ask if it's still planned. A similar answer to the newer announcement was marked as out of scope for this project, but that one asks for more things, while my previous request, marked as planned, is comparatively simpler.)


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