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Some parts of the help center can be edited by the moderators and, of course, any part can be edited by a Stack Exchange employees. According to this post, the link to revisions is accessible to moderators: revision history of mod-editable parts of /helpcenter.

  • How can a regular user find the revision history for some item in the help center?
  • Is the revision history stored also for the parts which are not moderator-editable?
  • Is the revision list for some parts of the tour accessible, too?

I have seen that from SEDE I can get revision history for some parts of the help center if I search for PostTypeId=7. (This also includes some pages related to election. And some of them seem to be parts of the tour.) For example: I get two items on Meta Stack Exchange (229774 and 229775), four items on Mathematics (/faq, /election, 275931, and 275934), three items on MathOverflow (/about, /election/1, and /help). But there are definitely some other parts of the help center which aren't among the results and which have been edited. (Although I do not remember whether it was by a moderator or by a Stack Exchange employee.)

It was suggested in comments that I should also try PostTypeId=8. If I allow both 7 and 8, I get 28 results on Meta Stack Exchange, but nothing new on Mathematics or MathOverflow.

My motivation for asking is mostly just curiosity. For some reason, I looked at an old discussion on a per-site-meta discussing some edits in the help center. (I'd prefer not to link to the specific thread - it is not really relevant here.) And I've seen that back then I was able to find the revision history for that particular edit - in that case it was an edit by a moderator. But I do not remember how exactly I did that. (At the same time, I imagine that being able to check how the help center was changed might sometimes be useful. But, if it turns out that the revision history is actually accessible only to the moderators, maybe it is entirely sufficient—that would probably be a topic for a separate discussion.)

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    I think PostTypeId=8 would give you the privilege wiki history (before they were transitioned to being part of the help center). May 4, 2022 at 4:27

2 Answers 2

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This is (for me) a working list of revisions for https://meta.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic. It'll show a 404 for non-moderators. The post ID, 183227, is nowhere to be found on that page, so there's no way to figure it out as a regular user. You could use the Wayback Machine for pages that have been archived there. If it's about the generic Help Center pages, just check the history on Stack Overflow, because that is the most often indexed site.

Older parts of the Help Center may still be in SEDE (in their ancient form) but I'm not sure if that's intended or just a relic of the past. The post I mentioned above is not in SEDE.

Is the revision history stored also for the parts which are not mod-editable?

Yes, but only on Meta Stack Exchange, and again, only visible to moderators. Even the non-English versions like https://es.stackoverflow.com/help/how-to-ask are stored here. I managed to find most of them by looking at gaps in the post ID sequence in SEDE. For example, here I can see the revisions to https://meta.stackexchange.com/help/review-first-questions.

Incidentally, the links to revisions for post type 8 in your query don't work for me because of a bug.

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  • Re: The links to revisions for post type 8 in your query don't work for me. That's interesting - after clicking on a random one I get a list of revisions for something which looks like a description of a privilege. They are displayed to me - you get 404 for them?
    – Martin
    May 4, 2022 at 4:43
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    @Martin thanks for doublechecking, it turns out that is another bug. It occurred to me that you could perhaps check the Wayback Machine - see the updated answer.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    May 4, 2022 at 4:53
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How can a regular user find the revision history for some item in the help-center?

For mods there are history links under each item but I don't think you're supposed to be able to find those pages as a regular user. As you found, apparently SEDE has some of them, and if it didn't then you could brute force it — assuming you can view the history page.

Is the revision history stored also for the parts which are not mod-editable?

I think that a history entry is only created in the database if a mod/staff has edited the page. Between the sites I mod, one's tour has a history link at the top but the other's does not, meaning it hasn't been edited from the default, I assume.

Is the revision list for some parts of the tour accessible, too?

Apparently so. I opened all the history links on my sites' tours in incognito and they all loaded. Election history links loaded too. I don't think that you're supposed to be able to do that unless you're a mod, though none of the pages had anything super interesting. It's all content that would have been live at one point.

As expected, links to Help Center history pages require mod access to see.

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    "For mods there are history links under each item" – Note that a "history" link will only appear at the bottom of a help center page if (a) you're on MSE (and an MSE mod), since that's where the network-wide version of help center pages originate from; or (b) you're a mod of a site that has a site-specific version of that help center page (e.g. whether it's a site-specific override of a network-wide page, or a page that exists only on your site).
    – V2Blast
    May 5, 2022 at 16:36

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