This URL (obtained by right-clicking "link" below the answer and selecting "copy link location"):

Designing function f(f(n)) == -n

leads to a blank page.
I assume it is designed to go to whatever page the answer is on, but this is not working.

A workaround is to copy the URL from the page number link:


But that relies on the answer staying on the same page, and in CW questions it often does not (except with ?tab-oldest, but that's probably not the default for many users.)

If this is by design, is there a reliable way to get a permalink to an answer that remains valid if the answer gets pushed down to a different page?

  • Works for me ;)
    – ChrisF Mod
    Feb 5, 2010 at 13:55
  • @ChrisF, If last tab you clicked (oldest/newest/votes) puts that answer on page 1 then it will work. Try clicking "votes" then try to follow the link again.
    – Perpetual Motion Goat
    Feb 5, 2010 at 14:20
  • Ah - my default view is newest first. In that case I withdraw my comment.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Feb 5, 2010 at 14:22
  • i see the issue you're talking about. by the fact that there's no other obvious permalink offered in the UI, i have to assume this is a valid bug. Feb 5, 2010 at 14:26
  • Permalinks for answers on the first page are broken too, and get one one page too far. In fact: this happens for any last answer on any page, when sorted on oldest. See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/38103/…, which I guess is a duplicate (assuming the blank page only shows if there's no answers yet on the one-page-too-far page?)
    – Arjan
    Feb 5, 2010 at 14:50
  • 3
    I don't know if that is the same issue, but I'm pretty sure that a URL that is meant to be a permalink should not be affected by the cookies of whoever happens to follow it.
    – Perpetual Motion Goat
    Feb 5, 2010 at 15:16
  • @Arjan I think this is more closely related to meta.stackexchange.com/questions/18815/… (even though it's tagged "feature-request' not "bug")
    – Perpetual Motion Goat
    Feb 5, 2010 at 15:35
  • The link works for me. It takes me to the answer, which is on page three of the answers when sorted by votes. Edit: Oops, now I see a problem. This link to the last answer (when sorted by votes) doesn't work for me: stackoverflow.com/questions/731832/interview-question-ffn-n/… It just takes me to the question.
    – raven
    Feb 5, 2010 at 18:04
  • Throw some ideas on this: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/18815/…
    – random
    Feb 6, 2010 at 9:04
  • I added a screen capture at meta.stackexchange.com/questions/38103/… -- which I guess is what you saw too? That's NOT a blank page then?
    – Arjan
    Feb 9, 2010 at 11:10

2 Answers 2


This has been fixed - it was totally my bad (all the way back from October 2008).

Part of the paging code was using the wrong answers collection; it was incorrectly using all answers, instead of filtering out deleted answers. This behavior would only appear on or near the page boundaries of questions with deleted answers - the more deleted answers, the wider range the bug could appear.

Thanks for finding and researching this! However, I'll not be able to eat today as punishment for introducing a bug ;-)


The permalinks implicitly require that you have not changed the default sort order from Votes.

This is [status-bydesign] at the moment.

edit: assuming you have the default votes sort order, my guess is that this is sometimes affected by deleted posts; do you guys have the 10k rep to see the deleted posts in these questions?

  • 1
    I clicked on the "comments" link on one of the OSS ads today and was directed to the wrong page of answers. Why might that happen? (And yes, I have the default sort order.)
    – mmyers
    Feb 5, 2010 at 22:08
  • 1
    How long is this 'moment' going to last? Feb 5, 2010 at 22:19
  • I was sorting by votes, as stated in the question. Unfortunately you can't see the problem with the answer I linked anymore as it has been upvoted from -1 to 0.
    – Perpetual Motion Goat
    Feb 6, 2010 at 6:48
  • @Jeff, Possibly. My rep is 5K, but mmeyers has 23K.
    – Perpetual Motion Goat
    Feb 6, 2010 at 9:15
  • @Jeff, how about rendering the question page(s) to figure out where the linked question should be? If someone has clicked the link you're going to have to render it anyway. Would it be a disaster if you occasionally rendered the wrong page first and had to discard the result?
    – Perpetual Motion Goat
    Feb 6, 2010 at 9:19
  • 1
    @perpetual mmeyers does not have 10k rep on meta, which is what he was referring to. Feb 6, 2010 at 9:30

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