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I am curious about when comments first became available on Stack Exchange (or whatever the site was when the development occurred). I ask this because, in the Database schema documentation for the public data dump and SEDE, it seems that the comments are a separate "bolted on" table to the Posts.

I could be wrong; it may have always been a part of the site, but any information would be great. Also, has it always been possible to comment on Answers and Questions?

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    How would comments need to be designed to be not bolted on to Posts?
    – rene
    Apr 7, 2023 at 18:22
  • Similar to answers just a post type ID Apr 12, 2023 at 1:36

1 Answer 1

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Per this blog post written by then-head Jeff Atwood, comments became available on September 6, 2008:

Stack Overflow didn’t always have post comments. The first comment ever was on this post by Michael Stum, and it was posted on September 6th, 2008.

Sadly, the comment seems to have been deleted, but I asked on Meta Stack Overflow and was able to obtain the content of the comment.

Stack Overflow, the first member of the Stack Exchange network, was established on July 31, 2008.

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  • Not sure I understand were these comments come from : data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/query/1731969
    – rene
    Apr 7, 2023 at 18:32
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    @rene You sure they weren't answers converted to comments? Presumably some people were posting comments in answers so they introduced the real comment feature and went through and converted all such prior answers into comments. (I can't confirm as I don't have 10k rep, but I do know that when an answer is converted to a comment the comment creation time is backdated to the answer posting time.) Apr 7, 2023 at 18:35
  • That sounds like a reasonable explanation.
    – rene
    Apr 7, 2023 at 18:36
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    The first hit in @rene's query is indeed a converted answer.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Apr 7, 2023 at 18:37
  • @Glorfindel yeah, and it is Cody ... again.
    – rene
    Apr 7, 2023 at 18:38
  • Thank you for reading through the blog posts!! I figured it was there but also wasn’t sure if it was the first year or the fifth :) Apr 12, 2023 at 1:37
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    @WilliamLedbetter Well, what happened here is I remembered a former long-time staff member writing about how SE didn't have comments in its "early months" so I searched the blog for things talking about comments from that time period. Apr 12, 2023 at 4:16
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    @ShadowTheGPTWizard To be entirely fair, the whole SO codebase was nascent, with very few features, meaning extra things could be added pretty easily. Today, the codebase has grown by at least two orders of magnitude, so changes are much harder to do. Sep 16, 2023 at 7:49

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