I'm always bugged by the inconsistency of this:

Old Question/Answer http://img718.imageshack.us/img718/2975/sospecificdatetime.png Yesterday http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/8515/soyesterday.png

I don't mind the "3 hours ago" thing so much for same-day questions, but it doesn't make much sense to me that I can see the specific time of day for old questions/answers but not for entries submitted yesterday. Wouldn't most people be much more likely to care about the time of day for newer questions? And it looks like there's more than enough room in there to add the at hh:mm text.

Call it nit-picking if you like, but I frequently find myself looking at the time stamps when I see two answers on a question that are almost the same, and want to vote up the one that doesn't plagiarize. Anyway, I think the UI consistency argument alone justifies the request.


  • 9
    Jeff means "status-dontcare".
    – Ether
    Commented Mar 28, 2010 at 3:43
  • 3
    That does seem to be the message, doesn't it? Lol, of course it's "by design", it's the design that's being questioned here! Almost reminds me of "works as coded."
    – Aarobot
    Commented Mar 28, 2010 at 14:32

2 Answers 2


If this suggestion is declined, or until it is implemented, you could always accomplish this with a Greasemonkey script. I knew timestamps were recorded in UTC, but I didn't realize they were always displayed in UTC.

<span title="2010-03-15 18:40:23Z" class="relativetime">Mar 15 at 18:40</span>

At any rate, you can uncomment the one line in there to convert from UTC to your local time. That, though, may produce incorrect results for timestamps close to midnight.

var $ = (typeof unsafeWindow !== "undefined") ? unsafeWindow.$ : window.$;
function parseDate(s)
    var d = new Date(s.replace("Z", "").replace(/-/g, "/"));
    //d.setTime(d.getTime() - d.getTimezoneOffset() * 60000);
    return d.getHours().toString() + ":" + (d.getMinutes()+100).toString().substring(1);

$("span.relativetime").each(function ()
    if(this.innerHTML == "yesterday")
        this.innerHTML = "yesterday at " + parseDate(this.title);

If you keep your cursor hovering over the 'yesterday' for a few seconds, the exact timestamp will appear as a tooltip.

  • 5
    Interesting... it works, but it's completely non-discoverable (I've been using this site for several months and never realized that), and it's pretty awkward when trying to do comparisons. Thank you for the tip though.
    – Aarobot
    Commented Mar 28, 2010 at 2:17
  • 3
    @Aaron that's why I normally browse the site with answers sorted oldest first rather than by votes. Commented Mar 28, 2010 at 3:02
  • @JoelCoehoorn: I'm curious why you care about the relative post time of answers? They should not matter at all. Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 17:40
  • 1
    @LightnessRacesinOrbit When voting for an answer, I want to know the order. Sometimes a later answer isn't as deserving at it seems when taken in context with answers that came before. Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 19:42
  • @joel Hmm ideally we would analyse posts in their own right but ok Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 20:43

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