Not necessarily on the Q&A site here itself, just in general.

Back when SharePoint Overflow was a Stack Exchange 1.0 site, I posted a question to Stack Overflow, and after some time without a solution I posted a similar inquiry SharePoint Overflow. I got my proper answer on SharePoint Overflow, and as per guidance I received on Meta Stack Overflow, I posted such on the Stack Overflow site, without being specific so as to keep the full answer on SharePoint Overflow.

Now that the Stack Exchange 1.0 site is no more, the link points to a dead destination here (though it may be populated with a completely different question in due time).

Is it possible to retrieve the original content from SharePoint Overflow, so that I may put that properly in that answer? Or is that data effectively gone?

4 Answers 4


I'm hoping that this answer is a joke. I've pointed people to old SharePoint Overflow posts in my blog, in discussions, in emails, etc. Are all of the old posts truly "gone"? Saying they are in an XML dump somewhere means that they are gone, IMO, and also IMO, that stinks.

Many of us worked damn hard to answer all of those questions and I know that people have and would probably still rely on them if they could get to them. If this is some sort of judgement that sites that weren't running under the SE umbrella must have inferior content, then I'm packing my bags and not using the SE family of sites anymore, and I'll tell others to do the same. We have other channels.

p.s. I was a moderator on the old SharePoint Overflow site. I also miss all of the points I earned by answering question on the old SharePoint Overflow.

  • 1
    It is a joke, but the joke is on us :-P . Nice to be able to go back to your SharePoint Overflow post to remember how you solved a problem - oh, wait - they deleted it all. It's all in some big file somewhere: great. I'm annoyed, but not throwing my toys out of the pram just yet ;-)
    – SPDoctor
    May 18, 2011 at 11:03
  • 1
    Like we've said, we will be importing posts, hopefully within a couple of days. We look at how many views questions had, how many votes, how many answers, how many votes those answers had...all to try to bring in the content that people relied on. We absolutely recognize the old site had valuable content, and that's what we want to bring in. In addition, all rep associated with the posts we bring in will be restored. May 18, 2011 at 18:54
  • 1
    Rebecca: With all due respect, how can you possibly know what content has value and what doesn't? You don't have the domain expertise, we do. A question with a good answer that was viewed 5 times might have tremendous value to the next person looking for that particular answer. May 18, 2011 at 19:15
  • @MarcDAnderson, I absolutely don't have the domain expertise, not pretending I do. That's why view count isn't all we look at. May 18, 2011 at 20:00
  • 1
    But "all to try to bring in the content that people relied on" can't always be measured by what you propose. Some questions/answers become more valuable over time as the product lifecycle progresses. Just because some obscure question wasn't looked at a lot in the first six months of SharePoint 2010's existence doesn't mean that it won't be critical in the next 6 months. My point is that we, the community, worked to build that content corpus and and you, the software people, are deciding how to value it. It's bass-ackwards. May 18, 2011 at 21:55
  • 1
    Well, we are SharePoint folks, and we mostly work in a business environment where, if content goes offline for 10 minutes it's "OMG the sky is falling - your job's on the line". This attitude of "maybe it will be back next week, if we like the look of it" is quite quaint.
    – SPDoctor
    May 18, 2011 at 22:58
  • @MarcDAnderson, views aren't all we look at, just for that reason. Shouldn't votes (both on a question itself and on the answers it gets) also be an indicator of what is valuable content? May 18, 2011 at 23:10
  • @RebeccaChernoff Perhaps as a compromise is it possible to reimport all of the old content, but set those questions that don't meet the quality bar to Deleted? Then at least mods that have the domain knowledge can undelete if appropriate or if someone complains about a missing question?
    – Alex Angas
    May 19, 2011 at 20:21
  • 1
    @Rebecca - I think I've made my points. I don't believe that any algorithm that you come up with will be as effective as simply reintstating all of the old content. I feel that we ran a great site with SharePointOverflow with the efforts of many very smart people. The content that was there had value; that which didn't, we either excised or worked to clarify. Babies and bathwater come to mind. I'm also totally certain that there are many people who get value from an answer without ever voting or commenting. Lurkers are still in the majority, IMO. May 20, 2011 at 17:14
  • @MarcDAnderson, we're looking at what options we have. May 20, 2011 at 17:17
  • @MarcDAnderson, we listened - you got your wish. (: May 27, 2011 at 18:32
  • Did you add back all of the old content? That wish? :-) May 27, 2011 at 19:28

The old data was wiped, to allow the site to spend some quality time in The SE 2.0 Beta Crucible. See: SharePoint Overflow joins the Stack Exchange 2.0 family

The best of it will be restored, once this trial by fire is over. Until then, you can download the data dump, and either attack it with your favorite XML-attacking-tools, or use something like the unfortunately-named AUBrowser to query it.

  • 4
    When will we be out of purgatory? :)
    – Alex Angas
    Apr 22, 2011 at 8:46
  • There's a data dump - that's really enough of it for me to be able to (eventually) dig that answer out. Excellence.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Apr 22, 2011 at 10:21
  • 3
    @ccomet I commend your enthusiasm, but I think you may have set the bar for "Excellence" a little low ;-)
    – SPDoctor
    May 23, 2011 at 16:21

Now that the old SharePoint Overflow has been imported in here, most answers (if not all, not sure about how thorough the import wast) are available on the site now.

So, for example, I found mine here. Strangely, it appears to actually be the same old post ID as I had before, so I guess I don't have to update the URL on the Stack Overflow post anyway.

  • Yes, we abandoned our original plans to do a partial import. And yes, all ids were kept. May 27, 2011 at 18:33
  • 1
    Just spent 2 days' worth of votes picking out good answers to 'unanswered' questions to bring the % answered up from 86% to 90%, and then saw it drop to 71%! After a moment's heart attack I realised why. Panic over. :)
    – Stu Pegg
    May 27, 2011 at 19:37

The data can be downloaded at http://sstatic.net/area51/datadumps/042011%20SharePoint%20Overflow.zip

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .