Please use datelines for all recommendations or other documentation

Dateline: 2019-12-17

This is a request, not an actual question. No responses are needed.

Please, please always use a dateline for any recommendations or guides. What works in 2014 often doesn’t work by 2020. This isn’t so much for newsgroups. Everything here has a date tag. But anything that is intended to be a reference needs a dateline. At the top.

Here are a few examples

Dateline: 2020-01-12
Blah blah blah

Dateline: 2020-01-12 (update)
Original dateline 2014-12-31
blah blah blah

Dateline: 2014-07-07
This reference is very useful http://xxx.yyy

Dateline: 2019-11-12
Original dateline: 2010-01-15
This article has been dead for some time. Use it with extreme care.

It really helps. Things like setting up working development environment, working with node.js or other client side framework go stale quickly. One can waste a lot of time, eventually to be told, “It’s dead Jim.”

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Dateline: 2014-07-07
This reference is very useful http://xxx.yyy

What does this say about the validity of xxx.yyy? Is it stale today (2019)?

I can see the date of the posting. And if someone posts a helping reference to xxx.yyy I assume it is valid on the date of the posting. What am I supposed to infer from the Dateline?

An expiry date would help. But who konwos that in advance?

I don’t understand.

Are you asking other members of the community to tag recommendations with date?

Posts here get a date tag, and it’d not uncommon to have a date for published blog posts as well. I think I’m lacking some specificity in my understanding of the problem you’re trying to solve.


It is most important for things outside of newsgroups. Newsgroups do have the date listed. Something exploit would still be helpful, but not a huge deal.

For recommendations (This is great http://xyzzy), it gives the date of the recommendation. If I made my recommendation based on work I did last year, it might help. Like I said, it isn’t essential for newsgroups.

I’m posting this to newsgroups for people who author author documents, not just newsgroup articles. As an author stops maintaining a document, a “This is no longer being maintained,” along with a dateline would be very nice. But just having a dateline would be very useful.

The primary goal is to inform people when the document was considered relevant. A similar concept is would be, “This is for Windows XP.” Or this is for version 1.2 of clojure.

With very little work, it informs the reader of the potential relevance of the document.

Do you just mean to remind people posting articles and guides to include a date which shows the time of writing when they publish something?

Yes. People who publish papers, github sites, “getting started,” “how to use,” libraries, even “this tool is great” care greatly about their efforts. But for various reasons, their work might go stale. By adding datelines, that’s okay. They may not have the time to maintain the papers, lose access to a system, even just forget about the earlier work.

By adding a dateline, they’re informing the reader the timeframe of their work. Version numbers to tool was built to work with. Very important information for the reader. It takes very little work on the part of the author and protects the reader.

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