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If a post has no owner for whatever reason, we don't get the owner object in the response.

Thus, it is impossible to display the username of the missing owner. The site is able to do this, so we should be given the name of the user as well.

See meta question #33809 for a view of all of these scenarios.

Here is an example request returning now owner at all:

http://api.meta.stackoverflow.com/1.0/answers/33812

I feel that this is very important, othwerwise we are unable to attribute a post to an author.

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Hmm, you're right, that's kinda weird. –  Maxim Zaslavsky Jul 11 '10 at 5:51
    
Kevin, I know you wanted to keep 1.0 as static as possible, but what are the chances of this change going in during the 1.0 phase? –  jjnguy Jul 11 '10 at 6:04
    
basically 0%. There's no clean place to shove this, as user_id is spec'd as a required value on the returned "user object" and the root problem here is that the user was deleted and thus has no id. –  Kevin Montrose Jul 11 '10 at 8:29
    
@Kevin, but do you agree that this is a small oversight? (By everyone, this has not been noticed before I don't think) –  jjnguy Jul 11 '10 at 15:47
    
@Kevin In reading your last comment, I think you mis-understand my request. Instead of returning a User-Object with no id, just return the User Name in the comment, answer, and question object. (No user-object required) –  jjnguy Jul 11 '10 at 15:49

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