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This is probably just a simple documentation fix and not really a bug. The doc for the /questions/{id}/timeline method says that the user and owner objects are not optional, but they aren't always present in the results.

Example: http://api.stackoverflow.com/0.8/questions/2938604/timeline

API Help: http://api.stackoverflow.com/0.8/help/method?method=questions/{id}/timeline

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Technically that's incorrect.

The help docs say nothing about the required/optional nature of user and owner, only whether certain of their subfields are required should they be present. This is a gap in our automagic doc generation system which will - eventually - be fixed.

When it is, user and owner will be marked "optional."

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D'oh! You're right. My eye skipped into the user_id field because I was only looking for one specific attribute. Thanks for the clarification. –  Bill the Lizard May 30 '10 at 22:26
    
Did you really make an "automagic" doc generation system? Neat! –  Nathan Osman May 30 '10 at 23:23
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@George - the majority of the /help information is generated in code. We did this so its harder (though, obviously not impossible) for the docs and the code to get out of sync. –  Kevin Montrose May 30 '10 at 23:29

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