What exactly is the 'user' on a post_timeline?

I am assuming that it is the user responsible for the action, if not the user, but I cannot be sure as the JSON structure used to document the results does not lend itself to documenting nested objects or arrays.

It is also not clear that it is 'optional'. Again, I attribute this to the limitations of the documentation structure.

Perhaps the results structure could be parsed and rendered as HTML as the parameters are and this information, description and optional, could be provided to us.

1 Answer 1


user is the user responsible for the event. The user who posted, edited, etc.'d the post.

It is optional for the same reason all returned user objects are, it can be missing if the user has been deleted (which is very rare) or the post has been migrated to a site where the user has no account (less, but still, rare).

This is yet another thing that will be addressed in a subsequent version.

  • currently it is not populated if the owner is responsible for the action. Aug 28, 2010 at 21:48
  • "very rare" = 1.1% (I think). In the 2012-04 data dump, 1.1% of the posts on Stack Overflow (questions and answers, 101114 posts out of a total of 8800959) were missing OwnerUserId (which I presume always mean a user no longer exists/is deleted). Jan 5, 2013 at 18:11

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