StackExchange Data Dump Viewer is a small Qt-based application that allows you to view the contents of the data dumps. This includes the Ask Ubuntu data dump.


The application is written in C++ using the Qt framework. The project depends on libqtwebkit as well, because some of the interface is implemented in HTML and associated technologies.

The code is located on Launchpad here. To build the project, simply follow the instructions in the README file included in the repository.


This application does imply the following questions:

  • First off, what information do we want presented? It doesn't seem to make sense to display a lot of user information due to the intended use of the application. (Primarily a means to lookup information offline.)

    Currently, the plan is to have a 'virtual filesystem' that represents the data - and the application will then allow you to browse that:


    /questions/votes - Questions sorted by votes. [implemented]
    /questions/views - Questions sorted by views. [implemented]
    /questions/tagged/{tag} - Questions with a given tag.

    Obviously we need more, but that's a start.

  • Secondly, the data is licensed under a CC-Wiki w/ attribution license, so each page needs to have a link at the bottom indicating this and pointing to the original source of the information.
    [taken care of]

If anyone thinks of anything else, or has a suggestion, please post it as an answer.

  • 2
    cough Ask Ubuntu cough Commented Nov 17, 2010 at 6:39
  • @Marco: I know about that. I am currently in the process of switching over the name - since @Jorge pointed that out :) Commented Nov 17, 2010 at 21:40
  • Note: I just want to remind everybody that the program is using the WebKit engine internally, so we can use JavaScript anywhere we need it. Commented Nov 17, 2010 at 21:42
  • Can you package this in .deb please?
    – Lincity
    Commented Apr 12, 2011 at 9:36
  • Is there/will there ever be a PPA? Or possibly will it enter main repos?
    – nanofarad
    Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 12:20
  • @ObsessiveSSOℲ: It is in a PPA here. I am still waiting on a Debian maintainer to get this into the main repos. Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 23:49
  • You should post this to stackapps.com
    – Flimm
    Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 14:32
  • New link of DUMP:clearbits.net/torrents/2121-mar-2013
    – totti
    Commented Apr 27, 2013 at 9:21

4 Answers 4


Not a priority, but would be good to get apt.ubuntu.com somehow redirected to the Software Centre (without an internet connection they won't work at present).

  • Yup. Good idea - certainly a possibility. Commented Nov 14, 2010 at 21:12

An issue I noticed which might be troublesome, is images. If this is intended for offline viewing the images from the dump will either need to be pre-fetched and cached to disk or removed from posts.

  • They wouldn't need to be removed per se. A placeholder indicating that the image was not available offline and giving an option to load that image would work too.
    – moberley
    Commented Nov 17, 2010 at 17:19
  • Very good point! I never thought of that. I have two options: 1) include the images (create a script that parses the dump and retrieves them all) or 2) use a placeholder like @moberley has suggested. However, I'm not sure if (1) is even an option, when license and copyright are taken into consideration. Commented Nov 17, 2010 at 21:41
  • 2
    @George You could at least parse the ones from IMGUR which should be CC-Wiki based on the inclusion in this site. Commented Nov 17, 2010 at 21:46
  • That's a possibility. Commented Nov 17, 2010 at 21:47
  • 1
    The legal status of linked images on Stack Exchange is a bit unclear but it seems unwise to assume they are CC licensed like the text. Stack Overflow Inc. considers only the URL and not the image itself to be included in the user contribution (and therefore under the site CC license) - see discussion on Photo Stack Exchange. Also, under the Imgur terms of service images remain copyright to their original owners.
    – moberley
    Commented Nov 18, 2010 at 7:58

Perhaps only the highest rated/accepted answer could be shown by default on each question's page, with a bit of Javascript to "Show other answers (4)".

This would help reduce low ranked answers, etc.

  • That's a possibility. Eventually, I plan to add jQuery to the project, so this would be trivial. Commented Nov 20, 2010 at 7:07

It would be good to have some system by which questions tagged "7.04" wouldn't show up on a Ubuntu 10.10 system.

This is probably more complex that it would first seem, because a lot of questions tagged 10.10 will probably also apply to 10.04, etc.

The switch to Unity is also going to create some issues in ensuring questions in the browser are relevant.

  • That's an interesting thing to consider. I agree - it wouldn't make much sense to display questions specifically about something the user is not using. Commented Nov 14, 2010 at 21:13

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