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The "Favorites" tab in the user profile highlights some questions, but I am not clear when questions are highlighted.

screenshot

I thought the highlighted questions were the ones that have been recently changed, but the tab shows that two questions have been changed. I also thought they could be questions using my favorite tags, but that's not the case either. (I would not understand in which way my favorite questions are associated with my favorite tags, though.)

screenshot

What does highlighting mean on the profile's "Favorites" tab?

Update: What I see my favorites tab is now the following:

screenshot

As you see, the questions where not changed by me.

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Interesting, my first thought was favorite tags.... Whatever it is, it is user-specific. When I visit your favorites tab, nothing is highlighted. –  Pops Nov 30 '11 at 22:58

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Update:

The number next to the tab indicates how many posts have new answers since you last visited the tab.

Here's how I confirmed: I favorited this question when it was asked. Popular Demand's and Kiamlaluno's edits did not add a number next to the tab (see comments below). However, Chris' new answer earlier today increased the count, which confirms this. Here's a screenshot:

enter image description here

Although the activity shows Kiamlaluno's edit, the counter increase is due to Chris' answer.


Previous answer

The highlighting means that the particular question has been changed since you last visited that tab. However, the number next to the tab only counts those questions that have not been modified by you (as the last editor).

In your case, the first question was last edited by you. The algorithm probably assumes that you know that you edited your favorites. It makes sense too... you don't want the bulb to light up for a typo that you fixed. However, when you visit that tab, it shows all questions that have been modified.

Here are the steps you can take to reproduce this and confirm my theory:

  • Visit the 'favorites' tab to clear all highlighting.
  • Close the tab and go to a favorited question and edit it.
  • Now visit your user page. You will not see a [1] next to the tab.
  • If you visit the tab, the question you edited should be highlighted.
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I was almost right, but yoda has nailed it here. The number next to the word "favorites" indicates the number of posts you've favorited since the last time you checked the tab, not the number of changes that have been made to favorited posts. –  Pops Nov 30 '11 at 23:11
    
Popular might be right here, but I'll have to confirm. I just favorited your question and the number didn't increase in my meta tab. Could you edit your question so that I can check if it changes? Maybe there's some cacheing involved –  Lorem Ipsum Nov 30 '11 at 23:16
    
@kiamlaluno The counter didn't update when I favourited it nor did it update when you edited it. I guess it updates it leisurely (kind of like how the flag counter doesn't update real time), but disappears instantly when you click –  Lorem Ipsum Dec 1 '11 at 1:09
    
@kiamlaluno I believe the number on the tab indicates the new answers to your favorites since the last time you checked. Not the number of changes as I mentioned or the number of posts as Popular mentioned. –  Lorem Ipsum Dec 1 '11 at 3:34

I just ran into this issue myself.

Screenshot of the favorites tab

The three links in the image are as follows.

There have been a few theories about how this works.

  1. According to yoda,

    the number next to the tab only counts those questions that have not been modified by you (as the last editor)

    Unfortunately, this clearly does not match the behavior I am seeing—I was not the last editor on any of the highlighted questions.

  2. Popular Demand suggested that perhaps

    The number next to the word 'favorites' indicates the number of posts you've favorited since the last time you checked the tab, not the number of changes that have been made to favorited posts.

    This doesn't appear to be correct, either: I marked this question as a favorite, and it did not affect the number displayed on the favorites tab.

  3. Yoda also speculated that

    the number on the tab indicates the new answers to your favorites since the last time you checked. Not the number of changes as I mentioned or the number of posts as Popular mentioned.

    This, too, does not seem to be accurate. Note that all of the highlighted activity was caused by edits, not new answers.

My only guess is that this is a strange caching issue and, if it is, should be filed as a bug.

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I was thinking that number could report the number of questions changed (which would include the questions with a new answer), but in my case the most recently changed question has been changed more than 21 hours ago. –  kiamlaluno Dec 7 '11 at 19:38
    
But, the question is: When was the last time that you checked your favorites tab? It is possible that there was more than one change to a question in the interval that you didn't check. For example, among the 3 above, the moderator list is the one you added last. You could've favorited the moderator list question when it was asked, but then a new answer was added 4 days later. This could explain the 1 next to the tab. However, there have been further edits to that, thereby masking the actual reason. –  Lorem Ipsum Dec 7 '11 at 19:50
    
I believe my speculation in the comments is correct, rather than the one in my answer. I didn't update my answer with that, because I didn't know if it was true or not.. However, by posting this answer, you have validated my speculation, as I now see a 1 next to my favorite tab, whereas it didn't change due to my edits or Kiamlalunos to this question (see comments under my answer). I will update my answer later today with screenshots. –  Lorem Ipsum Dec 7 '11 at 19:52

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