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How is the display user for a question determined in the questions list page? It seems like whoever is the last participant in the question (asked, edited, posted answer), but then different views (different tag searches) display different user.

see attached

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Hmm, that's new, didn't used to work this way. Hopefully it is a bug. – Uphill Luge Feb 3 '12 at 1:07
@UphillLuge I'm pretty sure it's worked this way for a long time. – The Unhandled Exception Feb 3 '12 at 22:03
up vote 6 down vote accepted

This is completely dependent on what tab at the top of the page you are viewing. Most views will only display when the question was asked. But, for example, if you go to the "active" tab, it will display when it was last modified, etc. I believe this is the only tab that actually does it, and it does that because they are being sorted by when they were last active, so that information is relevant to that list of questions.

Perhaps you got switched over to the active tab and didn't notice.

Edit: It also appears that all the lists in the Unanswered section of the site will display this way.

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I was on newest tab but different tags. Also, I am trying to understand the username that is displayed under the question rather than the time it was asked/modified/answered. Many times I would see a question listed as very high rep known user and when I navigate to the question, I see that the high rep known user has either edited the question or answered it. However, I am unable to consistently deduce the logic as sometimes even if the question is edited/answered by another user, the OP username is displayed. I understand that the list page is aggressively cached so that might explain it. – amit_g Feb 3 '12 at 1:46
May be it is "Eventual Consistency" which might be fine but what should it be i.e. who the question belongs to - the OP or the user who last edited or answered? May be from different angle, what is the definition of the username that is displayed in the list page. I would think it should be the OP but in that case the caching won't matter as the OP is never changed. So it has to be something else. – amit_g Feb 3 '12 at 1:52
@amit_g The one says 'asked x min ago' and displays the original asker, the other says 'modified y min ago' and displays whoever last modified the question page. Counting as modification of the question page are edits to the question, new answers to the question, edits to answers (but not comments on questions and answers). All tabs except 'active' (should) display asked x in ago *Asker*, 'active' displays modified y min ago *Modifier*. – Daniel Fischer Feb 3 '12 at 11:50
In both cases I was on newest tab. The difference seems to be the list i.e. if it is unanswered or questions ( – amit_g Feb 3 '12 at 16:56
@amit_g: I see, I did not check that specific list. I looked at the "unanswered" tab under the main Questions section. It appears all the lists in the Unanswered section will use that format. – animuson Feb 3 '12 at 17:20
@animuson, could you please update the answer so that it is complete and I would accept it. Thanks for your time. – amit_g Feb 3 '12 at 20:51
@amit_g: Done. :) – animuson Feb 3 '12 at 21:19

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