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(Condensed) screenshot from the meta.skeptics site:

Meta.Skeptics

[The wiggly line indicates lots of omitted questions.]

The sort order of the questions is by “active” yet the question with the most recent activity (an answer added by me) is way down at the bottom; in fact, the order simply didn’t change after my adding an answer to the question.

– Is the update of the order of questions simply (strongly!) delayed or do I understand the expected behaviour of the “active” tab wrong or is this a bug?

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Does this remain after a refresh? I've seen something like this caused by the live-update, but then the order gets corrected when refreshing the page –  Mad Scientist Jun 6 '12 at 12:50
    
@MadScientist Of course. Repeated refresh (with cache clearing) was the first thing I tried. In the meantime (~ 15 min later) the page order has finally updated. –  Konrad Rudolph Jun 6 '12 at 12:51
    
My suspicion is that the live-update causes the "last updated" time to change, but the whole site is still cached as an older version. Because skeptics.meta is a low-traffic site, the whole-site cache keeps the whole version for pretty long. For me, the site is appearing in the correct order. –  Mad Scientist Jun 6 '12 at 12:53
    
Server side caching –  ChrisF Jun 6 '12 at 12:55
    
that's totally a 'shop... I call skeptic! There is a certain amount of caching that could be at work here. I can't see it doing it now, but I have that code open anyway - I'll see what I can do... –  Marc Gravell Jun 6 '12 at 13:00

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Caching. To be specific, currently, the code that is the "what are the questions to show on this page" is currently separate from the "show those questions", and the former has multi-level caching. So the "what questions to show" says "12, 45, 23, 145" (ordered, etc), without knowing that question 145 very recently got edited, so it should have been "145, 12, 45, 23".

I will:

  • see what we can do to add a sanity re-sort, based on the active sort - i.e. if (when displaying them) it finds 145 is new, it makes sure the page is at least consistent
  • see what we can do to reduce the cache time, especially for small sites (the cache refresh is partly a function of site activity currently)

(I'm making other changes in this area currently - you chose a good time to notice this ;p)

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