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So, I recieved a notification saying that I got 20 reputation and now I could use chat.stackoverflow.

The problem is that on chat.stackoverflow they say I only have 18 reputation.

Shouldn't this be more immediate?

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It takes a little time as the data is cached. – Josh Mein Mar 1 '13 at 20:38
Patience, grasshopper. Your time will come, the system just needs to catch up. – Martijn Pieters Mar 1 '13 at 21:20
The above two comments are correct, but I feel they attempt to invalidate the issue. How is a new user (20 rep, mind you) supposed to expect this? It would appear to be a bug, and surely there's something that could be done about it. – Wesley Murch Mar 1 '13 at 23:22
up vote 6 down vote accepted

The Problem

Nearly everything on Stack Exchange is very heavily cached. This includes chat stats.

Not cached on the client-side, mind you. But on the server side. Meaning that it'll take time for more up-to-date information to reach it.

The assumption is that aside for this first time where you need 20 reputation (and another one at 1000), it doesn't really matter how much reputation you have thereof. So it's not needed to overload the server with data requests.

The Solution?

Wait it out. It only take a couple of minutes for the stats to update, and you won't have the problem anymore (Unless you get quite a few downvotes and go back to below 20).

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This certainly explains the problem, but does not address it. Why not have the notification read rep from the cache then, to make sure the message actually makes sense to a brand new user? – Wesley Murch Mar 1 '13 at 23:41
@WesleyMurch: Simply because it's quite an edge case. No one will die if the user waits another few minutes for the chat to catch up. He'll be able to chat freely thereof. – Madara Uchiha Mar 1 '13 at 23:42
Of all things, chat probably maybe should not be cached... just sayin. – satyrwilder Mar 1 '13 at 23:43
The bottom line is a brand new user got a message that says they can use chat, but they can't. That's a legit bug in the eyes of a user. At least have the message say, "You can chat in a few minutes" or something. – Wesley Murch Mar 1 '13 at 23:44
@LeahL.: Chat itself isn't cached. It's the stats that get updated from the main site that are. Rep, avatar, nickname changes, those take time to update. – Madara Uchiha Mar 1 '13 at 23:45
@WesleyMurch: That I can agree with. – Madara Uchiha Mar 1 '13 at 23:47

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