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If I click on one of my ignored tags or search for it (by typing "[tagname]" in the search box), there are no results. Obviously, the results are hidden since this tag is ignored. However, it would be useful to show the results in this case, since I am specifically asking for them.

As I recall, it actually used to work this way.

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Write a greasemonkey script! The html is still there i believe, the style is just set to display 'none' – jjnguy Aug 31 '09 at 18:48
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I agree, as long as we are setting parameters on what exactly we are talking about.

When you put a tag in your ignored section, it makes both literal and intuitive sense that any questions tagged that way are now ignored. Forever and for always.

However, there is one case that makes sense to create an 'exception'. If you search for something that is literally a tagname, it makes sense to me that you would want to receive results from that tag. If you do a search that doesn't include any tagnames, then your regular ignore rules will apply. If you want to be more pedantic, you could include a tag specifier, so even if I ignore "java" then searching for "getters tag:java" would retrieve results that are tagged java, even if it is ignored.

For us programmers, this is a matter of scope. The smaller scopes should trump the larger ones. Ignored tags are preferences, that is, they are a general scope. When I am searching I have a much more specific scope.

If I have "java" in my ignored tags, it is because I do not want to see Java question, but when I search for "java" we can assume two things. Either the user knows best, and she/he does in fact want results with java. Or we can 'protect' the user from what they don't want by excluding specifically what they asked for. Obviously, any search that excludes the specific nouns of the search phrase has some sort of problem.

In sum: If the user searches for a specific tag, then we include answers that have that tag, even if that tag has an 'ignore' on it.

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If you're ignoring it, how do you know it's even there? eh? eh?

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Good point. BTW - we need more java questions on SO. There are none. I checked. :) – user27414 Aug 31 '09 at 18:39
All of the questions with my ignored tags just look like ghost questions... – Andy Mikula Aug 31 '09 at 18:43
@Andy Mikula: you can set it in your prefs to completely hide ignored tags. – TheTXI Aug 31 '09 at 18:45
I know it's there because all the answers appear for about three seconds before disappearing. Personally, I just clicked on the [c#] in my ignored list to ask, "So what are all these C# questions I've ignored up until now?" The first page out of 2774 appears briefly, but then all the questions disappear, because they're ignored! Excitingly I can still click on the page numbers to select any of the 2774 blank pages. – Paul Stephenson May 26 '10 at 17:56

Another question about this is - if you are ignoring the tag and the page with url<ignoredtag> does show nothing, then why do you have a clickable list of ignored in the first page (each button is linked to an empty page)

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Disabling and enabling the tags is not a solution.

Stackoverflow is a programming site, I would expect it to automate tedious tasks. I would have both a blacklist for tags that hides all questions and a graylist that only hides questions that do not contain favourite tags. And visibility shouldn't apply when you search for the tag that triggers the black list!

As it is now, it is as if the library version of quicksort returned the original array and told you to read its members in order by yourself.

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Take the tag off of ignore and then add it back when you are done.

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Common sense FTW. – GEOCHET Aug 31 '09 at 18:23
.WTF esnes nommoC – jjnguy Aug 31 '09 at 18:28
Isn't this basically 'it hurts when I do this' - 'stop doing that'? – Andy Mikula Aug 31 '09 at 18:32
tuwlol :yugnnj@ – GEOCHET Aug 31 '09 at 18:32
@Rich, I dunno...just bored at work. – jjnguy Aug 31 '09 at 18:34
@Andy: See also: "Use some common sense". – GEOCHET Aug 31 '09 at 18:34
Makes a lot more sense to me than rigging the tag ignoring feature so that it only ignores part of the time. – TheTXI Aug 31 '09 at 18:34
@jjnguy: idk my bff jill – GEOCHET Aug 31 '09 at 18:35
Really, this solution makes sense. You told the system that you didn't want to see things containing that tag. So it is keeping those results off the search. It is your fault that you changed your mind. Just un-ignore them. – jjnguy Aug 31 '09 at 18:36
roflmaololorlyyarly !!!!!!11!!!1!! – jjnguy Aug 31 '09 at 18:36
Always nice to have things be intuitive. I guess some people do not agree though. That bothers me on a fundamental level. – GEOCHET Aug 31 '09 at 18:36
@jjnguy: roflcopter – GEOCHET Aug 31 '09 at 18:38
You're right, intuitive is nice - I'd also expect to be able to view 50 questions on a page regardless of which tags I have on my ignore list, but that doesn't happen. If I'm searching for something specifically, it's a pretty good bet that I want to see it. – Andy Mikula Aug 31 '09 at 18:39
It really comes down to degrees of intuition. I don't want to read java questions - hide them. Now, show me all the java questions. To continue hiding them is a little too literal. However, we programmers are notorious for taking things too literally, so perhaps that is the correct behavior. – user27414 Aug 31 '09 at 18:42
@Andy Mikula: Because you haven't set it to hide ignored tags in your prefs. – TheTXI Aug 31 '09 at 18:46

I agree - the way the page is set up, it seems that the ignored / interesting tags are for the questions page, not the whole site. I'd expect to be able to search for anything, regardless of whether I've told the questions view to show it.

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