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Currently a posted question will appear on the main page after some short delay - something like 10 seconds. I suppose its due to some database caching or something similar intended to make the site capable of acepting heavy load. Here's why it is sometimes bad...

A newbie comes to the site, clicks "Ask Question", types his question, posts it. Then he goes to the main page and ... the question is not there. "Oh it wouldn't work" - thinks the newbie. After that many users ask the same question again. And now we have a duplicate.

I understand that refreshing the main page for every user "in real time" is not possible for whatever technical reasons. But it would be very nice to make the original poster see the question on the main page so that he has less motivation to repost the question.

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[status-declined-with-extremely-cached-prejudice] –  Gnome May 31 '10 at 13:05
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possible duplicate of Invalidate cache when new question is posted –  Andreas Bonini May 31 '10 at 15:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If this is really a problem, and I must stress that I highly doubt it is for Jeff's reasons, then perhaps a "in-between" page could be used for <100 rep that says something along the lines of

"Your question will appear on the home page in a few minutes."

before redirecting to their question. But then, don't we all hate the forums that have those "Now redirecting you" pages?

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  1. The fact that you're redirected to the new question URL you just created should be confirmation enough. After clicking [submit] you are sitting there staring at a new question page with YOUR question.

  2. We have no evidence after almost 2 years of operation that any users are in fact confused about this. There's no epidemic of duplicate posts.

  3. New users can't post more than one question every 15-20 minutes anyway.

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Maybe, but I can't imagine any other reason for exactly duplicate questions posted with some minimal delay. Again, users usually post no more than two copies - after posting the second one they go to the main page and see that "it's there". I guess their motivation is that seeing the page with the question is not enough - they want to see it on the main page among the other questions to be sure that "it worked out" and other users also see their question. –  sharptooth May 31 '10 at 12:26
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@sharptooth - other reason would be simply the "forum" use. Your question disappears from first page, you think it's lost forever, so you ask it again. –  Gnoupi May 31 '10 at 12:28
    
@Gnoupi: Yes, but I frequently noticed the following scenario: its off-peak time (so questions sink very slowly) and the question is reposted withing minutes. So I suppose the OP just posts, sees "its not there" and reposts. –  sharptooth May 31 '10 at 12:34
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Some of those duplicates have been discovered to be people clicking the back button to "edit" rather than clicking the edit link on the question. @sha –  Gnome May 31 '10 at 13:05
    
@sharptooth The problem is real, but points 1 and 3 by Jeff strongly suggest that the lack of the question being immediately on the front page is probably not the root cause as you purport. –  Grace Note May 31 '10 at 13:06
    
Maybe a flashband (or how is that bar at the page top notifying me of news called?) with text like "your question has been posted, it will pop at the main page soon" for users with rep below say 50 will help? –  sharptooth Jun 2 '10 at 5:31

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