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Okay, based only the title, the answer is obvious... allow me to explain.

According to Jeff's statements under this question, the definitions of "reaching the rep cap" and "exceeding the rep cap" are as follows:

  • reached: earned 200 or more rep purely from upvotes in one day
  • exceeded: earned 200 or more rep from a combination of upvotes and acceptances in one day

Based on this definition, "reached" should be a subset of "exceeded," but my audit contradicts that:

rep cap was reached via rep from upvotes *only* on 13 days
rep cap was exceeded on 11 days

What's going on? Does this have to do with downvotes? Bounties awarded? (Jeff said bounties are irrelevant, but maybe he only meant bounties received?) Some other source of rep change? Or is it a true bug?

EDIT:
The edits on this post were really more like answers than clarifications, so I've converted them into a self-answer.

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Downvotes? So that you reached 199 rep, but because of the -1 you didn't exceed it? –  ircmaxell Feb 10 '11 at 18:55
    
Bounties casted? 25 upvotes + a 500 bounty means you hit the cap but didn't gain 200 reps? –  badp Feb 10 '11 at 19:01
    
Perhaps you got 190 rep on upvotes, and then got an accepted answer. You did not reach the cap via upvotes alone, but you did exceed the cap. –  jjnguy Mar 3 '11 at 22:21
    
@jjn, good thought, but I double-checked my audit and definitely had upvotes to spare on both days. –  Pops Mar 3 '11 at 22:30
    
then I guess I have no idea. Sorry. –  jjnguy Mar 3 '11 at 23:02

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The reputation report now has a clearer description:

rep cap was reached via rep from upvotes *only* on 13 days  
earned at least 200 reputation on 11 days

So "rep cap was reached" means exactly what it says, you actually capped.
The second line now accurately indicates "200+" rep on those days (account association does not count)

The second line will help you track your progress towards Mortarboard, Epic and Legendary badges, since they're looking for the same totals.

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Though how can you reach the cap on 13 days but only earn at least 200 rep on 11? Or is that just an illustration? –  ChrisF Apr 22 '11 at 21:45
    
@ChrisF -It's just an illustration, but it is possible...since you may reach the cap then get downvoted for example –  Nick Craver Apr 22 '11 at 21:49
    
This does not work. Only days OVER 200 are counted for that last line. Not days AT 200. Which is why I just asked this question –  Robusto Apr 23 '11 at 13:53
    
@Robusto - you're right!, but that's simply a counter...and simply fixed :) It will reflect the correct >= rather than > in the next build. –  Nick Craver Apr 23 '11 at 15:04
    
@Nick Craver: Ah, thanks. The universe is back to behaving in an orderly fashion. Well, at least this part of it. –  Robusto Apr 23 '11 at 15:05
    
@Nick Craver: And for the record, I have never made such a mistake in programming. In any language. Honest! ;) –  Robusto Apr 23 '11 at 15:07
    
@Robusto - Well in this case it was just overlooked...false assumption that the old code was correct when I updated only the descriptions :) All better now though! a build should go out probably later today. –  Nick Craver Apr 23 '11 at 15:09

You're close with it being the net reputation. But, in full, "exceeded" only counts if you have earned greater than 200 points at the end of a given. "reached" only cares if you have hit the cap by votes, regardless of your final reputation. They are independent of each other in both directions, as a result.

This means that if you hit the cap but stay at exactly 200 reputation, it will be "reached" but not "exceeded". By losing reputation through means of things like bounties, you would also be able to drip beneath 200 reputation for the day while still retaining the fact of hitting the cap, as bounties do not affect your reputation cap. And, of course, you can fail to both "reach" and "exceed" yet still hit 200 exactly for the day if it is through a combination of votes and acceptances and the like.

For the exact 200 hit, see, for example, ChrisF from this post.

I've just checked my rep report and it says that I have exceeded the cap on 20 days, which is the number used for the Epic & Legendary badges. However, looking for days where I have got 200 or more there are 21.

The discrepancy is one day where I got exactly 200:

-- 2009-04-22 rep +200 = 1128

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I did have one exact 200 day -- one downvote, 23 upvotes -- but that alone isn't enough to account for the discrepancy. –  Pops Feb 10 '11 at 19:06
    
Do you have one day in which you were capped on votes, but still had less than 200 due to a bounty, @Pop? –  Grace Note Feb 10 '11 at 19:07
    
Hm, I have to wonder about the role of bounties then. On SO, I have 200 on one day from up votes exclusively (resulting in +1 to "reached"). On another day, I have 250 from up votes, accepts, and a 50 point bounty (resulting in +1 to "exceeded"). So either the bounty played a part, or the fact that I got to >= 200 via both up votes and accepts was the determining factor. –  Tim Stone Feb 10 '11 at 19:10
    
@TimStone Earning a bounty should contribute to exceeded. But likewise, losing reputation for posting a bounty would contribute to not exceeding. I have 25 200+ hits, 21 listed as exceeded, and exactly 4 200 hits. –  Grace Note Feb 10 '11 at 19:14
    
Yeah, that makes sense. It would seem that the part of Jeff's comment stating that bounties were excluded in both calculations was partly incorrect, then. –  Tim Stone Feb 10 '11 at 19:22
    
@Grace, I had two; see the bottom of my question. (I edited it while you were writing this answer.) –  Pops Feb 10 '11 at 19:27
    
@Pop Updated to reflect that point, then. You almost basically answer your question, but since your end point still misses the exact 200 mark, my answer remains valid ♪ –  Grace Note Feb 10 '11 at 19:36

TL;DR version:

This isn't really a bug. It just has to do with inaccurate descriptions of reached and exceeded. Here are better descriptions:

exceeded = earned more than 200 net reputation in one day
reached = earned 200 or more rep in one day purely from received votes (up or down)

EDIT: per Nick Craver's edit to the list of badges (see revision 25), there's yet another definition exception to consider: the +100 account association bonus does not count towards "exceeded."


The contents of this answer were previously posted as edits to the question.

Based on a suggestion by badp, I checked my audit history for every day I hit the cap. On two of those days, I offered bounties. So, even though I hit the cap, my total rep change ended up at +106 in one case (100-pt bounty) and -285 in the other (500-pt bounty). If this is the cause, then the definition for "exceeded" should perhaps be amended to be:

earned more than 200 net reputation in one day

But wait! There's more! My March 11, 2011 rep looks like this:

     Vote rep | Grand total | Upvotes only
    ----------+-------------+--------------
     (10)     | 10          | 10
     (10)     | 20          | 20
     (10)     | 30          | 30
     (-1)     | 29          | 30
     (10)     | 39          | 40
     (10)     | 49          | 50
     (10)     | 59          | 60
     (10)     | 69          | 70
     (10)     | 79          | 80
     (10)     | 89          | 90
     (-2)     | 87          | 90
     (10)     | 97          | 100
     (10)     | 107         | 110
     (10)     | 117         | 120
     (-2)     | 115         | 120
     (10)     | 125         | 130
     (10)     | 135         | 140
     (10)     | 145         | 150
     (-2)     | 143         | 150
     (10)     | 153         | 160
     (-1)     | 152         | 160
     (10)     | 162         | 170
     (10)     | 172         | 180
     (-2)     | 170         | 180
     (-2)     | 168         | 180
     (-2)     | 166         | 180
     (-2)     | 164         | 180
     (-2)     | 162         | 180
     (10)     | 172         | 190
     (-2)     | 170         | 190
     (10)     | 180         | 200      Should be "reached" on this line,
     (-2)     | 178         | 200      if the system
     (-2)     | 176         | 200      really does care
     (10)     | 186         | 210      about only upvotes,
     (10)     | 196         | 220      but rep actually
     (-2)     | 194         | 220      keeps on
     (-2)     | 192         | 220      counting until...
     [8]      | 200         | 230      this line
     [0]      | 200         | 240
     [0]      | 200         | 250
     ...

This proves that just looking at upvotes isn't enough for determining "reached." It also suggests that downvotes cast are irrelevant. So it looks like the definition for "reached" should perhaps be amended to be:

earned 200 or more rep in one day purely from received votes (up or down)

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