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For example, if I add an interesting tag of and then click on the tag, I get taken to:


which says that there are zero questions with this tag.

If I then click on the "About" link on this page, then I get taken to:


which says that there are 225 questions with this tag.

I am using Chrome 9, but can reproduce in IE and Firefox 4 also.

Edit: The bug being that clicking on the tag should always show the right number of questions with that tag, no?

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No-repro on my end; all pages report that there are 225 [scale] questions. Tried in FF3.6 and IE7. –  Pops Feb 11 '11 at 17:37
Check if the tag is present in your "Ignored Tags". –  Uphill Luge Feb 11 '11 at 17:42
Hmm. Wonder what I'm doing wrong.... or differently. –  Peter K. Feb 11 '11 at 17:42
@Hans... I don't seem to have any ignored tags. –  Peter K. Feb 11 '11 at 17:44
@Hans Ignored tags would reduce the number of visible results, but would not actually change the number reflected over "questions tagged" –  Grace Note Feb 11 '11 at 17:47
Also? This is almost a dupe. But 11 hours ago the original question got deleted. Go figure. –  Grace Note Feb 11 '11 at 18:05

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Perchance, when you view , does it look something like the following?

Featured Tab

When browsing around, the system keeps track of the last tab you were looking at. The FAQ, Unanswered, and Featured tabs all have different counts than the total because they only look at highly linked (14), answerless (78), and bountied questions (0) respectively. To get the full set, click on one of the other tabs like "newest" or "active".

In the case of featured (which is http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/scale?sort=featured), it will not show up as a tab if there are no featured questions. But if you have it as your remembered tab, then the base URL at ttp://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/scale will take you there.

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Bingo! Thanks for that. It explains what I'm seeing... but it's still confusing. –  Peter K. Feb 11 '11 at 17:48
@Peter Ideally, the large and bold "You are on the Featured tab. There are no questions[...]" is intended to point this out. But... you're far from the first to miss it. I wonder what could be done to make it more visible without being completely obnoxious... –  Grace Note Feb 11 '11 at 18:03
Have show up as a tab? Or is that too obvious or break too much else if there are no featured questions? Perhaps just make the "You are on the featured tab" text a little larger and red / orange? –  Peter K. Feb 11 '11 at 18:09
@Peter It used to show up as a tab, but that didn't really help. There was also a period of time when we both had the tab and the large header, and we still got reports. The tab is actually removed to prevent people accessing the tab while no bounties are present. –  Grace Note Feb 11 '11 at 18:12
then I'm out of ideas! Thanks for your patience. I appreciate the feedback and info. –  Peter K. Feb 12 '11 at 0:21
I'm not sure this will help, but it might have done something to relieve my confusion: perhaps where it says "0 questions tagged" it could change to say "0 FEATURED questions tagged" or "0 UNANSWERED questions tagged" or something similar. Changing the number of "questions tagged" without a qualifier is what was confusing me (hindsight is a wonderful thing!). –  Peter K. Dec 23 '11 at 13:51
This is totally counterintuitive. When I look at your screenshot, it is painfully obvious that I am on the Questions tab, because that is the most tab-heading-like thing in sight that is highlighted. Having a text that says on the one hand that there are no questions with that tag (when I came to that page after clicking on the tag in a question) and on the other hand that I'm on the Featured tab (when everything else on the page explicitly tells me I'm not) looks buggy. The restriction to questions with an active bounty is just as buggy, given that it added itself against my wishes. –  O. R. Mapper Dec 21 at 11:28
Unfortunately, doing what is suggested in the text (switching to another tab) does not seem to work, either: When I click on the Questions tab again (even though it is already highlighted), the questions appear again, but the tag filter is removed, as well. It's unfortunate that the tag search feature seems to be so buggy, and while your answer suggests it must be possible somehow, I have been unable to use tag search ever since I signed up for StackOverflow. –  O. R. Mapper Dec 21 at 11:34

As Grace Note correctly describes in her answer, the problem is caused by an unfortunate interaction between two features:

  • The tag page remembers which tab ("newest", "featured", "faq", "votes", "active", "unanswered") you've selected previously, and will show that tab when you click on another tag (or any other link that takes you to a tag page without explicitly specifying a tab).

  • Tabs that don't make sense for the tag you're looking at are not shown in the tab bar at all. For example, if there are no featured questions for a given tag, the "featured" tab is hidden.

Unfortunately, the combined effect of these two features is that if you first visit a tag that does have featured questions and click on the "featured" tab to see them, and then some time later try to visit a tag that doesn't have any featured questions, the system will remember your previous tab choice and take you there — even though that tab has no meaningful content for the current tag, and is not even shown as an available choice in the tab bar.

This leaves you with a confusing view like this:

Screenshot of empty "featured questions" tab

Yes, it does tell you to "select a different tab", but it's still pretty confusing if you haven't experienced it before (and possibly even if you have), because:

  • you didn't get to that page by "selecting a tab" in the first place,
  • it's not obvious where to select a different tab, since there's nothing visible that looks like a selected tab, and
  • the big bold text telling you to do something is, alas, not a link, so you can't just click it to do what it tells.

There are several possible ways in which the user experience could be made less confusing here:

  • The "select a different tab" text could be linked to some other tab that does always have content (say, "newest" or "votes").

  • The currently selected tab could always be shown in the tab bar, even if it would not be shown otherwise.

  • The behavior of the tag view tabs could be changed so that all tabs would always show all the questions — the "featured" tab, for example, would simply show featured questions first, but would still show non-featured questions below them.

  • Alternatively, the tab saving code could be changed so that, if the remembered tab choice would take the user to a non-existent tab, another tab would be shown instead.

(The first two options above, and possibly the third, could well be implemented together. The last two options are more or less alternative, although I could see a point in possibly implementing both.)

In any case, while waiting for the devs to fix this properly, I came up with a piece of client-side JavaScript that implements the last option above:

if ( !/[?&]sort[=]/.test( location.search ) &&
    $('body').hasClass('tagged-questions-page') &&
    $('#tabs a.youarehere').length == 0 ) {
    var href = $('#tabs a[href*="?sort="]:first').attr('href');
    if ( href ) location.replace( href );

This script simply checks if a) you're on a tag page, b) no tab is shown as active, meaning that you're looking at an "inapplicable" tab, and c) the link that took you there did not explicitly specify a tab. If all those conditions are satisfied, it automatically redirects you to the first tab that's actually shown in the tab bar (typically "newest"; the "info" tab, which is kind of special, is skipped).

This does have the side effect of resetting your remembered tab choice whenever this happens. However, I doubt most users will find this to be a major issue, if they ever notice it at all — from what I've seen, most people seem to find the entire "sticky tab" concept for tag pages somewhat unexpected and counterintuitive in the first place, especially in cases like this where sticking to it literally would cause such weird behavior as described earlier.

I have included this fix in version 1.4 of the Stack Overflow Unofficial Patch, a collection of client-side CSS and JavaScript fixes packaged as a GreaseMonkey-style user script. If you're using a compatible browser (Firefox, Chrome, Opera, possibly Safari and others, but unfortunately not IE or most mobile browsers), please give it a try!

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