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I've noticed this several times now that when editing a question, sometimes the tags will show they were changed in the history even though they weren't. More specifically, in the revision history it will show that a tag was removed (by making it red) as well as added (by making it green). What actually appears to be happening is the order of the tags is changing.

An example of a post I just edited is here. I didn't even go into the tags box, and certainly didn't re-order them. What gives?

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1 Answer 1

What actually appears to be happening is the order of the tags is changing.

That's correct. Tags are reordered each time a post is edited to ensure that tags are ordered from most uses to least uses (common tags are placed at the front). This is done on edit instead of on view because it uses less server resources this way.

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It just seems odd to me to show the tags changed when they didn't. Sure, the order changed, but does that really warrant an entry in the history? –  Ben Pilbrow Mar 20 '11 at 19:22
    
@Ben - sure it does, they did change after all. I argue it'd more more confusing to see the order in the latest history not match what's shown when you view the current question. –  Nick Craver Mar 20 '11 at 21:56
    
@Nick Craver OK, I appreciate that semantically they have "changed", but to me the order of tags is irrelevant - the actual tags themselves is all I care for, and as such I think this behaviour is oddball. I guess others feel differently... –  Ben Pilbrow Mar 20 '11 at 23:32

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