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I'm pretty sure I was above 300 rep here, now I'm back at 200+. Yes, I'm small fish. Which means every point counts ;-)

Basically, I'm annoyed that there's some rep changes that are not logged, at all, all you get is... well, nothing. Just a thought "I'm sure I had more rep" or even a feeling (like when you were, as I was, a few days off the site) "I think I had more rep"

Why did my rep (if it did) decrease? Maybe there are means to see it, but those are (quite) certainly not available to me.

"If you log, log everything, or the log's useless." You can quote me on that.

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Rep change was because of this: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/85974/… –  Yi Jiang Apr 8 '11 at 12:52
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The way reputation is calculated has recently changed:

2011-04-04: Question up-vote rules now sync to meta and can only earn +5 instead of +10.

If I've understood the change, then the reputation you have from question votes was 230 and is now 115, which would account for the reputation change you've seen.

The main point is that reputation is not like a bank balance where previous transactions remain forever unchanged*, it's more like the result of a formula. The formula has been changed so the result has changed. If it was done in a "bank balance" way, every time the formula/rules for calculating reputation were altered a balancing "transaction" would need to be recorded against every affected user to detail what the adjustment was and what caused it. That would cause a massive amount of complexity for very little gain. After all:

Reputation is completely optional. Normal use of [Meta] Stack Overflow — that is, asking and answering questions, or submitting an edit — does not require any reputation whatsoever.

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At the moment, the way the system reacts to rule changes and removed content is a bit like time travel. New rules get applied as if they had always been that way.

The downside is that there can be unexplained reputation changes sometimes. That can be annoying, no doubt.

However, the upside is that this way protects everyone's sanity. Imagine a reputation report taking every rule change into account as a separate item. You, reading the rep report, and the developers maintaining that monster would go crazy. It would become as complicated as a massive ten-year tax calculation.

Is it really worth that just in order to be able to know which specific circumstance I lost my rep to?

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You just state, you don't give evidence. Sorry, not convincing. Aside from that, at least a "rep decreased by AMOUNT due to REASON", as a lump change, would go a long way. –  Jürgen A. Erhard Apr 8 '11 at 14:18
@jae evidence of what? The "lump change" idea is a good one, though, that should be doable and help a lot. That said I don't really see the big deal either way - in my eyes, reputation points are fun, but ultimately meaningless. I lost some 6,000 points through the change recently here on Meta. So what? –  Pëkka Apr 8 '11 at 14:20
Evidence for the claim that it would be "a monster". –  Jürgen A. Erhard Apr 8 '11 at 14:31
But I found that the rep tab on stackoverflow.com does track even that change (it even tracks changes to rep before you get to 200, very interesting page) –  Jürgen A. Erhard Apr 8 '11 at 14:32
@jae If every rule change, and every deletion of an answer you had upvotes on would be tracked and documented, the resulting list would become a hideous monster. I don't think that point needs any further evidence :) The reputation stats page is very detailed, but it does not track the kinds of changes we're talking about. If there wasn't a significant change I missed –  Pëkka Apr 8 '11 at 14:40
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