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This meta post suggests searching for closed:0 to filter out closed questions from the start page. At least on programmers.SE, this does not seem to work as expected:

https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/search?tab=active&q=closed%3a0

The above query contains the question 'What is the mysql function that combine dates? [closed]'.

Is this a bug or am I failing to use the feature correctly?

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That question was only closed 32 minutes ago - so about 13 minutes before you asked this meta question - and if you search again you (hopefully) should find it is no longer in the search results.

I believe that you just happened to hit a cached result. There's always a chance that a cached result is no longer valid (as it was in this case), but that is usually rectified relatively quickly.

  • Indeed, the question vanished from the search results. – blubb Aug 9 '11 at 11:09
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We now index posts much more rapidly than before as part of recent search changes. Results not matching the criteria will typically disappear within a minute on Stack Overflow, within 5 minutes on all other main sites, and within 10 minutes on all child metas.

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