I just noticed the Copy Editor badge progress indicator on stackoverflow.com/review/,

Screenshot indicating progress toward Copy Editor badge

Can we have this for more badges please?

In particular the badges where it's not clear to the user how they're doing.

  • Announcer
  • Archaeologist
  • Booster
  • Generalist
  • Pundit
  • Sportsmanship
  • Taxonomist
  • Tenacious
  • Unsung Hero

It would also be nice to put it somewhere in stackoverflow.com/badges (tool tip maybe?)

  • 2
    I'd be curious to see the algorithm that can compute a meaningful completion percentage for the [Generalist] badge. Nov 14, 2011 at 16:49
  • 1
    If every time you achieve 15 on one of the top 40 tags you go up by 5 percent it would work for me. Nov 14, 2011 at 16:51
  • Granted, you could even grow by 0.33% for each point in one of the top tags. It would get more complicated, however, if some of the top 40 tags do not apply because they don't have 200 questions yet. Nov 14, 2011 at 16:55
  • 2
    possible duplicate of Electorate, Pundit, etc badge progress Nov 14, 2011 at 19:39
  • 1
    @PeterMortensen. You might want to read In Defense of Editing Particularly the bit If you are going to edit a post, make sure you’re substantively improving it. Avoid making isolated, trivial edits, as they are the source of much friction. For example, don’t bother changing “its” to “it’s” unless you have several other edits to make in the same post. Apr 12, 2013 at 18:19
  • possible duplicate of Badge Progress Reports
    – SwDevMan81
    Jun 3, 2013 at 12:30
  • 3
    We're planning something similar to this, not for the badges page, but elsewhere. Still working it out at the moment.
    – Jeremy T
    Jun 24, 2013 at 23:03
  • @JeremyTunnell Any update on when and what this will be? The tool tip idea is excellent.
    – user212646
    Nov 29, 2013 at 7:55
  • @fredsbend At this point, we're looking at early 2014
    – Jeremy T
    Dec 2, 2013 at 14:29
  • @JeremyT Early 2014 or somewhere between 2014 and 2015? ;)
    – e-sushi
    May 5, 2014 at 18:35
  • @e-sushi You know how things are around here... Honestly, I think it got pushed a bit on the calendar, so I'd look for something in the fall.
    – Jeremy T
    May 5, 2014 at 18:38
  • @JeremyT I know you guys have a lot on your todo list… which is why I put a smiley after my comment. But it’s cool to know you still have it planned. Thanks for getting back at me. Much appreciated!
    – e-sushi
    May 5, 2014 at 18:39

4 Answers 4


The Activity page of the user profile now includes a badge tracker:

"next badge" widget

...with the ability to choose which badge you'd like to track there:

choose badge to track

  • Are there plans to include the missing trackable badges, like Generalist?
    – TylerH
    Jan 13, 2016 at 14:48
  • @TylerH Not in the immediate future, I don't think.
    – Laura
    Jan 13, 2016 at 17:01

I doubt this will happen, because as Jeff Atwood said on a very similar feature request:

Some of the badges are supposed to be surprises, not World of Warcraft style level grinds based on numbers.

I worry that if we provide too many metrics:

  • it becomes noise, like a bunch of inscrutable F-16 cockpit gauges -- how are all these numbers useful except for these specific badges?
  • the badge becomes the explicit goal instead of the desired behavior
  • the badges are no longer a pleasant surprise and reward but an expected "level up"
  • 16
    hmm. That's an old post (almost 2yrs), and I'd say Jeff has lost the battle on this one. We did end up getting more explicit information on voting for the Electorate badge. The profile page has gotten so noisy it requires a redesign, badges are already an explicit goal for many (see the many wherz my badgez meta questions), and I think the pleasant surprise is eliminated once you've given their description. Nov 14, 2011 at 19:52
  • 1
    Regardless, I haven't heard of any word from Jeff, or other higher-ups overturning this decision since. Yes, it's old, but I believe it's still applicable. There's already enough people "gaming" the badges as-is; we don't need a progress meter to make that all the easier (to do without thinking). Nov 15, 2011 at 7:44
  • @Nightfirecat I don't see a status-declined tag on the question so I'm not sure what you mean by "overturning this decision". By the way enjoy your shiny new reviewer badge and the Electorate one that you should be getting at the next badge recalc. Nov 18, 2011 at 16:13
  • @ConradFrix: Fair enough, though there seems to be no indication from Jeff or anyone higher-up that the decision will change. And thanks on the badge, though I'm a ways away from Electorate. (almost 400 question votes) Nov 18, 2011 at 18:22
  • @Nightfirecat oh that's right I always found the wording on that one hard to follow Nov 18, 2011 at 18:58
  • Agree. I also like the surprise concept.
    – Tomas
    Nov 30, 2011 at 14:18
  • the badges are no longer a pleasant surprise and reward but an expected "level up" - in a gaming sense, I kinda enjoy grinding for level ups...so I'm for as many progress indicators as possible.
    – Yuck
    Dec 20, 2011 at 13:25
  • @Yuck that's exactly what Jeff does not want. He says: "Some of the badges are supposed to be surprises, not World of Warcraft style level grinds based on numbers" Dec 20, 2011 at 13:40
  • @TheUnhandledException I know. I'm not misunderstanding. I'm just respectfully disagreeing. As a community member I feel I'm responsible to voice my opinion. It's up to the rest of the members to decide if my opinion is valid or idiotic.
    – Yuck
    Dec 20, 2011 at 13:54
  • 3
    Oh I agree with you @Yuck. I'm a big RPG fan myself and I love grinding to reach the next level. Of course you're entitled to your opinion, but when you disagree with Jeff, be prepared to be status-declined ;-) Dec 20, 2011 at 14:04
  • 2
    Many of the badges very clearly are grinds however (Reviewer...) so I don't feel the surprise is very warranted. Surprise improves the experience but once you've looked at the badge page for a badge you've ruined most of it already.
    – Ben Brocka
    Dec 28, 2011 at 17:55
  • Again, I agree @BenBrocka :-) Dec 28, 2011 at 21:26
  • 11
    "Gold Badges are rare. You’ll have to actively work toward these." -- that's what the site tells me. How can I actively work towards something I don't see?
    – Raphael
    May 18, 2012 at 0:57

There are many badge progress queries available at http://data.stackexchange.com. For example:

among many others. Many of the badges have algorithms that are difficult to calculate progress towards or that require data not available in the data dump (ex. Sportsmanship), but most of the others have queries.

I agree that this information should be included on the badge pages.

  • 3
    I'm aware of these queries and have written a few and they're great. But Data.SE only gets update infrequently and are often wrong. For example there are several "Badge Progress" queries each with different numbers. How am I to know which one is "correct" Nov 14, 2011 at 17:39
  • The other downside to this is they don't work for beta sites.
    – Troyen
    Dec 28, 2011 at 20:10
  • Regarding Sportsmanship: 1) the link is now broken. 2) You CAN'T get data for Sportsmanship badge since voting is anonymous in Data.SE too.
    – Himanshu
    Feb 4, 2014 at 11:27

I did ask Jeff Atwood recently as to why they decided to move away from this stance that The Unhandled Exception quoted and make flag-weight public, thereby leading to users trying to game the badge & getting upset over declined flags. I believe the discussion was in the comments to this answer of mine (Jeff Atwood was responding to my "flag-weight is a joke" jab), although the comments have been wiped since.

Jeff Atwood had some good points on how letting the users know their progress made them actively work towards it, thereby improving the quality of the site, and I agree with that. But the crux of his entire argument was that some "Raymond motherflippin' Chen" dude has started flagging posts, hence progress must be shown. The Raymond Chen reason can also be seen in this answer.

So in summary:

So unless Raymond Chen actively upvotes other competing answers/edits posts > 6 months old/has 0 vote accepted answers/etc, you are not going to see a progress indicator for those badges.

  • 3
    I think this could turn into a bit of a "chicken-and-the-egg" problem. The archetypal "Raymond motherflippin' Chen" may be flagging posts precisely because flag weight is visible. Similarly, our archetypal user may change his behavior if he can see his progress on other badges, as well. Dec 28, 2011 at 18:24
  • Jeff made a lot of strong arguments for flag weight in that post and almost none of them apply in any way to this situation...his first comments about reputation seems to indicate that this sort of thing should be shown though.
    – Ben Brocka
    Dec 28, 2011 at 19:15
  • 3
    @Ben My point was less about applying those arguments to this situation, than it is about using absurd arguments to back recent decisions which run contrary to prior stances stated in stronger terms and with a more solid footing. I have no objection to showing the progress reports. Just that an honest admission of "y'know what guys, showing badge progress has helped improve the site" instead of "Raymond Chen loves pizza and so should you!" would've been better and left no room for speculation. Dec 28, 2011 at 19:18

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