When performing any sort of search, the results page maintains the search query in the search box at the top of the page, even when making tag queries that map to a /tagged/ page, like this one:

remembered search query

However, if you do a tag search using OR instead of the default AND, it forgets what you were searching for:

missing search query

This memory lapse also occurs if you perform a wildcard search. While not particularly important, it seems like the search field should be repopulated in these use cases as well, unless there's some reason that it would be difficult to do so.

1 Answer 1


Update: Since or search was added for tags in our move to elasticsearch, you'll now see these combos populated correctly in the question list pages.

Note: we still won't populate the tags box specifically under Unanswered on the "my tags" tab, as it rarely makes any sense and would almost never give intuitive search results. If we change the "in my tags" search, I'll revisit and see if we can populate the box in a way that makes sense there.

This is (currently) by-design, we don't support OR searches through the search interface at the time, so if we did populate it, just hitting enter would take you here ([java] OR [swing] search results), not the expected page (exactly where you were).

We may improve/change this in the future, just no firm plans at the moment.

Downvotes aside, and I'm sorry if you don't like the answer...but putting in text that would errantly link you to something that doesn't exist is not behavior we'd intentionally introduce...

  • It's my policy to downvote any answer justifying a status-bydesign that really should be status-planned or status-deferred, basically anytime something's "broken by design" Commented Dec 12, 2011 at 16:41
  • @Unhandled - I don't see it as broken, you can't get to an OR page via the search, so saying it must be supported there isn't really justifiable. It'd be nice if it worked there, I agree, but it's not "broken" at the moment, they're simply not connected in any way. Commented Dec 12, 2011 at 16:44
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    I don't understand. I typed in [java] [or] [c++] in the search box and pressed enter and got the page I linked to. I don't disagree with this answer, but I also don't understand how that makes it not supported?
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 0:18
  • @Tim - The [or] syntax isn't at all supported, it's a side-effect of the current search parser combined with the way our tag engine works, it's very much an accident, one that may not work in the future. Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 0:22
  • Ahh, that makes more sense. I didn't know that it wasn't directly intentional behaviour. Seems reasonable to me, then.
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 0:31
  • And I have reversed my vote. Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 0:37
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    @TheUnhandledException I go away for the day and people beat up on poor Nick, tsk. ;)
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 0:40
  • the current [tag] [or] [tag] behavior is unwanted, see linked comment. Can you address this? Or at least break the workaround, please, so it's less odd? meta.stackexchange.com/questions/53943/search-tag1-or-tag2/… Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 20:33

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