Update (March, 2012): This has been rolled out to all sites in the network.
Behind the scenes we've been hard at work making some changes to how we track reputation. Here are some of the issues we're aiming to address with these changes:
- Reputation Skew (your actual reputation doesn't match what's shown)
- Up/Down votes oddities (mostly with the daily rep cap, the magical +2)
- Historical Deletes (not impacting rep immediately, contributing to skew)
- Unaccepts (display issues in the profile)
- User Deletion (magically missing rep, another skew contributor)
To be clear: reputation values are not changing, every action in the system is still worth the same amount. Here’s what will be different:
- Your reputation will be correct at all times
- Deletions will have a much more immediate effect on reputation, not waiting on a recalc (but reputation sync takes up to 5 minutes on a delete/undelete action; as to not block the user's response thread, it's offloaded to a background queue)
- Recalcs will no longer be necessary
- Up/Down vote reversals will restore the correct reputation amount
- Up/Down vote reversals will correctly adjust to the reputation cap
- The reputation history in your profile will be more detailed and accurate (e.g. when a post is deleted, you'll see that in the reputation tab of your profile)
This means your reputation will go up and down more than it has previously, but it will be in sync. To think of it more easily: imagine that a recalc will be done after every action in the system.
Probably the biggest impact many will be concerned with is that you may see your reputation drop in cases where it didn't seem like it did before This was effectively happening before, but the results of that change were not applied immediately, but on the next rep recalc. Post deletion is the biggest factor here, previously it didn't (immediately) account for the reputation impact...that will no longer be the case. Reputation changes from the deletion will now be applied within the hour, and most other changes will be instant.
Now the part that will make everyone throw vegetables our way: this will require a global recalc to get everything in sync. We'll be rolling it out first here on meta, then the rest of the network...the enabling of the detailed rep view and global recalc on each individual site will coincide. During the rollout you will see empty reputation tabs on profiles as we transition to the new storage behind the scenes, they'll be restored as the recalc rolls though each user. We’ll put up a blog post on https://stackoverflow.blog/ before the network-wide rollout.
If you have any questions about this change or details I may have left out, please do so in answers below so that we can clear up as much as possible before this rolls out.