It looks like a recent build broke the home page for some Stack Exchange 2.0 sites if you have ignored tags and you enabled the "Hide ignored tags" option.

For example, Arquade looks like this to me (with hide tags enabled):

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Peeking at what questions that are on the page (but hidden), this is what I see:

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If I were to disable the hidden tags, I see everything.

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I'm seeing the same thing on Code Review. I did notice a pattern however, when this is happening, the questions are tagged with wildcard tags.

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I only noticed it on these sites because I'm active on these sites.

This doesn't seem to be occurring on Programmers or on any of the trilogy sites that I have accounts for.

What happened?

I'm on Firefox 15.0 and with a couple of my Greasemonkey scripts. But even with it off, it still occurs. The same goes for Chrome 21.0.1180.89.

  • It's worth mentioning that going straight to the "questions" tab does not exhibit this behavior, only on the home page under the (default) "active" sub-tab. Switching to a different sub-tab doesn't do this. Navigating back to the "root" page goes back to the default sub-tab and everything is gone again. Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 4:42
  • I can't quite read the ignored tag to understand for sure if you're just describing what should happen or if you really mean "I didn't ignore all these" in your freehand writing.
    – Mark Hurd
    Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 5:18
  • What I'm saying is that the questions that are loading but hidden are questions that have tags that are on my ignore list. In the Arquade screenshot, I have tags containing "soccer" in them and other related tags ignored. With "Hide ignored tags" enabled, the homepage ends up blank and peeking at the hidden questions that are loaded, they are questions that have those tags. Same in the Code Review screenshot. I have lisp questions ignored but all that I see on the homepage are (hidden) lisp-tagged questions. Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 5:48
  • @Jeff are you using any user-scripts? I don't even get that checkbox on the home page....? Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 16:22
  • @MarcGravell: Just two on FF, add timeline and revisions links and unhide ignored tags hider (this unhides that checkbox). But even with those scripts disabled, this still happens regardless. Chrome has no extensions on it. Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 16:26
  • @Jeff we're having difficulty getting a repro; I'll try copying your exact ignore tags Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 16:28
  • Ah, the problem is *soccer - investigating Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 16:34
  • Could you try again please? Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 17:52
  • @RebeccaChernoff: Looking good on Arquade and Code Review. Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 18:21

2 Answers 2


Short version: it should now be fixed

Stupidly detailed version: we've recently been doing some work to push some of our wildcard / synonym code down a few layers into our core tag-filtering logic. The homepage was actually being a bit naughty because forever it has been pushing those exclusion wildcards down to the tag-filtering code without bothering to expand them ... and in the past that wasn't a problem because the tag-filtering logic basically said "I have no clue what that means... I'll pretend I didn't see it". There was UI-level secondary hide/show logic, so this wasn't really visible (except maybe a brief flicker if you were watching really hard).

Now roll forwards to the last couple of days, where the tag-filtering code suddenly has a bit more savvy about wildcards... or, at least it thought it did. Unfortunately, it was expanding -*soccer (for example) incorrectly (in particular on the left), meaning: -*soccer could actually end up matching pro-evolution-soccer, pro-evolution-soccer-2011 and zombie-soccer... which looks right, until you realise that the all-important - on the left has disappeared. So that actually got interpreted as only returning those questions that included one of those three tags.... d'oh - obviously the exact opposite of what we wanted. Now add on the UI layer's secondary hide/show logic, which made the few questions that matched instantly disappear, and you have a reliable empty page.

Sorry about that; it now expands those correctly, to mean "and has none of these tags". As always, what a difference an innocent little - can make...

As a bonus: it shouldn't flicker now, as the data will have been correctly filtered at source, rather than at the UI.

P.S. if you're really on the ball (no pun intended), you'll observe that it is actually incorrect to include pro-evolution-soccer-2011 as a match for *soccer... that will be fixed in the next build ;p The expansion of *soccer* could be used if you also want to exclude that one.

  • Ah, that could explain why I couldn't see the same thing on Software Engineering, of the wildcard tags I tested, there didn't exist any tags that contained dashes in them. I probably would have seen that behavior if I used a wildcard tag on tags that did exist. p.s., pro-evolution-soccer-2011 didn't exist (AFAIK) at the time I added the tag or didn't show up frequently for me to notice. I figured it is being ignored because of some tag synonyms being applied to the filter. Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 19:05

In other words it is working correctly: your ignored questions are hidden. Yes, it would be nice if the next page were loaded automatically, but the "hide my ignored questions" feature (hack?) simply applies a Javascript-supplied hidden attribute to the questions that were otherwise just shaded.

I can see now, when you don't hide the questions you do have normal questions displayed.

I cannot reproduce your problem with Chrome 21.0.1180.83 m. Questions are shown and hidden as expected for me.

  • The problem is all other questions aren't even shown on the homepage. It's not that there are exactly x amount of ignored questions that fills the page and I can't see any of those, nothing is shown. It's behaving like the situation where you search for questions and all you get are questions in ignored tags and you see nothing. That's understandable in a search but this is the homepage. Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 5:53
  • Yeah, it looks like you've clicked on an ignored tag, except that would be noted on the RHS. And, in any case, they're not hidden now, when the tag is selected.
    – Mark Hurd
    Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 6:06

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