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I just noticed this and didn't find another post about it.

There seems to have been a change in how the tagged search filter works, and now my old bookmark, which consisted of around 34 tags, serves a blank result page with the text "Sorry, too many tags requested". Okay, I also agree they're too much tags and the tag list could be refined. Taking into account that wildcard searches don't work around this limit, it well might be a bit too tight.

As a side note, questions with new activity still load through the WebSockets, and can be loaded properly. Why is it not possible to filter by those tags initially but the WebSockets load through them properly? Is this intended behavior?

Edit: The search seems to be limited to 25 tags now. The character limit on the search textfield doesn't seem to have anything to do with it (example). Anyway, using wildcards on the search doesn't work around this either. For instance, searching for [java*] or [visual*] also returns "Sorry, too many tags requested".

Can we raise the 25 tag limit ?

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  • possible duplicate of Limit tag autocompleting in search – juergen d Nov 5 '13 at 15:37
  • @juergend Not sure about why is it duplicate. The search seems to be limited to 25 tags regardless of the length of the query (example). Also, using wildcards doesn't seem to work around the 25 tag limit on the search. – Xavi López Nov 5 '13 at 16:02
  • @juergend: this is not a dupe; the behaviour is new today. I used to track 28 tags, trimmed those down to 25 now. Yes, I started with an expansion from a wild-card based search, but the issue is entirely new. – Martijn Pieters Nov 5 '13 at 16:32
  • As for the websocket not applying the limit: the limit is one placed for load-managing reasons, I guess. You won't be able to get a new page with the search going, so there is no need to filter the query on the socket level when the pages that drive the sockets are all going to be limited in the number of tags allowed. – Martijn Pieters Nov 5 '13 at 16:34
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    This is putting a real damper on being able to quickly check the 106 tags I keep dead every day. :p – Charles Nov 5 '13 at 17:06
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    @Charles don't know if you're kidding, but it's a real bummer for me with only 31 tags. – Sébastien Nov 5 '13 at 17:12
  • @Sébastien, I wish I was kidding. – Charles Nov 5 '13 at 17:52
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We've had some problems lately with some people using excessively large lists of tags. It can negatively impact the system, so to try to avoid impact to the vast majority of users who use sane lists, we implemented some restrictions.

Why is it not possible to filter by those tags initially but the WebSockets load through them properly? Is this intended behavior?

Because this uses a completely unrelated stack which isn't hugely impacted. If that was abused, I'm sure we can tighten than too. There's a difference between "watch live events, interested in these things" and "search these 6 million posts" (the former is cheaper, thanks to how awesome redis pub/sub is, and the fact that we're read-heavy, not write-heavy).

Taking into account that wildcard searches don't work around this limit

Actually, that isn't quite true; but there is still a limit imposed when using wildcards.

Most users will not notice any impact from this change. It isn't meant to be punitive, but: huge tag combinations do have cost. We can perhaps play with the numbers a little.

I would, however, rather address this by understanding the scenario that leads you to want to query this many tags in one URL. There may be better options...

I'll tell you what: I'll make the number 35 while I do additional analysis on the worst offenders. Deal?

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  • I completely understand the problem and I don't want to abuse the system. But following tags doesn't work as well for me. – Sébastien Nov 5 '13 at 18:36
  • @Sebastien can I ask how many tags you are querying currently? – Marc Gravell Nov 5 '13 at 18:39
  • 31 as stated above. But my list started with about 5 and as I kept adding those tag1+or+tag2 to the URL I knew I was pushing it. I think all of us who use this "trick" have ever-growing lists. – Sébastien Nov 5 '13 at 18:41
  • No doubt I'm near or at the top of the offender list. Unfortunately as long as you guys aren't going to accept blacklist requests (or allow diamond mods to manipulate the blacklist) for bad tags that people keep recreating, I'm not sure if there's any less bothersome way to keep a tag list in check. I've currently rebalanced my hundredish tags amongst five bookmarklets... – Charles Nov 5 '13 at 18:50
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    @MarcGravell Sorry for hanging in here. But your recent tag changes blew it up for me. When I enter more than 15 "ignored tags" the superuser starting page is empty. See these two screenshots and have a look at the ignored tags. It took me some minutes to figure out the cause – nixda Nov 5 '13 at 18:50
  • @nixda well that is odd and unexpected; will revert while I investigate - but : wildcards from hell! – Marc Gravell Nov 5 '13 at 18:59
  • @nixda any better? – Marc Gravell Nov 5 '13 at 19:08
  • @MarcGravell Nope, I quickly tried to add a 16th tag with wildcards. Of course 3 different browsers to avoid caching problems. Is this live on superuser or stackoverflow, or all big three? – nixda Nov 5 '13 at 19:13
  • @nixda everywhere; I'll tweak the numbers some more, but I'm starting to suspect that you're our assassin! (edit: tweaked: give it a few minutes) – Marc Gravell Nov 5 '13 at 19:16
  • But, but...there was no warning! (ಥ﹏ಥ) – nixda Nov 5 '13 at 19:18
  • @nixda by caching I mean server-side. – Marc Gravell Nov 5 '13 at 19:19
  • @MarcGravell, the problem is that users are trying to do this, meta.stackexchange.com/questions/11563/…, and the only way to do that is with the many-tag-search trick. – Lance Roberts Nov 5 '13 at 19:53
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    @MarcGravell Raising the limit certainly did the trick for me. I understand the negative impact of huge tag searches and agree that maybe another approach is needed. I see clearly now that I've got to prospect other ways to try to focus the question list in the tags I'm interested in. Like intags:mine and such. As someone already pointed out, having favourite tags highlighted in a huge question list isn't useful enough, at least for me. And the number of tags I'm not interested in is certainly higher than the other ones (IIRC ignored tags don't appear on the list). – Xavi López Nov 5 '13 at 20:06
  • @MarcGravell, is the limit still 35? I noticed that the RSS feed link disappears if the tag count is over 20, but I no longer get a "too many tags" error when exceeding 50... – Charles Nov 30 '13 at 3:17

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