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I've created this feed user a little more than four months ago. It is supposed to post featured questions from Anime & Manga. However, it never worked.

The feed is currently empty, since we have no featured questions right now currently has two questions. However, whenever there are featured questions, nothing gets posted in the chat room. The feed, however, does add the questions as they get bounty'd.

We've tried temporarily adding a feed and a new user to post featured questions from SO, and that one worked.
Also, all our other feeds do work too.

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    I may or may not have encountered the same bug. On French we have a feed user for posts with bounties as well. It used to work but the last post was on May 12 (and there have been bounties since). – Gilles Jul 23 '14 at 21:15
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    This is still an issue. The Nineteenth Byte has a Featured Questions feed, yet no questions get posted in the chat room. – Dennis Jun 5 '16 at 22:29
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+150

This is kinda complicated - there are two parts to it: one is what chat does with feeds and the second is how bounties work and how question feeds work.

On the chat side - chat remembers the time it last checked a feed, so the next time it runs it will get the feed and only show items in the feed that were published after that date. (if it it a new feed and doesn't have a last run date it will pick up the newest 5 items in the feed - regardless of age).

On the featured feed side - the publish date of an item is the time a question was created, not the time a bounty was added to it.

Now, because bounties cannot be posted immediately (there is a 2 day waiting period), the publish time of a featured item will be at least 2 days old.

And since chat checks each feed for updates multiple times a day, the featured items get filtered out as they are older than the last run time.


Thing is - each part works correctly. This is the correct behaviour by chat and the correct behaviour by the feed generator.

So - the problem is one of timing... and not strictly a bug.

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    Isn't this kind of saying it's broken by design? If a properly implemented news reader would be useless (as it seems to be) then maybe the data should be adjusted so that it actually can be consumed in a way that's useful—like maybe dating things in the featured feed with the bounty dates. – Caleb Jun 7 '16 at 18:56
  • It is not by design - more of an unfortunate set of incompatible features, each working correctly on their own. The problem with getting bounty dates - it isn't a cheap thing to do with our data model :/ – Oded Jun 7 '16 at 19:23
  • I think the bug is the hack done of ignoring feed items older than the last run time. As far as I know, there are other feed readers that don't pull that stunt, and instead go ahead and check GUIDs or links against all previous entries to see if they're duplicates. – Nathan Tuggy Jun 7 '16 at 20:40
  • @NathanO'TᴇstingTuggy - consider what the feeds in chat would look like if we did not do so. We do have to filter things out. – Oded Jun 8 '16 at 9:08
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    @Caleb - that's essentially what I ended up doing. Will see once we build out. – Oded Jun 8 '16 at 9:09
  • @Oded: I get that you don't want to show the same thing more than once. That's pretty straightforward. But if you're deliberately dropping items that fit a particular very simple rule on the floor to reduce average load… well, I'm not sure how that's anything other than a really bad design decision. Maybe feeds should be throttled and items beyond a certain rate get randomly dropped. That would still be unreliable, but at least it would be reliably so. – Nathan Tuggy Jun 8 '16 at 9:17
  • Uh? What? The point is to not show the same thing multiple times - at least, that's how I read the code and why this was done. – Oded Jun 8 '16 at 9:24

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