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I often click on the questions in the "Hot Meta Posts" section of the sidebar. Today when I clicked on one of the questions I noticed that it had already been deleted.

Deleted question showing in "Hot Meta Posts" Question from sidebar link not found

I view this as a bug, though you could also view it as a feature request I suppose. I do not think that a deleted Meta question should still be considered "hot".

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  • 4
    Caching, it's always to blame.
    – Taryn StaffMod
    Jul 17 '14 at 14:37
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    The bug is in the community bulletin algorithm, which is not checking the question status. Jul 17 '14 at 14:40
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    Caching indeed. The bulletins are cached for a good while.
    – Oded
    Jul 17 '14 at 15:36
  • @Oded 20 minutes, as the answer says, right? Apr 15 '15 at 8:53
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    An hour, if I'm reading the code right, @Sha
    – Oded
    Apr 15 '15 at 9:06
  • @Oded: I believe I based my 20 minutes on information found here on Meta somewhere. An hour feels awfully long given my own experience with the CB. Apr 15 '15 at 9:23
  • @Oded: could it be that 20 minutes is a Stack Overflow specific timeout and 1 hour is for the rest of the network? Apr 15 '15 at 9:26
  • @MartijnPieters well, since it's MSE better have full answer, if Oded confirms better add this to your answer as well. Apr 15 '15 at 9:28
  • @ShadowWizard: absolutely. Apr 15 '15 at 9:29
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    Not from what I can see. And it looks like the cache has always been 1 hour, @Martijn
    – Oded
    Apr 15 '15 at 9:29
  • @Oded: interesting, I'll go and time the CB changes on Stack Overflow for a while then, because I was sure I observed the 20 minutes window in action. :-) Apr 15 '15 at 9:30
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    @MartijnPieters - there is some invalidation logic - so it might not be a hard 1 hour.
    – Oded
    Apr 15 '15 at 9:31
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    Checked - invalidation only happens when changes to community events occur (adding, updating, deleting), @MartijnPieters
    – Oded
    Apr 15 '15 at 9:33
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    I don't know where that came from - there are setting for number and types of posts to show there, but the cache timeout is hard coded (3600 seconds), @MartijnPieters
    – Oded
    Apr 15 '15 at 9:37
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The bulletin is updated once every hour. It'll be gone soon enough.

The community bulletin is aggressively cached because it has to appear on a lot of pages, across both the child-Meta and the main site. As this (a hot Meta post being outright deleted) only happens rarely, I don't see any reason to complicate the caching.

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  • Okay, makes sense. Eventual consistency and ROI.
    – Kazark
    Jul 17 '14 at 14:47
  • Delete justifies updating the cache in my opinion. The questions list is also "heavy" and cached, but deletion cause instant removal from the list, even before the cache expires. Jul 17 '14 at 14:52
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    @Shadow: that's not true; I see deleted questions on a regular basis. It may be possible that the cache can be invalidated, but that'd mean that every deletion then needs to test for 'inclusion in the bulletin' at that moment. Jul 17 '14 at 14:58
  • @MartijnPieters are you sure? You probably see deleted answers, which are still linked from questions lists. Jul 17 '14 at 15:00
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    @Shadow: I absolutely sure, yes. Spam, manual self-deletion, deletion by community voting all can lead to a delay before the post is removed from the question list. It is not instant. Jul 17 '14 at 15:02
  • @ShadowWizard: I rolled back your edit for now, pending confirmation from Oded that Shog9 is wrong or that Stack Overflow has special treatment. Apr 15 '15 at 9:26
  • True, while @Shog9 is the big boss, Oded can see the actual code. :) Apr 15 '15 at 9:29
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The functionality for this has been updated so that a meta post on Hot Meta Posts will be immediately removed from the community bulletin on the associated main site, upon deletion of the meta post.


meta post so hot.
but it had to go; trash it!
gone from bulletin

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