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According to the list of badges there is a per-site requirement that each of the top 40 tags needs 200 questions, before Generalist badges are given out.

According to this comment on CodeReview.SE's meta, that is no longer true, because they got those badges before reaching this limit.

Looking at their Generalist timeline it looks like either the limit was removed on 5 May, or the limit is now lower (and that lower limit was crossed on 5 May).

So what is going on here? Does CR have a different limit than other SE sites? Do Betas have a different limit in general? (If so, what's that limit?) Or did the restriction change across the network?

At least, I believe it didn't vanish across the network, otherwise CodeGolf.SE would have at least 3 Generalists, but so far none of those have been given out.

  • The threshold may be lower on beta sites. – Martijn Pieters Aug 21 '14 at 11:27
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    CR does meet the Generalist requirements now though. – Martijn Pieters Aug 21 '14 at 11:28
  • @MartijnPieters Yes they do now, but most Generalist badges were obtained before that was the case. I also think it's likely that there is just a different limit for beta sites, but couldn't find any documentation of that. – Martin Ender Aug 21 '14 at 11:29
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    Could it be that the criteria were met for a short while? E.g. you dropped back down to 38 tags matching the criteria after a few posts were deleted that dragged two tags below the threshold? – Martijn Pieters Aug 21 '14 at 11:31
  • @MartijnPieters That comment with 38 tags is from early August. The first rush of badges was on 5 May. So I doubt that unless there was a massive retagging/tag deletion project on CR. I think a lot more of the top 40 tags wouldn't have had enough questions back then. – Martin Ender Aug 21 '14 at 11:33
  • All it takes is two tag merges, really; that'd remove two tags from the top 40 consideration. – Martijn Pieters Aug 21 '14 at 11:43
  • @MartijnPieters Yeah it might be the case, but there are quite a lot of tags that only have slightly more than 200 questions, so either these haven't been very active in past 3 months, or it must have been even more merges. Anyway, it is a possibility, but some official information would be interesting. – Martin Ender Aug 21 '14 at 11:45
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    Well, the moderators of CR would be in a far better position to answer the question of 'have there been any tag merges to cause us to drop below Generalist level again?'; so that'd be better asked on the CR Meta. – Martijn Pieters Aug 21 '14 at 11:48
  • There is no such thing as having different criteria for beta sites. Badges always have the same criteria across all sites. Only a dev could explain what exactly happened there. – animuson Aug 21 '14 at 12:56
  • @animuson - or a Code Review mod ;-) Let me put up an answer. – rolfl Aug 21 '14 at 19:57
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The timeline for Generalist badges on Code Review went as follows:

Until May 5, there were less than 40 tags with 200 questions. On the 5th, that threshold was crossed, and a number of generalist badges were awarded to those people who had tag scores of 15 or more on 20 or more of the top 40 tags.

Call it clearing a 'backlog'.

Then, some time later, a tag cleanup happened and two of the top 40 tags vanished (code-smell and refactoring - because that is what all questions are.... or should be).

For a while there were fewer than 40 tags with 200 questions.

That threshold was again crossed but there were no people in the backlog at that time.

Recently another Generalist badge was awarded too.

This pattern is somewhat typical for many sites as they expand. There are often users who would qualify for generalist except that there are fewer than 40 tags with 200 questions. Stack Overflow itself is like that, and that is why so many people on SO all got their badges at the same time. Similarly Programmers and others.

I have an SEDE query that allows you to see how close people are to generalist, and how you are tracking as an individual

  • Thanks for the clarification. So Martijn was right. :) I just thought it was unlikely because by my count 6 of the current top-40 tags had less than 200 questions on 5 May, but I guess I must have overlooked something there. – Martin Ender Aug 21 '14 at 20:16
  • @MartinBüttner There are factors that can cause those stats to be off. For example, tag merges (used in this case) do not create a new revision. The tag is just changed on all posts which have the tag to whatever the new tag is. So a question which may have existed before the tag even existed could appear to have had that tag from the time it was posted, when in fact it didn't. Etc, etc. – animuson Aug 21 '14 at 22:58

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