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When I load a StackExchange site, the questions on the main page show up with timestamps like "answered 5m ago joeuser": 7m ago

But after a minute ticks by, all the timestamps get recalculated and are shown with different abbreviations for the time spans (like "answered 6 mins ago joeuser"): 8 mins ago

The new lengths often cause the page to reflow like something meaningful has been changed.

Is this a (very small) bug, or is there some good reason for it?

13

Well that sucks! We have no clue why it's different - I'm sure at some point there was a reason. In the next build the base page will also use the "mins" format like other question lists to.

8
+50

span elements with the class relativetime are found by this js, which includes

return e.minutes+" mins ago"

Thus why the conversion to n mins ago. Server-side, the short notation is being output: e.g., nm ago.

I think the two should be consistent, where I'd personally prefer the formatting currently implemented client-side.

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