I noticed that everything that goes under the questions active tab is displayed as modified. It doesn't matter even if the question was recently asked or answered. It always displays "modified" no matter what the recent activity took place for a given question.

Is this a default/normal behavior of the "active" tab or does it belongs to category?

Can anyone please explain?


As per Jeff Atwood answer: (Thanks ShadowWizard for the link)

Good idea, but we just don't have that information there without running more queries, which I don't want to do in the listing page.

But that was posted almost 6 years ago, does this answer still valid? Looking at Jeff's answer it seems like he was worried about the additional queries that needed to run i.e. extra overhead and the cost associated with. But, the core software that powers SE's sites and the architecture behind has been improved tremendously over the past six years period. So, I was wondering if it is still a concern or things have changed.

As per the "ben is uǝq backwards" answer:

The asked/modified is static and doesn't necessarily relate to the latest action taken on a post

But, upon hovering on the time shown on Ben's post both i.e. main page and active tab I noticed that they match (see note*) exactly.

2015-07-18 07:32:52Z (main page)

2015-07-18 07:32:52Z (active tab page)

note*: The timestamp of the "active tab" is valid very first time or till any edit is made on the post. Ben hasn't made any edits so you can cross-check the timestamp.

So, it means (my assumption based on timestamp shown) when the active tab listing gets updated there is some kinda query/call made to database to pull the timestamp of the recent activity in this case. So, can't we pull the associated "activity name" (asked, answered, modified, etc.) from the database field with the same call? Or is it stored in some other database? I don't know exactly how the data is stored.

  • I just checked the activity tab after posting this question and does labels as "modified"... a new question, just asked few seconds ago... this beats me Jul 17, 2015 at 22:55
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    By design, and feature request asking to change it was already declined. Jul 17, 2015 at 23:00
  • @ShadowWizard that's interesting... So, how does main page serves all the questions with proper labels... Can't that same logic applied to "active" tab? Jul 17, 2015 at 23:10
  • Dunno, maybe things have changed in those 5 years. You can turn this into feature request, pointing to the old declined request, and ask to reconsider the decision. Jul 17, 2015 at 23:11
  • @ShadowWizard Yes, that's a good suggestion but it's declined by Jeff - THE BOSS what are the chances here... So basically active tab is a catch-all box which listens to each and every activity that goes with post, upon triggered, it just grabs it and relabels as "modified" and loads it Jul 17, 2015 at 23:16
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    Jeff isn't the boss anymore, so let's party.
    – user102937
    Jul 17, 2015 at 23:43
  • @RobertHarvey That's right I forgot about that... But his Spirit is still there.... Jul 17, 2015 at 23:55
  • I'll have to look at what we're doing in code... but I can't help but notice that you seem to be really focused on the wording on the question lists of late across several meta posts. Any particular reason?
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jul 18, 2015 at 1:43
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    @AnnaLear Thanks. I am newbie here and learning from the tips given by various high-reps suggestion and reading their posts including your's too. I have hard time getting correct words on the first take, sometimes its the formatting... I don't know how to get attention to my posts. But, trying my best. Sorry for the inconvenience. Jul 18, 2015 at 1:52
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    @HackerKarma just in case you missed it, Anna isn't just a high rep user, she's a Stack Exchange developer. :-) Jul 18, 2015 at 5:26
  • @ShadowWizard Yes, I saw that on her profile. I read her posts. She writes very well and helpful too. Jul 18, 2015 at 11:40

1 Answer 1


This is not a bug, but I can really see why it is confusing.

What you're suggesting was implemented for the front page of the site a few years ago: Can we add 'asked', 'answered', 'edited' text to each question featured on the front page?. This implementation was not applied to the tabs under the main question page.

In other words you see what's actually happened here https://meta.stackexchange.com but not here https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions.

The reason for this seems to be that when you're looking at a specific tab of the questions page you're looking for when a certain action has taken place.

  • In the newest tab you want to know when a question was asked, no matter when it was last modified.
  • In the active tab you are looking for recently modified questions; so the generic term has been used; basically someone asking a question is technically a modification of that question.
  • The rest use asked - makes a bit of sense I guess.

The asked/modified is static and doesn't necessarily relate to the latest action taken on a post.

The simplest thing to do would be to show asked/answered/modified on all tabs of the questions page apart for newest, where I think it might cause the same level of confusion.

Please also note that some new navigation is currently being tested. I haven't been involved but it's possible that this is fixed, or easier to fix now.

  • +1 for the answer but it did raised another related question. Please see my Edit in the question Jul 18, 2015 at 12:35
  • Your edit is what I suggest at the end..! Jul 18, 2015 at 12:43
  • Ben, you mean to say "new navigation" ... if yes, then I did opted in ... and don't see any change Jul 18, 2015 at 12:49
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    @HackerKarma You can give my userscript a try. It works for questions on the active tab.
    – Antony
    Jul 18, 2015 at 13:24
  • @Antony that's interesting! so is it a plug-in? I clicked on "install" stackapps.com/questions/4134/… and it opens JS in the browser. I'm using Firefox Jul 18, 2015 at 13:33
  • @HackerKarma It's a userscript. See: stackapps.com/tags/script/info
    – Antony
    Jul 18, 2015 at 13:38
  • @Antony works like a champ! I even spotted "reopened" simply awesome!! Excellent use of SE's API call. Great job! But, once its get popular and installed by millions users, it will reach the daily 10000 call limit in few secs... I am concerned. Hope this gets implemented permanently. Jul 18, 2015 at 13:58

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