The following search:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/c%23~ returns "43,619 questions tagged c#"

Note the single tag in the results despite the wildcard in the search term. However, the following search:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/.net~ returns "26,058 questions tagged .net or .net-3.5 or .net-2.0 or .net-1.1 or .net-4.0 or [lots of other terms beginning with .net]"

This is what I would expect.

Yet I know there are questions tagged [c#2.0], [c#3.0], [c#3.5] and [c#4.0].

The same is true if you search for "c++*" (or more accurately "c++~").

I'm guessing it has something to do with the way # is encoded as %23 and + as %2b.

Apparently it's by design - though I'll leave the question open for now in case the 4 character limit can be lifted.


Wildcard searches only work when added to a string of four or more characters.

Just look at the post Jeff Atwood posted about this:


I implemented an experimental "explode" operator which allows you to effectiely do the same thing -- it "explodes" the tags using ~ wildcards in a begins-with and/or ends-with manner.

For example:

all questions tagged bug, but without a tag beginning with "status-" https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/bug%20-status-~

all questions with a tag containing "edit" https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/~edit~

I haven't fully tested all the permutations, but you must include at least 4 characters for it to be a valid match.


  • I remember seeing that post now - damn, I should have searched more diligently – ChrisF Oct 18 '09 at 20:52

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