Searching for two popular tags as an unregistered user in the search entry field on the top right of an SE page, searches instead for questions tagged with only the first search term. For example, on Arqade, searching for steam achievements runs a search for questions tagged with and ignores achievements.

screenshot gif of bug

I also found the same issue when searching for bash zsh (both of which are among the more popular tags) on U&L.

I cannot reproduce this when logged in and it only seems to affect searches whose search string consists of two popular tag names. Lesser tags and non-tags work as expected. As does searching for the same two words on the search page (the one where the results are shown) also works as expected, so this is specific to the top right search field.

When searching for a word that also happens to be a tag, I want tagged posts to be included but I don't want my search to be limited to them. Also, when I enter two search terms I expect to search for both of them, the system shouldn't eat one of them. Finally, the search bar and the search page should return the same results.

Note that this is not the same as the bug described in Multiple tags search broken when searching as anonymous user? since the search terms here were not entered as tags but as strings. This means we have multiple bugs:

  1. Non-logged in users who search for two tags, only get results for one (which is addressed in the post above);
  2. Search strings that happen to be tags are automatically converted to tags when searching (foo becomes [foo]) which is not always what one wants, but which might be .
  3. Search strings that happen to be tags are removed when non-logged in users search.
  • Did you try putting your search term in quotes? Sep 25, 2015 at 12:55
  • @FishBelowtheIce no since i) that would search for a phrase, I only wanted those two terms and ii) this should work.
    – terdon
    Sep 25, 2015 at 14:12
  • 1
    @m0sa this is not a dupe. I did not enter [foo] [bar] but foo bar where both foo and bar happened to be tags. A string shouldn't be converted into a tag unless I explicitly choose to do so. I wanted to search for steam achievements on Arqade, not for questions tagged with steam and achievements but for the two words themselves. The dupe is about searching for tags which is not what I did.
    – terdon
    Sep 25, 2015 at 14:14
  • Did you try "steam" "achievements"? Sep 25, 2015 at 14:19
  • 1
    @FishBelowtheIce no, but again, that's not relevant. I am not asking how I can search for these two strings, I am pointing out a bug. While "steam" achievements might work, it still doesn't change the fact that steam achievements doesn't and should.
    – terdon
    Sep 25, 2015 at 14:22
  • entering foo bar is the equivalent to entering [foo] [bar] if foo and bar are tags, if you want to search for the words use quotes
    – m0sa
    Sep 25, 2015 at 14:41
  • @m0sa so I see. Is that really by design? It is certainly going to be confusing for new users (who are those most likely not to be logged in) and very counterintuitive. I'd even go as far as calling that a bug in itself. In any case, why is the search bar behaving differently from the search page? So, the only way to give a tag name as a search string and not have my results limited to those questions tagged with it is to quote it? Is there a bug report on that (on having foo become [foo])?
    – terdon
    Sep 25, 2015 at 14:52
  • @m0sa ah, wonderful. You can find people considering either choice bad. The charmed life of developers :). OK, thanks, I'll go whine there then.
    – terdon
    Sep 25, 2015 at 14:58
  • as mentioned in the first question, it seems to be a more common issue inhttp://gaming.stackexchange.com though... so maybe make a feature-request in the gaming meta
    – m0sa
    Sep 25, 2015 at 15:01
  • @m0sa my main objective here was to bring the devs' attention to this. You have very nicely demonstrated that you are aware of it, so I'll just post an answer or two on the Qs you linked to. Thanks.
    – terdon
    Sep 25, 2015 at 15:04
  • I'm having trouble seeing this as a dup, for the reasons terdon explained. It's an interaction of two different features, so it doesn't seem like a duplicate of either one.
    – D.W.
    Sep 25, 2015 at 16:17
  • This is duplicate. Search keyword which is a popular tag is being replaced automatically by the tag. Sep 25, 2015 at 17:56


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