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I request a UI (when clicking on Tags or a new link: Advanced Browsing) to select multiple tags (ORd, ANDed) from multiple communities(ORd) and orderd-by: new/featured/unanswered/answer-not-accepted/etc... and the ability to save those queries somehow.

The reasons are

  • I (like many others) am interested (and at least a little knowledgeable) in multiple (related) areas and want to answer questions from all those areas.
  • when I (like many others) ask questions, I get better results if the people answering those questions use this feature.

Note: I am a programmer (SO) that mostly works on mac (Apple.se, Unix.se) and is interested in Security & Cryptography using mostly Java, Python & the technologies of the web hence the interest on browsing multiple topics.

Note: it is possible to make custom queries in a single community using the searchbox and it's syntax. It is possible to select Related Tags when browsing new questions (though I am not sure what they are related to) but as I understand that does not quite allow what I am requesting.

Edit: Thomas Owens pointed out in his answer, that there is a basic implementation of parts of this functionality at http://stackexchange.com/filters/

Edit: To have a good usability have a box per community in which you can freely group/or/and the tags that belong to this community.

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    There's a very rudimentary implementation of something like this called Filtered Questions. But it's cumbersome and requires you to understand how each community uses tags. The same tag may have different meanings on some communities or you may need to search for the tags you want. You can probably get something working, but it'll be a little painful. – Thomas Owens Mar 3 '17 at 20:24
  • I think your link points to one of your personal filters, it does not work for me. – John Smith Mar 3 '17 at 20:26
  • I edited the original comment. That should fix it. It's so problematic, that clicking on the link doesn't bring you to a page you can link to. – Thomas Owens Mar 3 '17 at 20:28
  • Very cool, this is almost what I want. I imagine it to be like a box for each site in which I can join the tags I want. You might have made this an answer you know? I would have accepted it. – John Smith Mar 3 '17 at 20:30
  • I guess my next feature request would be to put this Filtered Questions functionality (with the improved UI) onto every site so people start using it as their primary browsing method – John Smith Mar 3 '17 at 20:32
  • Another related question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10754/search-by-multiple-tags – John Smith Mar 3 '17 at 20:52
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To have a good usability the tags should not be queried over all communities but you should be able to select them per community (e.g. a box per community in which you can freely group/or/and the tags that belong to this community) since communities tend to use the same tags in different ways.

Thomas Owens described this, but just to be clear about your edit: You can already do this on http://stackexchange.com/filters/. For example:

enter image description here

Every filter rule consists of a tag, a site, or both, and the filter rules are all combined with an "or". The filter setup dialog also conveniently shows the question counts on the tag/community auto-complete pop-ups as you go.

The relevant usability improvement it could use is the ability to specify multiple tags in one filter, but this isn't prohibitive. For now if you want two tags on one site you simply add two rules. The missing feature in your list is combining tags via "and", but you may want to take the tool for a spin for a while first before deciding how much you miss that.

Once you've got your filter set up, the browser lets you further browse by activity / newest / unanswered.

If you've got any improvements to that page that you'd like to see, a feature request here would be warranted. If you make any userscript-based improvements yourself, you can share them over at http://stackapps.com to help others use this tool more effectively as well.

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  • I am accepting this answer suggesting that there should be more specific feature requests concerning the usability of the filters functionality. – John Smith Mar 3 '17 at 21:33
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There's a very rudimentary implementation of something like this called Filtered Questions on the Stack Exchange homepage. But it's cumbersome and requires you to understand how each community uses tags. The same tag may have different meanings on some communities or you may need to search for the tags you want. You can probably get something working, but it'll be a little painful.

It's not anywhere near as advanced as what it could or should be. But it may be a good starting point for your needs.

(I wouldn't accept this answer - this tool could use some development effort, I think. It would be interesting to leave this question open for further discussion.)

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