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Before the recent changes to the top bar, I'm pretty sure that review queues were always listed in descending order of items pending. Now we have a drop-down preview on the review icon (thanks!), and I can't figure out what determines the order. It's not number of items pending (either ascending or descending). It's not a fixed order of queues. And it's not necessarily the same order as on the review page when you click through to it. Examples follow.

This is not a duplicate of this question about the SO top bar. The SO and network top bars aren't the same, and neither of the explanations on that question, including one from Shog9, is consistent with what I am seeing now. If Shog's explanation is correct then Close and Reopen should be first on Writers (they're not) and not first on Mi Yodeya (they are). I don't have enough reputation on SO to check whether what that question reports is still true there.


Writers

This is what I currently see on Writers, where I am a moderator. The sizes of the queues, in order, are: 0, 0, 2, 0, 3, 1.


But it's not a fixed order of queues either. This is what I see on Mi Yodeya, where I am also a moderator.

Mi Yodeya

And it doesn't match the order on the reviews page:

Mi Yodeya reviews page

The reviews page is in descending order, as usual. I haven't looked at enough cases with the new topbar to know if that's consistent, but I'll assume it is.


Meta

This is from Meta.SE, where I am not a moderator, so it's not somehow connected to moderator status.

  • I asked them to standardize this in one of my two answers on the giant top bar post but I don't know if Kasra noticed that half of the question. – Catija Sep 25 '17 at 0:56
  • I think these: 1) queues for that you don't have access, are always gray and on the bottom. 2) the number of the open review tasks in the queue. 3) some internal queue id, which is coming probably from the ReviewTaskTypes table on the SEDE. | But it is what I think in the queue list of the site:///review page, I think there is nothing what would bind the other parts of the SE software to the same ordering. As your example shows, the new toolbar follows probably a different rule (what may be intentional or not). – user259412 Sep 25 '17 at 2:23
  • I think Shog's explanation still applies. On a beta site you need 1k rep to access the LQP and suggested edits queues, but only 500 rep for close and reopen. So on a beta site those two will be at the top. But on graduated sites, you need 3k for close/reopen and 2k for LQP and suggested edits, so close/reopen is on top. – Nathaniel Sep 25 '17 at 12:03
  • @Nathaniel Shog's answer says "first by minimum rep", so on a graduated site close/reopen should not be first. But they are. – Monica Cellio Sep 25 '17 at 12:54
  • I think "first" in that sentence should be read in the sense of priority over the other sorting mechanism, alphabetical, not the direction of the sort. It seems consistent that they are sorted from highest rep required on top to lowest rep required on bottom, and where two queues have the same rep requirement, they are sorted alphabetically. – Nathaniel Sep 25 '17 at 12:57
  • @Nathaniel but the declared intent was to not mess up muscle memory, so adding new ones at the top and pushing existing ones down doesn't make sense. Hmm, I wonder if they flipped a bit on non-SO sites. – Monica Cellio Sep 25 '17 at 13:03
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Your screenshots match what I see as a moderator on Christianity (graduated) and Latin (beta), and as a regular user on Meta. They suggest that Shog9's answer on MSO does apply network-wide. He said:

They're ordered first by the minimum reputation needed to access the queue, and then alphabetically by the name of the queue.

There are three reputation levels in play for the review queues:

Level                       Beta        Graduated
──────────────────────────  ──────────  ──────────
First posts/late answers    350 rep     500 rep
LQP/Suggested edits         1000        2000
Close/Reopen                500         3000

We notice that the order of the levels, when sorted by reputation required, is different based on whether a site is beta or graduated. Shog doesn't tell us if the first sort priority (reputation needed) is ascending or descending, but from the screenshots we see that it is descending, so:

Beta                     Graduated
───────────────────────  ─────────────────────────
LQP/Suggested edits      Close/Reopen
Close/Reopen             LQP/Suggested edits
FP/LA                    FP/LA

The second sort priority is alphabetical (apparently ascending), so that leaves us with:

Beta                     Graduated
───────────────────────  ───────────────────────
Low-quality posts        Close
Suggested edits          Reopen
Close                    Low-quality posts 
Reopen                   Suggested edits
First posts              First posts
Late answers             Late answers

Which matches up with what we see in the dropdown on the various sites.

Shog's following comment about "muscle memory" appears to be a reference to the fact that the order of the queues does not change as a result of the number of items found in each one (as is the case on the /review page). However, it does seem that the "order" changes when reputation thresholds are crossed – the most recently earned queues appear on top – and when sites graduate.

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    Oh, that's bizarre -- to me "muscle memory" means, for example, "close queue will always be in the same place", while this design pushes it down. And I took his "in order" to mean ascending (that's what it logically means to me, sans further qualification). Thanks for elaborating. – Monica Cellio Sep 25 '17 at 17:22

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