In all the weekly newsletters I receive, there are usually 2-3 questions in the "Greatest hits from previous weeks" section, and 3 in "Can you answer these questions". Today's ELU newsletter has 6 in the previous weeks, and there's no "Can you answer" section at all.

Is this a bug, or does it increase the previous weeks limit if it can't find any questions for the last section?

I just got my ServerFault newsletter, and see the same thing. 7 questions from previous weeks, no "Can you answer".

  • 3
    Thanks for the heads up, a fix is in the works, should be deployed to production later today. Will post answer when that's done
    – Dean Ward
    Jan 23, 2018 at 19:33
  • @Dean cheers, details would be welcome when you post that answer. :) Jan 23, 2018 at 20:09
  • @DeanWard looks like there are many new bugs with the newsletter.... what gives? Did you try to make some major changes there? (Not you personally now.) Jan 24, 2018 at 9:52

1 Answer 1


Apologies for the delayed update. This bug was relatively simple to fix but a bit of a pain to diagnose (because of the heavy caching used by newsletters).

Essentially the bug was a conflict between post IDs being pulled from one part of the system (tag engine) and being hydrated by another part of the system with different filtering criteria. As a result the list of IDs we got back from the tag engine for unanswered questions didn't intersect with anything in the query used for hydration. For the curious you can read a little more about the tag engine here and here.

I've updated the hydration query so that it just does hydration with no filtering and that's fixed the issue - the ELU newsletter now correctly shows unanswered questions. Other sites will do the same as their caches expire.

  • Is it just a coincidence that my email preferences seemed to change spontaneously this morning so I started getting notified of new items in my SE inbox?
    – Barmar
    Jan 24, 2018 at 15:37
  • I just got the Unix & LInux newsletter. "Can you answer" is back, but "previous weeks" is still 7 instead of 3.
    – Barmar
    Jan 24, 2018 at 18:17

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