4

The Winter Bash hat rack shows which sites you've earned a hat on:

enter image description here

What is the order of these sites? If you're on a site where you've earned the hat, that site comes first, but the order of the other sites seems random. It's not a chronological order, and it switches between sites:

but subsequent visits to the same page don't change the order (maybe because I'm hitting a cached response).

  • 3
    This may be an interesting puzzle... It actually looks like the sequence is the same, it changes which is first, though. See, it's rotated? – Catija Dec 21 '18 at 6:37
  • That ID Division hat feels so wrong. – M.A.R. Dec 21 '18 at 6:37
  • What order did you get them in, can you check? – Catija Dec 21 '18 at 7:02
8

There is no explicit order other that the site that you're on comes first. So the slightly boring answer is, "whatever order SQL Server returns them in".

5

I wrote all of this before balpha posted his answer and I felt like I put too much into it to not post it.


It may actually depend on the hat. Because the only hat I have a good number of is Still Fresh, I decided to look at that one but, unlike your example, it's pretty clear what the order is - but this may be related to how the hats are awarded since I got all of these hats immediately upon Winter Bash's start, so the job that ran the very first "award hats" would have awarded that first chunk in the order the sites were created (or by site number, which may not be quite the same thing???).

The order for Still Fresh is by site creation date with the first listed being the site you're currently on if you have the hat on that site and continuing through the list before wrapping back to the beginning (if this doesn't make sense, I explain it below).

Here's my still fresh hat on GIS, which is the first site that's listed when I'm on a site I don't have it like MSE:

Still Fresh hat with sites listed

  • GIS
  • LaTeX
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Software Engineering
  • DBA
  • German Language
  • Cryptography

I compared this list to the list of sites and they are in order of site creation.

When I go to Cryptography, I see this:

Sites earned on section of hat box from Software engineering.

So, now it starts with Software Engineering but the rest of the list is in the same order as it was previously but continues beyond that:

  • Software Engineering
  • DBA
  • German Language
  • Cryptography
  • French
  • Christianity
  • Bricks

On Crypto, the list continues:

List of Still Fresh Hats on Crypto

  • Cryptography
  • French
  • Christianity
  • Bricks
  • Computational Science
  • Chinese Language
  • Sports

And, it just keeps going. As long as you don't have that hat on the site, it starts with that site's sprite and continues in the order the sites were created through the list, and then wraps back to the beginning again...

Here's the end of the list, the newest site EOS.IO:

EOS.IO view showing still fresh hats

And, now you can see we're back to the beginning with GIS and LaTeX.

So, in your example, we still definitely get the wrapping - preferring the current site over all others and then maintaining the order starting from there and, when getting to the end, starting over until the list is complete or all seven slots are used. What we don't know is why that order...

I can also see from your hats that the order isn't universal - it must somehow be impacted by the user's actions because you have a couple of hats where the orders are different:

This is the view for three of your hats from your MSE account - Top(bar), Propel Thyself, Brunhilde:

Top(bar) Hat award order Propel Thyself Hat award orderBrunhilde hat award order

These three all feature Puzzling, English Language & Usage, and English Language Learners but at different times, they each appear in different position in the order. Since we're on a site you've earned them on, I figured I should look for the "natural" order, without the local site messing up the rotation (in this case, Stack Overflow):

Top(bar) hat on SO Propel Thyself hat on SO Brunhilde hat on SO

So, the three hats order gives:

  • Top(bar)
    • Puzzling
    • ELL
    • EL&U (the one not shown)
  • Propel Thyself
    • EL&U
    • ELL
    • Puzzling
  • Brunhilde
    • ELL
    • EL&U
    • Puzzling

So, something about the user's actions has to define the order... but I've tested this with Retro Fan and I still don't see any correlation between when I get the hat and what order they're listed in.

I earned them in the order according to my events:

  • Meta Stack Exchange
  • Arts & Crafts
  • English Language Learners
  • Sports
  • The Great Outdoors
  • Web Apps

But they're listed in the order:

  • ELL
  • Sports
  • Outdoors
  • Web Apps
  • MSE
  • A&C

So... they are sort of in order. All of the newer hats are listed in order, first, with the two oldest ones listed in order, but at the end for some reason.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .