While I'm writing this, this question: Can we get Complete Features Guidelines of Stack Exchange? (21 minutes old and currently at -4, see this Wayback Machine snapshot) is not shown on the Meta Stack Exchange homepage (see this Wayback Machine snapshot). Yesterday, there was a similar situation with a -5 question. A few minutes later, it reappeared (as did this question).

It happens with this very question right now (snapshot) so the question score doesn't matter. The threshold for visibility on Meta is -7/-8 instead of -3/-4 on normal sites, so the questions in the first paragraph should be visible as well. Other users have noticed the same problem on other sites. Is there anything wrong with the caching mechanism? From earlier personal experience, I believe the homepage here is cached every minute, and these questions were both 10-20 minutes old already.

  • I noticed the same phenomenon. Jul 13, 2019 at 7:01
  • earlier accounts of the same: chat.meta.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/7817959#7817959
    – rene
    Jul 13, 2019 at 7:02
  • Thank you. This is one of the bugs where you think "Is it just me?" ...
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Jul 13, 2019 at 7:02
  • And it happened with your question right now again :-( Jul 13, 2019 at 7:03
  • It is just you, we only happen to be in the same boat ...
    – rene
    Jul 13, 2019 at 7:03
  • Heh, indeed @πάνταῥεῖ ...
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Jul 13, 2019 at 7:03
  • @Glorfindel BTW, I noticed that to happen lately for other SE sites also. Namely SE Code Review and SE German Language Beta. Jul 13, 2019 at 7:05
  • Thanks, I'll remove the [meta] tag.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Jul 13, 2019 at 7:06
  • I always sort by Newest, not the default of Active that's used on the homepage, and I have not observed this behaviour. Is it only happening with the Active view? Jul 13, 2019 at 9:13
  • 1
    @JasonBassford - I only sort by Newest as well and I've been experiencing the problem described in this post for the last 10 hours at least.
    – n8te
    Jul 13, 2019 at 9:19
  • @NickCraver this bug on MSO might be status-completed as well
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Jul 14, 2019 at 12:19

2 Answers 2


Update (2019-7-15): A new tag engine build has been deployed and .NET Core is back in rotation.

The tag engine port had one critical bug in it: for Teams (or Channels - that's our infrastructure name), we filter which sites we're going to reload. It's simply not practical to load the delta for thousands of "sites" if they haven't changed. As an optimization here, we load in a Redis hash set which things have anything that needs a delta load (e.g. new or changed questions).

This was disabled in the code for public sites, which we always reload, but ended up enabled in the port. Since the corresponding "this stuff has changed" wasn't firing, we got a list of zero sites that needed tag engine updates.

So why did it work at all? Turns out we have a safety mechanism and assume that cache can and will disappoint everyone who touches it at some point in their life. So every 2 hours, we say to hell with that reload filter list and reload all the sites anyway. Net impact: every 2 hours new questions were appearing everywhere from that tag server instance.

We've fixed the glitch and added more monitoring and status routes - we'll be keeping an eye on it throughout the day.

We have a new version of the tag engine deployed on 1 of 3 servers (part of our move to .NET Core). It looks like it suddenly started misbehaving. I've taken that server our of rotation and we've fallen back to just the other 2, but before that I took a memory/log dump to dive into Monday.

Sorry for the trouble - it was running fine for quite some time before the delta process ate it and it's not immediately apparent from the logs what happened (or that the tag engine was aware it happened), so we'll need to dive into the memory dump and see what's hung up. It's a move from .NET Framework to .NET Core overall so there may be a fun oddity we've tripped on.

I shall update this with juicy details, or boring details, whatever we find.


I can confirm the behavior claimed in the OP happening.

Right ATM when I viewed the above question (again), and clicked at the Questions link, it wasn't listed at the homepage of Meta Stack Exchange.

I also noticed that this recently happens with other sites at the SE network.

I believe there must have been some recent change regarding the visibility of questions at the homepage (Newest at least).
I knew that behavior regarding the allover number of views for a question, and seen that for views less than 3 earlier. But this is new.
Especially since it seems questions appear and disappear from the homepage list arbitrarily.

Probably related observations (feel free to edit and add more):

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