Top [tag]s doesn't show anything for some users

https://dba.stackexchange.com/users/171/jcolebrand?tab=profile This is true on several users pages on [dba.se] but the reason for it to show on some pages and not others is unclear.


Screenshot shows the text "You have not participated in any tags"

  • 3
    Hmmmm... They still seem to work for me here on MSE and ELL... but not on M&TV and IPS... I haven't participated on either of those sites recently... and I have participated here and on ELL recently... you haven't posted on DBA recently - I'm going to guess it only considers recent tag participation and maybe you haven't participated recently enough? Similarly - this user has top tags on DBA, and participated today... so that seems to indicate I may be correct. – Catija Jan 21 at 20:51
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    Interesting. Okay, so "top tags recently". Shame on me for being more mod and less interaction for a while ... – jcolebrand Jan 21 at 20:56
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    HAHA. :D I think a tooltip that explains what we consider a top tag might help but I'm asking if I can get the actual query to confirm my guess. – Catija Jan 21 at 20:56
  • dba.stackexchange.com/users/63644/mdccl?tab=profile this cat answered around 6 months ago and has nothing showing. – jcolebrand Jan 21 at 20:57
  • @jcolebrand: Was that a typo? That user's last post was in September 2019, which is like 16 months ago. Did you mean 16 instead of 6? – Andriy M Jan 21 at 22:26
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    @AndriyM and here today in 2021 you remind me that the year is not January 2020. Can I get a reset tho? I'll gladly warn people of some upcoming things ... If not, can we just go ahead and order me a walker and some sweaters? – jcolebrand Jan 21 at 22:27
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    Your cane's in the mail. It was all we could afford :) – Spevacus Jan 21 at 22:29
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    Top tags are expensive to calculate and live in a denormalized table that gets synced daily for users who have recently earned/lost rep on posts, owners of questions that were asked or had their tags edited, and the answerers. For whatever reason, you don't have any rows in that table, suggesting a subtle bug in the queries. It's going to take a deep dive to figure out. That said, if you retag one of your questions, it might fix itself in a day. That would point to a temporary issue rather than one that's persisting. – Brian Nickel Jan 21 at 22:56
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    @BrianNickel Oh, I'm lazy and haven't been active over there in a hot minute. I've been busy with life. I think that your last comment needs to be in an answer form for a checkmark. – jcolebrand Jan 21 at 23:57
  • @Spevacus I'll take it. – jcolebrand Jan 21 at 23:57
  • @BrianNickel From comment tooltip: Use comments to ask for clarification or add more information. Avoid answering questions in comments. ... and what jcolebrand said: I think that your last comment needs to be in an answer form for a checkmark. Thanks. – John K. N. Jan 22 at 6:53
  • @JohnK.N. you missed the "might" in Brian's comment. What he suggested might as well not work, hence only a comment, I guess. If it will be confirmed (by OP or any other user without top tags retagging and getting them back) it should indeed be posted as a workaround in an answer. :) – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Jan 22 at 9:39
  • Shame on me. (Intended as clarification) – John K. N. Jan 22 at 9:53
  • Just to add for confirmation. I have not participated on Travel for a while for obvious reasons and that shows the no tags message thus adding weight to @Catija's experience. – mdewey Jan 22 at 17:06
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    I have found the cause of this and am working on a fix. – Taryn Jan 26 at 14:48

This should be resolved. Lots more details on what happened and why are available on this answer.

  • 2
    Are we going to lose metadata related to the tag badges? For example, the correct timestamp from when they were awarded? – Andre Silva Jan 26 at 21:00
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    @AndreSilva I'm trying to see if we can recreate the original award date. – Taryn Jan 27 at 15:12
  • @Taryn oh ouch. I take it this was what the allusion was to on a recent tweet while @\nickcraver is supposed to be not on twitter? :p – jcolebrand Jan 27 at 23:30
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    @jcolebrand Yup, I've spent the last two days trying to fix this – Taryn Jan 27 at 23:31
  • @Taryn You know we're behind you! :D – jcolebrand Jan 27 at 23:35
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    @AndreSilva the dates have been restored for the tag badges – Taryn Jan 28 at 19:26

There's definitely an issue somewhere in the code and I've added this to our backlog.

Determining a user's top tags is something too expensive to do on the fly, so we have a nightly job that calculates new totals for users and puts them in a denormalized table. At this time, there are no rows for your user. This could indicate that there's something wrong with the queries in the nightly job or that something else deleted the rows by mistake.

One thing you can try to do is trigger one of these recalculations and see if it fixes things in ~24 hours. To do this, you just need to do something that would cause your tag totals to change. You could earn or lose rep on a post (due to someone else upvoting or downvoting your post), you can ask a question, or you can retag a question that you asked or answered. If this was a temporary issue, your top tags will return when the query runs again. Obviously, you shouldn't go around retagging things willy-nilly but if you were looking for a reason to curate your old posts, this is it.

  • The user retagged an old question, and sure enough their "top tags" section re-populated. – Hannah Vernon Jan 25 at 14:18
  • In case it helps, I did a bit of investigation that might help you find/fix the problem. – Ryan M Jan 26 at 8:35

Okay, I've done a bit of investigation here, inspired by Catija's suggestion that it might be related to recent participation and Brian Nickel's answer suggesting that causing changes might fix it.

The first relevant thing to know is that "all the tag-related scripts run daily at 03:00 UTC."

After not posting on Meta Stack Overflow since Jan 13, I posted this answer shortly before 03:00 UTC. At that time, my Meta Stack Overflow profile "Tags" page said "You have not participated in any tags" (despite significant past participation). Refreshing the page after 03:00 showed it back to normal, with my full tag list in place.

This reflects a similar experience on English Language Learners on Jan 21: the Tags page had previously been blank, then restored itself to normal sometime after posting. My Personal Finance & Money profile, with its last activity on Oct 27 '20, is still broken. My English Language & Usage profile, with activity on Jan 21, is fine.

Overall, it looks like sometime after Jan 13, profile Tags pages were wiped somehow, and will be repopulated once something is done to cause a recalculation.

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