I see Loader issue with inline tag editing but here I am not reporting an issue; I am asking what it's called and what it's for

When I edit the tags on a question using the tag editor, sometimes I see a display of large gray bands scrolling from right to left. Once the edit is accepted they disappear.

Question: What is the purpose and name of these big gray bands moving left to right when I try to save a tags edit?

Details if relevant: It's generally on my old laptop: macOS 10.11.6 and Chrome version 91.0.... (incognito mode)

big gray bands moving left-to-right when I save tag edits

  • 6
    I think there was a similar question a while ago. I believe it's supposed to be a loader gif but for some reason it's scaled up a lot. Its size should be smaller than the tag input box. Jun 4, 2021 at 5:21
  • @CaveJohnson I see it, I want to know what it's for and what it's called.
    – uhoh
    Jun 4, 2021 at 7:57
  • It is called progress-dots.gif. It is obtained by GET https://meta.stackexchange.com/Content/Img/progress-dots.gif when clicking the "Edit tags" button.
    – Luuklag
    Jun 4, 2021 at 8:10

1 Answer 1


Perhaps this is more of a UX question, but anyway: it's a progress indicator, or more specifically, an indeterminate progress bar.

This is how it's intended to look like:

It's purpose is to let you know the system registered your click on the save/edit button, but it needs a while to save the changes or prepare the edit mode.

  • i dont know how it can be more obvious Jun 4, 2021 at 8:23
  • 7
    It's rather obvious except if you've never seen (or don't remember) anything but the buggy version. Bugs like that are the reason for initiative like Facebook's 2G Tuesdays.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Jun 4, 2021 at 8:30
  • I would suggest updated terminology: 1.) It's a loading indicator (also known as a spinner) 2.) It's there to indicate that the browser on OP's computer had initiated a "web-request" towards SE's server, but it had not yet received the server's response (which could confirm that saving the edited tag into the database on SE's server was indeed successful).
    – Levente
    Jun 6, 2021 at 1:00
  • While I have learnt something new from the term "Indeterminate progress bar", I feel I would use them for a special subset of download actions, in which the download protocol — from the server's side — does not reveal the file-size of the downloaded object up front, thus making drawing a "determinate progress bar" unfeasible. These indeterminate downloads tend to be the ones that use a tech called "streaming" (though talking about this latter part is not my forte).
    – Levente
    Jun 6, 2021 at 1:04

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