It seems you can't "+Interesting" a tag if you already have an interesting tag thats starts with the target tag.

For example, if you have "asp.net-mvc-2" as an existing tag the system won't let you add "asp.net" later. It only shows the option to remove, but it doesn't exist in the interesting list. Same with sql-server and sql. You have to delete the longer interesting tag and add them from shortest to longest. Wouldn't be such a big deal if the shorter tags were highlighted as interesting if the longer tag existed, but they aren't.


I did some digging and found the source of the bug... there is a corresponding problem in the ignored tags code:

if ($("#interestingTags").text().indexOf(h) > -1) 

If the target tag exists in any form in the combined text you can't add it. A simple fix could be:

if ($("#interestingTags").text().indexOf(' ' + h + ' ') > -1)

This way it would have to be an exact match. I find it strange I'm the first person to run in to this

Edit again:

Just realized the code above might not work on the first or last tag in the list. Here's a better version:

if (' ' + $("#interestingTags").text() + ' '.indexOf(' ' + h + ' ') > -1)

This has to be the most meta post ever: Finding a bug. Fixing it. Fixing the fix. Then having to post a bounty on the "question" so it doesn't get lost in the noise.

Kind of sad this only got as many votes as my only other post on meta which was a three word joke.

  • 1
    Actually, it appears to affect any substring, not just starting ones. For example, you could block [tags] using either [ignored-tags] or [new-tags-page]. Intriguing find.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Aug 5, 2010 at 16:23
  • Not sure if it has anything to do with dashes or if it would still break in a single word... I can't create tags to test it. I would be interested to see if having the tag "foobar" would stop you from adding the tag "foo"
    – jwsample
    Aug 5, 2010 at 16:34
  • 1
    Still breaks in a single word - I just added [bugmuck] to my interesting tags and sure enough, now I can't add [bug].
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Aug 5, 2010 at 16:43
  • 1
    Way to find the problem!
    – jjnguy
    Aug 5, 2010 at 20:50
  • Now the hard part is getting one of the devs to implement the fix. Any of the devs see this yet?
    – jwsample
    Aug 5, 2010 at 21:15
  • 1
    Nice, i also want to have users that identify the exact code which is responsible for a bug :) Aug 5, 2010 at 22:21
  • Bueller? Anybody? I put the fix right there and there hasn't even been an acknowledgement of a developer seeing the bug.
    – jwsample
    Aug 6, 2010 at 11:07
  • 1
    @jwsample - +1 - you can improve your fix just a bit with array searching thoguh (more scalable), something like this: if ($.inArray(h, $("#interestingTags").text().split(' ')) > -1) Aug 6, 2010 at 11:24
  • @Nick - That will actually be less scalable since you have to go all the way through the list at least once during the split then back through to test for values. That will have you traverse the list at least once; twice if the tag doesn't exist. In the posted code you go through the list only once in the worst case when it doesn't exist and not even once when the tag exists.
    – jwsample
    Aug 6, 2010 at 11:43
  • @Nick - Thanks for looking at it though! To be honest its not like I can test the fix easily so I'm just guessing.
    – jwsample
    Aug 6, 2010 at 11:45
  • @jwsample - Arrays are far more scalable than large strings...we're talking native code here, not interpreted script :) At the point the difference is infinitesimal (at for this feature we're there) it's more readable, even if very slightly slower. With much larger strings, it can be much faster, depends on what your goals are, for this it's just simpler/cleaner :) Aug 6, 2010 at 12:06
  • @Nick - We're just going to have to agree to disagree on this one in this case. It is interpreted script btw (javascript). Really though I don't even care how it gets fixed, this bug is really annoying to new users of the site trying to get preferences set up (ex: me!). This question/answer is surrounded by questions with lots of activity that boil down to either hair splitting or how to make people's reputation penises bigger while this one flounders with no meaningful response. You and Grace are the only two have have given it a thought so seriously, thanks!
    – jwsample
    Aug 6, 2010 at 12:22
  • @Grace - you are welcome to the bounty since you helped confirm the bug.
    – jwsample
    Aug 8, 2010 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


This will be fixed in the next deployment - later tonight. Thanks for all of your suggestions on the fix!

  • Yippee! Thought you guys had missed the post.
    – jwsample
    Aug 10, 2010 at 0:37

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