Stack Overflow got orange background color on my Opera browser as of today.

I already tried upgrading Opera to version 11, but the issue remains. Is this a bug or a feature?

I should mention that on Firefox, the site looks perfectly fine as always. Oh wait, that's just because I haven't enabled JavaScript on Firefox. With JavaScript enabled, everything is orange, too :(

Can it really be a tag issue? In my user profile, both "interesting tags" and "ignored tags" are empty.

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    Related: My Stack Overflow is 100% Orange – Grace Note Dec 17 '10 at 18:44
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    Is it really every post, regardless of tags? All those posts have the C++ tag; do posts without it still show up tinted? – Michael Mrozek Dec 17 '10 at 18:57
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    @Michael: Interesting, it's only the C++ tags. Which, if I browse questions marked as such, is all of them, naturally. This does not happen for other languages. But my interesting tags are really empty! – fredoverflow Dec 17 '10 at 19:03
  • The + s in that tag have caused all sorts of problems in the past; it's possibly related to that – Michael Mrozek Dec 17 '10 at 19:04
  • I didn't know people still used Opera, interesting. – chown Feb 14 '12 at 3:50

Kevin can elaborate, but we now infer a favorite tag based on what questions you visit, if we have a certain statistical confidence that you indeed love this tag. This is based on your history of what questions you've visited.

It's not actually stored in the database, though -- so if you set a favorite tag, it will override this behavior completely.

To elaborate...

We've started tracking the tags on the questions registered users visit. Our algorithm for selecting a "Frequented Tag" is: visited X questions with at least one tag seen Y times, and the most frequent tag is on at least Z% of those visited questions.

Currently, X=Y=Z=50. Naturally I'll be tweaking these numbers as needed, but they seem to be working fine right now.

This data does decay over time, so you should never get "locked in" to a specific tag.

Also, as Jeff mentioned, setting an Interesting or Ignored tag on your user preferences page will suppress all of this.


To alleviate the "everything's orange" problem, if one of your interesting/frequented/ignored tags is in the list of tags on a /questions/tagged/{tags} page highlighting for that tag will be disabled.

For instance, if your interesting tags are java and android, going to Questions Tagged java will cause only android tagged questions to be highlighted.

This code will go out with our next build.

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    This must be a new feature. Is it documented somewhere? – jjnguy Dec 17 '10 at 19:07
  • Indeed, I only browse C++ questions on stack overflow. I have just made "gimmeh-teh-code" my favorite tag, and the orange is gone. Thank you! – fredoverflow Dec 17 '10 at 19:08
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    @fred we'll try to improve this so when you're browsing by tag it's not highlighting -- but I would not leave that tag in your favorites because it'll affect your homepage. – Jeff Atwood Dec 17 '10 at 19:20
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    This data does decay over time -- good thinking! Though the stories on What to Do When Your TiVo Thinks You're Gay were fun. :-) – Arjan Dec 17 '10 at 20:59
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    It seems to me that if you have a way to set up interesting tags and a person doesn't do it, you shouldn't second guess them and infer one. If the highlighting just bugged the hell out of you for some reason you'd be forced to choose an interesting tag that is relatively rare just to drive down the annoyance factor -- or show interest in things that rarely get asked. Is there a request for this feature out there or is it something that the team came up with on their own? – tvanfosson Dec 17 '10 at 21:08
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    gimmeh-teh-code is a tag??? – jcolebrand Dec 17 '10 at 23:23
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    @tvan you seem to misunderstand how this works. The user had no interesting tags, the bug was that highlighting interesting tags on the tag page is kind of a pointless thing to do. – Jeff Atwood Dec 18 '10 at 3:53
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    @Jeff - you seem to have misunderstood my comment. You shouldn't be highlighting anything anywhere unless the user has chosen something to highlight. The absence of a preference itself can be a preference. – tvanfosson Dec 18 '10 at 12:57
  • @Jeff: Yes, as per your comment - '@fred we'll try to improve this so when you're browsing by tag it's not highlighting', I think not highlighting the questions when browsing by interesting tag makes more sense. – gbs Dec 20 '10 at 17:48
  • Is there a way to disable this? I find it only annoying most of the time. – Emil Jan 8 '12 at 13:04
  • Is there any way to find out the significance of the orange background without coming to meta? So so undiscoverable. – Pat James Mar 8 '12 at 15:35

That's what questions with at least one interesting tag have looked like for at least the last year. You either just started using the feature, added a new interesting tag that results in a lot more highlighting, or your opera installation was until recently broken in some way (perhaps an old javascript file was too agressively cached). I suspect the latter.

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    In my user profile, both "interesting tags" and "ignored tags" are empty. – fredoverflow Dec 17 '10 at 18:45

That's what questions with at least one interesting tag look like. As of November, you see a lot more questions with tags that you tag as interesting on you homepage due to an algorithm change. Previously the homepage was just questions that were recently edited, now there is a more complex algorithm to determine what shows.


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    In my user profile, both "interesting tags" and "ignored tags" are empty. – fredoverflow Dec 17 '10 at 18:47

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