I've recently joined Data.SE, and seen this:
-55, -54, and counting… it reached 0, but then it started over from -59!
It seems I'm not alone with this problem
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From a quick look, I suspect that this due to the fact that the user creation time is specified as
DateTime.UtcNow, but the offset on that page is calculated using
DateTime.Now. Since the data.SE server is hosted in Oregon, there's a several-hour period during which the registration time is ahead of the server's current time. This causes problems with the
TimeTaken() method, which expects the interval to always be positive.
TimeTaken() method only checks to see if days, hours, and minutes are positive when choosing whether or not to display them, you'll see a fluctuating negative seconds value until the server time has passed the UTC time that your account was created at.
Presumably changing the view offset to
DateTime.UtcNow would correct things, though I'm unable to verify at the moment that this is actually the problem. Once I'm able, I'll test to see if this is the case, and if so I'll try and get a patch ready.
I did an independent analysis and came to the same conclusion as Tim did.
The problem is the combination of:
So in fact, even if a given user currently has a positive number displayed in the
member for field, it's still incorrect. This change will also fix that problem.
I've patched this up and notified @waffles.