I plan from time to time to post here a few newsworthy items from meta.SO that aren't tagged [stackexchange] and so don't turn up on the meta-so-for-texnicians tag set. Feel free to join in.

  • 3
    For the long list see Recent feature changes to Stack Exchange. Commented May 13, 2011 at 14:48
  • I suggest we change the reporting style of this question to the one of Recent feature changes to Stack Exchange: One answer with the news in reverse chronological order, start another answer when the character limit is reached; limiting the upvoting to only the votes necessary to keep the posts in order seems sensible. This way the most recent news will always be displayed first and not the month-old news that somehow gathered the highest number of votes.
    – doncherry
    Commented Sep 3, 2011 at 17:51
  • Second (minor) suggestion: When a new badge is introduced, let's make sure the name of the badge is spelled out in (machine-readable) text so the news can be found via text search. (I'm not sure if using appropriate "alt"-text suffices here)
    – doncherry
    Commented Sep 3, 2011 at 17:53

16 Answers 16


You can vote 40 times now, provided at least 10 of your votes are on questions.

See Separate vote pools for questions and answers.

There is also a new badge you can get, for using these extra votes: the Vox Populi badge. You can be the first to earn it, if you are fast enough.


As Martin Tapankov just pointed out in the chat, downvotes on questions do no longer cost 1 rep for the downvoter. The penalty of -2 for the question asker remains. (Downvotes on answers are not affected and so still cost -1 for the downvoter.) I think this change is not that important for tex.sx, but people might wonder what's happening. I hope the change won't have the effect of more downvotes on questions (although this is the intention for SO)!

  • 6
    People can recover their reputation from past down-votes using the reputation audit page: tex.stackexchange.com/reputation. Scroll completely down and press the recalculation button. Commented May 12, 2011 at 14:49

The "flag weight" statistic has been dropped from user profiles. Instead it now displays "helpful flags" as an integer value (as opposed to the previous decimal value based on some functional form).

Changes include:

  • Deputy badge requires 80 helpful flags (an increase from the former 40 minimum flawless helpful flag criterium); and
  • Marshal badge requires 500 helpful flags (a reduction from the former 566 minimum flawless helpful flag criterium)

This brings the flagging badges in line with the editing badges (80 edits for Strunk & White and 500 edits for Copy Editor).


  • 1
    The requirements for the Deputy Badge seems to have gone up. I had some 600+ flag weight and now have only 53 helpful flags (difficult to get as a moderator ;-)), so I'm under the 80 for the Deputy Badge, but I got it months ago. Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 10:29
  • 1
    I don't understand why "Offensive" and "Spam" flags aren't counted as helpful. (I have 41 helpful flags + 1 spam and 1 offensive).
    – Alan Munn
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 16:12
  • 1
    @AlanMunn I think they may have been actioned automatically as the posts in question got a lot of flags. My guess is that this does not count as 'moderator attention', unfortunately.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 16:40
  • @MartinScharrer: Note that about 600 flag weight is equivalent to only 68 flags. 80 flags ≙ 616,63259887. 500 flags ≙ 741,90790571.
    – doncherry
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 19:30
  • Flag weights still exist, but they are not displayed. See the cryptic mention on meta.stackexchange.com/questions/59445/… Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 19:59

There is new "magic linking" markup to special pages in our Markdown-like syntax for comments. I think the most important are to link:

  1. into the FAQ, using [FAQ], or to the specific sections, e.g., [FAQ#questions], [FAQ#dontask], [FAQ#close], etc.;
  2. to the How To Ask page, using [ask], or the How To Answer page, using [answer];
  3. to our main site using [tex.se] (feeble sigh) from other sites.

Note that this is for comments only, and the main Tex site and meta will each link to their FAQ, etc. There's more markup supported: see balpha's announcement for the details.

  • Oh how I long for a [FAQ#MWE]
    – Seamus
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 17:18

There are further new badges in August - bronze, silver and gold:

Excavator badge

28 users got it when it has been established.

Archaeologist badge

No user got it yet.

Marshall badge

No user got it yet. See also: Why is the Marshall badge awarded at a flag weight of 749 (and not at 750)

Analytical badge

To date, 3 users have earned this coveted bronze badge.


The Powers That Be now incorporated TeX.sx as a migration path from StackOverflow:

Migration path

Credits go to mmyers for announcing it in the chatroom. :)

  • Huh? How come I never see this when I flag a question for migration? Do I have to enable it? Commented Sep 29, 2012 at 1:00
  • @PeterGrill: I suspect this migration path only appears in the main StackOverflow site. Commented Sep 29, 2012 at 10:44
  • I don't see it when I try to flag TeX related questions from Stack Overflow. Commented Sep 29, 2012 at 17:41
  • @PeterGrill: I have no idea then. Commented Sep 29, 2012 at 18:45
  • @PeterGrill: I found it! On StackOverflow, go to flag > it doesn't belong here, or it is a duplicate > off topic > belongs on tex.stackexchange.com. :) Commented Sep 29, 2012 at 22:31
  • Ok.... I guess I have not been flagging question correctly... Thanks, as this will save me some typing in the future. Perhaps that is why a question I had flagged last week for migration got closed, and then I think it eventually got deleted. Commented Sep 29, 2012 at 22:46

Updated (and more subtle) notifications. Usually, @-style references shows up in your inbox with the following notification style:

enter image description here

However, notifications (like badges and migrations) were usually associated with a thick banner across the top of the page. Now they are more in line your inbox:

enter image description here

with a special "Notifications inbox":

enter image description here

There is an official blog release on this Revamped notifications.


The flag weight history can now (since a few weeks) be seen by clicking on the flag weight display below the user icon on the user page. Flags older than the introduction of this feature are not displayed. If you want to find out if a flag was marked as correct or incorrect by a moderator than this is the place you can find it out.


There's a new badge in July:

Synonymizer badge image

for the first approved tag synonym.

  • So you need to suggest a tag synonym and when it gets accepted you get the badge, right? Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 13:07
  • Apparently 12 of us already have!
    – Alan Munn
    Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 13:13
  • @Martin: right! Btw. it works also on meta.
    – Stefan Kottwitz Mod
    Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 14:43
  • @Alan: Yes, new badges are applied in retrospect. Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 14:49
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    @Stefan: First I was not sure if you got one for suggesting or approving a tag synonym. The SX people could really rewrite all badge descriptions so that they are clear. The Meta.SX is full of questions about how specific badges are now given out. Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 14:51

The mobile design has been launched this week - and this is the look for TeX.SX:

enter image description here

You can switch to mobile or full design by clicking a link at the bottom of a page, called mobile or full site.


There's a new (silver) badge:

Research assistant badge

Currently, only the retag and administrative powerhouse lockstep has this badge. Badge progress is displayed in right-hand column when viewing any tag info page:

Research assistant badge progress

For example, see the {tikz-pgf} tag info page. Scroll down; it's displayed on the right.


Two new badges are up for grabs: Caucus (bronze) and Constituent (silver)

Caucus -- Visited an election during any phase of an active election. This badge can be awarded multiple times.

Constituent -- Voted for a candidate in an election. This badge can be awarded multiple times.

Awarded to those who took part in a moderator election.

  • 3
    Right now, those badges aren't exactly "up for grabs". ;-)
    – lockstep
    Commented Jun 9, 2012 at 11:32

Reviews have been updated again, to eliminate review abuse (a.k.a. "people clicking “Looks good” all the way through just so they can get a badge"):

  1. Reviewers get test items, called review audits, both to provide a tutorial for new reviewers and catch lazy/cynical reviewers. These act like regular review items, except they give special feedback when the review vote is cast.
  2. Reviewers who fail too many review audit items are suspended.

From the January 2013 Recent feature changes. This has gone live on SO, but I think it has not happened here yet.


There's a new badge:

Proof reader badge

It appeared today, 5 users got it until now.


With the updated review process, a new set of badges are rolled out:

New badges added for completing community review tasks. User can earn Custodian (1 review), Reviewer (250 reviews) and Steward (1000 reviews) once for each review queue (Close Posts, First Posts, Late Answers, Suggested Edits and Low Quality Posts). The previous Reviewer badge (for reviewing posts in the old system) will no longer be awarded.

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The 'new' approach to closing has been rolled out to this site yesterday [announcement]. Joseph has already been preparing us for these changes:

  1. New close reasons: use of new 'unclear what you're asking' reason
  2. New close reasons: selecting predefined 'off-topic' options
  3. Text for 'off-topic' closure

Also in this rollout are changes to flag limits (related to how helpful your flagging is and your reputation, see On the recent changes to flagging and limits) and a new design for the badges page.

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