5

When I check into the main question area, I always note the question count and then click on "questions" to update the list, so I can see how many new questions have appeared since last I looked. I usually do the same just before leaving the site. Several times it has seemed to me that the difference between the two numbers has been different from the actual number of new questions. Just a few minutes ago, I clicked on "questions", the number reported increased by 1, but the same question was at the top of the list as had been there before I requested an update.

How can this happen? Is it possible that questions get into the queue "out of order"?

  • 1
    Perhaps support? – Werner Aug 31 '11 at 21:05
  • Maybe through migration. AFAIK the "new" question will be sorted accordantly to its original date. – Martin Scharrer Aug 31 '11 at 21:25
  • @Jeff -- i accept the change of tag from bug to support; thanks. i did check the meanings before posting, and the "unexpected behavior" aspect was what most influenced my decision. (apparently "needs to be fixed" did not make a sufficiently firm impression.) – barbara beeton Sep 1 '11 at 14:04
7

Simple caching issue -- if we don't cache pages for (x) minutes then update, the performance of the application would be absymal for everyone. This does mean that sometimes numbers can be temporarily out of sync, but not often.

2

A hopefully educated guess: The question counter and the main site are somewhat out of sync -- it seems that new questions appear at the top of the main site with some delay (a minute or so), while the question counter is incremented immediately.

A related effect seems to be that whenever one edits a question (which I do quite a lot), the timestamp is updated, but the question doesn't immediately float to the top of the main site.

  • 1
    good try, @lockstep, but i just checked again, and (1) the count is the same as it was just before i asked the question, and (2) the question at the top of the list is also the same. that's nearly a half hour ago. hmmm. way out of synch! – barbara beeton Aug 31 '11 at 20:56
  • Okay, now I want to know the answer myself. :-) – lockstep Aug 31 '11 at 21:01
  • I would think this (the difference, however long) forms part of a cycled update across all of Stack Exchange. Perhaps another motivation to this effect would be to see how long it takes for the reputation on the meta site to match that of the main site - there is a noticeable delay. I'm sure Jeff Atwood will be able to give a definitive answer! – Werner Aug 31 '11 at 21:03

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