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I just found https://tex.stackexchange.com/reputation from this answer. It shows that I have 541 total votes. My user page shows 844 votes. There are 536 lines in the reputation page showing my reputation earnings.

What does this number actually refer to?

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The link you posted shows the real reputation, calculated accounting for all the rules in place. The reputation shown on the user page only shows an approximation that is stored in the database and continually updated but can get out of sync with the real reputation. Once in a while it’s synced back with the real reputation.

How can the real-time reputation get out of sync? One reason is when an old question where votes were acquired gets deleted. This won’t immediately reflect on the real-time reputation count (stored in the database). There are some other operations which may similarly modify the reputation without updating the database-based count.

The reason for this behaviour, as far as I understand it, is pure performance. Since the Stack Exchange software is a web application, it (usually) only runs whenever a user requests a website from it. This should of course be responsive. Performing time-intensive operations such as deleting a question and updating all its related database rows would directly reflect on the website’s response time, which is not what users want.

So the time-consuming tasks are deferred, instead only a perfunctory delete (or whatever) is performed.

If I understand correctly, the Stack Exchange team is currently trying to fix this behaviour by running such time-consuming tasks either in a background thread or on an unconnected service on the server.

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Your user pages shows total votes cast, while IIRC, it's the votes received on the reputation page.

  • The numbers don't seem to add up. – TH. Oct 22 '10 at 10:27
  • @TH. Which numbers? My rep. page looks about right, but I've not tried to check it with awk or anything. – Charles Stewart Oct 22 '10 at 14:55
  • I counted the number of lines that matched '^ [0-9]' and the number of those was smaller than the 536. – TH. Oct 23 '10 at 2:45
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I have something similar: the top of the page shows 299 total votes for. I have 180 "votes" that earned reputation (category 2), and around 17 "accepts" (category 1).

I wonder if the difference is due to votes which does not earn you reputation? I have, for example, 8 upvotes received for What are the available "documentclass" types and their uses? but didn't gain any rep because it was community wiki. They are certainly not listed in the list of reputation changes.

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