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There are triggers in the SO system that move a thread into the active queue and all the other questions in the queue are pushed down. So in developer language, the active queue is a stack, right?

It's clear that editing the body of a question or answer will cause the thread to be pushed on to the top of the stack. What else?

Question: Is there a complete list of triggers such that the active queue can be precisely defined?

Secondarily, I always look at the 'new' queue and rarely at the 'active' queue, but I have a vague notion that most experienced users are doing the reverse. So I guess the question is: why use the active queue as your primary view when the 'new' queue is... well... newer! What's the advantage?

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I don't use the active queue but I can see it being useful in case you want to passively moderate (that is, without going to the review page). Useless edits, spammy/late/poor answers will show up there.

This list is not exhaustive and to be completed.

Actions that trigger active

  • Editing Q or A (even simple tag edits)
  • Adding new A

Actions that don't

  • Upvoting
  • Leaving comments
  • Casting close/reopen votes
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I don’t know if a complete list of triggers already exists somewhere on Meta.SE, but here it is:

  • posting a question
  • editing any part of a question (title, body, tags)
  • posting an answer
  • editing an answer
  • editing a deleted answer[1]
  • applying a bounty
  • reopening a question (not casting a vote, casting the final vote)
  • the Community user bumping old unanswered questions randomly every once in a while

Most actions do not bump a question. That includes:

  • commenting
  • voting
  • flagging
  • accepting
  • deleting answers through the review queue (if an answer is posted and subsequently deleted without anything happening in-between, the text on the main page chages from ‘answered x ago’ to ‘modified x ago’ with the same x.) or having a mod delete them.
  • undeleting an answer[2]
  • self-deleting an answer[3]
  • deleting a question (does not make it active, it simply removes the entire thing from the page altogether.)
  • awarding bounties

Personally, I like using the active tab, as it allows me to see what has changed and potentially adjust my votes or recomment accordingly. The new queue only shows new questions (to the best of my knowledge; but maybe it also shows new answers to questions) and thus I am likely to miss interesting answers or edits if I rely on it.


Notes:

[1]: Recently confirmed by a post over on chemistry. Answer was deleted, then edited. Editing showed up as an active bump of the question even while the answer was deleted.

[2]: According to pnuts in a comment.

[3]: An answer pnuts deleted after I answered here did not make the question active again or change the active user. However, it did go from answered to modified although I did not edit my answer.

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  • @pnuts To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure about active deletions (i.e. the user deletes their own question/answer). But review-queue-deletions do not create an entry. – Jan Oct 9 '16 at 19:11
  • @pnuts Actually, I just tested self-deleting an answer with this answer and it didn’t make the post active. So maybe there’s the additional caveat that you must not have been the last person being active. – Jan Oct 10 '16 at 13:10
  • I deleted this post right here ;) And then re-undeleted it. – Jan Oct 10 '16 at 13:22
  • Mental note to myself: Editing a deleted post and then undeleting it sets the timestamp to the time of editing. (Order was: deletion → other answer → editing → undeletion. Post was this.) – Jan Oct 28 '16 at 12:26

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