The interface for marking a question as a "favorite" displays somewhat suprising behavior. Say I open a question in one tab in my browser, and also happen to have the same question open in a different tab. (It's easy to do this unknowingly if one's clicking on a bunch of "related question" or "possible duplicate" links.) Say that the question in question starts out not marked as a favorite.

  1. First oddity is that when I hover over the greyed-out favorites star, the pop-up message says "This is a favorite question (click again to undo)". Isn't this a bug? The question has not yet been marked as a favorite in any tab.

  2. Second oddity: suppose I do now mark the question as a favorite in tab1. Then I go to tab2. (I think it doesn't matter whether tab1 is closed at this point, or later.) Tab2 will not show the question as a favorite, even if I wait a while. OK, that's fine. But now suppose I do click on the favorites star in tab2. That star will now light up. Looks like the question is now marked as a favorite. However if I then close all my tabs, then return to the question, it will be marked as not a favorite. Apparently the server is interpreting my click on the favorites button as a toggle, and when I click in the second tab, the +favorite status I had set in tab1 gets changed to -favorites. Even though tab2 displays the question as favorited.

Using Firefox 8.0.1 on FreeBSD.

1 Answer 1


#1 is intentional, if a bit confusing; the tooltip is telling you what will happen when you click the star. The tooltips for the vote arrows work the same way. See this similar question on the main meta

#2 is probably wrong. It's not the server's fault, the UI sends the same request for favoriting and unfavoriting, and leaves it to the server to figure out which one you meant based on whether or not you currently have the post favorited. You'll have to wait for a developer to weigh in, but this is pretty minor, just don't do that :)

  • Re #1: ah yes I see now that the other interface elements work similarly. Misleading but at least consistent. Re #2 "don't do that": of course I'd like not to, but as I said, if you've got a bunch of SE tabs open at once it's easy to lose track. Only workaround is to always refresh the page before clicking the favorite button.
    – dubiousjim
    Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 19:08

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