I woke up this morning to find myself with another Enlightened badge awarded for a relatively old question for which I received no recent votes, nor recent acceptance.

Furthermore the list of "Recent badges" was completely filled by Enlightened badges.

And lastly, after counting the number of answers for which I should have received this badge I counted 9, but only 7 badges are marked.

What gives?

Previously badges were based on counts, meaning "you have X badges" right now, compared to "you should have Y badges" right now. Unfortunately this meant for deleted posts or posts that for other reasons no longer match the criteria for a badge weren't counted.

For example, with enlightened you could get the badge for an answer then say it's downvoted to -9...you wouldn't get the next enlightened badge because we were comparing only the counts. This happened in many, many cases with multi-award badges.

Now, we check if you got the badge yet for that post (or tag, whatever it's based on)...if you haven't, we award it. Both of the badges awarded are valid at the time they're awarded, if they fall below the requirements later that's fine, and by-design you keep the badge.

You recently got the badge because you didn't get one previously for that post, it wasn't granted because a post prior to that no longer matched the criteria...and based on counts alone, we thought you had enough badges in the previous algorithm.

• Cool. Now, can you explain the infield fly rule? – Gerry Myerson Jul 7 '11 at 13:32
• Just to get it straight: That badge was awarded today, but the number of Enlightened badges (namely 7) was not increased? – Hendrik Vogt Jul 7 '11 at 13:49
• @Hendrik - the number also increased here and for many, since the old algorithm comparing counts posts that no longer matches the criteria, where as the new algorithm doesn't, we check each post individually. We thought (and from meta feedback) that being able to say downvote someone's +10 answer to stop them from getting the next nice answer badge was...well, wrong. – Nick Craver Jul 7 '11 at 14:16
• @Nick: Thanks a lot for the feedback, but that leaves be befuddled. What you wrote implies that Asaf had 6 Enlightened badges yesterday. But if I look at the answers for which he got the badges, then he should have been at 7 yesterday already, shouldn't he? (I mean, by the old criteria.) – Hendrik Vogt Jul 7 '11 at 14:20
• @Hendrik - I looked into the exact cause, this was actually the result of a bug I fixed as part of the overhaul, because this answer is on a question that no longer has an owner, it failed to qualify with the old query, since a check of q.OwnerUserId <> a.OwnerUserId failed with a null there - this was fixed...so in combination for awarding based on the posts not the count, he now has the appropriate 7 badges. – Nick Craver Jul 7 '11 at 14:41
• @Nick: So that post no longer matched the criteria, due to a bug. Ah, wow, no wonder I didn't get it. Thanks a lot for the explanation! – Hendrik Vogt Jul 7 '11 at 15:03

And lastly, after counting the number of answers for which I should have received this badge I counted 9, but only 7 badges are marked.

You currently have 9 answers that are accepted with vote count 10 or higher, but only 7 of those were the first answer to the question, the exceptions being here and here. So you seem to have the correct number of Enlightened badges unless I miscounted.

I think that your concerns are explained by the changes indicated in the meta.stackoverflow.com thread Badge Behavior - How should awarding work?.

• Oh yeah, I always forget the first one to answer thing :-) – Asaf Karagila Jul 7 '11 at 6:25
• I couldn't really make much from the meta.SO thread you linked. – Asaf Karagila Jul 7 '11 at 6:31
• Maybe I shouldn't have said "explained", because I don't really understand how it works (and plan to put no more time into it), but I strongly suspect it is the cause. Hopefully someone who understands can explain more. – Jonas Meyer Jul 7 '11 at 6:43
• I read your previous comment as well. I hope indeed someone will come and clear the air around this mystic badge. – Asaf Karagila Jul 7 '11 at 6:45