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In the halcyon days of 2010, I committed to Programming Puzzles and Code Golf. I was young and brash, and thought we were the perfect match.

But alas, it was not meant to be. Fair enough: commitments are...well...commitments. Mea culpa. I fully accept the consequences of my mistake.

However, back when I committed to the proposal, beta sites were generally graduating in 3-4 months. Code Golf.SE isn't my thing, and I was prepared to wait out those few months as atonement for my sins, but...

It's been in beta for 377 days, with no end in sight. Significantly more than the optimistic "every beta gets decided in 90 days" goal when Stack Exchange 2.0 first launched. What was pitched as a significant (but finite) delay in committing when you make a mistake has become eternal torment. The punishment doesn't fit the crime.

I propose the following:

  • Allow failed commitments to expire after [3 or 6] months. If someone hasn't fulfilled a commitment in that amount of time, they're never going to do it. Throttling people for a few months adds gravity to the decision to commit, but commitments should not be locked up for life for non-violent crimes.

and/or

  • Provide a one-time amnesty for people who made committments in 2010, when Stack Exchange 2.0 was pitched as a 90 day beta cycle.

Let's end the war on commitments. Yes we can.

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13  
In a way it's better if the sites you commit to crash and burn in the first week. –  badp Feb 9 '12 at 10:24
7  
It took me almost a year to fulfill my commitment on Parenting SE, but by golly, I did it!. It was also rather painful since everything I was interested in answering had already been answered quite well. I don't see any reason why a 'get out of beta, free' card would be bad in this case, though. It seems like all the commitment is doing is taking your time away from better contributions elsewhere on the network (as it did for me). –  Tim Post Feb 9 '12 at 10:29
    
perhaps also reduce their commitment weight (even with multiple 10k+ accounts and diamonds... hint hint) the next time they commit to anything... I agree with this request though. –  Lorem Ipsum Feb 9 '12 at 10:39
1  
@TimPost It's okay to admit that you asked "What's the best open-source child 2.0 implementation?" in a couple of different ways. –  jonsca Feb 9 '12 at 10:57
2  
@jonsca I thought about it, but the answer would just be jQuery. –  Tim Post Feb 9 '12 at 15:46

2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted
+100

Betas are taking a bit longer than we originally anticipated, so your suggestion makes sense. We now "void" commitments that are still unfulfilled after 6 months of beta.

A voided commitment still appears in the proposal's "commitments" tab, but it no longer appears in your user profile's "Current Commitments" section or takes up one of your 3 "commitment tokens".

edit for clarity:

Once your commitment is voided, you are no longer committed to the proposal.

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Why would you still show up in the proposal's "commitments" tab if you're not committed? Does it still count for the purposes of launching the site? –  Michael Mrozek Feb 24 '12 at 20:51
2  
Hmm, is it confusing? I'm open to changing it. I didn't want it to look as if you never committed at all, so I left the commitment hanging around on the commitments tab so the historical record of who committed is still intact. (It doesn't affect a site's launching, since the site has to have already launched for a commitment to be voided.) –  Emmett Feb 24 '12 at 20:56
    
Oh, I see, I misunderstood; I thought this was about sites that were taking forever to get from commitment to beta, not sites that were already in beta that a user just hasn't managed to fulfill yet. Leaving the name on the proposal's list makes sense now –  Michael Mrozek Feb 24 '12 at 21:35
    
If I committed to the Gardening & Landscaping proposal and failed to fully commit in six months, is it still possible to fully commit to the proposal? –  Ambo100 Feb 25 '12 at 11:10
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@Ambo100 No, it isn't. So one consequence of this change is that a commitment must be fulfilled in 6 months or less. –  Emmett Feb 25 '12 at 18:22

Good idea. This should also free a slot in the max commitments you have. For example when you now want to commit to 'Home automation' or 'Motorcycles'.

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