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When evaluating how well a given Area 51 site in public beta is doing, it's helpful to compare to other Area 51 sites that have launched. I think a useful metric to see would be how long each site that has now launched was in beta for prior to launch. This should be trivial to add:

Proposed screenshot with FHC FTW

This would be a very useful metric to see, I think.

share|improve this question
I like how the screenshot depicts the UX proposal. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Feb 12 '12 at 17:40
@BoltClock'saUnicorn I suggested it because one of my site's users lamented UX being in beta for way too long, and I don't want my site to be in beta nearly that long – The Unhandled Exception Feb 12 '12 at 17:46
IT does show "private beta start" but it's only accurate to the year in this case, missing like 40% of the time the site was in beta. – Ben Brocka Feb 12 '12 at 18:30
@BenBrocka Well, it does have a datestamp tooltip like other times on the site (although the launched date is lacking said tooltip) – Tim Stone Feb 12 '12 at 18:38
@TimStone if I have to do math, the unicorn will not eat the waffle! – The Unhandled Exception Feb 12 '12 at 19:54
It is well established that unicorns do not enjoy math. – Ben Brocka Feb 13 '12 at 0:49
So since it didn't get 10 upvotes and I answered the question does that mean I get to eat the Unicorn instead? – Josh's Socks Feb 14 '12 at 16:55
@Josh'sSocks the question now has 10 upvotes thanks to your answer! So I'm going to update the picture with the unicorn eating you – The Unhandled Exception Feb 14 '12 at 17:09

Okay, I was a bit too quick to criticize you before. The Area 51 page doesn't contain the date the site launched... but my friend Tim Stone reminded me that the API does provide this information. So I continue to assert that you being a JavaScript developer as your primary profession and still needing to ask the community to do this for you means you're totally pathetic.

I updated my code, it now uses the API to fetch the site's launch date and then adds a "public beta duration" heading to the Area51 page. I've made it available as a userscript and The Unhandled Exception listed it on StackApps. Here's a screenshot:

Now accurate!

Here's the code to do this:

var mySiteInfoUrl = '!)5788xVOwy(eXAQATQD*PIQMmK-z&callback=SoTimeMahBetaSiteInfoCallback&site=';

window.SoTimeMahBetaSiteInfoCallback = function SoTimeMahBetaSiteInfoCallback(data) {
    //console.log("SoTimeMahBetaSiteInfoCallback got ",data);
    var publicBetaStart ="span").attr('title');
    var publicBetaStartDate = new Date(publicBetaStart);

    if(data.items[0] && data.items[0].site.launch_date) {
        var siteLaunchDate = new Date(1970,0,1);

        var publicBetaDuration = (siteLaunchDate - publicBetaStartDate)/1000;

        publicBetaStartLabel.before('<p class="label-key">public beta duration</p><p class="label-value">'+secondsToDuration(publicBetaDuration)+'</p>');

function getSiteInfo(site) {
    $(document.head).append('<script src="'+mySiteInfoUrl+site+'"></script>');

 * Converts seconds to an english date ("3 days, 4 hours, 5 minuts, 6 seconds")
 * @see
function secondsToDuration(seconds) {
    var tbl = [
        [ 365*24*60*60, 'year' ],
        [ 7*24*60*60, 'week' ],
        [ 24*60*60, 'day' ],
        [ 60*60, 'hour' ],
        [ 60, 'minute' ],
        [ 1, 'second' ]

    var t = parseInt(seconds), r = '', tblLength = tbl.length, i, u;

    for (i = 0; i < tblLength; i++) {
        var d = tbl[i];
        if (d[0] < t) {
            u = Math.floor(t / d[0]);
            t -= u * d[0];
            r += u + ' ' + d[1] + (u == 1 ? ' ' : 's ');

    return r;

var publicBetaStartLabel = $('p.label-key:contains(public beta start)');
if(publicBetaStartLabel.length) {
    var vistSiteNowLink = $('');

    if(vistSiteNowLink.length) {
        var siteName = vistSiteNowLink.attr('href').match(/http:\/\/([A-Za-z]+)\..*/)[1];
share|improve this answer
Thanks to This StackOverflow answer, otherwise it would have taken me 3.2 minutes. – Josh's Socks Feb 14 '12 at 16:54
-1 no microsecond count. :P – Ben Brocka Feb 14 '12 at 16:57
-1 This is not the length of the private beta you stupid, stupid sock! This is how long ago the beta started. You need to rethink your algorithm. – The Unhandled Exception Feb 14 '12 at 20:12
tsk tsk, having arguments with yourself – jcolebrand Feb 14 '12 at 21:15
He's about to be washed again @jcolebrand – The Unhandled Exception Feb 14 '12 at 21:19

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