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On 10/10/12, over 5000 late-answers appeared in the late-answer review queue, which had been running on empty for several days.

Was this an adjustment of what defines a late answer, or was it the result of the queue being recalculated due to the passage of time (weekly, monthly recalculations, perhaps?)

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Seriously! I missed it :/ –  Bhuvan Rikka 웃 Oct 11 '12 at 12:35
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This wasn't just on Stack Overflow. I saw the same thing on some other sites. (Just not as many.) –  Al E. Oct 11 '12 at 12:47
    
At the time of this comment, only 1.4k are left. They're going fast. This new review panel is pretty effective! –  user133440 Oct 11 '12 at 13:21
    
And I got far more upvotes thus reputation on this day(In fact now is still unusually high number of upvotes on my old answer). Is there a breakout of usage? –  WiSaGaN Oct 11 '12 at 13:27
    
I got a lot of upvotes yesterday as well, which was odd. Guessing at the reason for the review queue, a tweak to the algorithm is the most obvious reason. –  casperOne Oct 11 '12 at 14:33
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@WiSaGaN That branch-predictor question got linked on Hacker News yesterday. So everyone on it (including you and me) got a bunch of upvotes. –  Mysticial Oct 11 '12 at 17:06
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1 Answer

up vote 55 down vote accepted

When we first launched the new Late Answers review queue, it would have started with 90k posts had we initialized it with every late answer ever.

So instead, we initialized it with all late answers provided after September 1, 2012. The community cruised through them, so we bumped down the "minimum date" to August 1, thereby adding 7k more posts to the queue. The queue hit zero again, so yesterday we bumped it down again to July 1. We're still observing the rate at which the community can process the queue, and may continue to make adjustments in the future. Sorry for the confusion.

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I've updated the question title to make a bit more sense for future passersby. Thanks for the explanation. –  user133440 Oct 11 '12 at 16:43
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This makes me think of work. "I finally finished scanning everything in this filing cabinet!" - "There's another filing cabinet over there." - sad face –  animuson Oct 20 '12 at 4:15
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@animuson We must imagine Sysiphos as a happy man. (Paraphrasing Camus, too lazy to look up the best translation.) –  Daniel Fischer Oct 20 '12 at 15:26
    
This is going to be an issue for long enough that I think it could go in a FAQ. –  itsbruce Oct 26 '12 at 12:06
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Another jump today. Got me concerned until I saw this post! –  Duncan Oct 27 '12 at 17:09
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So why is the late answers always at 0 as you slowly move it back, and yet the close and low quality posts are huge? Why is late answers considered bad to have at 90k, but close votes can be at 50k+? –  corsiKa Nov 14 '12 at 23:15
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I'm starting to think it'd be better to either greatly increase the size of the chunks or just dump them all in the queue; it's a source of repeated, incremental confusion and we know SO can plow through them (it also seems other sites are affected by this behavior) which doesn't make sense since we get <100 in each go –  Ben Brocka Nov 26 '12 at 14:44
    
I've been seeing answers that are two years old and in this queue. Is that a bug? –  donroby Dec 26 '12 at 23:08
    
@donroby No, the "minimum creation date" is being automatically gradually shifted back in time. In ~2 months, the Late Answers queue will cover all of Stack Overflow (first post on 2008-07-31!). –  Emmett Dec 26 '12 at 23:30
    
So right now we're seeing "spikes" of 1 or 2 old posts into the queue every 15 minutes or so. The date appears to shift back in time in minutes now. –  bfavaretto Dec 28 '12 at 2:23
    
Gives a new meaning to the phrase "Eternal September". –  Andrew Grimm Nov 11 '13 at 3:26
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