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SO is down for maintenance at the moment, which is fine, but all my Google searches for my problems are point to SO which is irritating.

By becoming the one stop shop for answers, you have created a single point of failure for developers.

I think having a read only version available during upgrades would be a good compromise, that way I can still find the answers to questions that have already been answered.

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AFAIK there is one. If you read the banner here, the site is in read-only mode. – American Luke Dec 11 '12 at 14:37
All I got was a generic "We are down" page. If there was a read only version it wasn't obvious. It's back up now so I can't check. – Omar Kooheji Dec 11 '12 at 14:48
This. A thousand times this. How can I get any work done if SO is down? I'm supposed to remember how to program? At least half of my code is copy-pasted from SO answers. – mikeTheLiar Dec 11 '12 at 15:44
Not sure if being sarcastic or genuine... – Omar Kooheji Dec 12 '12 at 19:24

There is a read-only mode (used e.g. during the Sandy failover). It just wouldn't have helped in this case.

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Fair enough. What was this case? – Omar Kooheji Dec 11 '12 at 14:52
@OmarKooheji: Lock contention during Lucene search indexing, cascading into making the servers unresponsive (which is why we turned off search until the indexing was complete). This was not an expected downtime. Note that software updates don't require downtime at all, and hardware upgrades usually don't either, if we can help it. – balpha Dec 11 '12 at 14:55

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