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Since this is not really intended behaviour apparently, I propose a period of 24 hours after the bounty has expired during which the question will not be on the featured tab but the promoter can still manually award the bounty. The "cost" of this would be that no new bounty could be set up until the old one were awarded.

Similar to Bounty questions should have a grace period to accept an answer after 7 days, which got closed as a duplicate without duplicate link... (Well, according to Robert's comment there, it's Option to extend bounties by 24 hours., to which he replied with basically what I am proposing here, but an answer is not a feature-request...)

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The duplicate link was that one; the author rolled it back without assessing that George's question is pretty much exactly what both you and the other user want. The only difference is that George says "extend" instead of "grace period", but reading what his question actually says is pretty clear that the intent is not for having more bounty time, but to have that extra 24 hours to evaluate last-minute submissions or just plain read over everything from the 7 days. –  Grace Note Oct 19 '10 at 14:39
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@Grace Note: I really didn't get a "but don't feature it any more" message there, but also I request this extension as default behaviour instead of having to remember clicking a button at the right time –  Tobias Kienzler Oct 19 '10 at 14:46
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It's not explicitly stated as such, but if we consider the quote "One more thing I thought of... probably this 'bounty extension' should prevent new answers from being considered - or the process could end up repeating itself.", then if new answers aren't to be considered then there's no point to keeping it featured, aye? –  Grace Note Oct 19 '10 at 14:55
    
@Grace: That's reasonable indeed. So only the difference of a "extend button" vs default behaviour is a remaining difference, which is an important to me. I don't know about the "prevent new answers from being considered" though, since without the extend button I'd really like to consider rewarding someone who posted a new answer despite the question no longer being featured. –  Tobias Kienzler Oct 20 '10 at 10:13
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See this question which was closed as a duplicate of this. It also suggests that active questions, ie ones which are being actively answered even very close to the bounty expiration, bump the expiration forward a bit. It's a sign the bounty's working if people are answering, and so it shouldn't be closed / ended right when it's doing its job. –  David M Jun 15 '11 at 5:31
    
@DavidM: thanks, I like the idea of bumping the expiration on the appearance of new answer, maybe you should narrow your feature-request down on that so it's no longer considered a dupe –  Tobias Kienzler Jun 15 '11 at 10:30

3 Answers 3

up vote 27 down vote accepted

No, this doesn't make sense to me -- "just one more day", well, why not just two more days? or three? or four? or seven? Where does it end?

The bounty has a defined start and end period, everyone knows what they are as these dates are printed indelibly on the bountied question for the entirety of the bounty period.

I don't see any rational reason to allow grace periods and make the bounty logic even more complicated than it already is.

The grace period is the period of the bounty. Simple.

edit: due to a lot of whining valued community feedback on this issue, I decided it can't hurt to extend the auto-award period 24 hours past the true end of the bounty. So, the question will stop being a bounty question at the original scheduled time but the auto-accept calculations will always occur 24 hours after that.

Within the extra 24 hours, the bounty can manually be awarded to eligible answers. During that time, the question will show a text like:

This question had a bounty worth +50 reputation from ... that ended 17 hours ago; grace period ends in 7 hours

And for who started the bounty:

This question had a bounty worth +50 reputation from ... that ended 17 hours ago; you have 7 hours to award the bounty

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Greate, I never liked the fact that I was most lickly to get a good answer just before the deadline for picking the best answer. The other way is not to sort quesions by "bounty ends first". –  Ian Ringrose Jun 23 '11 at 8:33
    
Brilliant, thanks for implementing this! :) –  Pëkka Jun 23 '11 at 11:42
    
many thanks! :D –  sarnold Jun 23 '11 at 23:05
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Why not make the bounty period six days and have the seventh the day of rest and grace? –  random Jun 24 '11 at 15:45
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Someone should uncross whining, and cross out valued community feedback. :) –  muntoo Jul 1 '11 at 18:05
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Great feature, thanks (+1). I just missed this update on my first bounty, when I was a newbie and intuitively thought I should wait until the end and then reward the best answer that came in. –  DaveBall aka user750378 Sep 14 '11 at 11:48
    
hey thanks! I didn't notice this until today's blog post though! It would really be helpful to make answer edit's more notifier-triggering... –  Tobias Kienzler Sep 23 '11 at 20:56

I posted a bounty once; I felt exactly this needless pressure in the last day of the bounty. (Thanks for the email reminder, very friendly.)

The pressure / stress was making time to log in at a specific time -- before the bounty expires -- and select from a handful of answers which one best fit my needs. I did not want to award the bounty at T-5 minutes and have someone click "Submit" on an excellent answer at T-3 minutes with no reward other than a measly upvote.

I felt great responsibility to manually award the bounty -- because my answer to the question had the highest number of votes -- I wanted to give the bounty away, after all.

A one-day grace period at expiry would give me the flexibility to plan my day as best I could while still giving every answer received in the bounty period a fair shake at the points.

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+1, absolutely yes. –  David M Jun 15 '11 at 5:28
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Not to blow my own horn or anything, but if someone posts at T-3 minutes, shouldn't the bounty period be extended a bit? Think of the poor soul who gets in a T+3 minutes (this just happened to a question of mine, by a couple of hours, today! I gave him an upvote, but...) –  David M Jun 15 '11 at 7:06
    
@David, you got me here. :) I have no pity for the answerer who submits an answer after the bounty has expired -- there is an excellent warning: This question has an open bounty worth +100 reputation from Rufinus ending in 5 minutes. If you think you can give a good answer in five minutes that would be worth a bounty, go for it. But don't cry if it takes you eight minutes to write it. :) If you see expires in five hours and start a one-hour answer only to find the bounty was awarded with 4:45 left, that's insulting. The fix is easy and would reduce stress on bounty givers, too! –  sarnold Jun 15 '11 at 7:17
    
Yeah, I agree, on thinking a bit. The extension thing I suggested is really because if the question is generating answers that close to the expiry, it is working, and should be extended a bit more. –  David M Jun 15 '11 at 7:46

Speaking about this as a "grace period" doesn't make sense to me. I think Jeff's answer is quite reasonable.

On the other hand, if there were a "Judging Period", that might make everyone happy. What if the question were automatically Locked or Closed for 24 hours at the end of the bounty period -- no more answers (no more votes in the case of Locking), nothing except for bounty awarding, until a day had passed? It would then be re-opened and be a normal question in all respects.

The major problem* is apparently the fear that the bounty will be awarded before the best possible answer comes in. Having a period where the bounty can be awarded but no further answers can be added would give the asker plenty of time to read and evaluate the answers without that worry. The bounty period would continue to be set and stable.

It seems to me that bounties set up a kind of contest, and it's normal for a contest to have a hard due date for entries, and then take some time after that to judge and choose a winner. I think it's a good attitude on the asker's part to want to judge carefully.

This might make "the bounty logic even more complicated" though, I don't know.

UPDATE: Thinking about this more, I now agree with Anna and Tobias that closing the question isn't a good idea. I was putting too much weight on the "contest" aspect of the bounty. The only way I see around this would be to still accept answers during the hypothetical Judging Period, but to not allow those to be awarded the bounty. That would certainly make the system more complicated and confusing, and so is probably a non-starter.


*Besides "I forgot", which isn't really valid.

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"Protected" already has a meaning -- people with less than 10 rep cannot add new answers. You're thinking of effectively locking the question and I think, if nothing else, preventing voting would be a bad idea. If the asker couldn't read and evaluate the answers in a week, what are the odds that they will do so in this 24 hour period? –  Anna Lear Jun 15 '11 at 2:26
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@Anna The idea was that no further answers could be added, so that the asker has time to review without worrying about new answers coming in; that seems to be a major complaint in the posts about bounties. My thought was to borrow existing question-restricting functionality, but I guess Locked is closer to what I meant, not Protected. –  Josh Caswell Jun 15 '11 at 2:30
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@Josh I think preventing new answers is also not a good idea. Imagine a situation where the question didn't attract a good answer despite the bounty. We certainly don't want to prevent someone else from posting an answer in that situation. –  Anna Lear Jun 15 '11 at 2:32
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@Anna: Even for just 24hrs? Oh, well, it was just a thought. –  Josh Caswell Jun 15 '11 at 2:33
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I don't mind last-minute answers, those who post them are aware that they could be too late for the bounty and simply want to help (it's just rep after all). But I don't like the idea of turning a (even brief) period of time after a bounty into a disadvantage (no voting, no answers, not even comments!). But maybe we could agree on not allowing the bounty to be awarded to answers posted after the usual bounty period –  Tobias Kienzler Jun 15 '11 at 5:09
    
@Tobias: Some other questions on this topic mention late answers as a significant. I posted here because the most recent got closed as a duplicate of this. –  Josh Caswell Jun 15 '11 at 5:24

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