The current behavior during maintenance is that a readonly view of the site is presented, and modification tools like voting, commenting, and retagging don't work. Great, very sensible.

The problem is that if you don't hover a few seconds to get the tooltip that says the action is disabled because of maintenance, the response to the click is very unhelpful. It actually tells you to log in, despite the fact that won't help, and even when you already are logged in. I suppose that's because some CanVote function is returning false. CanVote is not a boolean though, there should be: True, GuestsCannotVote, ThisPostIsLocked, ThisPostIsDeleted, TheSiteIsReadonly, NoVotingPrivilege -- and only one of these should lead to a login prompt.

Because "readonly; therefore please login" is just invalid reasoning.

Pop-up when voting while site in maintenance

Please change the popup triggered by a click during readonly to highlight the in-maintenance status of the site, not prompt for login. I used voting on an answer to illustrate this, but it should be applied to all actions unavailable in readonly mode during maintenance.

  • 1
    Also stop trying to auto-log me in when the site is in readonly mode because that doesn't do anything. shakes fist
    – Tim Stone
    Jun 8, 2014 at 17:54
  • When I tried to sign in during Saturday's maintenance, it said that function was unavailable.
    – Barmar
    Jun 9, 2014 at 5:42
  • @Barmar: It was unavailable. Which is why what it does in the screenshot, asking you to login, was a clear bug.
    – Ben Voigt
    Jun 9, 2014 at 6:01
  • Downvoter: Do you think this isn't a bug, or not worth fixing, or the fix needs to be different? Please add an answer stating your view.
    – Ben Voigt
    Jun 9, 2014 at 13:18
  • Sorry I missed this, these are all valid points - I'm taking a look at them now. Aug 15, 2014 at 10:11

1 Answer 1


Better read-only handling for voting and commenting will be in the next build. Voting is already greyed out, but it will now indicate a proper message:

Voting isn't available in read-only mode.
Favoriting isn't available in read-only mode.

Comment adding links will also no longer appear in read-only mode (showing will work).

Auto-login will no longer attempt during read-only mode either.

If there are some other interaction points for read-only mode that are rough please let me know. We want read-only to be as rare as possible but still smooth when it happens.

  • 3
    "Auto-login will no longer attempt during read-only mode either." Hooray, +100! \o/
    – Tim Stone
    Aug 15, 2014 at 12:37
  • @TimStone we honestly didn't notice this because developers stay logged in for other reasons during read-only. If you notice any other crazy let me know and I'll throw it behind a check. Aug 16, 2014 at 1:34
  • Even worse, it's actually been Ben's fault this whole time! I do think that's the only things I've ever noticed that's bothered me though, but I'll keep an eye out.
    – Tim Stone
    Aug 16, 2014 at 1:38
  • 1
    It still tried to do the auto-login, but maybe the build hasn't gone out yet. Also, minor, but when the site goes readonly and you try to load achievements/inbox menus from the top bar on a page that hasn't been refreshed yet they just silently and immediately disappear. Might be hard to know the cause is readonly in that case, but some sort of generic error popup on the 404 might make it a little less "WTF?"
    – Tim Stone
    Aug 16, 2014 at 16:28

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