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Many beta sites have gone more than 3 months without a self-evaluation.

On all the sites where I participate, I don't remember seeing a site evaluation for months — since April feels right.

Nonetheless, some sites are still getting evaluations.

It looks like there has been a change in policy or in the implementation and site evaluation now wait longer after the site has started, and occur every 6 months. What is the current policy? Why has it changed?

  • Not a change in policy as far as I know (with the caveat that I'm no longer on the team that makes these decisions). I'll look into it. – Adam Lear Aug 2 '14 at 18:50
  • I think I remember seeing somewhere on SR that we're scheduled for a self evaluation somewhere around the 17th. – Undo Aug 2 '14 at 19:46
  • Stack Overflow em Português is just having one. – brasofilo Aug 3 '14 at 2:30
  • Martial Arts is also having one now – grg Aug 3 '14 at 7:11
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    @AnnaLear So it seems that the interval has changed from 3 months to 6 months. I wonder why. It would help if you announced these changes instead of leaving everyone to wonder what's going on. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 3 '14 at 10:43
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    @Gilles they were testing if anyone is paying attention. :-) – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Aug 3 '14 at 10:52
  • @Gilles Oh yeah, now that you mention it... I recall that change. Not sure what prompted it, so I'll ping a CM to respond here. – Adam Lear Aug 4 '14 at 13:20
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The current policy is that site self-evaluations are now on a 180 day schedule (so, basically 6 months). We had discussed some measure of staggering but I do not believe that was implemented.

The process of graduation involves a queue. Once we identify a site that we find to sustain its growth in an appreciable manner, we add that site to the queue. Then, the design team gets to crack at the queue and come up with a site design, which is a fairly lengthy process. We don't perform the graduation process until the design is completed, which thus means that at no given time can we give an estimated time that graduation will happen. For example, back in March I announced to the Japanese site that they were in fact on the road to graduation, so the time it takes is pretty visible.

On average, there's not a huge announcement factor associated with evaluations. We generally only bring up things if we detect something terribly wrong going on with the site. Otherwise, anywhere in the spectrum of possible evaluation interpretations from "Barely passable" to "Flying colors" all produce the same result, which is to say absolutely nothing immediate. We won't keep it a secret if a site is in our graduation queue, but we see no reason to hype it up with a big announcement when we can't even guarantee when it'll happen. To that end, unless we are asked we remain silent about being in the queue until the design team starts posting preliminary designs. This then results that the reviews themselves mostly produce no announcements or any serious news in most cases.

After some thought on it, we started to feel that 3 months was too often. Reviews are a valuable exercise in judging the site health. We want folks to put time and effort into these, and doing them too frequently seemed to dampen the enthusiasm to folks. It even felt like people found it as some kind of looming standard to worry about, rather than a simple heartbeat check. So we're looking at every six - it gives sites more time to evolve and grow up on their own without feeling like another review is just around the corner.

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    I think Computer Science got that announcement back in Nov '13. How long is your queue? It might be interesting to have it (mod-) public. – Raphael Aug 5 '14 at 20:34
  • after a point "queue" is more like "backlog". would like to see a public queue (which you apparently seem to mean "has passed beta but in limbo due to workload"), but understand thats sensitive info; however plz consider at least openly tracking how many sites are currently in the queue. it would also be helpful to learn what effect site graduation & site design "seems" to have on site traffic/ dynamics, if any. – vzn Aug 5 '14 at 22:52
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    Current list in the queue is: Salesforce, Expression Engine, Anime, Computer Science, Japanese, Cryptography, Movies, Blender, and English Language Learners. – Grace Note Aug 6 '14 at 0:13
  • @GraceNote I suppose this list isn't in any way ordered? (And thanks for sharing it.) – Christian Rau Aug 6 '14 at 12:19
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    Though it seems a bit unfortunate that site graduation seems to be detained for significant amounts of time just because of "only" the design, assuming (though, admittedly not knowing) that the rest of the graduation process shouldn't be too hard to implement. What speaks against adapting the design after successful graduation in order to not put sites that are already eligible for graduation into a limbo of months (years?) until that graduation is finally accomplished? Or maybe a bit more transparency on the progress (be it only just on a quarterly basis, but at least some information). – Christian Rau Aug 6 '14 at 12:25
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    @Christian As far as I'm aware, it's ordered. Salesforce and Expression Engine are currently in progress. As for the "rest of the graduation process", the only other major occurrence with graduation is the user elections happening. The design really is the big bells and whistles that come with graduation, and without it... there's little much at all to speak of that happens. There's basically as much fanfare and celebration as happened with the announcement I made on Japanese. Which wasn't much at all, and understandably so given the lack of big flair and everything. – Grace Note Aug 6 '14 at 12:25
  • @GraceNote Hmm, I feared that, thanks for the information. That means Salesforce and Expression Engine got eligible for graduation even before Nov '13? Seems a bit disillusioning. But nevermind, that's just me lamenting, I still honour SE's effort very much. – Christian Rau Aug 6 '14 at 12:27
  • This is not very readable: This then results that the reviews themselves mostly produce no announcements or any serious news in most cases. I wanted to edit it, but feel it's not even needed. – tshepang Aug 8 '14 at 8:38
  • @GraceNote any update for current queue. – Ankit Sharma Jun 1 '16 at 11:37
  • We don't use a queue anymore for graduation - this post is basically obsolete. Design independent graduation checks are given to us on pretty much a "When they hit the threshold" basis rather than on a periodic check-and-recheck. – Grace Note Jun 1 '16 at 17:15

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