I keep running across mentions-in-passing of Area 51 that make it sound like it’s obsolete, being sunsetted, or somehow posing a difficulty to Stack Exchange. One example I stumbled over just now while following up on the fixed CSS bug yesterday is representative:
I noticed that area 51 is not on either list. It and stack apps were not affected. – hildred 11 hours ago
@hildred Area 51 isn't getting a design lift any time soon, if ever. – Anna Lear♦ 11 hours ago
@AnnaLear Is there any chance of removing the stupid Gravatar thing from Area 51? – Catija 2 hours ago
@Catija Not really. We aren't working on Area 51 in any meaningful way these days. – Anna Lear♦ 56 mins ago
On their own these kinds of comments can be confusing or even alarming, so to clear the air: what’s really up with Area 51?
N.B. that I'm neither complaining nor an alarmed Chicken Little myself — I ask because I think it would be useful to have a Meta.SE question people can link to for more information on why Area 51 is apparently developmentally unloved. :)