This is a follow-up to an earlier discussion Feedback Requested: Design-Independent Graduation.
Like the title says, design-independent graduation will go into effect and become our new regular practice the second week of September! All sites which have been waiting in the backlog to graduate will get the items in Phase 1 (detailed below) in the coming weeks. Communities which the Community team clears for graduation in the future will also undergo this process.
Details and Fine print:
Privilege thresholds -- we know there was some strong support for raising them up front (in Phase 1). For now, we're rolling out design-independent graduation with higher privilege levels linked to site design. We first entertained this notion because we thought it might be a better experience to take away some user's site abilities while simultaneously giving them a design. More importantly though, it's what we can start doing now, without further delay. This topic was extensively debated on the team and in the community and giving you this version now seemed better than letting the process come to a standstill.
That said, if there are demonstrable, structural problems caused by this approach, we'll reconsider. The changes being made now aren't intended to be forever. For some time now, we've been working off of site life cycle practices which are several years old and were never really intended to meet the needs of a network at our current size and scope. Design-independent graduation and the updated site closure/graduation criteria are akin to dusting off a machine that's been sitting in a corner for awhile, reconfiguring some pieces, and turning it back on again; movement is slow to start, and the gears might grind at first, but the idea is to be able to make changes more easily and more transparently.
(To review how this will work.)
The Community Team announces that a site is cleared for graduation. Without delay...
- the beta label is removed
- elections are held
- migration paths are set up
- community ads are run
Then, as it becomes available:
- the site gets their custom design.
- privilege thresholds are increased to graduated site levels
UPDATE (9/9/15): The bullet on adding a link to to the site footer has been edited out because we are not currently able to pull this thread without causing other bits of fabric to unravel. After digging, it's clear we can't simply shove new links into the already crowded space, and a different solution is needed all together. We will be discussing the site footer in the coming days so we can determine how to tackle this at its root. Until then, design-independent graduation is proceeding with the remaining items in Phase 1.
As an administrative note, Magento is currently undergoing design-independent graduation early over these next couple weeks as a sort of pilot program to help the Community Team get used to this workflow.
Updating the Stack Exchange Site Lifecycle