So the sidebar got stretched by about 30%. No problem. This entails a change to the network-provided ads (not visible above certain rep thresholds) and to the community ads. No problem. Some old ads ran with some extra whitespace while they were updated. No problem. We need to update all our community ads to the new size. Grumble, but no problem, it's a good opportunity to spiff up the graphics on some of them. The community ads thread got delayed a bit this year. Absolutely fine. We don't really know when the 2016 ads kick in. Not awesome on the lack of clarity, but not a problem as long as nothing terrible comes of it.

This is a problem, though:

This ad is currently running on Physics and it comes from the 2015 thread. For comparison, here is that advert as posted:

If you're going to run 2015 community ads in the expanded sidebar, pad them out with whitespace instead of stretching them.

Quite simple, really.

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    This... is.. UGLY! – Deer Hunter Jan 18 '16 at 13:37
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    The same started happening on Mathematica.SE today. Only 1-2 days ago they were not stretched. dropbox.com/s/01suzae1iiyreke/… – Szabolcs Jan 18 '16 at 13:54
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    I saw this change on Mi Yodeya -- not stretched yesterday, stretched today. Padding with whitespace was much cleaner. – Monica Cellio Jan 18 '16 at 15:23
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    I've been holding off on the official activation of the new threads since people haven't had much time to design new ads to accommodate the new width (and also to look into some changes on the new filesize limits). This, though, slightly undermines that so let's see if we can do something about that. – Grace Note Jan 18 '16 at 15:31
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    Woof. That's not supposed to be happening. We're looking into a fix. – Adam Lear Jan 18 '16 at 15:31
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    @GraceNote Do you have a rough estimate of when the new threads might get activated? Should we expect a few days, few weeks, etc.? – Szabolcs Jan 18 '16 at 15:33
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    @Szabolcs I'm thinking like until mid or late February at the moment. It'll depend a lot on how much new submissions we get. – Grace Note Jan 18 '16 at 15:35

Looks like we jumped the gun on a sidebar change for community ads. Sorry about that.

The change has been reverted, and the updated build is rolling out into production as I type this.

  • Is there still an issue with Area 51 ads? meta.stackexchange.com/q/273292 – Tim Jan 18 '16 at 23:16
  • @Tim Probably. I'm checking with the folks that did the rollout. – Adam Lear Jan 18 '16 at 23:17
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    They're getting stretched again ... dropbox.com/s/2cm1g8yo8wv8xa0/… – Szabolcs Jan 21 '16 at 21:15
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    Just so you know, it's back. Does this mean you'll make the switch to the new ads shortly? – Christian Rau Jan 27 '16 at 15:02
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    Indeed it's back for the second time since it was fixed. Why does it keep changing back and forth? – Szabolcs Jan 27 '16 at 18:39
  • @ChristianRau Current plan is "probably next week". The ads being stretched again is a bug, though, that will be fixed shortly. – Adam Lear Jan 27 '16 at 18:54
  • It looks fixed now. – Szabolcs Jan 27 '16 at 21:26

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