All sites on the network were in a read only mode for 15–20 minutes a short while ago. This small notice appeared at the bottom of every question:
This site is currently not accepting new answers.
Could this be made more informative? The last change was good, but there's still room for improvement.
If I didn't know in advance and then go check that the message is indeed the same on many SE sites, I would have been confused. Was the quality of new posts perhaps so bad that SE decided not to accept any more user contributions for the rest of the year?
If you extended the note to something like
This site is currently not accepting new answers due to a short maintenance outage.
or something similar, the intent would have been clearer. This would sent two messages that were previously not included:
- The outage is short. (Maybe even include a time estimate?)
- The reason is maintenance (or some such thing), as opposed to the site being suspended or in the process of shutting down.
A refined suggestion based on comments:
This site is temporarily in read only mode and not accepting new answers.
(Maybe together with links to the status blog and Twitter?)
That would send the message "we're trying to bring the site back to your use, please wait" without implying any specific time frame. The word "currently" has little value, but "temporarily" sends a message. I hope the same status message is not shown if the read only status is permanent for whatever reason.