- If there are still under 4 items, the rest of the space is filled with hot discussion questions not marked status-completed, scoring at least 3 and posted within the past two weeks. These are picked semi-randomly. (Note that the timing, score and tags can be adjusted per-site to suit the needs of each community)
This works well and no status-completed shows in, say, SO, Spanish.SE or others sites I visit regularly.
However, I noticed that in Stack Overflow en español this is not the case. For example on February 27 I noticed (and reported in Meta.SOes) in Publicaciones populares en Meta a specific question was showing:
While it had been tagged with
[estado-completado] by February 25:
This may have to do with the tag
[status-completed] being a synonym of
[estado-completado] and hitting a problem similar to the bug Migrated to localized meta site questions have [discussion] tag in English, so this case may be also happening to other international Stack Overflows (I checked now and it is not the case for the current Hot Meta Posts).