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Quite a bit of the time, many bugs I run into or feature requests I come up with have already been asked about on the site. These prior requests have received a positive response from a staff member, i.e. a response that the team has brought up the issue for internal review or intends to implement the request (specifically, being tagged or ).

Whenever someone asks about such a request, the general community policy is to close the question as a duplicate of the original request. However, this can seem a bit disheartening, as it gives off a "we'll get to it when we get to it" aura. Also, considering that such closures are generally done by the community, it can give off the impression that it denies staff members of the ability to see that others have the same request or are experiencing the same problem.

As well, there have been examples in the past where the team has decided internally to not implement the request even after the initial positive response (example), but they've forgotten to update the meta post to indicate so, which serves to falsely lead people on (whereas if they knew it had been declined, they could accept that or file a substantive reconsideration request).

The tag description for says that a reason why an approved request may be left as planned is that there are other projects that are higher priority. Another similar case where I've seen the tag used is if it cannot be implemented until some other bug or feature is implemented before it.

In any case, one may want to know the current progress of a planned request or one that's under review, want a timeline as to when it'll be implemented, or want to be made aware of any other projects blocking the implementation. Or, they may simply want to know if the team still intends to implement the request or that the request hasn't been forgotten about since when it was tagged as planned or under review.

I asked this type of question in the past once, and the reception was extremely negative. In that case, though, it was likely because the original report was only a couple months into being tagged as planned and that the report in question was fairly minor. (To be clear, I don't wish to re-litigate the question.)

Is it valid to ask a question of the forms noted above? Are such questions considered to be within the guidelines of this site? If so, when is it not too early to ask such a question, and what types of original requests should such questions be reserved for? In many cases, recent activity is what ultimately gets attention for such older requests, and one may not be able to properly bump the original report (through a substantive edit, a substantive answer providing additional arguments for implementation, or a bounty).

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    Not meaning to be "extremely negative" but staff answered their policy for status-deferred, status-planned and status-review is determined internally by what's on the roadmaps. I don't see what can be done besides waiting and perhaps placing a bounty, pressing an FR or bug a 2nd time by way of post if nothing changed in the meanwhile and the company is aware of it wouldn't do much good besides adding pressure and promoting discontempt.
    – bad_coder
    Jun 21 at 23:54
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    But another argument can be made, during the extreme dissatisfaction with the post summary redesign lots of duplicate questions were permitted, well received, and not closed simply because the community was pressing for it... None of them added anything, expect by providing an escape valve for users wanting to post, or rant, or otherwise seek to capitalize on the dissatisfaction by way of rep, looking to galvanize and amp up the then going polemic.
    – bad_coder
    Jun 21 at 23:55
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    Asking "Are we there yet?" "Are we there yet?" "Are we there yet?" "Are we there yet?" "Are we there yet?" "Are we there yet?" isn't helpful. Primarily, it's annoying. While everyone understands you're impatient to have the thing(s) you are concerned about dealt with and/or know what their status is, what would things be like if we allowed people to ask about such things whenever they happened to want to know? We'd be flooded by people wanting to know the status of the thing they are concerned about. It would uselessly take up a lot of time from both everyone on meta and staff.
    – Makyen
    Jun 21 at 23:56
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    Despite the objections, I think this is a really important question, and I'm glad it was asked. We currently have no formal mechanism for verifying the status of any requests marked [status-review] or [-planned], especially for ones that were marked years ago with radio silence since. I don't think anyone wants to pester staff with requests; the whole point of this question is to avoid pestering by deciding on the norms for status update requests: how many, how often, or whether they're appropriate at all.
    – zcoop98
    Jun 22 at 0:10
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    @Makyen I don't perceive such questions as asking "are we there yet?" repeatedly, but rather as asking Google Maps GPS how long it will take to get somewhere, and it will respond with a certain number of minutes. Of course, it cannot take into account unexpected traffic congestion or road accidents, but it's at least a rough estimate assuming no such unexpected circumstance (e.g. a serious security issue or staff member ceasing to be employed) occurs. Jun 22 at 0:19
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    @SonictheSaveUkraine-hog The company has almost never provided that type of information. Since, as far as I know the beginning of Stack Overflow, the time-frame for things being accomplished has nearly always been 6 – 8, with the units not even specified. There have been a few things where more detailed timelines have been given, but those have primarily been for development projects which the company has chosen on its own to develop (sometimes based on issues raised by users; sometimes not). Giving you a dialed-in timeframe for individual requests isn't the way the company operates.
    – Makyen
    Jun 22 at 0:33
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    @bad_coder That's linked in my question here, in the paragraph explaining my prior negatively-received attempt to ask such a question. This is not a re-litigation of the same issue raised there, and the answer there is specific to my case. However, here, I'm looking for a more general answer, which also covers the case where the original request was filed by someone else. Jun 25 at 10:12
  • @SonictheSaveUkraine-hog this post is a complete mess (reread the 2nd paragraph). If you want to start a constructive question it should be a canonical grouping together the new definitions of the red tags (SE announced the change and started retagging without listing each tags new definition and application clearly).
    – bad_coder
    Jun 25 at 10:24
  • @bad_coder That would lack focus for this site (be too broad). Such discussions should be by individual tag (or set of related tags). The deferred and declined tags have been used in a much different manner, and deserve their own separate discussion. Also, I don't see how my second paragraph here makes this post a complete mess. Can you please point to me exactly why? Jun 25 at 10:31
  • 2nd paragraph: "disheartening", "gives off...aura", "give off ... impression", "deny staff...ability" this chain of events and choice of words alone would make for a good essay on how something shouldn't be written. I'll excuse myself of explaining exactly why in the comments, but keywords would be passionate vs dispassionate and objective vs allegorical you should also get a formal grasp on what "impression" means from phenomenology and why it's not a good choice here. What's needed is a canonical on red tags as a system - before and until that it can't be debated methodically.
    – bad_coder
    Jun 25 at 10:59

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as it gives off a "we'll get to it when we get to it" aura.

But that's exactly what it is: they will actually get to it when they will get to it.

Stack Exchange has internal list of all the bugs and feature requests tagged as , as much I know for certain. However, they can't possibly know how long it's going to take to actually fix/implement each item in the list without spending precious time on digging into it, and that's a time they correctly (IMO) prefer to spend on other things.

So what happens is, there is a list, maybe even with internal priority and ETA for when each item will be checked, but they just can't estimate how long it would take: might be few minutes, might be few weeks, and might be technically impossible. So when a developer gets to handle an item from the list, they will know more details and post proper updates, but this can't really be done in advance for all the items.

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  • One question this asks about is regarding questions asking if (not when) the team still intends to implement a previously planned or under review request or if the prior request was forgotten about. One common case of the latter is for questions tagged as under review before the internal escalation process was introduced in early 2020: those were often noted on an individual staffer's personal list and not an overall company list, and are bound to get lost, such as through the employee ceasing to work for SE. Jun 22 at 10:51
  • See also the linked case where the team changed their mind on implementing a planned request: the team forgot to update the meta post to say so, which gave off a false impression for about 20 months: if such a question were asked for that post, that would have been much smaller. Your answer doesn't cover those cases. Jun 22 at 10:53
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    @Sonic well let's say there are currently 163 questions tagged status-review. If the team will tell status of one in reply to "what is the status of this?" then there is very big risk of "We'd be flooded by people wanting to know the status of the thing they are concerned about" (taken from comment under the question) becoming true, and the team would look bad when not replying to all 160+ questions due to lack of time. In theory, there's nothing wrong asking about one; Problem is the possible side effects of this. Jun 22 at 11:47
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    @SonictheSaveUkraine-hog In addition to taking away time from the staff member who would have to respond to such a status inquiry, such a post would also be a waste of time for many users. Such a question can only be answered by staff, nothing for the community to chime in. That's nothing which would make meta more interesting to visit for normal users. Jun 22 at 11:54
  • @samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz There most definitely is a way for the community to get involved with such questions. They can post answers such as "this bug may seem minor and low-priority, but it should have higher priority because [further implications]". Granted, such answers can also be posted to the original report, but placing them on the new question makes them more likely to be seen if a staff member sees the question. Jun 25 at 10:15

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