I committed to the Apocalyptic Defense proposal to test to see whether I could commit to a closed proposal. However, the proposal has now been locked as well. While locking does prevent users from committing, it also prevents those that had previously committed from uncommitting. Since commits are closely rationed on the site, I'd like to get it back. If locking is going to be the standard mechanism on Area 51 for preventing users from committing to a proposal, then I suggest that it be modified to allow users that had previously committed to uncommit.

  • 1
    That's what you get for committing so willy-nilly. I kid. I kid! We'll have to take a closer look at the behavior to unlock those votes. Jun 16, 2010 at 2:45
  • @Robert would deleting the proposal return the commit? Jun 16, 2010 at 2:48
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    Yes, because commitments are "counted" in the database and (as of today) commitments to closed Proposals are no longer counted. Jun 16, 2010 at 2:55
  • How about you just unlock the proposal and let people free themselves from it. cough open the flood gates so we can get 100% support mmmkday
    – glasnt
    Jun 16, 2010 at 14:34
  • @Robert - Great, I'm out of commitments and I'd love to spend that one on something else (which hopefully gets out of discussion soon).
    – user50049
    Jun 16, 2010 at 16:13
  • I talked with David about the implementation. It's a reasonably simple fix so it's on his short list. Jun 16, 2010 at 16:27
  • Duplicates work from the newer to the older @pol
    – juan
    Jun 16, 2010 at 18:45
  • @Juan Not always
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jun 16, 2010 at 21:01
  • I'd also like to be able to unfollow closed proposals. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/53908/… Jun 16, 2010 at 21:12
  • @cco, he doesn't know how the engine works yet
    – juan
    Jun 16, 2010 at 22:49

2 Answers 2


The solution is currently being has been implemented. Here is how it works:

  • Commitments in a closed Proposal will not count towards your total allowance so you will be able to commit to other sites.
  • If a closed Proposal is re-opened, the Proposal will not lose the commitments it accumulated.
  • You will no longer be able to commit to closed/locked Proposals (unless it is re-opened).

Why not just automatically un-commit all the followers?

We don't want to automatically un-commit because Proposals can ultimately be re-opened (just like closed questions in Stack Overflow). Users were told that they would be notified when the site reached beta. We wouldn't want to remove those commitments if the Proposal is re-opened.

Why not allow users to un-commit from closed Proposals?

We could but that puts the effort back on the user. Most users don't follow Area 51 that closely and wont know they can commit to another proposal unless they check. It can also be potentially damaging to the Proposal. We don't want to cause a flight from closed Proposals because people may not understand that a closed Proposal isn't necessarily deleted. Many will remove their commitment under the mistaken assumption that it is the correct thing to do. But those commitments are, effectively, available for the users to apply somewhere else.

Tecnnical note for you programmers/debuggers out there: There's a bit of an odd situation where a re-opened Proposal may causes users to have more than three commitments. That's okay. We'll treat that situation like Badges where users don't ever lose a badge but it is reclaimed when the users earns the next one.

  • The reclaiming scenario in your technical note isn't completely accurate. When a proposal is closed, all users who had committed to that proposal will immediately be able to commit to 1 more proposal -- in effect, reclaiming that commitment. If that proposal is ever then re-opened, some users might be in a state where they are committed to more proposals than they are supposed to be. All this means is they would potentially have to un-commit from multiple proposals in order to commit to a new one.
    – Emmett
    Jun 16, 2010 at 19:49
  • @emmett - You are correct. I used the word "reclaimed" in the sense that extra commitment doesn't mean the user has 4 commits forever. When one of those sites goes to beta, they will return to 3 commits (max). Jun 16, 2010 at 21:33

As of now, commitments to closed proposals no longer count against your commitment limit.

  • So, what happens if I commit to a proposal, then it's closed, then I use up all my commitments on other stuff, then the proposal is opened again? Wouldn't that put me over-limit for commitments? Jun 16, 2010 at 17:30
  • @gnovices - Hey now, don't ask them to close loopholes like this! Let them discover the possibility when a bunch of users get together and commit to all the proposals.
    – Pollyanna
    Jun 16, 2010 at 17:42
  • @Pollyanna: I can't help it! I'm compelled to foretell future f-ups! Jun 16, 2010 at 17:48
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    @gnovices-exchange - Yes... temporarily. Just like Badges you (don't) lose, you will (for a short time) have more outstanding commitments than you are supposed to. And they will be reclaimed in the same way (as Badges). See my answer: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/53798/… Jun 16, 2010 at 17:58

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