This is good news in the slow trickle of progress the Stack Exchange staff have been making in delivering on their commitments to supporting community sites through their conception, development, and maturity.
While this announcement is sweet, I think the bigger issue is one of predictability. Let's review the Stack Exchange concept as a whole:
- the community shows interest and proposes a site on Area 51 - Stack Exchange is committed to allowing discussion on the merits of each proposed site - and has a clear threshold after which the site enters "private beta".
- the community seeds the private beta site with content that "mocks out" what the site will be like. After a "while", the site, if successful, enters public beta. Stack Exchange is committed to "filtering" useful sites in beta, and appointing the moderators.
- the community (if successful) builds on itself and grows, and fulfils a useful role in Stack Exchange and the internet as a whole. Stack Exchange is committed to providing support and a safety net for the community to "fledge".
This brings us to where we are, conceptually as a site, along with many other beta sites. Until a few years ago, the next step is/was supposed to be:
- now that the community is well established and the site is consistently healthy, the Stack Exchange folk are committed, and responsible for elevating the site to be "equal" among its peers of fully-fledged "mature" sites - Note: At this point, the only responsibility the community has is to "keep doing what it is doing". There is nothing that needs to be done by the community to make step 4 happen - it is all the responsibility of the Stack Exchange system.
In the case of Code Review, that step 4 has been delayed, and delayed (by about a year now). Stack Exchange is not fulfilling it's commitment to the community that it made when the community started out along this road.
Admittedly, the Stack Exchange system "step 4" is now being broken down in to Steps 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e, 4f, 4g, 4h, and so on.
There are three major issues that I have (as a member of this community - so I feel that others may share my concerns):
- These 4* steps are apparently organized in increasing order of significance - with the most significant steps happening at the end.
- There is now no clear "goal", it is "you're somewhere in step 4"
- There is now even less of an expectation of time-to-delivery than there was before.
When graduation was "announced" almost a year ago, the words used were:
Code Review has been added to the list of sites that the SE Design Team will be creating unique site designs for. Unfortunately, the list is long, so it may be several months before you see the first mockups.
A lot has happened since then, but those words are eerily similar to this post:
In the coming months, the site will receive a full design from one of our designers, which will be packaged with an increase in the amount of reputation needed to access each privilege.
So, what's changed?
Oh, I get it, we are no closer to graduation than we were a year ago.
I am taking the liberty of removing the graduation tag from this question, and replacing it with beta-progress. The graduation is premature.