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It's a big day. You've been cleared for graduation by the Stack Exchange Community Team! Code Review has already met our threshold for graduation-worthy sites, and today joins in the new design-independent graduation process! Reaching 'mature community' status is a big milestone, and you should be very proud.

You've already had an election to have celebrated this previously, but now you will receive the remaining benefits detailed in this process, which include:

  • You will no longer see the "beta" label attached to your site's name
  • You will become eligible for question migration paths with the rest of the network
  • You will be able to select your own community ads

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. It's no secret that our backlog for site designs is long, and so although you're looking at wait of several months, but we wanted to give you the things we could give you now. Normally, a site would also be included in the footer at this stage. As mentioned here we’ve discovered that in our current setup, we’ve hit a barrier to adding sites in the footer wherein they might not actually show up in the footer. We are currently looking into an adequate long term solution.

This site has reached this point because of your generous contributions. Together, you've created a valuable resource that helps people. Congratulations on all you've accomplished.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hey Grace, nice of you to tell us, but from what I can see the community veterans including me really dislike this way of graduating "half-assed"-ly. I'm not sure as to what your plan is, but is it really that long until you decoupled the reputation from the design? I'd like to hear your and other CM's opinion on this, preferrably in a dialog. What do you think about creating a reddit-style AMA in Code Review Chat? \$\endgroup\$ – Vogel612 Sep 10 '15 at 12:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is, in most parts, a template announcement - "several months" is mostly a safety term and it may be less time. 9 sites were in the bundle of our "launch party" for design independent graduation. I quite remember the decision to turn down joining in the test with Magento last month. In this case, it's becoming official process and not giving you guys these things won't make the work on the design, or decoupling from it, any faster. I'll look into the potential for a chat event and who can partake in it. \$\endgroup\$ – Grace Note Sep 10 '15 at 12:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ So, you're saying that we can't refuse design-independent graduation? \$\endgroup\$ – Kaz Sep 10 '15 at 12:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zak the "design-independent graduation" is the "new thing". It works and is the current graduation process. As such we now graduate. Think of it as a full graduation taking a little longer. I think that's what it is. \$\endgroup\$ – Vogel612 Sep 10 '15 at 12:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ As happy as I am that the "beta" label is gone, I really couldn't care about the rest of this. Fix the rep levels please. \$\endgroup\$ – RubberDuck Sep 10 '15 at 12:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ I for one fully accept the design-independent graduation. And I am looking forward to the real design and the increased reputation requirements, whenever that comes. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Sep 10 '15 at 13:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ When should users be looking to get the CR swag that other graduating sites usually get? \$\endgroup\$ – syb0rg Sep 10 '15 at 18:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @syb0rg 6-8 weeks after the new design is live :) \$\endgroup\$ – Mathieu Guindon Sep 10 '15 at 19:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ So... beta label gone, when exactly will we get migration paths and community ads? \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Oct 11 '15 at 9:11
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Hey look!

Code Review (not beta)

Made my day!

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    \$\begingroup\$ Mine not... still grumpy. \$\endgroup\$ – Vogel612 Sep 10 '15 at 13:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Vogel612 there will always be something to complain about, even after full-blown real-thing-graduation-with-a-design is in effect and rep thresholds have been adjusted. The secret of happiness is to enjoy every little moment - this is one of them ;-) \$\endgroup\$ – Mathieu Guindon Sep 10 '15 at 13:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't get it. Could you highlight it with a freehand circle?? \$\endgroup\$ – ANeves wants peace for Monica Sep 11 '15 at 14:42
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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:

  1. 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".
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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):

  1. These 4* steps are apparently organized in increasing order of significance - with the most significant steps happening at the end.
  2. There is now no clear "goal", it is "you're somewhere in step 4"
  3. 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 tag from this question, and replacing it with . The is premature.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I see the splitting of 4 into 4a, 4b, 4c... as a way to help us get from 70% graduated (or whatever the number may be) to 71% graduated, and then 72% graduated, etc. I do not think of it as "Instead of one remaining step, there are now five remaining steps". So I do think we are closer to "real" graduation. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Sep 10 '15 at 15:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SimonForsberg - I guess I was just underwhelmed by this meta post: "It's a big day. You've been cleared for graduation by the Stack Exchange Community Team!" - since, that was already done a year ago: "here to confirm that yes, the Community Team has indeed decided that Code Review should graduate. Congratulations, Code Reviewers!" - This post would have been better as "look, some things have changed" \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl Sep 10 '15 at 15:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hmm.... I just realized that this post is not really a site-specific announcement at all..... it's part of a "batch" operation of "identical" posts to multiple site metas, each with the same message. Really, this post is not "tailored" to Code Review in any significant way: CS, Anime, Blender, and 5 more - all the same posts, the same posts \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl Sep 10 '15 at 15:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Correct - 9 sites were part of this batch. I did slightly modify the bit about the election since y'all already had one, and modified the title since, indeed, "Congratulations you're graduating!" is already an extant meta post title. I thought about cutting more but in the long run, I figured, there still are folks to whom this will be celebratory progress, even if small, and so I kept the opening in that fashion. \$\endgroup\$ – Grace Note Sep 10 '15 at 18:31
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As @RubberDuck said, please raise the rep privileges as soon as possible. We need those for proper graduated site operation.

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