Retrocomputing Stack Exchange is leaving beta in mid-December.

What is beta?

As the (somewhat out of date) Help Center article says:

“Beta” means that the site is still being defined and constructed

We've done pretty well at this, I think.

  • We've got a good understanding of what's on-topic and what's not.
  • Most of our tags have detailed tag wiki excerpts, explaining how and why they should be used.
  • Us pro tem moderators are doing less than half the work.
  • 96% of our questions are answered, with an average of 2.6 answers per question.
  • We've got over 3000 visits per day. (3142, at time of writing.)

Apart from making an FAQ, and the (hotly debated) 10 questions per day metric, we meet all the classic criteria for graduation.

What graduation means

There are several aspects to graduation. These used to be bundled together as an all-or-nothing thing, but they aren't any more. This means:

  • Losing the beta label (yes! 16th December 2021, give or take)
    • "Graduated" on our Area 51 page
    • Removing the “Site Stats” and “Help us grow this site!” boxes shown to anonymous users.
  • Moderator elections (2022 or 2023)
  • Migration paths, maybe, if we ask for them.

But we won't have:

  • Increased reputation thresholds
  • Custom site design (but we might get minor customisation)

How we can prepare

If you think we shouldn't graduate, for whatever reason, please say so: there's still time to slam on the brakes.

Otherwise, we don't really need to do anything. If you want to, though, here are some ideas:

  • Write tag wiki excerpts for every single tag. I think this is achievable, even for weird tags like , and .
  • Approve (or reject) the pending tag synonyms
  • Make sure the /help/on-topic page is up to date. (You can edit it here.)
  • Make an index for the questions and comment discussions, so it's easier for new users to look up whether something's on topic.
  • Write some Q&A pairs, or edit existing questions into FAQs. (New-ish users: you're the best for this. If you have had a question about how the site works, chances are it's FAQ-worthy.)
  • Answer some unanswered questions.
  • Start thinking of questions for our first moderator election.
    • Also consider who you might want to nominate, and whether you might want to nominate yourself.
  • Visit The BBS, and give the Annoying Robot some company. Maybe even have a party?
  • 2
    Yay!!!! Endlich.
    – Raffzahn
    Nov 16 at 0:28
  • 2
    At last! (....)
    – davidbak
    Nov 16 at 3:34
  • 2
    ‘We've got a good understanding of what's on-topic and what's not.’ — unless it’s an emulator question… Nov 16 at 15:11
  • Also, ‘If you have had a question about how the site works’ — are we supposed to be building the main site FAQ or a Meta FAQ? Nov 16 at 15:15
  • At the linked central Meta question it is mentioned in a few places that 10 questions per day threshold is still required to trigger moderator elections. Is this correct? Nov 16 at 15:49
  • @user3840170 Why not both? Meta is (almost) its own meta site, after all. Though, given how far we've got without one, an FAQ is probably not necessary.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Nov 16 at 21:40
  • 3
    @user3840170 And no, the 10 questions per day threshold won't be required for us. The official announcement when we actually graduate will explain things. (Moderator elections require a great deal of behind-the-scenes work, so they're always triggered manually.)
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Nov 16 at 21:41
  • 1
    What about ‘minor customisation’? I assume we can forget about something like ELU, but I wouldn’t like the site to keep looking as bland as Writing or Law… Nov 17 at 19:33
  • @user3840170 They haven't implemented the code for that yet, but when they have, we'll get access to it. (Modulo them not having that many people to handle our requests.)
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Nov 17 at 21:00
  • @user3840170 Which is essentially the design we have right now - sans the BETA tag that is. So I guess it should not be an issue to keep it that way. Seconded.
    – Raffzahn
    Nov 21 at 0:24

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