I was just browsing through the proposals and I wanted to check out actual Q&As on Retrocomputing, now in beta. So I clicked on the Visit the site now! link (same URL as the typical Visit! button, the URL appears correct).

To my surprise I ended up redirected to the site's joining page where I'm informed that I'm about to create a new account on the site.

Is this behaviour intentional? Am I not allowed to visit the site (even in beta) to decide if I want to join before actually joining? Personally I find that rather repelling, which doesn't sound (to me at least) like something desired...

Am I missing something?

1 Answer 1


This is because it's currently in Private Beta, not Public Beta. A public beta site can be viewed by anyone, but not a private one—that's only for those who have signed up for it.

As I understand it, this is because the private beta is a time to try to build a site, not a time where you already have a site for people to observe. If things are going terribly, it can be junked before it goes public.

You can check the example questions to see how interested you are in this site, and either join and view it now, or wait until it (hopefully) goes to Public Beta and view it then.

  • Makes sense. Thx. May 4, 2016 at 15:55
  • Ironically I just figured out a way to access it without joining - accidentally clicked on the site's name on the top menu bar on the join page :) May 4, 2016 at 15:58
  • @DanCornilescu pretty low fence they put up, then :)
    – Dan Getz
    May 4, 2016 at 16:00
  • 1
    @DanGetz That "low fence" is intentional. The private beta is set up so that random internet travelers don't inadvertently wander into a site not knowing it is still somewhat experimental and under construction. But we didn't want a barrier so high that participants would have trouble calling on colleagues to join in helping build it. It wasn't always set up that way, but the assertion that legions of unwashed hoards would rush into a site not ready for them were found to be greatly exaggerated. May 4, 2016 at 16:21

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