According to this question the advancement from definition to commitment is completely automated. That is of course a very reasonable thing to do for proposals that reach the commitment stage in the usual time spans—which I figure is at least two weeks, most of the time months.

Today, however, iota progressed to Commitment within two days. That is a very double-edged sword. It deprived the usual Area 51 community of the ability to moderate the questions by close votes. While I can't seem to find the site listing all the followers (if that exists) the right-hand stream of last followers contains barely SE users at all. Just a handful, including myself, have any reputation on other sites.

Only yesterday when still in Definition I issued a bunch of close votes on questions that seem to be a very bad fit for a Q&A site on the network. There are also some duplicates in there. For good reasons example questions are locked in Commitment. Thus, no other experienced SE users can even voice their opinion on the quality of those questions—after all, I might be completely wrong on some or even all questions with my opinion.

The problem however is that with this proposal being rushed through definition within two days the whole concept of community moderation on those example questions seems to have been circumvented.

While a minimum age or a minimum number of SE experienced followers would help, I'm not sure that's a good way to go. Now however, we have just the barrier of SE users (and Robert and CMs of course) before the proposal reaches beta ready.

In my opinion such proposals would benefit a lot from a bit more community input—and also the silent review of visitors who don't cast close votes. After all SE is community moderated.

From my personal point of view there's now a proposal in an immutable state of an interesting topic that has a bunch of very troubled questions. Which looks not really commit-worthy now.

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    Related How quickly proposal can go into private beta? also note this proposal has significant hurdles ahead "3/100 committers with 200+ rep on any other site" – James Jenkins Jun 22 '17 at 12:11
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    @JamesJenkins I know that it is quite far away from reaching beta state. My point is that it would be very beneficial for the proposal to have the definition phase last a bit longer to weed out question that might be not a good fit for a Q&A site. At the very least to make sure there are no duplicate questions to lift a site above the question hurdle. – Helmar Jun 22 '17 at 12:56
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    I am noticing a problem that is affecting Blockchain in general. More focus is being given to the cryptocurrencies rather than the underlying technology itself. As a result within stack exchange ,rather than having one stack exchange site for cryptocurrencies, it seems that we are going to end up with a site for every coin. We already have bitcoin, iota, ethereum, neo, monero and dogecoin (closed) I'm not sure if this should become a question, but wouldnt it be better if they were all merged under 1 site: Cryptocurrencies? – DottoreM Jul 9 '17 at 22:51
  • We now got another proposal with a similar situation: NEO Blockchain – Philipp Jul 10 '17 at 8:55
  • I included it already. Neo. I think we need a separate question here – DottoreM Jul 10 '17 at 9:14
  • Oops. is there a way I can take back my "follow" of iota, or downvote it somehow? – NH. Dec 5 '17 at 20:02
  • @NH. it entered private beta last week, so that ship has sailed ;) – Helmar Dec 5 '17 at 22:55
  • @Helmar, what's the point of a beta then? – NH. Dec 6 '17 at 0:07
  • @NH. There's a lot of points to beta. But it has just progressed beyond the two area 51 stages. My question is half a year old after all ;) – Helmar Dec 6 '17 at 8:55
  • oops, it is a little old. Well, still doesn't hurt to link to the Fastest Gun in the West problem (probably one cause of iota's rush through the stages) – NH. Dec 6 '17 at 16:39
up vote 25 down vote accepted

I agree this is a major problem when it happens — but it does have a solution pending, sort of.

I've designed a "circuit breaker" which addresses this exact issue; unfortunately, I don't think it will get implemented for quite some time (at least months, but probably closer to next year if ever).

In the interest of transparency — I've currently halted feature designs for Area 51. The bulk of the dev team(s) have switched over to the Talent product for the foreseeable future, so it's not yet clear when/how resources are going to switch back to Q&A development. We had already planned for a month-long delay with the hire of a new Q&A project manager, but my last round of Area 51 improvements dates back to February 2017 and it's still "pending estimation". The circuit breaker design isn't even part of that release, so with the backlog of Community Team feature-requests piling up, I see no relief coming soon. so…

How does a "circuit breaker" work?

Currently when a proposal nears the end of Definition (typically ~10 questions remaining), it undergoes a Community Team evaluation before it passes into Commitment. During that process, if the proposed community isn't vetting their own content, I can (and do) close any closely related questions as a duplicate (among other sanity checks).

But if a proposal races through Definition, by time I receive the "time to evaluate" notification, it's already too late.

A "circuit breaker" will add a temporary soft stop to a proposal that passes from Definition into Commitment without going through the Final Evaluation process first. With a typical proposal, I would have already completed the Final Evaluation before it reached that point, so most people wouldn't even know the circuit breaker existed. But for that rare situation when a proposal is pushed through with little Community Team or Area 51 scrutiny/vetting, this will slow things down just long enough to take a closer look at the proposal before storming forward.

  • Any updates on adding the "Circuit Breaker"? Seems like eosio would have benefited from having it. – James Jenkins Mar 15 at 19:37
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    @JamesJenkins No word of dev resources being allocated for our feature requests again. – Robert Cartaino Mar 15 at 20:43

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