How to keep a bucket of water from freezing by only natural means?

It seems the migration was requested and ended in rejection, but most answers are still locked.

I am wondering why some answers are still open and can be voted on while others which are also old are locked/deleted, so I would like to know the reason why some answers are closed and others not.

My suggestion is either

  • we lock the question and all answers
  • delete the question completely or
  • the locked answers are unlocked.

Everything from the former list of options is fine, but letting some answers open and some closed is not ok.


Addition: Here is a screenshot which is visible for users with over 10k:

enter image description here

locked by Community and deleted 2 days ago

docscience 11 points
WhatRoughBeast 10 points
ThorstenS 9 points
annav 8 points
Thomas Pornin/Jimmy360 2 points
Loren Pechtel/CedricH 1 point

  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean that some answers are deleted? Because I can see that I can vote on all visible undeleted answers, but not on the question that doesn't state that it is protected like it usually does. And I can't see your answer, but I can access your link to your answer and don't see anything mentioning that your post was deleted. Weird behaviour. $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Oct 20, 2017 at 11:44
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Secespitus There are numerous deleted answers on that question. The deletion happened automatically when the question was migrated from Worldbuilding to Physics, but the Physics community apparently rejected the question by closing it as off topic, which sent it back to Worldbuilding where it had already been determined by the community to be off topic. Hence it remains closed with us. One could absolutely argue that the existing answers that were deleted when the question was migrated away should be undeleted, but apparently that didn't happen. I'll see what I can figure out. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Oct 20, 2017 at 12:13
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling This does not explain the fact that one visible, not deleted question is from Paul Krüger answered in May 27th 2015 and that also other answers are old and existed long before the migration. $\endgroup$ Oct 20, 2017 at 12:43
  • $\begingroup$ @ThorstenS. Yes, I know, hence "I'll see what I can figure out". I don't know exactly what happened here. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Oct 20, 2017 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ Wow -- it was migrated here in May 2015 and closed this month, more than two years later. I suspect the people deciding how rejected migrations should work didn't consider that use case; usually if a migration is going to be rejected it's fairly quick. I've never liked what migration + closure does to the post in question anyway, but this is especially bizarre. $\endgroup$ Oct 20, 2017 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ It appears that answers that came in with the migration from Physics were deleted when the question was closed. Answers posted on Worldbuilding remained undeleted. $\endgroup$ Oct 20, 2017 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio The question was AFAIK tried to migrate from WB to Physics and rejected at October 17th, not the other way round. I am pretty sure about that because I answered that question in WB (!), not in physics and I got the update that the question was locked/deleted only a few days ago. $\endgroup$ Oct 20, 2017 at 15:33
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The question was asked in 2015, which makes it too old to migrate. (Only questions asked within the last 60 days can be migrated.) I think what happened is that it was originally asked on Physics, migrated here (in 2015), and then recently closed here. When a migrated question is closed, it's sent back to the site it came from. Migrations are confusing sometimes (I'd be in favor of disabling them entirely). $\endgroup$ Oct 20, 2017 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio I admit being really confused now.... $\endgroup$ Oct 20, 2017 at 15:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I just checked, and according to the timeline you actually answered that question on Physics and then your answer was migrated here with the question. Obviously you also have a lot of activity here and it has been 2+ years, so it'd be easy to forget that early history. $\endgroup$ Oct 20, 2017 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio Hm, embarassing, could have sworn it was answered in WB. Ok, thanks for looking. $\endgroup$ Oct 20, 2017 at 16:32

1 Answer 1


According to the question timeline:

  • The question was asked on Physics on 2015-05-24.

  • On Physics, it was answered by Jimmy360, docscience, anna v, WhatRoughBeast, Loren Pechtel, Thorsten S., Cedric H., Thomas Pornin.

  • It was migrated from Physics to Worldbuilding on 2015-05-26. Note: Migrating a question with that many existing answers is now considered a terrible idea. That probably wasn't as clear in 2015.

  • On Worldbuilding, it was answered by iNeedToMakeBetterQuestions, Paul Krueger, Nick, user15361, cybernard, colmde.

  • 30 days after the migration, the original question was automatically deleted on Physics. (That's how migration works.)

  • On 2017-10-17 the question here received a close vote, entered review, and was closed by the community.

  • The migration (remember that? From 2015?) was rejected. When a migration is rejected, what's supposed to happen is that the migrated answers are deleted and locked on the receiving site and undeleted on the original question -- it sends the received content back to the originating site to handle. But the original question was already deleted. Probably what this means (I don't have 10k rep on Physics to check) is that the question there is still deleted but, within that scope, the answers are not deleted -- that is, were the Physics question to be undeleted, the answers would return there. That's a guess.

I don't know what's supposed to happen to answers from the new site when a migration is rejected. I think the idea is: we keep ours, they get theirs back -- but we don't send ours back across the migration line to the other site. The SE code avoids having an answer be live on both sides automatically, so because the WB answers didn't go to Physics, they stayed here undeleted.

Have I mentioned recently how freaking confusing migrations can be?

I think one part of what I've said here should be treated as a bug: if the rejection fails (because the other site has already deleted the original question), then it shouldn't delete anything on the receiving site. (And it certainly shouldn't lock anything, which prevents community undeletion.) I have unlockd and undeleted the answers that were deleted by the system. (One was deleted from review, which I won't undelete.) I've also made a feature request to not reject old migrations.

My undeletions restore the status quo. I didn't evaluate those answers for quality. Some are pretty short, so maybe they need more attention from the community.


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