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From April-June 2006, P2alt was the second round of proofing, in which the version of the page text produced in P1 was checked and corrected.

This round was added between P1 and the original P2 round in April 2006, as an experimental "alternative" to the "original" P2 round; hence the odd name. The P2alt experiment having been judged a success by Distributor Proofreaders's Site Administrators, an "official" third proofing round was added to the DP system. The original P2 round was transformed into the P3 round, and the experimental P2alt round became the new P2 round.

One of the problems resulting from the experimental and temporary nature of the P2alt round was the necessity of jerry-rigging the P1 diffs when a project moved from P2alt into P2. Projects with the label P2alt-r identify projects where "jerry-rigged diffs" have been retrieved and restored into the project's normal Page Details. Naturally, the P2alt-r label will become obsolete as the projects which were in progress when the formal transition to the current five-round system was made finish their time in the DP system.


As of mid-April 2006, one of the key issues facing the Distributed Proofreaders community was an on-going imbalance between the rate of proofreading in the P1 and P2 rounds. This imbalance, present in varying degrees since the creation of the two rounds nearly a year earlier, had cause the P2 release queue to grow to the point that exhaustion of the current server drive space was a looming problem.

Concurrently, another issue was developing. Between the large number of P1 volunteers, and a drop in the number of books being prepared for the site, the P1 queue had been depleted of English language material. In order to address these two issues, about 300 books were assigned an additional round of proofreading on 21 April 2006. For this round, the P1 volunteers working on the books were asked to “make the page as good as you can”, a goal similar to that of P2, and to spell-check each page. The books “recycled” in this manner were distinguished from regular projects by a “(P2alt)” string at the end of the title (so named in hope that these projects would not need to be proofread in P2), and an addition to the project comments, asking for this special, more careful handling.

However, within a few days of the beginning of the experiment, a problem was noticed. Despite a label in the recycled projects that asked new volunteers to work only on the conventional P1 projects, a number of them were still working on P2alt projects. To reduce this problem, the site was modified so that only proofreaders qualified for the F1 round were permitted to work on the P2alt projects. Although not strictly appropriate, this restriction was considered the easiest way to require a modest minimum level of experience with the site’s proofreading philosophy.

Another change was introduced on 29 April 2006. As of that date, all books, regardless of language or subject matter, were automatically assigned to the P2alt round after leaving P1. They would automatically move back to waiting for P1 and have the "(P2alt)" tag added in the title.

Once a project completed P2alt, the project was either placed in the P2 queue, or if both the Project Manager and Post Processor agreed, it could skip P2 and be placed in F1. If the latter, the project was additionally tagged with “P2 skipped”. When the new P2 round was introduced, any P2alt projects in available in or waiting for P1 were moved to P2 (available or waiting). Even if the project had moved on to later rounds, the (P2alt) tag was retained in the title.