TL;DR: As I mentioned in a recent comment, IMHO regular contests should be (at most) 2 hours long and keep longer contests for special/tournament events.
Personally, one of the main reason for me to compete in less contests in the recent years is that unfortunately I have less time to do programming contests. This becomes worse since Codeforces now have more and more contests longer than 2 hours. It's very hard for me to find more than 2 continuous hours for programming contest. I believe this situation might not be unique to me.
Below are the currently scheduled Div. 1 rounds.
|Codeforces Round (Div. 1)||03:00|
|Codeforces Round (Div. 1)||02:30|
Below are the last 10 Div. 1 (or "combined") rounds. Only one of them was 2 hours long.
|Date||Name||Duration||# of problems|
|09/18||CodeTON Round 6 (Div. 1 + Div. 2, Rated, Prizes!)||02:15 (was modified from 02:00 less than 24 hours before the contest)||8|
|09/10||Codeforces Round 896 (Div. 1)||02:30||6|
|08/30||Pinely Round 2 (Div. 1 + Div. 2)||03:00||9|
|08/26||Harbour.Space Scholarship Contest 2023-2024 (Div. 1 + Div. 2)||03:00||9|
|07/29||Codeforces Round 889 (Div. 1)||02:30||6|
|07/23||Codeforces Round 887 (Div. 1)||02:30||6|
|07/11||Codeforces Round 884 (Div. 1 + Div. 2)||03:00||8|
|06/24||CodeTON Round 5 (Div. 1 + Div. 2, Rated, Prizes!)||03:00||9|
|06/18||Codeforces Round 880 (Div. 1)||02:00||6|
|05/28||Codeforces Round 875 (Div. 1)||02:30||6|
Below are the distributions of Div. 1 (or "combined") contests since the start of Codeforces. The left-end is the start of Codeforces (2010), while the right-end is today. Blue line is "2h contest", while red line is "more than 2h contest". It is clear the trend is going for "more than 2h" contest. Better resolution image here.
Please bring back the old Codeforces with more 2-hour contests. I can't promise anything, but if future task authors would like to create a 2h contest, it will be much more likely that you will have one additional participant. :) If you are worried that 2 hours is too short for participants to solve your 6 problems, then save one problem for future rounds. You can then create more rounds. Win-win solution. :) Keep longer rounds for special/tournament events, like Meta Hacker Cup.
Call me boomer or whatever you want. I don't care.
PS: In case you are wondering, it took less than 2 hours for me to write this blog (including creating the chart).