The Sandbox may be one of the greatest things on Worldbuilding Meta. I recently had a question "graduate" (i.e. people stopped posting helpful objections and I addressed the ones that had been already made). I then edited out the question, edited in the link to the new question, and noticed that there are currently 14 proposed questions (including one deleted one, I think), 8 of which have been posted as questions on Worldbuilding.

That's all very well and good, but the page has gotten to the point that it's unfeasibly long, even with the completed answers reduced to a link. This is partly due to the fact that there tend to be loads of comments and partly due to the fact that there are 14 proposed questions.

As of yesterday, the Sandbox is one month old, so we're averaging 14 questions per month. In the next year, I expect activity to grow, no matter what level the site is at. Even if activity doesn't grow, we'll be at $$12 \text{ months} \times \frac{14 \text{ questions}}{\text{month}}=168 \text{ questions}$$ Plus probably 1000+ comments, if not 2000. This will make the page unfeasibly large. You could argue that one can simply sort the page by "active" - which I tend to do - but people might still end up editing old proposed questions, especially if they haven't been asked yet. It will be very difficult to find a given question (although one could circumvent that by using the search box). This is a good example of a very, very, very long question/answer thread.

So what do we do about this Sandbox Overflow?

Since we're going with the deletion idea, I've created an answer in the Sandbox for links to all the deleted questions.

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    $\begingroup$ I'll happily edit the sandbox to reflect the changes accepted here. $\endgroup$ – ArtOfCode Jan 27 '15 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ @ArtOfCode Awesome, thanks. I just deleted my answer there. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jan 27 '15 at 14:15

Delete it. If you see a post where this wasn't done and it's been a few days, please flag for a moderator to delete. (Please first edit to replace the post with a link to the question, as discussed here and here. You'd need that for the flag anyway, as otherwise how would we know it's obsolete?)

Once a question from the sandbox has been asked, the sandbox post is no longer needed -- the comments should have done their job and resulted in a better post, so you don't need those any more, and there's no particular need to keep a record of questions that came from the sandbox rather than being posted directly or being worked out in chat. Or, if people want to keep that record, create one (community wiki) post to collect the links for questions that have been asked, and then delete the posts.

If you want to keep the sandbox comments from your question for your own interest, you can take a screenshot or save a copy of the page. Also, I believe (though I'll need a non-moderator to confirm) that you can always see your own deleted answers on a question, even if you don't otherwise have enough reputation to see deleted posts.

  • $\begingroup$ I can confirm that you can see your own deleted answers, although that's on a non-beta site - which shouldn't matter, admittedly. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jan 25 '15 at 1:17
  • $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 that's what I thought, and I see no reason that this behavior would be different on a beta. Thanks for confirming. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Jan 25 '15 at 1:21
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    $\begingroup$ +1 for just delete :) $\endgroup$ – user Jan 25 '15 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ I see the deleted posts with a colored background. Some others are empty but still show the comments—I suppose it was edited to blank (or link) before deleting. IAC deleting shows that it’s no longer interesting but doesn’t make the page easier to get through. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Jul 23 '16 at 6:23
  • $\begingroup$ @JDługosz deleted posts show up with a light pink background, yes. They're still there but they should all go to the bottom of the page, after all non-deleted answers. (That might not be true if you sort by date, but in the default view, sorting by votes, it works that way even if deleted answers have more votes than some non-deleted ones.) $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Jul 24 '16 at 2:47
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    $\begingroup$ Sorting by active, as suggested, the deleted posts are not pushed to the bottom, but mixed in with non-deleted answers. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Jul 24 '16 at 2:55

Edit down to just a title, then delete

An extra practice learned from the PPCG sandbox: For the benefit of high rep users who see all the deleted answers, edit your answer down to just the title before you delete it. If you forget, you can still edit your own answers after they are deleted.

This makes a huge difference for people who can see deleted answers.

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    $\begingroup$ Getting rid of the comments would be nice, too. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Feb 7 '15 at 22:14
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    $\begingroup$ I guess we could just flag the question for moderator attention and choose "Other" and request comment deletion (if the moderators don't mind that?). $\endgroup$ – trichoplax Feb 7 '15 at 22:24
  • $\begingroup$ I can't believe I didn't think of that. Done. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Feb 7 '15 at 22:25

I'm going to take this from PCG, from where most of our sandbox came...

There are currently 330-ish questions in the sandbox over there. There are also several past revisions of the sandbox which have been closed when they hit 400 questions and a new sandbox post was created.

I don't like that. It does make for far too many questions in the sandbox, and it means it will never load on an app. As Monica says, I vote delete. This will need to be self-regulated. I also suggest that we leave the current system in place partially: once the question is posted, the post is edited to a link to the question, then a few days later it can be deleted.

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    $\begingroup$ Edit + wait a few days and delete is fine with me. If you notice some that have lingered well past their view-by dates, feel free to flag for mods to delete. (Please don't assume we'll actively police this, though -- you'll need to remind us of specific posts.) Since this is a new idea, please hold off on flagging for a week or so to give people a chance to object, collect whatever they want from those answers, etc. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Jan 27 '15 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio That's kind of what I was thinking. We can always just ping the author to remind them to delete first $\endgroup$ – ArtOfCode Jan 27 '15 at 17:49

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