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The question sandbox has helped a lot of people. At this writing it has 146 answers, including the deleted ones (many of which were deleted after turning into actual questions on the main site).

The sandbox works when the community provides early feedback. This has been spotty, hence this call for sandbox duty. But it's also been pointed out that it can be hard to find the questions in need of attention there.

The default view of a page sorts the answers by votes and moves all deleted ones to the end of the page. But for something like this, it can be more useful to sort the page by activity, so that the most-recently-touched posts show up first. But that mixes deleted and undeleted posts, so you end up with (currently) five pages of answers to page through. That's no good.

This might not be as much of an issue if we didn't have so many old, undeleted answers. The sandbox contains posts last edited in 2015 and not deleted. Did they turn into questions (and so can be deleted)? Did their authors abandon them? Does the sandbox have a time limit after which posts should be deleted regardless of outcome? More than a year ago there was some discussion about having a time limit, but it wasn't pursued.

The sandbox is heavily linked, so I don't think we want to just close it down and start a new one. But it's getting harder to manage in its current state.

What should we do about the current state of the sandbox?

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    $\begingroup$ Oops! I pleed guilty. Deleted my two proposed questions which I abandoned $\endgroup$ – Pavel Janicek Jul 25 '16 at 7:58
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I suggest that we start a new sandbox post, and link it from the old one.

In other words the old sandbox post becomes a directory listing the new ones:

Welcome to the Sandbox

This one got a little full, so we've created some more. You should still link to this one as we will update it whenever a new one is created.

Current Sandbox:

  • Sandbox 2016 (linky)

Previous Sandboxes:

  • The Original Sandbox 2015 (Linky)
  • The Future Sandbox 2026 (Linky)
  • etc.

You get the idea :), obviously for now there would only be the one. In general we'd create a new Sandbox for each calendar year, that can be adjusted based on demand though. Perhaps one each 6 months is called for.

All content other than the list of links should be removed and placed in the current sandbox only. All old sandboxes should contain only the link to the directory. This is to help stop people getting confused and posting in the wrong one.

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    $\begingroup$ We can also prevent people from b posting in the old ones by closing therm as duplicates. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Jul 25 '16 at 12:34
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    $\begingroup$ 146 questions for one year is quite a bit. Maybe break it up by quarters? ~36 questions seems a lot more manageable. $\endgroup$ – Ranger Jul 25 '16 at 14:47
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    $\begingroup$ Sounds fine, or just make a new one whenever one has 40 rather than a fixed schedule. $\endgroup$ – Tim B Jul 25 '16 at 20:39
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    $\begingroup$ Do it ad hoc, we can spin new ones up as needed. $\endgroup$ – James Jul 28 '16 at 14:11
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    $\begingroup$ We should also add rules to the new sandbox thread. For example something like: If a question has not been edited or deleted by its owner in 6 months the question will be deleted. This should help reduce the clutter. $\endgroup$ – James Jul 28 '16 at 14:14
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I have been thinking about this and I think we should try and delete any question that has not been edited for over 6 months. If we want we could give a warning via a comment to the OP then wait a week and If we have had no reply delete the question but I think it is easier just to delete any question from over 6 months ago.

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Maybe start a fresh sandbox but not delete the old. Start a new one when it gets too large and name it e.g. Sandbox 2016-August.

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We should simply delete questions that are posted on the main site, not the way they are deleted currently, but actually delete it so that it no longer appears on the sandbox

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    $\begingroup$ It appears (though I haven't done exhaustive searches) that a lot of the extant sandbox posts were never turned into questions but were also never withdrawn by their authors. Also, we can't remove answers from the sandbox post, only delete them. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Jul 24 '16 at 4:17

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