Warning: this post will contain things that people don't want to hear. But it needs to happen.
Now that that's out of the way, let's get down to business.
The Sandbox was a brilliant idea. It allowed people to see what others thought of their challenges before actually posting them. It was a great place to redirect new users to in order to improve their challenges.
But not anymore.
I don't have access to any site stats but it's obvious without them. The Sandbox is dying.
Based off of my experience, the only person who regularly reviews challenges there is Peter Taylor, for which I would like to thank him. Everyone else pops in to either post a new proposal and then reads one other or just skim over challenges to check for any mistakes.
I've been meaning to make this post for a while now but my latest challenge pushed me over the edge, in particular these two comments.
I had sandboxed this challenge on the 19th of May, 1 week ago today and it had 2 upvotes and no unresolved issues for a week. By the Sandbox's own definition, it was ready for posting.
So I decide to post it, edit the Sandbox post and went to sleep, confident that all issues had been filtered out and corrected. Imagine my surprise when I wake up and find 20+ items in my inbox asking for clarification!
Two of them were even asking me to post this in the Sandbox! When I read these comments, I wanted to reach inside of my computer, crumple the Sandbox into a piece of paper and throw it in the bin. I even wrote (but didn't post) a comment that was all £&@%^*+ symbols, I was that annoyed.
This has to stop. Something needs to be done about the Sandbox. And I'm going to be honest with you here, I have no idea how to fix it. This post isn't to tell you how to fix it or what needs to be done to fix it. This is to tell you that it needs to be fixed. And why can't I tell you how? Because it is so broken that I can't think of even beginning to correct it.
But maybe you do. Please, answer this question with your ideas for what we could do about the Sandbox. Whatever it is, it is better than the current system.
Now, as ever, there will be people who disagree with me, who say that the Sandbox is working. If you are one of these people, think about this:
- A good challenge is posted to the Sandbox and quickly receives 3 upvotes.
- While reading through it, you prove a couple of mistakes/contradictions and notify the OP.
- They correct the mistake and, in your eyes, looks good for posting. They give it a week or two to gain attention but nothing changes
- They then think that it is ready for posting and post it.
- Immediately, someone downvotes and asks for a clarification. Soon after, you post an answer that you've been working on since you saw it in the Sandbox.
- The OP updates the question and invalidates your answer. But by this time, you've moved on to other questions and have forgotten about it. You gather downvotes as your answer doesn't work.
- All this, simply because no-one else spotted a simple ambiguity while in the Sandbox phase, giving both you and the OP the negative feeling you get when someone downvotes your post.
Has this ever happened to you? It probably has and we can stop it. Why stand around, letting this happen again and again, when we can simply resolve this issue?
I say it again, the Sandbox is dying. And we need to save it. But how?