I outlined a question in the Sandbox for a to create a user script that can migrate challenges to and from the Sandbox. I've since been informed by multiple people that the criteria I outlined were not feasible for a userscript.

One point of discussion from @FryAmTheEggman is that:

Automating this wouldn't really help at all, since the sandbox only does anything if the poster wants to use it.

Here are some reasons I think such a tool would be helpful:

  • Most new users are unaware of the Sandbox, and they are (usually) the ones posting poorly written questions
  • I think it will help us retain more new users, because the negative connotations of downvotes and closings are mitigated by constructive criticism on the Sandbox post
  • I think that moving questions to and from the Sandbox is a somewhat tedious but mechanical problem, which means it is well-suited for being automated
  • This also helps users on mobile devices, for whom it is even more difficult and tedious to copy and paste the raw Markdown and make all the edits and comments

So, here are my questions:

1. Do we want a Sandbox migration bot?

2. If we do, how should we go about creating it?

Specifically, should it be:

  • A challenge like the one I have outlined,
  • A community effort in some other form, or
  • Something for someone to create on their own?
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ How do you suggest that this be done? The Stack Exchange software does not allow "migrating" a question to an answer or vice versa. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doorknob
    Jun 20, 2017 at 4:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Doorknob If the author themselves activates the bot, can it post as them? In that case, it could be as simple as clicking a link to move the challenge from one location to the other. I'm not sure what is and isn't possible because I've never done this before \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2017 at 5:03
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You certainly can't take actions under another user's credentials simply by having them click a link - that would be a huge security vulnerability. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doorknob
    Jun 20, 2017 at 5:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Other apps have abilities like "Allow this app to post as you on Facebook", at which point you authorize or deny this permission. Does SE have anything like this? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2017 at 5:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Stack Exchange does implement OAuth, but at that point if the user isn't willing to copy/paste into the sandbox, it's unlikely that this would change that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doorknob
    Jun 20, 2017 at 5:32

1 Answer 1


This doesn't seem useful

Copying a challenge between the sandbox and main site is a simple matter of copying-and-pasting the body, title, and tags. Three copy-and-pastes really isn't a large amount of effort, and is trivial in comparison with basically anything else you might want to do with respect to a challenge or Sandbox post. (Sometimes I change headings between level 1 and level 2, but that's basically just a nicety rather than something that's necessary.)

Additionally, it's quite common for me to make minor changes to a post (typically to the title or introduction) while moving it between the main site and sandbox; an automated process wouldn't do that at all. We'd have to institute a culture of Sandbox posts being identical to the desired challenge on Main (which is not the case at the moment), and I think that'd be detrimental to the usability of the Sandbox.


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