Why do people keep posting a link to the sandbox below their question? Isn't the sandbox supposed to serve the OP as a way of getting feedback on a challenge? It seems like a lot of people are mistaking (or am I?) the purpose of the sandbox as a golden ticket to success. Is there an unspoken rule that prevents people from downvoting posts that were sandboxed or what is this all about?

So my question is, does linking to the sandboxed post (which is deleted and not visible to everybody anyways) actually serve a purpose?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I've been wondering about this for months. At some point, one or two people started doing it, and somehow it's become a thing now. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 25, 2017 at 11:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ One of the reasons could be so that you don't get comments such as "use the sandbox next time" or such, although there should be no reason to get such comments if your challenge is a good one. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 25, 2017 at 11:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ When I posted my first answer I was directed to the Sandbox. After that I've been using it every time, and leave most of my challenges in there for at least a week (not all though). In the beginning however, I would still get the question "Was this in the Sandbox?" pretty often, like here for example. After that I've been adding the comment in advance for the next few challenges I've posted. Now I don't do this anymore unless specifically asked, but I still see some other people do. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 25, 2017 at 13:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't use the link as a "golden ticket to success." Oftentimes people ask "Was this sandboxed?" Or they say "There is something wrong with <aspect of challenge>. You should've sandboxed it." The link to sandbox is, for me, just a way of indicating that any problem people find was not caught in the sandbox. Even if the challenge is "good", it's nice to have that reassurance. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 25, 2017 at 13:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, kinda makes sense. Until now I've never seen comments like that on a challenge that wasn't really bad or posted by a new user. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 25, 2017 at 15:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Someone want to put their comment into an answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – mbomb007
    Sep 25, 2017 at 15:47

3 Answers 3


I am one of the ones that include Sandbox links in comments. I (and others) do this to stave off any "this needs to be Sandboxed" comments from users who don't take the time to check whether or not a challenge was Sandboxed before commenting. It serves as a reminder to do due diligence before giving criticism, and also as a reminder that many challenges spend a lot of time in the Sandbox, so there is ample time for feedback if users will look through the Sandbox and review challenges there.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 from me: Perhaps we need a more poignant phrasing: "This challenge was already sandboxed. If you feel it didn't get the refinement it deserved, feel free to make a comment, but perhaps you should take a look at the other posts there to help them out" (half-sarcastic) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 26, 2017 at 14:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill I think that might be a little too aggressive. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Sep 26, 2017 at 20:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, that's why its half sarcastic. The intent is completely serious, the wording is completely wrong :) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 26, 2017 at 20:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Nathan, codegolf.stackexchange.com/q/11694/194 \$\endgroup\$ Sep 28, 2017 at 7:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor Nice :) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 28, 2017 at 14:57

Yes, apparently it can cause newcomers to use the sandbox, which IMHO is a good thing.


As @Adám pointed out, I only got to the sandbox post because I'd seen a lot of challenges with their sandbox linked on the comments. IMO, it's useful information to have, as it makes people aware of not only the sandbox, but of the Meta board as a whole.


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