After posting a question that had gone through sandbox, people typically remove the body of their sandbox submission and replace it with a link to the final challenge. This makes sense to help reduce scrolling in the sandbox.

I was wondering, however, if it would actually be a better idea to delete the sandbox post in addition to removing the body. Even though removing the body of the post helps to reduce scrolling, the answer still occupies a position in the sandbox and bumps other answers onto the second/third pages.

In the current sandbox, several of the most upvoted answers have been posted. On the first page, there are 30 answers, 16 of which have been posted. I think that deleting the answers will increase the visibility of the posts which were on the second page.

(I realize that this is only a problem for those who sort by votes, but I think most users sort by votes.)


Edit down to the title and a link.

This reduces clutter for ALL users, including those who can view deleted posts. If it's very small this way, then the delete/keep issue is less urgent.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is the current (unofficial) policy, and I generally see nothing wrong with it. \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Aug 13 '14 at 11:00

Since the sandbox is now combined and a somewhat larger beast, and since the up and downvotes on this question are very divided, I'm editing to allow people to change their votes (in either direction).

Delete them

Sandbox posts are like comments, not something we need a permanent record of. For anyone who does want to look back through the history of how a question was sculpted before being posted, deleted answers are still visible to high rep users.

It is useful to view the sandbox sorted by activity, as Martin Büttner points out. This means that potential questions which have been edited following feedback are visible at the top. However, it is also good for sandbox questions to be visible to as many users as possible, so making them more accessible to anyone who doesn't choose to sort by activity should result in more feedback and better question quality on the main site.

So yes, I think we should delete posted questions from the sandbox.

Leaving a link there for a short amount of time for anyone who was following its progress is helpful but I don't think essential. Obviously not everyone will remember to delete their sandbox posts so we may need to flag/delete any that are still there after a few days/a week.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd be really interested in the reasons of at least one of the four downvoters here. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Aug 25 '14 at 22:07

Since the sandbox is now combined and a somewhat larger beast, and since the up and downvotes on this question are very divided, I'm editing to allow people to change their votes (in either direction).

Keep them.

I think that being able to view the history of answers in the sandbox and the corresponding comment threads provides a useful resource to people who want to learn how to write a good question. (How many such people exist is another matter).

  • \$\begingroup\$ The comment threads on posted questions already get deleted from the sandbox. That's one thing that is lost permanently. Is there any way they could be saved somewhere, or are we happy to let them go and just have the edit history or the post itself? \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Aug 12 '14 at 17:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @githubphagocyte, I don't know who's doing that, but I hope they see this and stop it. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Aug 12 '14 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor I usually flag them for deletion if they are so big that they are more clutter than the questions themselves. I really doubt that anyone really goes to the lengths of reading the comments and going through the edit history to match up the comments with previous flawed versions. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Aug 12 '14 at 17:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it's in the guidance somewhere that you should edit your post down to just a linked title and delete all the comments - I'll link to it if I can find it so it can be considered for updating. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Aug 12 '14 at 18:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor Why? Is there any reason the comments need to stay? They're all generally obsolete when the question is posted anyway. \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Aug 13 '14 at 11:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Doorknob, the edit history shows what changed, but the comments show why, so they're an important part of the educational value of the sandbox. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Aug 13 '14 at 11:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe we could encourage moving the comments to chat and deleting all but the comment linking to the specific chat room? \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Sep 4 '14 at 14:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @githubphagocyte, if the chat logs retain the original comment timestamps and don't get deleted then that's a great idea. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Sep 4 '14 at 14:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ According the the faq rooms are only kept indefinitely if they have at least 15 posts by 2 users, so moving comments to chat wouldn't work for archiving sandbox comments in small numbers. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Sep 5 '14 at 19:32

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