Have a "sandbox" as a status

Some of the SE sites like Code Golf or Worldbuilding have what they call a sandbox where users can post question drafts for others to look over before they go live on the main site. What I would like to propose is something similar but hopefully better.

I would have sandbox be a status like closed/protected/deleted that has the following effects,

  • Only visible to logged in users.
  • Only interactions allowed are comments, edits and delete votes if its truly unsalvageable .
  • Brand new users need a higher trust level user to remove the status, higher level users can remove the status themselves.
  • Once the status is removed then the post displays normally.

I would further suggest that the first question a user asks gets put into the sandbox and cleaned up/deleted before it goes live.

Higher level users shouldn’t be forced to go through the sandbox, but the option should be there if they want it.

Making it a status means that multiple post types can be placed into the sandbox, blog posts, main site questions, meta questions etc. Perhaps multiple users wanted to collaborate on a blog post before it goes live, this would make that easy to do.

I would make viewing the sandbox a privilege, if a user gets really burned out and starts being rude to newbies than perhaps not letting them view a brand new question until it gets cleaned up could help them not take out their frustration on others. There should also be a ban if a higher level user lets spam/rude posts get through the sandbox.

Also if someone does get tired to cleaning up newbie questions then there should be a way to hide them from one’s feed.

The incentive to clean up newbie questions in the sandbox beyond helping people would be first dibs on answering.


Something like this seems to be a good idea… Might I suggest that a third status be added, making the progression:

Draft (author-only) → Sandbox (Users only) → Public (all users & guests).

There have been times when I’ve wanted to be able to save a question without submitting it for answering, without having to rely on the draft recovery feature, which is prone to losing content.


My understanding of Sandbox (based on Code Golf, where I have minimally participated - I didn’t realize until discussions here over the past several weeks that Worldbuilding had a Sandbox too) is that Sandbox is bit different from simply “draft for review before going live” (which indeed could be a “status”) but much more like a special type/category of post. This has been discussed a bit and @cellio and I have been pushing for a concept of multiple Post Types (initially called Categories, but then Categories became a more general “content based” grouping with one or more Post Types within each Category.

The Sandbox is more like “Potential questions that may or may not ever get turned into real Questions and get serious discussion & revision (not just “editing”) before going live.” That is quite different, IMHO, from a “draft/review mode” for regular questions. Among other things, a reasonably high Trust Level should mean “no review needed” (that is, if we require review at lower levels, which seems to be a bit of a debate itself) whereas Sandbox, as I understand it, is something that even relatively experienced users can benefit from.

My concept is something like different Post Types might vary in many features, including (but not limited to):

  • Answers (Q&A has Answers, Blog, Wiki, Canonical, Sandbox do not)
  • Comments/Discussions featured (default open/showing a lot vs. closed/minimal) - Meta, Sandbox: Yes, most others: No
  • Trust Level needed to create a post (Q&A, Sandbox, Meta: newbie OK, Blog, Canonical, Wiki: need more experience/trust/rep/whatever)
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This is a good idea, though probably not MVP. It should be available for ANY post, including Questions, Answers, Sandbox, Blog, Wiki, Meta, etc. And not only “no answering” - no comments or any action by almost anyone else. Only the author and moderators should be able to see, and moderators able to delete but to do so only on the basis of spam/nasty, not based on incomplete/poor quality/etc. as that is the actual reason for a draft - to be able to write a bit at a time until you have something that is good quality and make it “live”.


MVP? What’s that supposed to be?

Originally it means “Minimum Viable Product”, but here on Codidact it means “Release version” (the thing that goes live for a public audience).

It means initial release version. That is, stuff that’s not MVP may still be in a later release (this in particular expected in features that are stated as non-MVP).

I think this is already included in the #mvp with “Categories” together with a “Discussion” post type:

(from the Functional Spec)

A site has customizable categories . A category has a list of posts (like the main questions list) and clear navigation in/out. (One implementation would be “tabs” on the main site for “main”, “meta”, “blog”, etc.) Meta is a category, not a separate post type.

See also: https://github.com/codidact/docs/wiki/Categories (especially use case no. 4)

In the end it will be the decision of the community, whether and how Sandboxes are implemented, but post types and categories will be the tools we provide.

AFAICT this should solve the need for a sandbox, without needing a special “post status”. User suspensions and privilege revokations are the means available for handling rude users.

I am not sure, whether this is MVP, but I’d strongly favor user’s being able to choose, which categories posts on the front page are selected from. This would allow anyone who wants it to ignore the sandbox.

The idea sounds fine but this is a very jargony term — even if you are familiar with the idea of a metaphorical sandbox in other contexts.