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(I'm neutral on this issue; I just want to open it for discussion.)

The original intent of the Formatting Sandbox was to provide a place for users to test out the formatting features of the Stack Exchange Markdown. However, recently, some users have been using it to test out bugs that break the view, cause the browser to freeze or crash, or exploit vulnerabilities in the browser. (Sometimes, the issues only happen in certain browsers.)

Should such answers be allowed? If not, should answers whose current revisions are otherwise fine but cause issues when displaying the revision history be allowed?

One reason for restricting such answers is that they deprive other users who want to use the sandbox for its original purpose from doing so. An argument for not restricting such answers is that the sandbox post is one of the only places on which those bugs can be tested without having to use a "real" post.

One way to implement this is to introduce a policy that any answer to the sandbox that anyone flags as causing breakage in their browser should be deleted without question. With the current system, a flag saying that "this answer causes breakage" may be declined if the mod handling a flag is using a different browser (which happens to not exhibit the breakage) from the flagger (whose browser exhibits the breakage). Again, I'm not proposing this to be implemented; I'm just putting forward one possible way with which the above can be done if the consensus is to restrict.

Thoughts?

  • This is really about me using the formatting sandbox as a personal blog about my love life, isn't it? You don't have to walk on eggshells, I'm a big boy. As you would have read in my October '17 post called "With a little tug, even a small man becomes big." – Won't Mar 29 '18 at 20:31
  • There probably ought to be a formal sandbox... which, you know, actually sandboxes the content of an individual post. Though, given how rare the abuse is, I doubt we'll get any developer time on it. The post was nuked pretty quickly, wasn't it? – canon Mar 29 '18 at 20:32
  • @canon That's not the only post. A while ago, there was an answer that was "only" supposed to make the page formatted in code on the mobile site that was causing issues on the desktop site in Edge. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Mar 29 '18 at 20:33
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    @SonicWizard but, Edge... – canon Mar 29 '18 at 20:34
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    @canon "sometimes, the issues only happen in certain browsers" – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Mar 29 '18 at 20:35
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I've labored to produce a comprehensive rulebook. Please do not be intimidated by its length; I assure you, every rule exists for good reason:

Rules of use for the Stack Exchange Sandbox

  1. Rule Number A: If it annoys people, it will be deleted.

Concordance and appendix to follow.

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    Report by flagging? – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Mar 29 '18 at 21:10
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    Also, how do I report an answer if the breakage prevents me from being able to flag it? – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Mar 29 '18 at 21:13
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    Those questions are answered at length in the appendix, which you can expect to see in 6-8 weeks. Until then, I trust you'll use your judgement. – Shog9 Mar 29 '18 at 21:15
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    I was asking on behalf of others who don't have very good judgments. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Mar 29 '18 at 21:15
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    Nothing teaches judgement quite like repeated, abject failure. – Shog9 Mar 29 '18 at 21:16
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    While I don't have any objection to the answers being deleted, should the answer be edited ASAP to prevent those issues while also putting notice/warning about its revision history, like "Notice: this answer had an issue of blablabla and has been edited to prevent the annoyance. Caution on viewing the revision history."? – Meta Andrew T. Mar 30 '18 at 1:24
  • That's going to depend a lot on the answer, @HTTPS. – Shog9 Mar 30 '18 at 1:43
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    I think you should codify that such answers should also be edited to remove the malicious code, because even if the answer is deleted, it can cause breakage for 10k+ users viewing the sandbox. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Mar 30 '18 at 11:53
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    Stop trying to tie my hands WRT what I can delete. – Shog9 Mar 30 '18 at 17:37
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    @Shog9 - "Nothing teaches judgement quite like repeated, abject failure." - It seems to have worked in this case. A possible counterexample was Evel Knievel whom was rejected by Lloyd's of London 37 times. – Rob Dec 18 '18 at 15:19

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