I've never encountered a situation where having a Sandbox was an obstacle to people becoming more involved with a wiki. The Sandbox provides a safe environment to try things out. Maybe it's only perceived safety but that's what a newcomer needs.
Posted by Jason Yip at Feb 18, 2007 01:55
A wiki is complicated and has steep learning curve Even if you are experienced wiki user, you have a learning curve on each new wiki because of the different wiki syntax.
The question is interesting though - does a sand box actually help to new users? In my wiki, targeting local common Mac users, there are very few edits of the sandbox. However, in a popular wiki like http://moinmoin.wikiwikiweb.de <sup></sup> , the sandbox the most edited page.
It seems that common users can't understand the concept of a sandbox, and they better have an easy way to participate in real pages, while advanced users are happy to play in it.
Posted by Nir Soffer at Mar 05, 2007 13:57
I believe the conceptually, a wiki is an extremely simple thing. If a user is just editing basic content—say correcting a typo or adding a few additional sentences to an existing document—that is something any user who can use web-based email can do. On that level, there is very little learning curve.
I think that wikis get complicated when it comes to the macros and the wiki markup. I can appreciate the value of wiki markup, but my goodness! is there a lot of startup cost! And really, how many characters does one save between learning a new wiki markup versus HTML? All these wiki products tout the value of “no HTML needed” but I find it annoying to have to learn new markup that does the same thing that HTML does.
WYSIWYGs can be annoying, too, when it doesn't really give you what you see. This is especially problematic for the low-tech users it's designed to accommodate because they will not have the knowhow to go into wiki markup and tweak it.
I think on balance, having both options available to new users is the best solution. I would introduce users first to real pages with real information. Then, perhaps even at a later date, give them access to a sandbox where they can fearlessly play with markup and macros without impunity.
Posted by karen lai at Jul 02, 2007 19:00
I actually find wiki sandboxes to be quite helpful.
More helpful in those with WYSIWYG's and no preview option. It allows practise with the editor and makes me more comfortable using them
Posted by Nick Cliff at Dec 13, 2007 18:12