Shared deck retention period


So I was looking for Javanese shared decks and there wasn’t one. I then spent a bunch of time looking for a source of vocabulary that I could freely use, got a sample of the words checked by a native speaker and then converted them into a deck.

When I went to share this deck I noticed that two decks I shared years ago had been unshared due to a lack of activity. This made me wonder if I was even the first to share a Javanese deck. It is not a language that many people are interested in. The decks from years ago were Indonesian, a language with much more interest and even they got unshared. It seems that this system of unsharing decks without many downloads keeps decks about niche languages or subjects off the site. These are the kind of decks that are arguably the most useful (and most impressive to someone coming across them).

Is the low retention period due to server space issues, or to declutter ankiweb? Since everything is already syncing with ankiweb, I imagine it’s due to clutter. Perhaps we could have better categorisation (e.g. the ability to add language/other categories which get reviewed by an admin) and varying retention periods per category based on the number of decks within? It would be good to ensure that potentially useful decks for niche areas aren’t removed before someone has a chance to benefit from them. On the other hand I can see that very popular languages such as Spanish could probably do with this policy to retain the quality of shared decks.

Thanks for reading! If you require development resources to help with this, I’d be happy to donate some time.


Yes, I 100% agree that this is an important policy issue that needs changing! I also study unpopular languages, and would love to make my decks available long-term in case that one rare user comes looking for resources on those languages! There are plenty of high-quality resources available on the internet for popular languages, so it’s the among the unpopular languages that Anki has the potential to really shine. But this will never happen if these rarely-used but truly unique decks keep getting removed due to the very reason that makes them valuable… their unpopularity!

Anki has the opportunity to make a valuable contribution to the maintenance and revitalization of the world’s many smaller and endangered languages… and is squandering it. Let’s change this policy for the better. :slight_smile:

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I think you are right. A possible solution could be to keep the deck information on the web, even if the deck has been removed, with a link to contact the author. So if the deck is removed, but someone is interested in it, the potential user can request a reupload to the author directly from Ankiweb. What do you think, @dae?

Storing shared decks costs money, and it’s hard to justify that cost if almost nobody is using them. I may slightly relax the conditions in the future, but some sort of limit will remain.

That will require a bunch of extra code to support that use-case, and doesn’t solve the problem of users using AnkiWeb’s sharing system for sharing private decks among a few people.


I see, I didn’t realize people used Ankiweb that way (to share among a small group of friends).

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Gotcha, this explains why it’s so strict at present. I can’t think of a solution, but I do think that if there were more categories, it would be a big selling point for Anki.