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Author Topic: Saving a draft  (Read 1509 times)


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Saving a draft
« on: February 08, 2019, 11:30:13 PM »

A suggested feature: being able to save posts as drafts, so that you can finish them up for later.

I'm aware that text saves whenever you back out of the "create new post/start new topic" window, but it's lost whenever you close the forum tab. I have no idea how useful it'd be for other people, but IMO it's great whenever typing up lengthy trip reports or posts or what-have-you. I guess I could be the only one (this is the only topic after all, I checked), with everyone else "saving" their text by opening up their history and returning to this screen, copy-pasting, or some other method.

Editing a draft would essentially be the same as writing a post - access to smileys, able to embed images, able to do basic formatting like font size changes, etc.
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Re: Saving a draft
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2019, 12:03:35 AM »

I would absolutely love this feature. I sometimes start posts only to forget them and then come back later to finish working on them. Saving drafts means that I don't have to worry about keeping tabs open just so I can continue working on my posts. It would be a life saver!
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Re: Saving a draft
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2019, 12:24:11 AM »

At least in 2010 SMF had a mod that allowed users to save drafts. I don't know if the admins necessarily want a bunch of drafts loose in the system. Maybe if the mod comes with a delete feature for anything that hasn't been touched in 1 month or more. But I also don't know if a mod from 2010 has any applicability in 2018.


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Re: Saving a draft
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2019, 08:02:47 AM »

I sometimes copy and paste a draft post into Notepad (or whatever the iOS equivalent is called) as a way of saving a draft if I want to look at something in another tab while I’m writing the post or if I get interrupted. Reason: Sometimes when I switch tabs and switch back iOS will refresh the page such that I’d lose my draft post.

It’s not a perfect method, but it works. Or, as my brother likes to say on the golf course, it’s “ugly but effective.”
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Re: Saving a draft
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2019, 11:26:18 AM »

If it's a long post, just write it in Notepad/MS Word/word processor of choice first, and then copy/paste it into the post submission. That's what I have done in the past.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 11:29:01 AM by MNHighwayMan »


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Re: Saving a draft
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2019, 02:44:46 AM »

This sounds like a lifesaver and would be great if it could happen, but I understand if it is not actually feasibly applicable, as noted. There have been many times when typing a lengthy post on my phone where the tab would refresh and it would all be lost. I have tried to counter this occurrence by recently starting to do the mentioned trick of periodically copying my draft into my phone notes to keep it saved. Though, even on a PC, this could still be useful for posts or threads that are just so insanely long that they might not be able to be done in less than a few hours, or even an entire day. That might sound crazy, but what comes to mind is an extremely involved thread I have been thinking about creating soon (involving some immensely complex calculations regarding a particular topic in relation to roads) - that is if it hasn't already been done on here or somewhere else. I will have to do a lot of research and calculations, and there will be a lot to say in the OP (and it may need to be split into a few different posts), so I will probably have to work on this in a Word Document on the computer then actually post the final product when it is all complete. As a matter of fact, something to that magnitude would probably be too much for any draft-saving commodities (so a Word Document will do) - but for all the smaller stuff, this draft-saving feature could be great, if possible. If it cannot be done, then phone notes and Word Documents (on PC and laptops) will suffice just fine, but this is indeed a really interesting idea.

« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 02:48:18 AM by adventurernumber1 »
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Re: Saving a draft
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2019, 12:00:09 PM »

If it's a long post, just write it in Notepad/MS Word/word processor of choice first, and then copy/paste it into the post submission. That's what I have done in the past.

That's what I do for my longer posts, such as my recent trip reports (and another in progress). Also, if my Internet connection is flaking out, or something else is keeping me from submitting a post, I'll copy my draft to WordPad, so I can restore it if it gets lost by the time I fix the problem.
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Re: Saving a draft
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2019, 09:02:28 PM »

When you commit a post on this forum, it is sent to the server as form-submission postdata that is URL-encoded plain text.  Formatting is therefore lost unless it is explicitly marked up as bbCode.  For that reason alone, I would use Notepad or another plain text editor to keep system overhead to a minimum.  (Other forum software packages offer the ability to accept formatting through clipboard copy-and-paste from a rich-format word processor and also to allow you to compose formatted text in the browser without typing in bbCode directly.  I find they do not work well, however--e.g., italics fail to toggle on and off reliably--so I think we are better off with what we are currently using.)

It is also not a bad idea to have a mechanism for archiving your own posts that you can run with a keystroke combination immediately before you commit a post.  This ensures you have a copy of your own work if your post is deleted, heavily edited, or moved out of sight.  My own "Post Archiver" script (see below) is a wrapper around a command-line clipboard dump utility.  To archive a post, I just hit Ctrl+A to select all, Ctrl+C to copy, and then Ctrl+Alt+P (custom Windows keystroke combination) to archive.  (NB:  the code to generate the date string is not culture-neutral; it yields YYYYMMDD-HHMMSS strings on my local PC, which uses British date/time format, but will need modification for a Windows machine using American date/time format.)

Code: [Select]
echo %DATE% %TIME%
set MTH=%DATE:~3,2%
set MTH=%MTH: =0%
set DAY=%DATE:~0,2%
set DAY=%DAY: =0%
set YR=%DATE:~6,4%
set HR=%TIME:~0,2%
set HR=%HR: =0%
set MIN=%TIME:~3,2%
set SEC=%TIME:~6,2%
echo %MYDATE%
clipboard > "%USERPROFILE%\My Documents\forum-posts\forum-post-%MYDATE%.txt"

The software for this forum is primitive, so it is extremely well-behaved:  there is no communication between the browser and the server that is not initiated by the user.  In contradistinction, a Web application like Facebook relies heavily on Ajax to change page DOM, so there is always traffic between the browser and the server.  Facebook also tends to turn browsers into memory hogs, so as you scroll down your feed and start composing a post in a window, you can see a varying but very noticeable lag before text you type appears on the screen.  For this reason I often compose Facebook posts in Notepad and copy them over immediately before I commit them.  This method also prevents Facebook recording my typing as I compose, so any revisions or deletions I make are kept private.
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Re: Saving a draft
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2019, 09:06:06 PM »

A suggested feature: being able to save posts as drafts, so that you can finish them up for later.


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Re: Saving a draft
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2019, 09:46:04 PM »

There's quite a few browser extensions out there for Form recovery, which would auto save a cached copy of any form fill (including posts and replies). I use Typio for Chrome myself, and it's pretty good at restoring text during interruptions.


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Re: Saving a draft
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2019, 02:38:03 PM »

For long trip reports and the like, I usually write up the whole thing in Word, then simply copy and paste the text into this forum.  I manually type my formatting anyway, so that doesn't bother me at all.
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