Allow multiple ‘new topic’ drafts

i keep a running open PM to myself for this very function and it works great. i also have an admin-only category i use as a post previewer and note pad of sorts. great for composing new long topics before moving to members area. just have to change the category to move it when you’re ready. i literally have a bunch of draft topics in there now. i realize not everyone has the pleasure of their own admin category but using your own mailbox system works.

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The post drafts feature on Discourse is very useful. The only place where it lacks right now is having more than one draft.

At the moment, if you want to have more than one draft, it’s not really possible. I think it’d be great if when you clicked the “Open Draft” button, you’d be shown a list of your topic and reply drafts, and edit any of them.

Multiple times, I’ve had to discard drafts because I need to write a new topic and/or reply which is more important than what I’m editing,
This also goes for not being able to have more than one draft per topic. If you’re editing the topic but want to reply, you’re not able to.

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My users that have been migrated to Discourse from a traditional forum are starting to run into the limitation with multiple new topic drafts. They’re having to resort to copy/pasting stuff between Discourse and Notepad, which isn’t ideal. I’ll suggest to them the PM-to-yourself workaround, but it’s not ideal. Multiple new public topics as well as multiple new PM topics in /my/activity/drafts would be a major improvement.

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This remains true, unfortunately. If an enterprise customer took interest in it and paid for the work that might change.

I don’t think we would need the ability to keep multiple drafts for a given topic. Just one draft per existing topic and as many new topics as needed. (Though one issue that crops up for me occasionally is wanting to fix a typo in an existing post and not being allowed to until I finish or discard my draft reply)

I do think this would be a valuable improvement and we are well beyond rule of three.

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Hi!
To solve this problem, I had to come up with an alternative solution on my Discourse instance - I send personal letters to myself. This is very convenient because I can then edit and save each personal message.
One inconvenience - to send a letter to myself I follow these steps:

  1. I click on my avatar in my personal account
  2. Then click on the mail icon
  3. In the post composer that opens, I select myself from the list of users
  4. I write a message and send it.

How can all these actions be explained to all forum users?
To resolve this issue, I started using the method of quickly jumping to personal messages using pre-filled link. I embedded this link in the side menu and gave it the title “Draft (letter to myself).” However, I have the following problem - the link does not support (at least I have not found a suitable way) the transition to a personal message to yourself, that would work for every user, not just me… To solve this problem now, I had to come up with a workaround - I created a test user and gave him the name “Bot - draft”. Now, every user of my forum (including myself) can send a letter to this inactive “Draft Bot” and subsequently edit the letter if necessary. Only now users may be a little embarrassed that they are sending a personal letter to some kind of bot. But for now I have no other choice.

Now my task is to make a quick selection of all the letters that the user sent to himself(“Draft Bot”). I would like to add this link to a custom drop-down menu in the user’s avatar as a separate “All emails to myself” tab. At this time, the user has to look for his “drafts” among the rest of his messages. In order to make a collection (to create a link to quickly jump to the collection) of all the “drafts”, I tried using “Search” and "/filter", but these methods were unsuccessful - they did not support the selection of personal letters from me to another user (for example, created-by:me recipient:username, here is my post about it).

Perhaps, if not for the Discourse AI plugins from @Falco and Chatbot by @merefield I wouldn’t be interested in the topic of drafts. In particular, the Discourse AI plugin has an AI assistant module

image

in the theme editor. This module has very great capabilities that can be used not only to create a topic or message, but also to edit text without the need to publish a topic/message. For example, if I just want to edit some text for myself, why should I click on the “Message” button and publish the text? It turns out that if I do not use the method of sending a letter to myself, I will have to do the following:

  1. Click on the “Create topic” button
  2. Write any text and process it using the AI assistant
  3. Copy the final version of the text to the clipboard
  4. Click on the delete button (since I don’t want to publish this text)
  5. Confirm deletion
    It is not possible to explain all these steps to all forum users.

In general, I believe that if such an advanced technology as artificial intelligence is introduced into Discourse, then sooner or later there will be a need to add such functions as: a custom tools tab for controlling and customizing the user’s interaction with the AI (viewing token limit balances, request history, temperature adjustment, etc. further), editor of personal documents (analogue of drafts/notepads, somewhat reminiscent of documents in https://www.notion.so/), adaptation of subscription plugin (add token accounting function) and the like.

Ps. I am new to Discourse, I am not a programmer, and perhaps my visions described in the last paragraph may turn out to be clumsy, so I ask you in advance not to judge me harshly :pray:
I may have gone a little off topic at the end, but I wanted you to understand the context of my decisions on the drafts.

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I guess I forgot to mention that I also put a link to it in my personal custom navigation menu section called Drafts and Notes, so it’s super easy to find in a click. Or possibly I added the link after I posted that lol. :thinking:

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May I ask how you created the link to quickly access your private messages? I was never able to implement a similar solution on my forum, other than sending a letter to a simulated user.

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I just created a custom menu section by clicking the plus icon in the bottom of the navigation sidebar menu. I made a link called Drafts and Notes then the URL goes to the personal message I send back and forth to myself that I keep as a running notepad/draft topic. I have this on here. But on my other forums, I also have an admin category (or categories) with specific topics for drafts.

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It seems that I did not accurately disclose the meaning of my message. I mean what your UNIVERSAL letter link to yourself looks like, by clicking on which ANY user will go to the message to themselves.

a) If I wanted to use the link only for myself, I would make a link like this:
https://mysite.com/new-message?username=ADMIN&title=Title

b) But I want to make a link for everyone, so that everyone can go to the letter to themselves, and not to someone else, for example:
https://mysite.com/new-message?username=ME&title=Title - THIS DOESN’T WORK

c) My alternative solution is a letter to a simulated user, for example “Bot - draft”:
https://mysite.com/new-message?username=BOT_DRAFT&title=Title - this works and each user can send a letter to this bot and consider this action as a personal message to themselves.

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you mean like this?

https://meta.discourse.org/new-message

can pre-fill fields, but not sure if possible to do “self” user. So yea probably have to work around that part if you want to use this method. :woman_shrugging:t2:

I mean, this is my own hacky work-around as a user, not a real solution to a forum-wide multiple drafts or notepad function. :slight_smile:

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I already use these types of links, but they do not work for all users.
If I want to send a letter only to myself, then this is not a problem - I will just add my username, for example Admin, to the link. But, if I want each user who clicks on this link to go to a private message to himself, then I don’t know what to add to this link, since each user has his own username, which cannot be provided in one general link.

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This is a good point. A common and excellent use case for PM is to send a note to yourself or to save drafts. Should it not be possible to start a PM and not specify a recipient?

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Well it is possible to do this on an individual or group basis, but there is no wildcard type variable that would point to the current user. Like a generic preferences link for example, so that admins could set it up for users, which would be ideal.

These urls open with specific user or group specified:

https://meta.discourse.org/new-message?username=Lilly&title=message%20title&body=message%20body

https://meta.discourse.org/new-message?groupname=team&title=topic%20title&body=topic%20body

I suspect some javascript might work here to make the current user a possible recipient. Would be nice to add a link to the top community section to a user notepad-extra drafts function. I even wonder if a plugin may be possible that uses the existing PM platform as a notepad of sorts?

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Right. I am suggesting a change to allow saving your pm without specifying any recipient. It would then just be a pm with yourself. Currently to do that you have to specify your own username.

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ah yes. I am good at making double negatives but terrible at reading them :sweat_smile:

I agree, I like that idea.

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You could achieve what you want (add link with username of current user to the sidebar) in a theme component, or ask someone in marketplace to create it for you.

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Greetings! I appreciate your counsel :raised_hands:, it indeed aligns with my current contemplation. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Well those are great hacks and workarounds, but Discourse should be like Gmail, where there is simply a Drafts folder things get put in, with their destinations (To:, Cc:) intact.

Anyway, here’s my use case:

Just the other day I was composing a post, when all the sudden I discovered a bug.

Well naturally I clicked Close and Save Draft.

And then I went to the Bug category and intended to post the bug, but all I could do was Open Draft.

How about having two buttons in such cases: New Topic and Open Draft?

Just like in the kitchen where we have more than one burner on the stove, and more than one pot in the cupboard.

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