Finding drafts


(Chris Pickel) #1

I started a response to a post then wandered off. Later, I had trouble figuring out which topic it was that I was considering responding to. I’d like to see:

  • Some sort of “draft” indicator on the topic list.
  • A “drafts” page on my dashboard.

Right now it’s not possible to have more than one “new topic” draft at once. I don’t know that it’s necessarily useful to change that, but if drafts were indexed from the dashboard, it could change.


Where do I find saved topics (not created yet)?
Support multiple new topic drafts
Support multiple new topic drafts
User Avatar should have a dropdown menu
(Jeff Atwood) #2

At the very least maybe we should have some kind of indicator on your user page when you have a draft in flight.

However, I don’t want us to get into a featuritis thing where users can have 12 different drafts, with sort orders, and categories… and so forth.


(Brad Westness) #3

Some kind of “you are not responding to the thread you are currently viewing” indicator would probably be helpful-- I can imagine that a lot of people are going to end up replying to the wrong thread if they switch to another tab/walk away/etc for a bit after starting a reply, like @sfiera did.


(Jeff Atwood) #4

@sam had talked about an alert on submit if you are on a different topic page than the one you began the draft for. I think that’s a good idea and we should do it.

(It is perfectly valid to submit a draft post to one topic while viewing another topic… but it should be uncommon, unless you really know what you’re doing.)


(Jeff Atwood) #5

For the record, this “you are not responding to the thread you are currently viewing” indicator was finally implemented a while ago.


(Iszi) #6

Doesn’t Discourse already support having multiple drafts left hanging at once? I just went to reply to a topic on the HTG Forum and discovered a draft that I’d totally forgotten I’d left open - in fact, I was about to write a reply that was duplicate of the draft! Since that draft was originally started, I’ve made several other posts (and probably a few other drafts) on the HTG forum.

If it is going to be permitted to have more than one post in progress at a time, and saved as drafts, then I think we should have some means in place of tracking these down. I’d also like to see a reminder for orphaned drafts - say, pop a notification to the user somewhere after a draft hasn’t been touched in 24 hours (or some user-definable period).

I do agree that going much further than this (e.g.: permitting dozens of drafts at once, making them sortable, a draft search, etc.) would be a bit overboard. But unless we’re going to be limited to one open, saved draft at a time (and I love the idea that we’re not) I feel there needs to be just these one or two supporting features.


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #7

I am sorely missing a “drafts” section in my profile. I’m not asking for special sorting options or anything. All I want is a simple overview of what drafts I still have lying around.

There might be a reply out there that I didn’t get to finish in time. A drafts overview in my profile would be the hands-down easiest way for me to track down and resume unfinished business.


(Sam Saffron) #8

A few months later I kind of wish for the can-of-worms that is a draft section in the user profile. I often have multiple things in-flight, in my head.


(Jeff Atwood) #9

I view this as an extreme rare power user type feature, I am quite opposed to spending any time on it when there are so many missing features that would help a lot more regular everyday users.


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #10

Fair point, but for what it’s worth the discourse.org community mainly consists of power users. We’re also your evangelists, so there’s a balancing act to be aware of there:
Broad features for the betterment of all vs. narrow features for the betterment of your own community.

This feature doesn’t have to be in core. It could just as well be a plugin - you guys need more best practice examples of those anyhow. I can even see it being very useful for testing purposes, since for issues like this one it’s really helpful to know what drafts I may have lurking in the wild to bug test more effectively.


(Tobias Eigen) #11

Me too! I was just looking for this and would really value it. In my team we are starting to use discourse as a replacement for emails that would otherwise be sent to a cc list of people, and it has really improved discipline in staying on topic and being outcome oriented.

But in the process it often happens that a draft languishes and then I want to save it to go back to it later after writing some other posts, and it lands in sublime until I can work on it again. This is not the best work flow. :smile:


(Tobias Eigen) #12

I just closed a tab accidentally with a huge post in it that I’d spent some time writing, then reopened the tab and cannot for the life of me find my draft. Where can I find it? Gah! It’s a new topic on my forum, not a reply to an existing topic. I also had not yet named it or specified the category.

I say all this not just to vent and seek sympathy but to illustrate that a “drafts” section accessible by users via their profile page would be most welcome.


(Jeff Atwood) #13

It should appear (the topic draft) if you navigate to the homepage, or any category homepage.


(Tobias Eigen) #14

That is what I thought too but it wasn’t.

On the plus side I have learned that the second version is often better than the first one. So once I got over my frustration about lost work and time I sat down to write my post again and I am happy with it!


(Jeff Atwood) #15

Hmm, it should though. Can you repro on try.discourse.org? It is possible there was a regression.


(Kane York) #16

The draft loss happened to me too recently.


(Tobias Eigen) #17

I checked this on try and see that it works - after a few seconds I see “saved” and once that happens if I close the tab and reopen it my draft shows up. But if I close the tab before “saved” shows up it does not - which is sensible.

I say this because I think this seems to be an issue on my own discourse install - the “saved” sometimes does not appear for a long time. I also am noticing that other things are happening more slowly, for example when I mention someone it sometimes takes a while for the autocomplete options to show up.

I’m a little behind with updates so will try that today and let you know if the problem persists.


(Tobias Eigen) #18

I’ve now updated my site to test-passed and see that the draft is saved within seconds of starting it, and other tasks are updated more quickly too. So whatever was going wrong before seems to be fixed. Thanks! :slight_smile:


(se oli tonnin seteli) #19

I happened to stumble on this topic when logging in, and I’d like to share some observations since I’m here.

I’d say it’s safe to assume that inconsistent behaviour related to draft saving has to do with the draft not being saved due to network or browser issues, as this is much more common with mobile than on desktop and stable connection.

Although I commute by rail and there are certain places where I simply lose coverage 99% of the time, I can’t attribute lost (by which I mean as in somewhere here but don’t know where) drafts purely to those places.

With desktop view and at work I’ve had this happen but I’d still say that can also be related to drafts just not being saved. Perhaps there is a parameter that can be tweaked (for example to automatically save draft even faster than it already does, or, to avoid stray drafts, lower the save frequency?) to make further observations or work around possible issues?

And, an idea - perhaps the speechballoon, burger or user icon could be harnessed to display and retrieve “drafts”? They could be mention like links to topic that brings up draft and since there, AFAIK, can be only one draft per topic, would probably be quite consistent with other behaviour?

People might want to be able to clean drafts up, if not for nothing else, then for privacy or security reasons (accidental copypaste of sensitive data + fumble or such).


(Jeff Atwood) #20

You have lost drafts of replies or a draft of a topic? Can you repro on try.discourse.org?

As I recall, the basic conditions are:

  1. Type more than the minimum content (20 chars)
  2. Have a dirty (edited) buffer
  3. Every 40 seconds, the dirty buffer will be saved as a draft
  4. There is only one post draft possible at any given time, but as many reply drafts as there are topics in the system.