Persistent text composition box in different instances of Discourse

(David Paul) #1

In other forums it is pretty common for me to begin a longish comment and then open a new instance of the forum in another window where I can reply to other threads or even the same thread I am composing in the first instance. In Discourse, this is apparently impossible or at least not intended to be allowed, and I think that is a significant design flaw. When I open a new instance of Discourse, the same text composition box that I have open in the first instance rears its persistent little head in my new instance. This prevents me from making a new comment without “abandoning” the comment I am in the process of composing in the other instance. This is ridiculous and highly unusual. Is this the intended design? Is there a way around this problem?

(Michael Downey) #2

Hmm, I kind of like it. It lets me move around the site and gather things from other threads while I work on my reply, without having to open multiple tabs.

(cpradio) #3

Yep. I’m struggling with this as well. I do this a LOT. More than what I thought I did, and it is becoming a big hindrance to my work flow.

(lid) #4

a contextual draft should be introduced on a per thread basis and not on per forum(category)

Also the message of abandoning my post was confusing:
At first I felt bad cause I didn’t want to abandon anyone, I tried to edit my post and i got it , I tried to reply and I got it.
then I realized that i am getting it because of that draft

"Are you sure you want to abandon your post?"
should be changed to something more descriptive
"You have an active post / draft. Are you sure you want to proceed and lose all you changes"
or something like that

Also the user should have a place to reference all active drafts

(David Paul) #5

Let’s compare…

Get to do something without having to open another tab (yeah, that whole extra click is a serious impediment to workflow)


Not being able to do anything else without having to throw away all of the effort and energy that has been invested

I think the disadvantages outweigh the advantages 1000-to-1. Actually, it’s more than 1000-to-1, but the point is made.

(Michael Downey) #6

Well, it’s clear so far that different people have different ways of responding to topics. I’m not sure if anyone’s gathered metrics on what approach is more commonly used.

This sounds like it might be a fundamental difference in design philosophy, so I’ll be interested to see what some of those designers weigh in with. :slight_smile:

(Jeff Atwood) #7

Just use the minimize button at the upper right of the composer to minimize it.

And @lid we already store one server side draft per topic automatically as you type, this exists and works, it is happening right now as I type in fact.

(Dave McClure) #8

This will only happen if your new instance is opened to the same topic as the one in which you’re composing a reply. Instead try something like Ctrl+Click (Cmd+Click) on the site logo, you’ll get a new tab on the topic list, and the composer window will not be open in the new tab.

I think that should address the main issue here.

The only other cases I can find where this might break down are:

  1. when you attempt to reply to 2 separate posts within the same topic.
  2. when you attempt to do “Reply as new Topic” in two different topics.

For case #1, the recommended practice is to use the quote-reply feature and make one post.

There’s no current workaround for case #2:

There are a number of topics discussing this so its clear there’s a desire among some segment of users to maintain multiple new topic drafts. Personally, I find it rarely needed though there have been a few occasions where I wish that feature existed.

(lid) #9

@codinghorror well this is good news that drafts are already saved per topic :thumbsup:

With the current implementation the user can reply or edit other posts in different topics ONLY if he first minimized the draft.

User minimize draft → user can edit or reply to other posts in different topics

User have draft active → user will be prompt to abandon active draft before he can edit/reply other posts
user can select to “no,keep” option, minimize the draft and try the action again. that will work but many steps are involved.

there are several concerns with the current approach

  1. A user can create a draft. Then move to other things, different topics and forget what topic he actually created the draft for.

solution for that can be:

  • in the topic list there will be a visual indication of an active draft/s or less ideal having a filter for topics with drafts like we have filter for (new,unread ,etc)

  • a dedicated location to reference drafts, for example notification area can have a message " You have a draft in Topix ‘X’ and ‘y’ "

I like the idea of being able to resume to my drafts from a central location.

@codinghorror it is also interesting to know How long are drafts are saved for?