Support multiple new topic drafts

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #1

There are several things weird about drafts and the “reply as topic” feature at the moment. I was planning to make a video about a particular bug I thought I had a clear step-by-step reproduction ready for, but another bug turned up as I was doing it.

Here’s what I know for sure: Clicking “reply as new topic” when your post form is folded down, you’re gonna have a bad time. More specifically, it’ll add the newly quoted post below whatever content you already had in your post form, as opposed to overwriting it.

Furthermore, there’s some weirdness with stored drafts that I haven’t quite wrapped my head around yet. But bad things happen if I have several drafts open at once. I tried to keep that particular bug (pulling in a previous draft, unrelated to the current post) from happening in my video by closing all tabs, logging out and logging in again to operate in one tab only, but it seems that draft is saved on your end and not mine (I didn’t delete cookies but I was in incognito mode).

Finding drafts
"Proper" Way To Link Related Posts? And Multiple Draft Feature Suggestion
When editing a post, save your non-comitted edits as a draft
Bookmark labels to save for later
Bookmark labels to save for later
Keybind or Button-click to Minimize (but not remove) Composer
(Jeff Atwood) #2

Good to know, we will get on that.

Remember there is only one possible draft of a topic at any given time, because topics are global.

Whereas you could have draft replies to 50 different topics in flight, no problem.

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #3

At least part of the problem is that discourse doesn’t seem to support multiple New Topic drafts. I can have several drafts saved at the same time for replies, but it seems like there can only be one new topic draft saved at a time.

Is this limitation by design?

Persistent text composition box in different instances of Discourse
(Jeff Atwood) #4

Yes that is by design.

Persistent text composition box in different instances of Discourse
(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #5

That’s a problem. If you want to encourage users to “Reply as new Topic” instead of making borderline off-topic replies, you’ve got to make the former just as flexible as the latter.

Even though I have a draft for a whole new topic in the works, that shouldn’t stop me from making a “Reply as new Topic” at any given time. A “Reply as new Topic” is closer to Replies than it is to Topics in terms of workflow and content structure.

(Jeff Atwood) #6

Ah, I see… you’re proposing that we allow two topic drafts, one for “reply as new topic”, and one for a topic created through “create new topic” or what have you?

I understand what you mean, but I think it might get confusing. I just don’t feel most users have this need to have dozens of topic drafts in flight at any given time

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #7

Well, more like one for “create new topic” and as many as you’d like for “reply as new topic”, because those are essentially just like replies. They have a thread of origin to link the draft to so you’ll resume your editing just like you would with any reply.

I don’t see how it would be any more confusing than it is in its current state.

Now: I’ve been writing a new topic but got sent on a reading spree through the suggested topics. I land on a thread where I’d like to “reply a new topic” to be a good boy and keep things tidy, but for some reason I have to throw away my brand new topic draft before I can make this reply? I’m confused.

With multiple “reply as new topic” drafts: I don’t see the problem.

That actually gives me an idea for a feature request. I’ll make a new thread for it right now.

(Jeff Atwood) #8

I like a lot of your ideas, but you’re getting deeply into imagineering territory on this particular one. :smiley: Just MHO.

(Luke S) #9

Not necessarily. Replying as a new topic has the same potential for getting lost in creation as any other reply. I just bumped my nose on this today.


  1. It seems that “Reply as New Topic” drafts are now different from “Create New Topic” drafts.
  2. At the very least, we need a “Draft in Flight” indicator.


Reviving this to see if there’s updates on any of this. I’ve already mentioned this a while ago (I think when I first joined here) and now again.

If there’s the option for multiple temp-drafts for replies then I would like to know where I can see them (or at least the slots themselves, perhaps even on the composer itself).

For multiple new-topic drafts, I don’t think it’s too much to have more than one slot. You can even tie it with trust levels and increase the amount based on that level.

As I explained in another thread, it’s getting cumbersome to do any kind of multitasking on here. I suspect it would be worse for an admin or moderator than a user.

Losing posts in progress also covered here as above.

(Lino) #11

@codinghorror actually this is my number one issue with discourse these days. We use discourse for both project management purposes, creative work and publishing. Usually when I post something people jump on it right away and many topics takes me 1-3h to complete. I’ve fallen back to drafting in evernote and copy pasting, but it’s hard to quote comments of different discussion which I very ofter need to do or maintain formatting going back and forth. I see this topic is quite old, is there any solution for drafting before publishing since then?

(Dave McClure) #12

A work around that solves this is to write private messages to the system user, and then copy/paste to new topics when ready.

(Eli the Bearded) #13

That’s an interesting way to make notes to yourself in Discourse.

I have a draft question. If there were multiple new topic drafts, how would you find them after closing the window?

With a reply in a topic, the draft comes back when you reenter that topic. But for new? I suspect that’s why the design has always been just one draft.

(And maybe better in a new topic, but while I’m here, how can one find old, forgotten new reply drafts, other than by accident?)

(Jeff Atwood) #14

We have discussed allowing people to PM themselves for notes and so on. Slack just added this and it seems relatively harmless to remove that restriction cc @sam

(Jeff Atwood) #15

This is checked in per @sam so you can PM yourself now.