Draft Posts? August 4, 2007 7:02 PM   Subscribe

Saved drafts of posts for the blue - crazy idea?
posted by Miko to Feature Requests at 7:02 PM (50 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I'm one of those that sometimes does a paragraph-long post with a collection of links on a single topic. It would be great to be able to start composing that in the text pane, and save the draft post while looking up the rest of the links. On occasion I've lost a fair amount of post + code while in the midst of this process. Besides, it might encourage better quality posting - for instance, if I have a good post idea but little time, I might enter the title and basic idea, save the draft, and return to it when I can work on fleshing it out a bit better rather than giving it the halfway treatment.

I don't even know if this is technically feasible, or if others would think it desirable. In theory, I can see it on the profile page:

Metafilter: 44 posts, 3 drafts, 1023 comments.
posted by Miko at 7:06 PM on August 4, 2007


I'd support this, Miko, but I can see how any number of people would think it's a bad idea...Posting Style Battle...begin!

(Seriously, I could have used this a couple times already.)
posted by StrikeTheViol at 7:13 PM on August 4, 2007


Why not use notepad?
posted by stopgap at 7:13 PM on August 4, 2007


docs.google.com
posted by carsonb at 7:15 PM on August 4, 2007


It would be easier not to use another application. I currently end up using GMail.
posted by Miko at 7:17 PM on August 4, 2007


i would like to be able to edit after posting like you can on digg.
posted by empath at 7:18 PM on August 4, 2007


Make your posts shorter.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:22 PM on August 4, 2007


Remember, Jesus saves.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:23 PM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Since my email program is always open, I type long, convoluted comments in a draft email. Then, I usually delete it.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:25 PM on August 4, 2007


Find something cool on the web. Post it. That's it. "fleshing it out" = "padding it out".
posted by signal at 7:25 PM on August 4, 2007


You were right, StrikeTheViol.

mr_crash_davis, signal: Different people like to read and write different kinds of posts. As a reference, see umpteen hundred dozen previous MeTa threads.
posted by Miko at 7:42 PM on August 4, 2007


I also compose fairly complicated posts on occasion. I use textpad or gmail, or whatever's handy. ALWAYS back up. Hit save often. Don't trust static POSTDATA style web pages - eventually they'll let you down, if not early and often.

(Though, FF 2.0 is much better at saving forms and such these days.)

I'm not a huge fan of the idea. We don't need a word processor for the front page. Comments? Maybe. But there's probably more important things Matt could be working on. Like hookup.metafilter.com.
posted by loquacious at 7:45 PM on August 4, 2007


Just as an example: Right now I'm working on a post which has six words, each of which is a link to something directly related and worth looking at. That ends up being a lot to keep track of as you go.
posted by Miko at 7:45 PM on August 4, 2007


Six whole words huh? That's impressive.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:51 PM on August 4, 2007


That ends up being a lot to keep track of as you go.

Those kinds of posts are difficult to keep straight. But cut and paste is as hard as it gets for moving them onto the front page of MeFi.
posted by carsonb at 7:51 PM on August 4, 2007


Yeah loq, I don't suggest this because I'm having problems currently. I use FF and I don't trust the page to save (learned that the hard way). Like others I compose elsewhere noe. I just wish there were a way to streamline the process, rather than compose at one site in order to post to another.
posted by Miko at 7:53 PM on August 4, 2007


Start Menu --> All Programs --> Accessories --> Notepad.

Problem solved.
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:53 PM on August 4, 2007


Why not use notepad ?

Exactly.
posted by y2karl at 7:55 PM on August 4, 2007


To be clear, I KNOW there are other ways to save the material, duh. Perhaps I'm the only one that would rather be able to stay in the same window.
posted by Miko at 7:56 PM on August 4, 2007


Perhaps I'm the only one that would rather be able to stay in the same window.

I'm sure you're not. But installing a huge feature to alleviate such a small annoyance as alternating windows or tabs is a bit much. Anyway I know mathowie has mentioned in the past (mostly regarding HTML) that having certain hurdles in place when using MetaFilter is good for the site.
posted by carsonb at 8:03 PM on August 4, 2007


do you still have the box your computer came in?
posted by quonsar at 8:06 PM on August 4, 2007


I can see how it would be a good hurdle. Under the present system, you have to want it.
posted by Miko at 8:09 PM on August 4, 2007


It seems a bit much to ask, when you can easily copy and paste.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:21 PM on August 4, 2007


Crazy idea.
posted by gsteff at 8:23 PM on August 4, 2007


OK. Obviously, this is my obsession with efficiency talking.
posted by Miko at 8:24 PM on August 4, 2007


I'm one of those that sometimes goes to work between replying to posts. It would be great to be able to start composing that in the text pane, and have money just deposited into my account while composing the rest of the reply. On occasion I've lost a fair amount of reply text as a result of going to work while in the midst of this process. Besides, it might encourage better quality posting - for instance, if I have a good comment idea I could finish it up without having to worry about earning money for rent.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:32 PM on August 4, 2007


(less snarky version: we can't even edit our posts after the fact, what makes you think an edit-preview-save workflow will be added?!)
posted by b1tr0t at 8:33 PM on August 4, 2007


i believe in not having post edits after the fact. There needs to be some record of and some accountabilty for people's statements and the subsequent reactions. Threads would make no sense with ex post facto edits, as snarkers backpedaled and people with misinformation corrected their shoddy work.

The difference I see here is that a draft mode would basically only let you save a pre-published version (like preview, but lasting longer) that would exist only before the published version in editable form. Once published, it would be etched in stone, like any post.
posted by Miko at 8:43 PM on August 4, 2007


Why should you have to use notepad when it would be useful and could be implemented into the site?
posted by ludwig_van at 8:44 PM on August 4, 2007


Remember, Jesus saves.
posted by mr_crash_davis


... but Moses gets the rebound... shoots -- HE SCOOOOOOORES!!!!
posted by twiggy at 8:49 PM on August 4, 2007


Just post it here in MetaTalk first, I'm sure the people that hang out here would love to offer some constructive criticism, point you towards some wonderful related links, and give you a smile and a pat on the back at the same time.

Or they'll attempt to give you a sandpaper enema, it's really all quite random around here.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:03 PM on August 4, 2007


LiveJournal saves drafts of posts, and it's really annoying. You go to post something, and it shows you the crappy thing you decided not post last time. Woo.
posted by smackfu at 9:14 PM on August 4, 2007


I actually like the idea, and have thought about asking for it in the past. I also like the idea of consolidating what you are doing for a particular site on that site rather then jumping between programs. But thats just me.
posted by edgeways at 9:38 PM on August 4, 2007


Draft Posts?

No. Let them enlist.
posted by jonmc at 9:41 PM on August 4, 2007


Or they'll attempt to give you a sandpaper enema

Around here that kind of thing is referred to as "Polishing your mirror".
posted by Burhanistan at 10:34 PM on August 4, 2007


Arguably, this would be a feature better implemented in-browser.

You go to a page with a form, and you start entering text. If you close or navigate away from the page before submitting the form, the browser gives you the option of "saving" your form entries as a draft for later completion. If you agree, you get a new entry in a "drafts" area, like a bookmark, that brings you back to the page with the form fields filled out as you left them.

On a per-site basis, though -- nah, can't get behind it.
posted by davejay at 10:40 PM on August 4, 2007


ludwig_van writes "Why should you have to use notepad when it would be useful and could be implemented into the site?"

Because the local solution can be all things to all people. Implementing "features" like this means design decisions would have to be made that affect everyone who posts. Decisions that are are sure to irk some people no matter how one decides. By enabling the user to use whatever text editor they prefer locally Matt avoids instigating a MetaDebate of Vi vs. Emacs proportions.
posted by Mitheral at 3:04 AM on August 5, 2007


unnecessary bloat. there are plenty of great text editors out there, we don't need to reinvent the wheel.
posted by sophist at 4:43 AM on August 5, 2007


I like the idea, Miko. I appreciate the feature in other CMSes and blogging tools, and the fact that I use multiple computers makes it even more appealing. Yes, one could use google docs, or other methods, but I think this is an excellent suggestion.

However, turtlegirl and I are still pissed you missed jessamyn's meetup. phft!
posted by terrapin at 5:38 AM on August 5, 2007


You go to a page with a form, and you start entering text. If you close or navigate away from the page before submitting the form, the browser gives you the option of "saving" your form entries as a draft for later completion. If you agree, you get a new entry in a "drafts" area, like a bookmark, that brings you back to the page with the form fields filled out as you left them.

Here you go. (requires Greasemonkey)

Actually all it does is save the text that you entered, with an option to restore it. It only saves in textareas as well. But it's saved my butt a few times in the past, which is why I wrote it. (YES, it's a SELF LINK).
posted by Deathalicious at 5:58 AM on August 5, 2007


It may seem like overkill, but I make a folder for bookmarks of the things I want to link to, then compose the post, with HTML, in GoLive. Easily savable, and handy for checking in a browser before posting.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:20 AM on August 5, 2007


editing after the fact-- you just have a 30 second to 60 second window. Not much time for the thread to get too far ahead of you.

I usually want it when I see a mispelling right after I hit post.
posted by empath at 10:47 AM on August 5, 2007


I like this idea.
posted by interrobang at 12:09 PM on August 5, 2007


I abandon about 2/3 of all posts and comments I start, before posting. Auto saved drafts, for me, would be a huge PITA.

Do. Not. Want.
posted by paulsc at 2:33 PM on August 5, 2007


i believe in not having post edits after the fact. There needs to be some record of and some accountabilty for people's statements and the subsequent reactions. Threads would make no sense with ex post facto edits, as snarkers backpedaled and people with misinformation corrected their shoddy work.
posted by Miko


This possible feature idea has been tossed around in the past here and never gone any further, so I wouldn't worry about it's implementation. However, it has been used many places with none of the things you're talking about happening. In other words, the chicken little theory exist only in your head miko.
posted by justgary at 3:19 PM on August 5, 2007


Oh balderdash, at a minimum it exists in my head, too.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:46 PM on August 5, 2007


And my head.

I think this is an excellent idea. For those who see it as the first step on the road to hell, you wouldn't have to use it so would not be affected. For those who would make use of it, it would be an excellent way to manage bits and pieces of potential posts. I really like the idea of keeping all the MeFi bits in one place, rather than risking getting any MeFi in my Google.
posted by dg at 4:32 PM on August 5, 2007


empath writes "editing after the fact-- you just have a 30 second to 60 second window. Not much time for the thread to get too far ahead of you."

Fun with edit windows.
posted by Mitheral at 12:46 AM on August 6, 2007


One clever way to do post/comment edits is to only allow them until the next comment is made.
posted by smackfu at 7:42 AM on August 6, 2007


Under the present system, you have to want it.

Bingo. Further: bango, bongo.

Having to wrestle an extension or a separate app (one designed for, specifically, editing and saving text) is a really, really minor annoyance. You are going to be making a post to mefi at most once a day—and realistically a lot less often than that, even if you're at the high end of the posting curve—so it doesn't seem like something that would have that big an impact even on the small fraction of active posters who would be inclined to use it.

Compared with the effort likely required to build/integrate it and then provide support, it seems like a burden on the site more than a feature. Take the extra thirty seconds to move your post from notepad/vi/whatever to the posting box. That way, when mefi goes down catastrophically right when you're going to post your draft, you don't end up losing it anyway, fancy built-in draft system or no.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:31 PM on August 6, 2007


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