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I wrote out a long and detailed question for Super User and then lost it. I tagged it, but it turns out one of them was new. And being a new user, I wasn't allowed to add the new tag.

Now the problem is that this error was not visible as it didn't show up on the screen and would have required scrolling. I assumed the question was posted and closed the tab and later found out that the question had vanished.

Suggestions on how to fix this:

  1. Disable the submit button if user has added illegal tag
  2. Use a JavaScript alert() to notify user that their question was not posted
  3. Put the error at the top of the page with huge red letters (or with red background)
  4. If user presses submit but there is an error, put the question into Drafts from where the user can find it again in case they accidently leave the page
  5. If the user is not allowed to add a tag, post the question anyways without the tag and change the view to edit mode where the user can then modify the tags if they really want to.
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if it is any consolation, we now auto-save drafts for both Q and A to the server every 45 seconds, so losing stuff isn't really possible any more.. –  Jeff Atwood May 13 '11 at 7:35

2 Answers 2

I assumed the question was posted

Why would you assume this if the same "enter your question" form is still on the screen?

Woudn't you expect to be looking at the live, posted question itself if it was submitted?

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I would expect that a clear error was shown if there was a form submit error, in this case the error required scrolling and I didn't notice it. It was quite late and my brain was partially snoozing, but I would think that this might happen to other people too. –  Raynet Oct 7 '09 at 8:36

Drafts is a great idea, I've lost a few posts for different reasons.

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