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In GMAIL you can list all your boss-tell-off and wife-cuss-out emails by clicking Drafts

I'd like to see my started-but-never-finished responses, possibly between x Answers and y Votes in /<<user>>/Stats/?

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3 Answers 3

There is only a single draft per site, which will show in the answer text input below each question you look at?

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well technically there are two drafts per user per site, one for questions and one for answers. But yes. –  Jeff Atwood Dec 24 '10 at 6:54
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+0. Although this explains why listing drafts wouldn't be possible right now, this answer doesn't list my drafts. –  bobobobo Jan 3 '11 at 3:50
    
@Jeff, are you @ SO considering implementing this compelling feature? –  Shimmy Feb 10 '11 at 3:25
    
@bobobobo, what I was trying to say: your drafts are "listed" whenever you are shown the "Your Answer" box, or whenever you start a new question. (But: there is no cross-site overview.) –  Arjan Feb 10 '11 at 7:47
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There is only a single draft per site That only works for questions because there is a single point of entry for asking a question (/questions/ask), but is useless for the answer draft. What happens if you start typing a response to someone, have to stop for some reason, then try to go back later on and finish it but cannot remember which question it was? I’m in that situation right now; I started answering a question on SU on Saturday night but can’t remember which one it was. Now I can’t answer anything to avoid wiping out the the draft! –  Synetech May 27 '13 at 19:08
    
Hmmm, @Synetech, true, but I guess that would be another feature request? –  Arjan May 27 '13 at 19:50
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@Synetech, too bad Draft feature expanded to multiple drafts was closed as a duplicate of this very question. –  Arjan May 27 '13 at 19:53

An easy way to do this is to replace delete with hide and put a (draft) flag beside each question when you're writing, just like the "community wiki" box.

CHECK IT

A draft is synonymous with hidden, and hidden means what delete used to mean, only with one change:

  • A draft doesn't appear on the site to any user but you or 10k users (so you can revise/edit it, or choose to re-display it).

In the question and answer lists below D means draft. You can choose to list your drafts. When you edit a draft you can choose to remove Draft status so it appears on the site.

drafting

"Deletion" would have its old meaning (no one can see it except >10k).

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Is this possible??? I don't understand whether this is fiction or reality! If this is possible, can you please explain why you included the link to "replace delete with hide" and where is my "dis be a draft son" checkbox?? –  Pup Mar 15 at 20:33
    
@Pup this is the OP's suggestion how this can work. It's common to give such suggestions in feature requests, to help the team in case they decide to implement it at some point. Nothing in this post exists yet. –  Shadow Wizard Mar 15 at 21:32
    
So, there's a "feature-request" tag... Welcome to meta stackoverflow. Thanks, Shadow Wizard. –  Pup Mar 16 at 0:40

I like to slowly write a question while I am exploring a problem. This tends to produce decent questions, and it can personally be very helpful as Stack Overflow makes an excellent duck. However, sometimes I may not have time to entirely work through a problem in a single session and would like to come back to it later.

Similarly, Stack Overflow is supposed to serve much the same purpose as a personal programming blog. The blog post Encyclopedia Stack Exchange, introducing the improved self-answering feature, even suggests that existing bloggers may want to use Stack Exchange instead:

[...] but we have a bold goal for this new feature: we’re trying to move even more of the world’s long-tail, detailed knowledge into Stack Exchange. It works for all 83 sites (and their metas), you get to keep the reputation you earn, and you’ll get a lot more eyeballs than you can get on your blog (no offense… even my blog doesn’t get 24,300,000 monthly uniques).

Yet bloggers often do not write entire posts in a single session; they may have many drafts in progress at a given time. This is a very natural and common way to approach this sort of writing.

Treating Stack Exchange questions with the same care as you would treat a post on your own blog is very desirable behavior, but the software currently does little to encourage or facilitate this. Even the limited functionality provided by the current drafts feature is less likely to be used because the automatic almost-invisible behavior makes drafts feel very ephemeral. Even though I know they're saved on the server, I don't feel safe trusting it to save my unfinished posts.

I can and sometimes do use an external editor to work on my posts, but this is an inferior experience. Most bloggers use their software's draft feature for a reason. I don't believe there are any editor that implement exactly the same flavor of Markdown as Stack Exchange, nor would there be any which provide the same style and layout so that you know precisely what your post is going to look like when it's actually published.

This doesn't need to clutter the interface or experience very much. An explicit "save draft" button next to a drop-down list of saved drafts would not take up very much space in the Ask Question interface. It should not be very confusing to users; drafts are a concept that they will already be familiar with.

A more fleshed-out drafts feature would help encourage more thoughtful, developed posts, and would reinforce the blog-alternative-ness of Stack Exchange. It may encourage users in this direction even more than the immediate self-answer feature did. These benefits seem clear. I don't understand what downsides would make this feature undesirable.

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I'm arguing primarily for improved Question drafts, and am only thinking about Answers in the form of self-answers. Improved Answer drafts might be nice, but they are not my main concern. –  Jeremy Banks Nov 9 '12 at 17:56
    
Stack Overflow is supposed to partially serve as a replacement for a blog for non-bloggers False. And since this is a premise of which the rest is based on, the rest doesn't follow. –  Servy Nov 9 '12 at 17:58
    
@Servy Getting programmers to actually write/publish content here instead of starting their own blog has been a recurring theme since the site launched. It has been most directly addressed in the podcasts. Unfortunately I don't have time to search for an appropriate transcript, but look at the blog post for the self-answering feature for a weaker example: "we’re trying to move even more of the world’s long-tail, detailed knowledge into Stack Exchange[...] and you’ll get a lot more eyeballs than you can get on your blog". –  Jeremy Banks Nov 9 '12 at 18:41
    
Yes, as that blog post indicates there are a few aspects of blogs that tie into SE, and SE is designed to be a repository of knowledge, but the format must still be different. When using SE the content still needs to be in a Q/A format, which is substantially different than (most) blogs. While certain, specific, blog posts may make sense on SE, many won't, so it can't replace blogs in the general sense. SE posts are also designed to be fairly narrowly scoped. The very large "tutorials" you seem to be describing really don't belong on SO. –  Servy Nov 9 '12 at 18:57
    
@Servy I am not talking about a general replacement for blogging, and I did not use the word "tutorials". I am talking about further encouraging already-encouraged behavior. I am not suggesting a chance in scope of the site. –  Jeremy Banks Nov 9 '12 at 19:31
    
And I'm refuting that the behavior you're referring to is already encouraged. –  Servy Nov 9 '12 at 19:33

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