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I've twice now in the last 24 hours had a user delete his/her question while I was busy typing up an answer. I had no indication while writing the answers that the question was deleted while writing out my answer. This is obviously hugely frustrating.

Can we perhaps get a notification that the question we're answering has been deleted, kind of like the "X new answers" notification?

Also, what happens if the question is later undeleted? Perhaps we should allow questions to be answered within X minutes of being deleted, such that the answers we spent time on don't go to complete waste.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You should have been informed of status changes to the question - it's the same ajax call that checks for new answers I believe, and it happens every 45 seconds. From this answer:

the periodic callbacks that display a status banner can disable the submit button, if it detects a question is closed, locked, or deleted

(emphasis mine)

Anecdotally, I can confirm that I have seen the banner before, though it's been a while since that happened. So it's possible that you may simply have been unlucky these two times.

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Okay, I definitely didn't see the banner and I definitely wasn't able to submit an answer. So either the status of allowing answers to be submitted if you started writing them while the question was still open has changed, or something went wrong in both cases. – marcog Dec 24 '10 at 15:11
@marcog Remember the 45 second (subjected to network conditions) interval - if the OP deletes his question within 45 seconds of the last poll, you would still be able to answer but would be hit with the error you see - that's why I said you might have simply been unlucky those two times. – Yi Jiang Dec 24 '10 at 15:15
I see, you're probably right. Thanks. – marcog Dec 24 '10 at 15:18

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