Recently, (on meta), I was able to answer this question 30 seconds after it was closed.

Close time:  2013-12-05 02:37:22Z
Answered at: 2013-12-05 02:37:52Z

This is fine. It is not a bug, rather it is as pointed out here.

While answering the question, there seems to be an interval in which (web sockets?) check if a question has been closed or not. If the check returns true, you are presented with the following message:

(Related to this question, asked 4 years ago)

This question has been closed - no more answers will be accepted.

After closing some questions, I found that the interval seems to be under 1 minute.
(I got ~22 seconds, ~49 seconds, and ~13 seconds when testing)

In other words, if you are typing an answer to a question, you have less than a minute to submit your answer - assuming the question has been closed. You will then be presented with the message above and the submit button will now be disabled.

<input id="submit-button" type="submit" disabled="disabled">

There are no evident problems with this. It seems to work well; however, if you edit the HTML and remove the disabled="disabled" attribute, you can bypass this and submit an answer.

Here is an example on SO where I did this. (10k users only - I deleted my answer)

Close time:  2013-12-05 19:11:28Z
Answered at: 2013-12-05 19:41:06Z

By removing the disabled attribute, I was able to submit an answer ~30 minutes after the question was closed.

Should this be allowed or not? In this comment from Jan 2011, Jeff points out:

the grace period for answer submission is now 4 [hours] after after question closure

Yes, the quote does say after twice.

Despite the fact that this comment was written ~3 years ago, there is still a 4 hour grace period in place. After sitting on a particular answer for ~5 hours, I failed to submit an answer and was presented with the following:

This grace period is intended for people already answering a question before it has been closed. So why is the submit button immediately disabled upon being notified that the question has been closed? This defeats the entire purpose of a grace period. Especially since it can be bypassed.

  • 2
    Discussion or bug? Why not both :) This most certainly is a bug that can be very trivially exploited. Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 21:20
  • 3
    What kind of server-side check would you possibly be able to implement? If you allow a client-side grace period, users will always be able to bypass it with tricks. 4 hours is an excessively long grace period. I'd say drop it down to 5 minutes.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 21:22
  • @animuson: Actually, there is a server-side check. It didn't work for a very long closed question.. Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 21:28
  • @animuson Well, my question is questioning whether there is actually a grace period. The server side check would just check if the question is closed or not; thus preventing this. Why is the button disabled if there actually is a grace period? And yea.. 5 mins sounds very reasonable. It would be ideal to have a server side check implemented to check time passed before submitting. Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 21:28
  • 1
    @JoshC I thought you meant some sort of server-side check to determine if their button has been disabled. I'm pretty sure it already checks the question's close time to the current time. I'd say it's safe to assume that allotment is still 4 hours (which again is absurdly long).
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 21:30
  • 3
    I believe the grace period, though, was meant for users who did not have JavaScript enabled or for some other reason could not be notified that the question is now closed, so they continued typing not knowing that fact.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 21:31
  • 2
    @animuson Yes, that's why. See this answer by Tim Stone. Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 3:48

2 Answers 2


There is a server side check.

I tried with https://stackoverflow.com/questions/8/tool-for-converting-visual-j-code-to-c, it doesn't work.

Sure, it's silly to say there's a grace period of 4 hours on the one hand, and then disable the button immediately on the other hand. That could be the .


why is the submit button immediately disabled upon being notified that the question has been closed?

While it's not my idea, or doing, I think I know the reasoning behind it. In my opinion, it's meant to discourage "ordinary" users from posting answers (after all, closed question means no more answers should be posted) while allowing "veteran" users, who know the system, to submit an answer anyway.

Long time users, who know the trick of submitting answer to a closed question during the four hours grace period, are much more likely to know what they are doing and post a good answer even though the question is closed, hence I believe this is still a good feature, and should be kept as-is.

  • 2
    Unless you got something to base your statements on, this sounds quite far-fetched.
    – Mast
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 11:24
  • This actually does sound like a feasible reason, though maybe not intentional. I have definitely exploited this "feature" multiple times over the past couple of years, and I know of many other seasoned users who have done the same. I have even gone to the extent of copying the answer/response box HTML from another question, changing the question ID, and then pasting it into the closed question document (because closed questions don't have the response box HTML unless you were already on that question before it was closed). So I agree, this should be kept as-is. Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 13:30
  • @Mast might be, but without any official response (which might never come) nobody can really know. Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 14:00
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    @Josh yeah, and to make your life easier: you can change only the question ID in existing answer using browser's dev tools to have the answer posted on the desired question: i.sstatic.net/S6jSs.png (done that myself few times.) Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 14:03

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