6

I'm aware there are drafts which are auto-saved, but I don't want to risk of losing my half-finished answer.

Some SE sites even created special sandboxes on meta for that reason.

Therefore it is a good practise to post the question/answer (whatever it's question or answer), delete it just right after posting, do some changes in convenient time and then undelete it when it is ready?

  • 1
    Why not use notepad (or some other text editor)? Write out your question there, check the preview for formatting issues, and post. – gunr2171 Apr 21 '15 at 15:47
  • @gunr2171 Most of the text editors doesn't support Markdown to preview your formatting. I've found one (Mou on OSX), but I'm not confident with it yet, one down-side is that the draft is stored only on one computer, so you've to implement extra Dropbox features, etc. Therefore I'm asking about the draft on the server-side which I think it's the most convenient method so far which I've found. Down-side of SE auto-drafts is that these are only stored for 7 days (without possibility of using multiple for the questions), so if you forget about your drafts, you'll lose it all. – kenorb Apr 21 '15 at 15:51
  • While deleting a post will move you a step towards a ban, I'm not sure if undeleting the post will then move you a step away from the ban. – pacoverflow Apr 21 '15 at 17:19
  • @pacoverflow Why is that? Is there any ban indicator which counts number of own removed posts? Or you're saying in general? – kenorb Apr 21 '15 at 17:24
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    The autoban algorithm is secret, but we do know that deleted posts contribute. If you don't suck, you should be fine. If you do, and you trigger a ban by self-deleting, you can always undelete and hurry up finishing your editing. Slackers. – Won't Apr 21 '15 at 17:27
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    @kenorb See this link – pacoverflow Apr 21 '15 at 17:32
  • @pacoverflow Note that the answer there is 4 years old, so may no longer be 100% accurate, and more importantly it specifically relates to deleted questions. – Aaron Bertrand Apr 22 '15 at 14:54
  • @AaronBertrand Probably best to assume it's still accurate, unless you want to risk a ban. He did ask about both questions and answers, so the link is relevant. – pacoverflow Apr 22 '15 at 14:58
  • @pacoverflow Disagree. I don't see anything at all in the link that refers to answers - just about everything, including the title and the cases Jeff illustrates, relate explicitly to questions. – Aaron Bertrand Apr 22 '15 at 15:13
  • @AaronBertrand And the OP asked about questions (as well as answers). – pacoverflow Apr 22 '15 at 17:05
  • @pacoverflow shrug /unsubscribe – Aaron Bertrand Apr 22 '15 at 17:15
12

I've tried that; it works, sort of… but it isn't really a good practice.

The problem is that when you post a question or an answer, the question is listed or bumped to the top of the front page and question lists. However, when you delete that post, it continues to be listed on those pages, even though you deleted it, sometimes for hours (blame it on performance caching).

Deleting a draft question is a bit more problematic than deleting a draft answer. When a user goes to view a new question (which you have since deleted), they're going to get an error (HTTP 404). Higher rep users can see the deleted question, but it's going to look a bit suspicious, and an attentive user might be inclined to verify there isn't a more wide-spread problem (like "self-vandalism of posts").

Deleting a drafted answer isn't quite as problematic as deleting a question… because all you're doing is bumping the thread to the top of the 'activity' page (unnecessarily). But still, you're notifying potentially hundreds or thousands of attentive users to see what changed in that post… but it's a wasted effort because there's really no change at all.

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    Adding an answer to see what it looks like, then deleting it, also still causes a ping to the OP of the question, too, who then comes and looks to see your answer only to find no such thing. – Aaron Bertrand Apr 21 '15 at 17:39
  • @AaronBertrand I'd suggest posting it on one of your questions. – Tim Apr 22 '15 at 14:50

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