I am going offline. Or rather, I will have intermittent or bad Internet access for a year, hopping on random Wi-Fi access points, crappy 3G or dialup connections.

How can I keep participating here?

I know about:

  • XML dumps of the database: Not practical; those are huge and always out of date, by definition, with no easy way to sync incrementally (let alone write)
  • Mobile version: So that's great; it runs on around 3-4 KB per page, which means one second or more load times. It may help when I do have Internet access, but not when I want to jot down notes of IIS, SQL Server, ASP.NET, Redis and Elasticsearch or comment on issues while offline.

The ideal solution would be a Git repository holding all the responses, answers and comments, basically. :) Another option would be to have a way to collaborate more dynamically through email, say be able to receive all the questions with a certain tag and respond by email. From what I gathered you can subscribe to receive the latest questions on a given tag, but you can't reply by email. Operating the API by email commands would also be great...

Those features would enable Stack Exchange sites to be accessed by more people with less privilege, basically. Since Stack Overflow, in particular, is great enabler of learning for programming, it would seem imperative to allow such access to be done more dynamically.

Clarification: this is not only about email support! If there was an offline application to do the above, that would be fine as well, for example.

  • You have access to email back and forth, but not the mobile version? – random May 16 '15 at 21:24
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    the idea of email access is that it is intermittent, and works offline. i can go online, get my emails to have all the questions, then go offline and answer them. when i go back online, they will be delivered. – anarcat May 16 '15 at 21:49
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    also, i don't believe it is a dupe because email would be one way of fixing the problem, but not the only way... – anarcat May 16 '15 at 21:52
  • Still, your request focusses heavily on the email option. But that time you're offline is a good as time as any to make use of the search features and not expect a mailing list type of service – random May 16 '15 at 23:06
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    I know this isn't the answer you're looking for but the site will (probably) still be here in a year when you come back. You could take some time to enjoy the scenery of wherever you're going, it seems like a nice opportunity since you'll be jumping around all over the place. – Jason C May 17 '15 at 3:57
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    In 2012, the Stack Overflow DB was 113GB. Today it’s probably at least double that. Git doesn’t do so well on large repos; I don’t want to imagine how it would perform if you gave it the entire SO/SE database. – alexwlchan May 17 '15 at 5:51
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    @JasonC that's the best answer i got so far. ;) – anarcat May 18 '15 at 17:40
  • @random true, one of the biggest problems with offline access is the search engine that comes up when you make a question. – anarcat May 18 '15 at 17:40
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    I don't have an answer for your question, but I'd like to appreciate the way you wrote your question, including all the links in you question makes it so useful, I had no idea XML dumps are available, thanks and have fun wherever you're going. – user305073 Sep 11 '15 at 17:01

As far as dialup, here are some ideas:

  • Use the desktop version with JavaScript disabled
  • Create a profile on data.SE, and store notes in its About Me
  • Combine a stackapp with ifttt or zapier to post by mail
  • Turning JavaScript off tends to disrupt searches by nagging "I'm not a robot" captchas. – Deer Hunter Sep 5 '15 at 4:57

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