An unposted question or answer is saved as a draft every forty-five seconds. In theory. The draft saving feature is unreliable when a post is written over an extended period of time.

When I work on a post for an extended period of time it stops saving drafts. When that happens it is impossible to get it to save again, no matter what I do. I have tried

  • Typing some more
  • Waiting some more
  • Trying to navigate away from the page but clicking ‘cancel’ on the popup
  • Actually navigating away from the page
  • Begging it to save
  • Standing on my head
  • Pulling faces (No, I didn't resort to this really)

Unfortunately I can't tell you exactly when it stops saving, but I can give you a real example of what I did when this occurred:

I started writing this question and continued typing for a few minutes; it saved drafts just as it was supposed to. I left it to stand for a while (perhaps ten minutes) after it had already saved a draft. I came back and started typing constantly again, watching to see it if it would stop saving. It saved about three times, then failed altogether.

This is especially annoying to me because I always work on a new post for a long time, meaning that I have this problem 100% of the time. To make it worse, the mains electricity at my home often trips the earth leakage (it’s the incoming power -- nothing I can do about it). The result is that I have often lost large portions of posts I am working on. I know I can write posts in a text editor, but I would rather write it in the question or answer box for three reasons:

  • When working with a few images it if often important to be able to see the post as it will look
  • I can see what it looks like while writing
  • I like to keep an eye on new questions and the review queue at the same time

This behaviour is repeatable for me. I guess it’s a bug, but I’m not sure if there is a timeout for draft saving, or a limited amount times a post can be saved. Whatever it is, it’s a long-standing issue, and one which causes me much annoyance. I would be very grateful if it were fixed.

I can reproduce this, but do you have this same issue? If you have the time, could you verify this behaviour?

  • 1
    I strangely reproduced this: i.stack.imgur.com/SH2As.png after 22 minutes or so the /answer is no longer posted, and it won't restart posting if you resume editing.
    – rene
    Feb 27, 2018 at 18:50
  • Only the validate-body call does, the posts to /answer (which is the draft saved call) doesn't
    – rene
    Feb 27, 2018 at 19:38
  • @rene: Thanks for the detective work. Twenty-something minutes isn't very long to write a good post, I wonder if this is a bug...
    – hat
    Feb 27, 2018 at 19:42
  • @rene no error in console? (Though they probably catch those errors somehow) Feb 27, 2018 at 19:49
  • @ShadowWizard nope ... something is off in the HeartBeat,js but there is so much going on there that I don't want to dig in further.
    – rene
    Feb 27, 2018 at 19:51
  • @rene heart attack? :( Feb 27, 2018 at 20:15
  • Probably not what you were looking to find, but you know that there are a few degrees of uncertainty between you and this safety measure? You'd be better off doing a Select All and Copy every few minutes or significant additions — or even drafting your answers in a text editor and only pasting the text here when you are ready to proofread. Mar 3, 2018 at 16:26
  • Work-around: copy content, press Discard, reload page, paste content. :( Aug 1, 2023 at 12:39


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