I was in the middle of writing a (in my opinion good and detailed) answer to a question on a Stack Exchange site I hadn't used before. But when I tried to save the answer, it turns out the question has been protected in the meanwhile. There isn't even any way to submit it for manual review or similar. I do have the +100 network bonus, but answering protected questions needs +10 on the specific site.

So, now I have an answer I spent 15 minutes researching & writing that I have to throw away, just because the question happened to hit HNQ and got protected as a result. That's a terrible user experience in my opinion.

Could the answer box somehow be made to accept answers that people start writing before protection gets applied?

  • 2
    Possibly adding the same grace period as normally used on closed questions (4 hours).
    – Mast
    Commented Sep 22, 2020 at 13:26
  • 5
    well 4 hours is awfully long for a question in HNQ.
    – Luuklag
    Commented Sep 22, 2020 at 14:07
  • 1
    @Mast four hours is pretty long. Maybe an hour grace period?
    – Ollie
    Commented Sep 22, 2020 at 14:19
  • 4
    Somewhat similar (different?) questions, possibly containing the answer: meta.stackexchange.com/q/253573/282094 and meta.stackexchange.com/q/231498/282094 and a little: meta.stackexchange.com/a/52765/282094 (which is not precisely worded) - what if you were downvoted while answering, falling below the necessary reputation earnings required to answer, some discussions say "only need to have earned" while others are "must possess at the time". --- This should have an exception except for the case of downvoted. - Those that have had this happen no doubt find it annoying.
    – Rob
    Commented Sep 22, 2020 at 15:38
  • 1
    @Rob In my opinion, if someone has started writing an answer before the form gets disabled for them, there is less to lose by letting them answer. If one is afraid of request forgery, there could be some kind of token in the form to tell "answering was allowed when the form was sent to browser". And to clarify: I'm not complaining about not being able to answer the question - I'm complaining about first being told "you can answer" and then when I have finished writing and click "Save", get told "Question is protected, go answer something else."
    – jpa
    Commented Sep 22, 2020 at 19:22
  • jpa, I have no misunderstanding nor disagreement with that - was there a new question?
    – Rob
    Commented Sep 22, 2020 at 19:36
  • @Rob Ok, I just don't think there is an answer in those other questions. At best, some of them are workarounds.
    – jpa
    Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 4:14
  • The workaround is FGITW - DTSTTCPW as fast as possible. And expand on it. The first 5 minutes aren't even seen as separate revisions. Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 15:58
  • 1
    ... in other words, the thing that is frowned upon and discouraged. Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 16:00
  • have you considered saving answer draft offline and making something like 5 edit suggestions, or posting another well received question / answer at this site? this way you'd gain 10 on-site rep which would make you able to post it to where you wanted
    – gnat
    Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 16:05
  • here is what I have done in the past when I suspected a question was going to be closed before I could do all the necessary research needed. Write a draft version, add a footnote explaining that the answer was "work in progress" and then posted. Sometimes if the draft version was so bare that I knew it would draw downvotes, despite the footnote, I'd delete it. Then undelete it when it was completed (off line). Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 16:15
  • Alternative: Only answer old questions that are missing a comprehensive answer (or any answer at all). Then you have plenty of time to compose your answer. (Make sure they are not actually duplicate questions and prevent uninformed downvotes (on answers to old questions) by making it very clear that you are providing value - e.g. by providing the answer to "Is this providing (new) value?" in comments to your answer - prepared in advance to it can be posted seconds after the answer is posted). Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 16:21


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