It seems that I quite often get a captcha confirmation when I post a question or answer. All it takes is to write a longish piece of text or check a couple of things to make sure what I am saying is on track. I can easily spend 15 to 20 minutes on an answer if I am being careful and thorough, especially if I paste in links to back up what I am saying.

This always makes me nervous, as well as being a pain/annoyance. What if the recaptcha site doesn't work properly? What if I lose my internet connection while doing it (happens a lot on my laptop due to a faulty wireless card)? What if I get the captcha wrong? It becomes easy to lose 15 - 30 minutes of work just because SO imposed an additional step on me.

Is this "too long" check really necessary? I mean, how long should it take a human to type 1000 characters of text? You can't really say, since it depends on the content. Certainly you can set a threshold of where it's too fast, but not where it's too slow.


due to popular demand, I removed the maximum time check as a CAPTCHA trigger.

Now you can take hours, days, nay ... WEEKS ... to compose the very best answer possible!

  • 2
    Slowest gun in the west problem? – U62 Feb 4 '10 at 16:47

Copy/paste your answer into notepad before hitting submit. It's become a habit of mine on sites that I don't trust (I've not had troubles on the SOFU sites yet, thank goodness)

  • Yeah, I wish this weren't true. HTML 5 has some offline features that could take care of that, but I doubt they'll be implemented here for this type of problem. I also wish that the length of time allowed to post an answer before showing the captcha got longer the more rep you have... – Pollyanna Feb 2 '10 at 21:24
  • Answers the what if it fails, but not the extra step annoyance, and requires that I perform yet another extra step. – Lawrence Dol Feb 2 '10 at 23:44
  • @Pollyanna, it does. It kicks in at 10K. A cop-out IMHO (because if Jeff got that number wrong (which he obviously did) the extra spam is easy to clean up by hand.) I wonder how many people who are careless enough to have their accounts compromised are still able to get 1K rep. Probably not many. I assume Jeff is choosing to err on the side of avoiding the extra work. – Perpetual Motion Goat Feb 3 '10 at 22:02

What if the recaptcha site doesn't work properly? What if I loose my internet connection while doing it

...what if there's no captcha, but things fail anyhow? I always get my post, no matter how small, onto my clipboard before hitting submit on any site...

  • 1
    I'm not sure how a failed Internet connection could be considered a bug in the site, either. ;) – Kara Marfia Feb 3 '10 at 15:40

Do you take advantage of the preview window so as to not submit until you are satisfied with your edit? I usually only have two or three edits register when I am posting, even for extensively thought-out posts involving a lot of code and details; I also use the Firefox plugin "It's All Text!" so I can use my editor of choice (vim) for writing my post, which really helps out when writing code on the fly.

  • This happens on initial post, without any editing, just because you take too long in constructing the post. – Lawrence Dol Feb 2 '10 at 23:44

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