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Message autosave feature? [message #28483] Wed, 26 October 2005 05:21 Go to next message
tufan is currently offline  tufan   Turkey
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Just like in gmail, that would be wonderful Rolling Eyes

Most users begin writing in the post page, and long messages can easily be lost because of the browser, cookie, or network timeout problems.

A save feature would be a godsend actually Rolling Eyes

cya,
tiu


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Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28486 is a reply to message #28483] Wed, 26 October 2005 09:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ilia is currently offline  Ilia   Canada
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No plans to add it.

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Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28492 is a reply to message #28483] Wed, 26 October 2005 14:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JanRei is currently offline  JanRei   Germany
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Hi Ilia,

I know many members of our forum, who have the problem of loosing a message, if they get looged out while typing.

I'd like to say that I would appreciate a solution for that.

My solutions for that:

  • My solution we have discussed already (you can find the thread here)
  • Something on the post form that shows in realtime, whether I'm logged in or not
  • The autosave feature proposed by tiufang



Thank you
JanRei

[Updated on: Wed, 26 October 2005 14:30]

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Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28495 is a reply to message #28492] Wed, 26 October 2005 17:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ilia is currently offline  Ilia   Canada
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I do not intend to add auto-save. As far as being logged out while typing a message, I have not seen it happen in "real-life" with cookie sessions.

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Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28499 is a reply to message #28483] Wed, 26 October 2005 19:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JamesS is currently offline  JamesS   United States
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This has been on my list of "hacks" to write for some time now. I think it would be highly useful; especially considering browser crashes. I have lost many messages because the browser crashed either before I was done composing or because I tried to add an attachment (who knows why).

The only reason I can see not to add it is knowing when to delete the stored message. The temporary storage should be just that, temporary.
Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28506 is a reply to message #28483] Thu, 27 October 2005 03:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JanRei is currently offline  JanRei   Germany
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In our forum there is a member, who has problems with cookies. And she plains about being logged out while typing messages.

If you don't want to re-login the user (like I have proposed) then I see the autosave as a good alternative.

I suggest that you show the saved message, when the user logs in the next time. You can give the possibilty either to post/edit it or to delete it.
Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28509 is a reply to message #28506] Thu, 27 October 2005 07:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Markus Allen is currently offline  Markus Allen   United States
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Would you like to see a "Draft" option -- a feature that would virtually eliminate the frustration of losing a post?[ 3 votes ]
1.
2.
3.
 

Count me in on this, too...

... Only because as a self-confessed "message board junkie" do I go through the hassle of opening "Stickies" (on the Mac, it's cool software that's like PostIt(R) Notes) to first draft my message... then once it's ready to "Post" -- I'll copy and paste the content to FUDForum...

... And though I never wager, I'd bet hockey tickets 99.9% of message board participants don't do this AND 100% scream when they accidentally lose their post.

(Sorry Ilia, I didn't see a listing of hobbies in your FUDforum profile -- and I think you're in Canada so I mentioned "hockey" to build rapport Very Happy )

Maybe Ilia just needs more "convincing" how awesome this feature would be (and help rocket FUDForum to the top of the hill of forum software -- although we all know it's already tops with us).

By the way, it doesn't have to be complicated (although autosave -- similar to what is currently offered in gMail is pretty nifty)...

... Just a clone of the "Draft" option found in FUDforum "Private Messaging."

In fact maybe saving the post as a browser cookie is all you need.

I actually have this on my programmer's "must do" list (but it requires messin' with core code... something we really try to avoid).

I'd be willing to share the cost of this development... count me in for $25.00 -- I'll PayPal it to anyone within 60 seconds of being notified of a solution. And consider my $25.00 a donation so the code can be donated to Ilia for inclusion in the next upgrade.

In addition to sharing the cost, I'd be willing to "blueprint" the script ("blueprinting" is a word we use to display a mock up of HTML).

Ilia, if we can have this developed (and of course approved by you), is that cool?
Even better, can a bunch of us donate $25.00 to you and have you create the script?
Is anyone else in for $25.00 to make this happen?



Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28513 is a reply to message #28495] Thu, 27 October 2005 14:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tufan is currently offline  tufan   Turkey
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Hi,
Ilia

... I have not seen it happen in "real-life" with cookie sessions.

Supposing this is a serious statement, I must say that I may understand that's because you may be coding quite more than you write to forums Rolling Eyes
JamesS

The only reason I can see not to add...

The only reason I can see not to add, well, I really can't see it. Ilia didn't come up with a reason either anyway Rolling Eyes
print_money_at_home

Maybe Ilia just needs more "convincing" how awesome this feature would be...

Well, before this message, I began writing a message telling how awesome this would be, but it got quite long, and lost it since my session expired Razz Very Happy
print_money_at_home

... Just a clone of the "Draft" option found in FUDforum "Private Messaging."

Yes, that's possible too. C'mon Ilia, we really need just some kind of "save".

By the way, I use "Preview" as a save against session expiring problem. But there are other problems like network problems (you end up with a white empty page, when you refresh, and re-post, it says "system error, sorry for the inconvenience" or something like that). And I use Firefox, and I know it's a lot more easier to lose a draft when using Internet Explorer (You lose it even you go to the "Back" page I guess).

We have it when pm'ing, we actually need it more when posting, 'cause generally we post more than we pm.

That's one of the simplest most useble features, ever (I by no means imply that it's easy to implement).

I first saw it with gmail, I have quite a guess that no forum has this kind of save function, and no web-mail accounts do either. And I really don't see why Rolling Eyes

That would be really awesome. fud just would have another feature that no other forum has Rolling Eyes


http://sfx-images.mozilla.org/affiliates/Buttons/firefox2/firefox-spread-btn-1.png
Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28516 is a reply to message #28513] Thu, 27 October 2005 16:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ilia is currently offline  Ilia   Canada
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Let's see, I reply to about 30 messages per day or just this forum alone aside from other places where I work with forums. So, I think your claim of me not using enough forum does not hold water.

Considering I know how FUDforum code is written I can tell you with certainly there is an infestimal chance of a message body being lost due to a user logging out. Unless you explicity try to cause the problem, it is virtually impossible aside from few very rare edge cases.

This feature is useless in most cases only forcing utilization of unnecessary server resources, if you had considered the code necessary to implement and the process involved perhaps you'd revise your assumptions.

There is a good reason that aside from Gmail, with their uber short session times no services or applications have this feature.

P.S. FUDforum is opensource if you want a feature, you can always try hacking the code yourself Smile.


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[Updated on: Thu, 27 October 2005 16:48]

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Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28517 is a reply to message #28483] Thu, 27 October 2005 16:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous   United States
Karma:
"The only reason I can see not to add, well, I really can't see it. Ilia didn't come up with a reason either anyway."

Do you write applications? Particularly web applications?
Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28518 is a reply to message #28483] Thu, 27 October 2005 16:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous   United States
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Well, it can be written without using server resources very much at all. The message data can be saved to a local cookie. That would require only a simple check, the next time the user visits the forum, to see if there is a saved message and then present the user with the compose form if there is one.

I never posted the feature request because I knew you wouldn't go for it. That is why I have placed it on my list of possible hacks to do later.
Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28519 is a reply to message #28483] Thu, 27 October 2005 16:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JamesS is currently offline  JamesS   United States
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The previous two messages were me. I didn't realize I wasn't logged in.
Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28520 is a reply to message #28518] Thu, 27 October 2005 16:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ilia is currently offline  Ilia   Canada
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Anonymous wrote on Thu, 27 October 2005 16:48

Well, it can be written without using server resources very much at all. The message data can be saved to a local cookie. That would require only a simple check, the next time the user visits the forum, to see if there is a saved message and then present the user with the compose form if there is one.

I never posted the feature request because I knew you wouldn't go for it. That is why I have placed it on my list of possible hacks to do later.


Here is a short list of problems with that approach:
1) Cookie can store limited information reliably, which means long messages will be cutoff or lost. (4kbytes is the maximum cookie size, although in some browsers it is as low as 1kbyte)
Keep in mind your data will be "bloated" since you'll need to URL encode it, another 20/30% bump to the actual message size.

2) You cannot store attached files, polls and message options cannot be stored inside cookies, so those would be lost.

3) This presents a security concern since you now have data coming through a unvalidated input source. Opens a whole can of worms from the security side of things.

4) To auto-save you'll need to use Java-script running in a loop, so people without JavaScript support will not have this feature available.
I suppose this is not a critical issue as you can place a "save" button.


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Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28521 is a reply to message #28483] Thu, 27 October 2005 17:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JamesS is currently offline  JamesS   United States
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I haven't ever had much problem storing data in cookies. But, my preferred method would have been to store the data in a table specifically for that purpose; so, yes, there would be a couple extra KB being sent to the server every so often. I really don't see that as a problem.

As for javascript. Have you ever browsed a forum on a browser that doesn't support javascript (lynx)? It is nigh impossible. So my reasoning is, if the user doesn't have javascript, or they have it turned off, who cares? They wouldn't even notice. The form would work just like normal.

There are some other things that vBulletin have added recently, along these same lines, that are nice. Things such as in-place editing of posted messages. Sounds useless, but it is really quite nice. These type of things are going to keep driving people in the direction of that package instead of this one.
Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28522 is a reply to message #28521] Thu, 27 October 2005 17:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ilia is currently offline  Ilia   Canada
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The spec says 4k of data or less, when you try to store more one of two things will happen:
1) Cookie will be rejected, total data loss.
2) Cookie will be accepted by trimmed to allowed length, partial data loss.

Sending multi-kb cookies is not an issue on a small forum, when you have hundreds of simoulteneous users, you'll sing another tune because network saturation and buffer size on tcp/ip become issues.

I browsed and use the forum (for a test) with IE/Firefox with Javascript disabled, all core functionality works without an issue. Using a text-only browser is a bit extreme, but I bet posting and reading messages works non the less.

FUDforum gets new features on every release too, check the changelog...


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Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28523 is a reply to message #28483] Thu, 27 October 2005 17:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JamesS is currently offline  JamesS   United States
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I know it gets new features. I was talking about features that are more "rich client"-like. I prefer FUDforum. The administration panel is well done and the software is more secure than any other forum software out there. I also wasn't saying it isn't possible to use the forum without javascript at all. I was merely trying to point out that, for the most part, the only browsers that don't use javascript are text based ones. Most people leave it enabled in other browser because they either don't know how to disable it or they like to use it without having to keep turning the support on and off.
Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28524 is a reply to message #28516] Thu, 27 October 2005 18:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tufan is currently offline  tufan   Turkey
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Hi,

Quote:

Let's see, I reply to about 30 messages per day or just this forum alone aside from other places where I work with forums. So, I think your claim of me not using enough forum does not hold water.


Ok, reading again, I expressed it in a wrong way Sad You're definitely one of the guys who use his support forum the most to answer questions, so that in the beginning I did think that your only task is answering questions, and somebody else codes actually Smile

However, the problem arises when you post LONG messages. The kind of messages you spend quite a lot of time to write just one of them.

Quote:

Unless you explicity try to cause the problem, it is virtually impossible aside from few very rare edge cases.


Believe me it's not so rare in a forum where most users give their half an hour to write just one message Rolling Eyes As a workaround, I advise them to preview their messages more frequently...

Quote:

This feature is useless in most cases


This feature would be as useless as saving the drafts of private messages Rolling Eyes

Quote:

P.S. FUDforum is opensource if you want a feature, you can always try hacking the code yourself Smile.


Thanks, I'll pass, I once just unluckily slightly changed the css and header files, now I have to make the same change over and over again with every update, let alone a code change itself, I don't think I just can handle it Rolling Eyes

Hence my innocent suggestion for an "official" modification Wink


cya,
tiu


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Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28525 is a reply to message #28524] Thu, 27 October 2005 18:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ilia is currently offline  Ilia   Canada
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tiufang wrote on Thu, 27 October 2005 18:00

Hi,
However, the problem arises when you post LONG messages. The kind of messages you spend quite a lot of time to write just one of them.



Understood, but you if look at the forum's settings you'll see that the cookie sessions (by default anyhow) last for way longer then 1/2 hour or even 2 hours. Which means the problem would only affect relying explicitly on URL sessions, which do expire after about 24 minutes by default. That said anytime you click on the preview/spell check button the session is renewed and you get another 24 minutes. In a way a "preview" click is sort of like "save" although not really, but you already knew that Wink. If we add auto-save button unless people use it is just eye candy, so how about this trivial template mod, add a copy of the Preview button with a "save" caption and see if it helps.

Quote:


This feature would be as useless as saving the drafts of private messages Rolling Eyes



A pm draft is not a particularly useful feature, I agree but if you have 1/2 the message in your head and you need another day or two to come up with the rest it has its uses.

Quote:


Thanks, I'll pass, I once just unluckily slightly changed the css and header files, now I have to make the same change over and over again with every update, let alone a code change itself, I don't think I just can handle it



Exageration, you only need to make those changes IF the underlying templates were made during an upgrade. If we start looking at the facts the:
forum.css.tmpl changes at most once every 3 months, so every 2 releases and header.tmpl was last changed on 2004-Apr-25 1.5 years!!! ago.


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Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28526 is a reply to message #28523] Thu, 27 October 2005 18:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ilia is currently offline  Ilia   Canada
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JamesS wrote on Thu, 27 October 2005 17:38

I know it gets new features. I was talking about features that are more "rich client"-like. I prefer FUDforum. The administration panel is well done and the software is more secure than any other forum software out there. I also wasn't saying it isn't possible to use the forum without javascript at all. I was merely trying to point out that, for the most part, the only browsers that don't use javascript are text based ones. Most people leave it enabled in other browser because they either don't know how to disable it or they like to use it without having to keep turning the support on and off.


If you have patches to this affect I'll be glad to review them and consider them for inclusion. My main requirenment would be support of the functionality in IE,Firefox,Konqueror and Safari.


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Re: Message autosave feature? [message #28527 is a reply to message #28483] Thu, 27 October 2005 18:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JamesS is currently offline  JamesS   United States
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Cool. Maybe I will get to it during the winter break. Doubtful, but maybe. I want to update my quick reply hack and make it much better first, though.
Re: Message autosave feature? [message #29068 is a reply to message #28492] Sun, 27 November 2005 19:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous   Portugal
Karma:
JanRei wrote on Wed, 26 October 2005 14:28

Hi Ilia,
loosing



losing.

JanRei wrote on Wed, 26 October 2005 14:28

Hi Ilia,
looged



logged.


I wonder if developers listen to feature proposals from illiterate people.

Re: Message autosave feature? [message #29528 is a reply to message #28499] Thu, 29 December 2005 12:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Anonymous   United Kingdom
Karma:
[quote title=JamesS wrote on Wed, 26 October 2005 19:16] ... I think it would be highly useful... [/qoute]

I agree.

Quote:

I have lost many messages because the browser crashed either before I was done composing or because I tried to add an attachment (who knows why).


It's happened to me too. I've wrote long posts in my time and have lost the whole thing due to various reasons beyond my control. These include session timeouts, brief network outages, webserver outages and problems connecting to the database server.
Re: Message autosave feature? [message #32199 is a reply to message #28483] Wed, 14 June 2006 05:58 Go to previous message
gladiator is currently offline  gladiator   China
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http://fudforum.org/forum/index.php?t=msg&th=6639

Smile
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