[RFC] Save, preview, post, etc. failsafe

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vHiker
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[RFC] Save, preview, post, etc. failsafe

Post by vHiker » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:37 pm

I'd really love to see a failsafe way for users to save, preview, and submit messages. On my board users often submit detailed trip reports. You can imagine the frustration when they hit the submit or save button, and poof, the message is lost due to their internet connection flaking out, the forum server experiencing a hickup, sunspots, etc. Hitting the back button often results in a "page expired" message if the post has been previewed. I'm sure this has happened once to every one here at least once.

The feature to save a draft (as implemented in 3.0) is not a solution because the same thing can happen when saving a draft (because the form submit takes the user to a new page to save the draft). Not only that, you have to click again to confirm that you want to save which doubles the risk of losing the message. Using a pop up window for confirmation (or AJAX) would have been much safer.

In that regard, why not use AJAX for not only saving drafts but also for previewing and submitting messages? I'd love to see a failsafe method implemented so that one never leaves the posting page. In other words, use AJAX to submit the form contents and if successful, redirect to the confirmation page (or in the case of preview, stay on the same page).

Of course there needs to be solution for browsers that don't support AJAX, but I'm sure there's a way to make it work both ways (i.e. current method if javascript or AJAX is not supported).

Thanks for considering this.

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FeyFre
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Re: [RFC] Save, preview, post, etc. failsafe

Post by FeyFre » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:41 pm

vHiker wrote:I'd really love to see a failsafe way for users to save, preview, and submit messages.
CTRL+C before any submit action always works for me(I had an experience with one forum(if I remembered correctly - it was IPB1.2) which always had problems with overloaded MySQL database, so 99% of its users have such habit)
If you going demand additional server-side actions to prevent server-side and channel-side failures, I can only advice you to think again.

About problems, I can only advice to you and your users to use user-agent specific solutions, because server side action have not much influence on data storage on client side.
For instance, Opera saves content of form fields in history too. Also there is UserJS script which save textarea form ields to localstorage. I have not doubts FireFox have similar extension.

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igorw
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Re: [RFC] Save, preview, post, etc. failsafe

Post by igorw » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:42 pm

I actually quite like this idea. It should be client-side based on the "html5" local storage. You can persist the post every 10 (or so) seconds and/or pre-submit. Recovering would be a simple "recover" click away.

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Re: [RFC] Save, preview, post, etc. failsafe

Post by A_Jelly_Doughnut » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:58 pm

I agree, this is a client side problem. As far as I know, all browsers except MSIE already implement storage of form data if you use your back button. And IE might now implement it in version 8, I haven't checked.

HTML 5 could be used, but I see no reason to implement what a majority of the web already has in their browsers.
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Re: [RFC] Save, preview, post, etc. failsafe

Post by DavidIQ » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:09 pm

A_Jelly_Doughnut wrote:And IE might now implement it in version 8, I haven't checked.
Nope. Keep your fingers crossed for 9... :roll:
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FeyFre
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Re: [RFC] Save, preview, post, etc. failsafe

Post by FeyFre » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:01 pm

A_Jelly_Doughnut wrote:I agree, this is a client side problem. As far as I know, all browsers except MSIE already implement storage of form data if you use your back button.
FireFox did not yet.
eviL3 wrote:It should be client-side based on the "html5" local storage.
Probably, but phpbb 3.0.x uses xhtml 1.0 . I did not saw any roadmap for phpbb 3.1.x but I do not think it should be changed.

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DavidIQ
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Re: [RFC] Save, preview, post, etc. failsafe

Post by DavidIQ » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:22 pm

FeyFre wrote:FireFox did not yet.
On FireFox if you click on the back arrow and come back to your posting form by clicking forward you still have the text you have already entered.
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Re: [RFC] Save, preview, post, etc. failsafe

Post by Nelsaidi » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:20 pm

FeyFre wrote:
A_Jelly_Doughnut wrote:I agree, this is a client side problem. As far as I know, all browsers except MSIE already implement storage of form data if you use your back button.
FireFox did not yet.
eviL3 wrote:It should be client-side based on the "html5" local storage.
Probably, but phpbb 3.0.x uses xhtml 1.0 . I did not saw any roadmap for phpbb 3.1.x but I do not think it should be changed.
Actually firefox has local storage as far as i'm aware, just find a demo with a tutorial and test it for confirmation.

The idea of using local storage for this would be great, but anything more than that really including but not limited to (server) auto drafts; should be avoided.

But agreed this is merely convinence, since most browsers that local storage work with also save form data when submitting (when you go back). Local drafting sounds great.

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FeyFre
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Re: [RFC] Save, preview, post, etc. failsafe

Post by FeyFre » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:04 pm

DavidIQ wrote:On FireFox if you click on the back arrow and come back to your posting form by clicking forward you still have the text you have already entered.
Any special conditions for that? Because my FF did not do that.
Nelsaidi wrote:Actually firefox has local storage as far as i'm aware, just find a demo with a tutorial and test it for confirmation.
LocalStorage is part of HTML5 specification. PHPBB uses XHTML 1.0 != HTML5, so LocalStorage is not accessible solution yet.

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Re: [RFC] Save, preview, post, etc. failsafe

Post by vHiker » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:58 pm

Keep in mind that most users are not sophisticated. Solutions like "ctrl+c" before posting, install an add-on, etc. are not helpful to them. My point is there is a much safer option to submit form data (AJAX). Also, this would allow autosaving of drafts (which could be useful to recover lost drafts from a browser crash, inadvertent close of browser window while posting, etc). Maybe I need to code this as a mod. It would not be very hard, and I suspect it would become a very popular mod. :D

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