save drafts interface needlessly complex?

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Discuss features as they are added to the new version. Give us your feedback. Don't post bug reports, feature requests, support questions or suggestions here. Feature requests are closed.
asinshesq
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Re: save drafts interface needlessly complex?

Post by asinshesq »

Handyman wrote: It would be cool to be able to purge the drafts that are over a certain time period old.

In my save posts as drafts mod for phpbb2 I tied the pruning function into drafts and that was pretty easy. I imagine a similar thing can be done pretty easily for phpbb3 (although the fact that the drafts are in a separate table in phpbb3 make this slightly more involved).
Eelke wrote: Another reasoning may be that with a separate table, a carelessly written select statement meant to retrieve "all" posts (maybe in some mod) can never expose stuff that is actually a draft.

Good point. I wonder if that's what they were thinking. But it does make the drafts feature considerably less useful than it would otherwise be.

By the way, why does the 'LOAD' button appear when you are writing a regular post (not a draft)? Seems like that would be confusing to regular users, no?
Alan

asinshesq
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Re: save drafts interface needlessly complex?

Post by asinshesq »

The regular post information that the drafts table does not have is pretty limited:

- icon for post or topic
- disable bbcode (yes/no)
- disable smilies (yes/no)
- don't autmatically parse urls (yes/no)
- attach a sig (yes/no)
- sign up for topic notification (this is not actually in the posts table anyway ... it gets saved in teh topics watch table)
- post attachment

All of those would be easy to add to the posts table.

In addition, polls do not get retained with drafts, and that would probably not be that hard to fix.

Finally, I note that draft pms do not retain their addressees.

Are there other things people can think of that get killed when you save a draft in phpbb3?
Alan

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Acyd Burn
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Re: save drafts interface needlessly complex?

Post by Acyd Burn »

Everything get killed (on purpose) except the subject and body text. It is intended to be this way and not intended to be a canned posts feature. It is not stored within the posts table because of performance reasons (it would significantly slow down viewtopic/posting and add up to the database due to a new index) and because the draft is only meant for storing a subject and text.

And no, there will be no change in 3.0.x regarding drafts.

Image

asinshesq
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Re: save drafts interface needlessly complex?

Post by asinshesq »

Acyd Burn wrote: Everything get killed (on purpose) except the subject and body text. It is intended to be this way and not intended to be a canned posts feature. It is not stored within the posts table because of performance reasons (it would significantly slow down viewtopic/posting and add up to the database due to a new index) and because the draft is only meant for storing a subject and text.

And no, there will be no change in 3.0.x regarding drafts.


Thanks. I now see why you didn't include drafts in the posts table (performance issues). But what's the reason that you decided not to include more information in the drafts table? (I ask because I want to know what goals I might be interfering with if I decide to write a mod that restores some of that functionality.)

code reader
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Re: save drafts interface needlessly complex?

Post by code reader »

Acyd Burn wrote: It is not stored within the posts table because of performance reasons (it would significantly slow down viewtopic/posting and add up to the database due to a new index)
of course, it is your show and you run it the way you want to, but i want to make a small comment regarding size and performance:
the way i would do it, is to change the post_approved field, (which is currently indexed, and appears in all the queries extracting posts) to post_status, with possible values of NORMAL, WAIT_APPROVAL, DRAFT and SOFT_DELETE (there may be some additional values for more features).
this would have 0 effect on performance, save one table in the DB, and in general would be simpler and cleaner, while maintaining full post-features for drafts.

since all the queries (such as viewtopic and search) today have to test for post_approved = 1, they will retain current level of complexity and performance asking for post_status = NORMAL.

this will also make the "soft delete/undelete" feature a snap to implement.

i have to add, though, that at this stage of the game, i would not make such a change. my comment is meant more as a "food for thought" for the next version.

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naderman
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Re: save drafts interface needlessly complex?

Post by naderman »

You've overlooked the biggest performance problem which is calculating which ID was posted last in a forum/topic to display the last post link.

asinshesq
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Re: save drafts interface needlessly complex?

Post by asinshesq »

Thanks to Acyd Burn and Naderman for taking the time to respond here. Much appreciated. Any chance one of you could answer a couple of additional questions (again so that I can know how to approach things when I mod):

1. Is there an official answer to why we have the concept of "view/edit" drafts on top of the concept of "load" drafts? What can you do to a draft via view/edit that you couldn't do equally well via loading, changing and then saving again? Is there any downside to people hiding the view/edit button on their boards?

2. What's the thinking behind showing a 'LOAD' button right next to the preview, submit, save and cancel buttons when a user is writing a post or reply or editing a previous post? Those other buttons all relate to the current post the user is writing, while the load button just allows the user to get to a list of drafts he can then choose to load. I would think a typical user will mistakenly think clicking 'load' will somehow 'load' the current post he is working on. Any consideration given to moving that button so that it appears in another part of the screen and is more clearly labeled something like "LIST DRAFTS"?
Alan

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