[wp-hackers] Autosave

Scott Merrill skippy at skippy.net
Mon Jan 2 14:21:39 GMT 2006

Robert Deaton wrote:
>>I can't say I agree. Users expect that message to come up. They know they have
>>lost work, so assuming a crash can be detected, a prompt would be a top
>>priority. Office suites do it and also a LaTeX editor that I use. It is
>>relieving to see that prompt rather than having to explore.
> Users who have lost work will know what to look for when its lost. A
> draft with the same name as the post they were writing is notification
> enough that hey, your draft was saved. We are not an office suite, we
> are not a LaTeX editor, we are a webbased application, prompting is an
> annoyance.

Robert: please see the previous thread about usability testing, and
getting real _users_ (not developers, not hackers, not power users or
tweakers) to test our systems.

I am willing to bet, based on my own experience helping _users_ that a
popup would be a welcome addition to helping them find their lost work.
 For those of us that know where to look, the argument can be made that
we know how to disable the popup reminder.

My mom _still_ composes in Microsoft Word, then cuts-and-pastes her
posts into WordPress, and asks me to review the HTML before she posts.
I guarantee you that a pop-up reminder that her saved post is available
will be a _good thing_.

Jeff Minard wrote:
> The concern was raised that auto drafting would cause post ID bloat. To
> be blunt, "So what?" Does your posts ID being out of sync (say, if you
> really didn't want that Cat Masterpiece) really going to be a problem?
> So it goes /post/11/ then /post/15/ (it was a very bad Masterpiece) --
> what would that break?

What is not a big deal to you _is_ a big deal to others.  WordPress is
used by a lot of people because it allows them to display their blog in
the way they want.  People _like_ the /id/title/ permalink structure,
and many of them are anal about contiguous post IDs.  It is entirely
their perogative to use -- and rely on -- this feature.  A modification
that breaks this feature would be seen as a real bug for many many people.

I suggest that some of these questions be put to real users: both in the
forums, and to our friends and families who use WordPress but rely on us
to install/repair/tweak it for them.

One way around the problem of incrementing post IDs would be to store
the autosave stuff as a (couple of) serialized array(s) in usermeta.  It
could (with some effort) still be presented as a draft; and a popup
reminder could still be presented.  I am not suggesting that this is the
best solution.  I'm only throwing it out for further discussion.

skippy at skippy.net | http://skippy.net/

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