Pro- And Con-scription
Ironically enough, some years back we actually did have a draft option for our posts, but I vaguely recall there were some issues with it and it
ultimately ended up not being included in subsequent versions of the board software.
Like a lot of features, it may have been removed simply for performance reasons, because for quite a while, Bill was shaving off every bottleneck he
could just to make it possible for ATS to keep up with demand (traffic sometimes has a way of going up faster than money can be pulled together for
I forget what the problems were, but I remember using the feature with mixed results. We also, for the longest time, had a very nasty bug where if you
made edits to a post and then previewed them, the changes weren't updated in the input box and you lost the edits (
). Needless to say, I'm
glad we're not seeing that
Even when we had the draft feature, however, it was still possible to lose post data if there was some sort of error submitting the form to the
server, and if your browser went back to a previous page, you lost everything entered.
As far as I know, that's still a danger, but I think it's an issue inherent to how the post input forms are laid out and updated, and may not be easy
to change in the software.
Dodging The Draft
Whatever the case, I'm also in the camp of recommending the use of an external text editor for composing posts as a precaution, because even if ATS
had all the bells and whistles we could imagine, if a browser or connection problem prevents data from reaching the ATS servers, we can still lose
The simplest method for protecting post data is to select and copy text before updating the post form (CTRL-A to Select All, CTRL-C to Copy, CTRL-X to
Cut, CTRL-V to Paste and CTRL-Z to Undo for Windows users; CMD-A, CMD-C, CMD-X, CMD-V and CMD-Z for Mac users). Even without an external text editor,
that method can be used to store a copy of valuable text in the computer's clipboard buffer, just in case.
I'm pretty much habituated to doing that on ATS and on any forum I post to, because I live in a remote, undisclosed location where connection problems
are common, and it's possible to lose data posting to any forum.
I also, like a lot of ATSers, use a separate word processor for composing posts. It's an extra step, but it allows for a lot more flexibility, gives
me a way to save drafts or "masterpiece" posts on my computer for later reference, and also provides spell-checking, formatting and macro
functionality I can use to make these ridiculously long posts of mine a little more polished.
It's possible a future version of the ATS software may bring back the draft, but even then, I'll still be using a separate word processor
is my weapon of choice) no matter what.
My tuppence, YMMV.
edit on 1/14/2012 by Majic because: (no reason given)