Page drafts

by michal frackowiak on 03 Sep 2011 07:33

Summer holiday is over and it is definitely time to get back to real work. Actually, Wikidot.com never closes for any holiday season, but due to human nature and labour code some of us need to take time off once in a while, which leaves the rest of the team with twice as much work as they usually have. And less time for innovation.

But even despite that we have recently implemented a new, long-awaited feature which some of you have already spotted. Page drafts.

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Let me explain. When editing a page, until recently you had to save the page manually (either using Save or Save and Continue) to make sure a flaky internet connection doesn't cause your content to be lost.

Indeed this happened to me at least a few times — I was editing a large page, but did not save it because I did not want the unfinished work to be published. Meanwhile my connection dropped. I had to open a new browser tab, start editing again, copy and paste content between tabs… A lot of headache. As a workaround I started doing larger edits on a separate page or site (or a local editor like vim), but this created a completely different and more complex workflow.

Now, why couldn't Wikidot periodically make draft (temporary) copies of my work? It does now.

A draft is an unpublished version of a page, meant to be a "safety copy". While editing a page you can save a draft explicitly, but Wikidot updates a draft automatically every minute.

Imagine you are unexpectedly logged out of Wikidot while editing a page. Despite this your changes are not lost and you can continue to edit the draft you were working on. If you click the Edit option a dialog will inform you there is a draft version of the page and you can continue right from where you finished. The published version of the page remains unchanged though.

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Drafts still have a few limitations — they don't work with forms, section editing, and work only with already existing pages (drafts are not created while editing new pages). We will address these limitations later on.

But despite these limitations I hope you will find drafts a nice improvement to the existing editing workflow.

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