Autosaving textarea with AJAX
16 May 2005
I'm very excited about a new feature that I've been developing for the IssueTrackerProduct recently. The idea has been in my head for a long time, especially as I hear people complain about their browsers/computers crashing on them thus loosing the issues or followups they're about to add. The first step was to develop the "Save Draft" feature which makes it possible to save an issue as you're about to submit it and return any other day and complete it; just like most serious webmail sites have like Gmail.
The user doesn't see or notice anything, except when they decide to go back to the issue tracker after they have restarted their crashed browser/computer. Then, when the user clicks back on "Add Issue" they see a list of all saved drafts and those that have been saved automatically are denoted with
I've set this up now for testing on this Autosaving Issue Tracker
The periodicity that is set at the moment is 8 seconds. This might change. The shorter the better because potentially less data is lost, but if the interval is too short it causes too much traffic on the server. Bare in mind that this traffic is much smaller in terms of bytes because it just sends the form stuff, not the header or any other crap. I will have a think about the periodicty and maybe make it settable in the properties so that people with poor bandwidth can increase the interval to save bandwidth.
The next step is to gather some feedback about this from real users and then develop it for the followup forms too.
UPDATE: It will of course still not work for Opera 7 users but now they don't get the warning message at least.