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Saturday, December 06, 2014

AutoSave, And Draft Mode Post Editor

Recently, we've been seeing a few reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, suggesting more problems with Post Editor, in Draft mode.
I keep getting an error, when editing my posts.
An error occurred while trying to save or publish your post. Please try again.
I am editing Draft posts, some of which are fairly large.
This blog owner is discussing yet another facet of the Post Editor feature, AutoSave.

Early AutoSave Experience

Long ago, people would report a different problem, when composing posts.
When I compose my post, my typing is way ahead of what is displayed.
Blog owners, long ago, discovered that AutoSave, which applied to posts being composed before publishing, made their computers slow down. This made their on screen post content show noticeable delay, from their typing.

With newer and more powerful computers, and people who still type at the same speed, Post Editor slow down has become a thing of the past - but at a price.

With highway traffic engineering, a well known problem involves the regional effects of upgrading a local arterial street, to handle more traffic. This might improve traffic in your neighbourhood, but at the expense of another highway in the next city.

Similarly, upgrading the speed of your computer improves your Post Editor typing problem, but puts more load on the networks and Blogger servers. Thus we see the symptom, reported above.
An error occurred while trying to save or publish your post. Please try again.

Pre AutoSave Experience

As you compose a post, what you type is saved on your computer - and displayed in Post Editor. This lets you see what you are typing, in a "what you see is what you get" display. If you hit "Save", periodically, what you have typed gets saved to the Blogger servers.

Originally, many blog authors did not think to Save, when composing a post. Some would just type - then eventually Publish, when convenient. This technique created two problems.
  1. The longer an author waited before Publishing, or Saving, the greater the chance that something would happen with the computer being used, causing loss of what was being typed. And the greater the catatrophe from the loss.
  2. The longer the author waited before Publishing or Saving, the more work would be done by the Blogger servers, when the author finally did Save, then Publish.
Blogger added AutoSave to Post Editor, so the effects of Publishing massive amounts of unsaved post content would not affect Blogger resources so abruptly - and so less people would see their hard effort go down the drain.

Current AutoSave Experience

One known problem with AutoSave is that it generates load on the local computer, on the networks connecting to Blogger, and on the Blogger networks and servers - thus the slow typing problem, long ago.

Another problem is that it saves automatically (hence the name) - and for some people, who may have just cleared the contents of a post, AutoSave saving an empty post tends to cause a problem. The longer people work on pages or posts, without publishing, the greater the chance that this disaster may happen.

Unfortunately, having a more stable publishing process, thanks to the reverse effect of AutoSave, will just encourage people to take longer before Publishing or Saving. Thus the complaint.
I was working on my new post for weeks. Right in the middle of highlighting a section for deletion, AutoSave kicked in, highlighted the whole post, deleted the highlighted section, and saved an empty post. How do I get my post back?
And for this unhappy author, there can be no helpful answer.

Future AutoSave Prognoses

For a while, I've been suggesting that when possible, you should publish a post immediately, then continue editing your post after publishing - since AutoSave only affects post editing, before the initial Publish. Recently, I discovered that it may be possible to use Google Docs as a Content Management System, for long term post development.

A third possibility is that you compose your unpublished posts in HTML mode, instead of Compose mode. The effects of AutoSave, in HTML mode, are not as objectionable. Some of my posts, I might develop for a week or two before Publishing, using HTML mode. If you use this technique, and you include anchor links in your posts, beware of switching back and forth between Compose and HTML.

A fourth alternative, use of Microsoft Word instead of Google Docs, is known to cause problems with auto pagination and with various posts newsfeed accessories. We do not recommend use of Microsoft Word.

However you develop a post, the longer you wait before Publishing, the greater the chance that AutoSave will make you unhappy - either by sudden destruction of your post - or by contributing to the latest symptom.
An error occurred while trying to save or publish your post. Please try again.
Publish sooner, develop offline, or become a victim.

Dude, hit me with a comment!

Angelina Lenahan said...

Chuck, how much time can pass between publishing posts? I was publishing once a week on two blogs but I have to step away for awhile and my writing is put on hold. Is there any chance my blogs will be deleted due to inactivity? Thanks.
Angelina

Chuck Croll said...

Angel,

Don't sweat.

A Blogger blog is yours - for eternity. Blogger blogs are not deleted for inactivity.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2006/12/your-blog-is-forever.html

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2009/12/blogger-doesnt-care-about-frequency-or.html

Chuck Croll said...

Angel,

Having opined the above, I implore you - remember your account name and password!

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2014/12/the-account-blog-recovery-instructions.html

Angelina Lenahan said...

Chuck, good to know. Lesson learned with old blog (Endurance). I thought account name was my name, not URL. Where do I find account name for each blog? Thanks.
Angelina

Chuck Croll said...

Angel,

You don't find it, you know it.

If you're saving it as a menu entry on Google "One account", though, it's there.

But Google's not going to tell you. The idea is, if you can login to read your email, you can login to Blogger - but you have to remember and retain email access.

It's like Fight Club.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2012/01/why-does-blogger-use-google-account.html

Angelina Lenahan said...

so confused. ?menu entry, one account. i have non- Gmail for everything Google. so is email my account name? went on account dashboard and my name was there for Google, blogger, but it didn't say, this is your account name. it shows my email address; which one is my account name? separate issue but troubling: how do i send you a screen shot -- something is confusing about author admin of my blogs. don't want to go on forum with screenshot info.
thanks chuck.

Chuck Croll said...

Angel,

If you don't want to post information in public, get into The N Zone, and I will put you into a private forum.

You can find The N Zone from my Google+ profile.

Angelina Lenahan said...

hi. this morning i applied to the N zone and then i got an invitation to google groups. not the same. it's a public forum. well, c'est la vie. have a nice day chuck. thanks for your help. i'll figure this out.

Chuck Croll said...

Angelina,

I setup a private forum, just for you. You should have gotten the invitation. It uses Google Groups - but it's not public.