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Autosaving large textarea in webapp

For simplicity, say I have a textarea that allows users to type in something and "save and close" or just "close".  Is there a way to smoothly implement autosaving?  I'm not sure how to get around interrupting the user while they are typing.
Jay A.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
 
 
You'll need some javascript to do an async post to the server whenever you decide an autosave is due.
Mike S Send private email
Thursday, February 08, 2007
 
 
That's right but will it affect the user's typing or experience in any way?  I guess once the asynch postback is ready, it can just get the textarea value and that won't disturb the user.
Jay A.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
 
 
Yes, the user should not notice.
Mike S Send private email
Thursday, February 08, 2007
 
 
From my personal experience, it doesn't affect the user's typing. "Power users" who can notice a delay between one character and the next, (or people on very slow computers) may catch your autosave program kicking in but that's a small segment of the population.

While we're on the subject of visual feedback, if you intend for the user to type in large amounts of text, then you probably should either add an obvious "save and continue" button or a way for them to upload a text document. It's almost as fustrating to type several pages worth of stuff, run into a problem, come back and see that only the first two pages were saved.
TheDavid
Thursday, February 08, 2007
 
 
The async post is what gmail does. You can even save with ctrl+s (I found out, accidently hitting it out of habit :)
Jason Send private email
Thursday, February 08, 2007
 
 
They also do it for the spreadsheet but I don't think for the document.  Not sure why.
Jay A.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
 
 

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