What does "drafts offline" mean?

When replying recently an orange message “drafts offline” appeared at the bottom right of the little “compose” window, and when I clicked reply it just sat at “saving” and didn’t actually save the post. Luckily I had the text saved elsewhere and could refresh the screen and copy and paste - but what does “drafts offline” actually mean? A search finds references to the message but not documentation about what the message means.

I’m aware that since a recent version update, Discourse has been pretty unstable - maybe it went down and came back while I was typing?

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To bolster, I’ve seen this, too. I’ve also seen some “instability,” which at first I thought was network connectivity problems, but it isn’t. (I’ll go and check connectivity to my email servers, they’re fine, other websites, they’re fine). But this Discourse server will either “hang” or offer a “spinning wheel” and just “go away” for many seconds or a minute at a time. This started a day or two ago (circa January 18 PM UTC) as a best-guess time estimate on my part.

It isn’t fatal, but it has gotten more annoying recently, making Discourse entirely unusable for minutes at a time.

Re the instability, see here, but I was asking about what this particular message meant** rather than about the instability per se.

** I suspect that it means that the Javascript running in my browser has lost contact with the server, lets me continue anyway, but is not able to reconnect when the server comes back (possibly due to a bug / lack of a feature in that JS). However this is largely guesswork on my part; that’s why I was wondering if there was any actual documentation.

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Again, I can’t offer substantive documentation, merely that I’m seeing identical (“drafts offline”) behavior. And I came to similar conclusions that “Discourse has ‘dropped a socket’ or similar lack of network connectivity” somewhere / somehow.

I do hope someone can offer you a solid answer.

And thank you to the link to the GitHub issue; good to see there is a ticket on this.

I trust you are aware that Discourse saves a draft automatically when you write a post. In case the connection cuts off by external reasons, this draft will autmatically load when you re-enter the topic after the connection is back again. When there is an internal problem (as experienced since yesterday) the automatic draft save does not work. The message indicates that it is wise to save the text you are writing at the time being externally to be able to load it back after the internal problem is solved.

There is a short documentation on the german guideline site (use the translation button to read in english).



it could be done in discourse: when the connection breaks, save the content locally (e.g. to web-storage). It would not work across devices, and not for people deleting local web data, naturally, but it could save you from loosing what you have written, when connectivity comes back on the same machine.

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Sorry @dieterdreist - I don’t see how that is relevant to the question here? Changing computer software to do something else is always possible - it’s just a small matter of programming.

I also suspect that the message only appears when the site backend is down or not responding.

It happened whenever the site went down/not responding during the reported problems on Wednesday - Friday last week. One could still continue writing text in the editor but no way to autosave the draft any longer. This is indicateded by the message “draft offline” and it is quite helpful as you know that you have to save your post externally before you try to upload to avoid loss if the upload fails (which definitely happens as long as the site is not responding).


I thought that was essentially what Discourse is already doing and what is meant by “draft saved offline”.

(just in case anyone isn’t aware) the resolution to the reliability issue has been discussed here.

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I doubt know if this is related but I am sometimes told about drafts I supposedly have on other devices when I definitely don’t. I must lookout for the exact wording next time it happens.