Read only mode and composing posts

Very occasionally the site goes into read only mode, seemingly due to high load. This isn’t usually a big deal, as it will usually resolve itself quite quickly.

However, if the user is in the middle of composing a post, an annoying thing happens. You get a modal dialog box that tells you that you’ve been logged out, and it asks you to Reload.

I would like to suggest that, instead of doing that, you just include a warning (likely in red) to the poster that their draft is not currently being saved (Or, better yet, temporarily save it locally), and to only report an error message if the user tries to actually submit their post.

I would also suggest the error message say that the site is in Read Only mode if that is the case, and tell the user to wait a bit and try posting again. And if the user needs to log back in, ask them to do so after submitting the post.

This would make for a much more smooth experience, and not force people to not be able to finish composing their post while the site is in read-only mode. Heck, for sites like ours where posters tend to take a long time to compose their posts, it’s likely that the site will be back in full by the time the poster finishes their post.

Huh. That’s never happened to me. I wonder what triggers it.

@puzzlegirl: it just happened this one time when the board went to read only mode for a few minutes. (There’s another thread asking exactly what happened.) I think you had to happen to be composing a message exactly when that happened to see it. People also say this was the longest they’d ever seen the site get stuck in read-only mode, which might also be a factor.

Also, it occurs to me that I didn’t quite clearly state the actual problem (though you can figure it out if you know what “modal” means.) The issue is that the modal dialog box prevents you from continuing to write your post. If you click the button to reload, you lose access to your post. And, if you close the dialog, the second you try to type a few more characters, the dialog pops back up again. So it effectively stops you from composing your post until the site is back up.

It happened to me yesterday for the first time. I guessed what it was thanks to having seen the other thread title, otherwise I wouldn’t have known what was going on as the ‘high load’ message only appeared a few minutes after the ‘you’ve been logged out, please reload’ one.

Yes, we are looking at moving this instance to a more powerful cluster soon. Sorry about that. (Lots of history and data here, larger sites = more database and thus more power needed)

That’s nice to hear. I’m glad to there are more resources that can alleviate the “read only mode” problem.

However, that wasn’t really the point I was trying to make. I was suggesting a different behavior for whenever the user get forcibly logged out. To greatly simplify, it boils down to “don’t interrupt the user with modal errors while they are composing a post.”

The rest is detailing ideas on how to do that without
the user losing the part of their post that hasn’t been saved remotely as a draft.

I understand, and we’ll look at that as well.