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Feature Request: native text recovery for forms/text boxes (Lazarus, Typio, Textarea Cache)

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ikjadoon
Regular Contributor

TL;DR: Native text recovery would be an excellent default browser feature (like native pop-up blocking) and shouldn't require extensions. 

 

Ever type a long passage into a browser's text box and then somehow lost the text? Maybe your form got rejected and the site developers wiped the text. Or the site's servers got overloaded with traffic just as you hit "Submit". Or your browser crashed. Or your internet died.

 

You don't need text box caching...until you need it. A few extensions have been developed purely to solve what I call a genuine browser flaw: save/cache text inside text boxes so it can be restored after an error/crash/bug.

 

See Lazarus (now defunct), Typio, Textarea Cache, etc. These alone, there's 39k users right there.

 

Having this feature built-in to Chromium Edge would be a serious quality-of-life improvement for casual and professional users. I'm sure everyone has suffered at least once, but unfortunately not everyone will have had downloaded an extension. I understand being lean, but this feature is so essential, I'm shocked still neither Chrome nor Firefox include this feature natively.

 

Why it should be integrated natively instead of simply using extensions:

 

  • Users won't think to install text area caching extensions, until after they've lost important text that now can never be recovered. (like buying a padlock after you've been burgled) 
  • The browser has a trusted relationship with the user, so users can feel safer rather than needing to trust that third-party extensions aren't also caching your passwords or credit numbers (no ill will towards these hardworking developers solving a genuine problem!)
  • Perhaps caching at a browser-level could be more robust, caching more text in more areas
  • Casual users will appreciate Chromium Edge more, making it a stickier browser for them that they prefer to use (and help differentiate Edge from other Chromium-based browsers)

 

Why this might not be "a love fest of great rejoicing and thankfulness"

 

  • Of course, stringent privacy measures would be needed to ensure that this text isn't cached for inordinately long and/or made available outside the local browser environment
5 Replies

@ikjadoon, this is an interesting problem area.  I will send this thread to the sync team, as they have already built a secure channel for saving user content.  Thank you for sending it to us. - Elliot

@Elliot Kirk Oh, that'd be ideal.

 

For sure: we have "autosave" functionality in Word, PowerPoint, Outlook drafts, these forums etc. I think bringing "Autosave" functionality to the wider web would be an unexpectedly small, but useful addition.

 

Perhaps if more people are interested!

 

 

@ikjadoon As Chromium Edge inevitably gets closer to launch, giving this thread a bump.

 

Lost some text yesterday when I accidentally closed a tab and it was sad. :(

@ikjadoon 

I also want to bump this idea, as I have been badly stung by cleared out text boxes many times! Just to give examples after downloading Edge Insider channels, I've nearly lost multiple Amazon reviews (actually had to fully retype one of them) and this Forum nearly always "finds unacceptable HTML" in my posts for some reason. Even with the draft saving here, I've lost chunks of paragraphs that were somehow improperly formatted. I want to thank the author of the original post for recommending Typio; it might well become one of my favorite extensions. However, I think that a built in textbox history as robust as Google Docs would be extremely beneficial to everyone. Here's my reasons for why, mixed with how I think it should work:

  • The desire to get text back isn't tied to stability. Sometimes, you accidentally reload a tab and everything poofs away. Other times, You hit ctrl+a instead of shift+a and overwrite your entire text box. This isn't just about "losing" text, either. Imagine submitting a ticket or important piece of data, then realizing you would have wanted a save a copy of what you wrote locally. History is the way to go with this.
  • The undo function isn't perfect; a Google Docs - style history would be better. Try this at home: Type something, hit undo, then type something else. Do you want to get back what you had originally written? Too bad, you overwrote your undo timeline. Google Docs works wonderfully because it prioritizes saving what was written just before "big" edits, like erasing half the page, and it keeps a more granular history of what was written more recently. Docs does this to save storage space, but Edge could do this to keep the list of options more manageable.
  • This is something everyone would find useful. Writing in text boxes on the web is paranoia inducing because of all the things that can go wrong. Extensions are a great way to fix the issue, but many people will not think to find one. Additionally, extensions are less trusted, and often less stable, than features built into the browser.
  • It should be easy to pause this feature temporarily or permanently, and easy to delete chunks of history. Turning the function on or off should not be tied to incognito mode, but should be found in the right click menu of any text box.

OK at this point I'm just rambling. Hopefully I have made it clear that I'd really love to see this added, even if it can't be any time soon.

@WolfIcefang Thank you for this detailed post, showcasing exactly why this feature should be natively integrated into Edge.

 

I hope the Edge team really pushes forward on this & sets the agenda on "minimum browser behavior in the 2020s".

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