I was using the Visual Editor to update the article
I made some changes but then realised that the changes involved the wrong URL so I backed out of the edit by clicking Article. It asked the Leave/Stay question and I said Leave.
So I tracked down the right URL and then source-edited the article (no particular reason for choice of source mode, just did, I am fluent in both). I made the changes I wanted to and Saved. I then went into Visual Editor again and it seemed like the changes I had saved hadn't been. I went back, looked at the History, and the versions there and everything seemed OK. I started the VE again, same thing, I was seeing the aborted edit. Then I noticed up in the top right the little box that said "Changes recovered: Your unsaved changes have been automatically recovered." Nothing I could do would open the current version of the file in VE (I logged out and I logged in again, I made a trvial changes using the source editor.). So I tried to see what happened if I saved those abandoned changes, and yep, it saved them, over the top of subsequent edits.
So there appear to be two big problems here.
- I cannot abort a VE edit! because if I do, I can never use the VE again on that article untiI I publish it!
- Publishing the abandoned edit overrides all subsequent edits without creating an edit conflict.
The capacity to do damage here is incredible. How many minutes/hours/days/weeks later might the VE user restart an aborted edit and unintentionally overwrite all subsequent edits? How many times has it already happened? I noticed because the article was quite small and there was lots of whitespace around my aborted edit, but if the changes had occurred inside a more "text-heavy" area, then I may not have noticed it.
This is the version of the article when I opened it in VE, started making changes, realised the URL was wrong, then aborted it:
This is the version of the article I created with my subsequent source edit (fixing the URL and presenting it as a cite web}}
This is the version I then opened in VE and got the "Changes recovered". I aborted the VE edit . I reattempted opening in VE a few times, same problem, aborted each time.
This is the version of me doing another source edit (just for testing purposes, added a space).
Again I re-entered VE and got the "Changes recovered". Now thinking, if I save this, will it stop me or give me an edit conflict. So I saved it. The VE happily saved it and there was no edit conflict. And yes I had just overwritten my previous two source edits.
I then used "undo" to roll it back to a good version.
I can now open the article in VE without the "Changes recovered".
I think this new feature needs to be turned off until it has been fixed in two important ways:
- it will not operate in "edit conflict" situation (i.e. where the aborted edit does not apply to the last version of the article)
- even if the aborted edit does apply to the last version of the article, the user must be allowed to click something to say "no, I don't want my changes recovered -- I aborted for a very good reason, it was no accident".
In the above, "save" = "publish"