Over the past few weeks, I have occasionally lost data when writing in Firefox. I believe that the first time I noticed this problem was while editing the Wikipedia article on Tibet. After fixing one small grammatical error, I realized that much of the section I had edited had somehow been deleted. Further investigation revealed that the data in the textarea had been truncated at 4096 characters - exactly 4 kilobytes. I initially assumed that this was a Firefox 1.5 bug. I refrained from editing long Wikipedia articles and from writing ridiculously long entries here. I would occasionally lose a hundred words or so, but never any significant amount of writing.

Until this morning, when I spent an hour writing a 2100 word piece and lost everything except the first 4 kilobytes (about 800 words). As you might be able to imagine, this made me very angry. I immediately went to sleep for 8 hours. Instead of rewriting it, I went to Bugzilla.

This time, I found Bug 315997. The bug's reporter is Jeremy Dunck, one of the maintainers of Greasemonkey. The third comment on the bug is from Jesse Ruderman, creator of the AutoLink Greasemonkey script. He writes:

This affects users of my AutoLink user script who edit long Wikipedia pages.

In order to prevent such data loss from occuring in the future, I have disabled the AutoLink script. While it was useful to have random websites, email addresses, and package tracking numbers automagically hyperlinked, it is not worth losing another 1300 words.