Post date/time should default to publish date/time

I’m using (self-hosted) WriteFreely 0.14.0, if it matters.

When publishing a post, the date/time on the post is by default that of when the draft was originally created. This is more or less fine if your workflow is to create a draft post, write the text, and then immediately publish it. But if you create a draft post, work on it for a week, and then publish it, the date/time is still (again, by default) that of the original draft a week ago. This seems unnecessarily surprising and confusing to me.

I realize of course that the post date/time is editable, which works fine for the web site itself. However, a) this is an extra step there’s no (to my mind) good reason for the author to have to do, and b) if done after publishing this has potential implications for clients getting content via Fediverse or RSS (and maybe caching post data).

I suggest instead something like the following:

  • The date/time on drafts is either blank or set to something like “9999-12-31 11:59:59.”
  • If the author edits the date/time on a draft, that’s it’s published (when it becomes published) date/time (just like normal).
  • If the author does not edit the date/time, the publish date/time is that instant when its status changes.