To prevent users who take a long time to compose a message in the discussion forum from losing work:
1. Automatic: make it known to the Moodle server that the session is still active within the HTMLarea when composing a message so that a user who types or clicks on an icon keeps the session active?
2. Automatic: add some sort of "auto-save" (AJAX?) feature when composing in discussion forums?
3. User Manual: add a "Save without posting" button when composing in discussion forums?
Also related to this one: http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-13370 - to warn users when navigating away from a forum submission page that they will lose their work.