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I found an easily reproducible bug in Jira that causes all text typed into a description field to be lost.
During creation of a Bug issue, I typed the issue description into the field titled "Work Description" instead of the "Description" field (our Jira admins, in their wisdom, had not added a Description field to bug type issues). It turns out that this is not a field in its own right, it is part of the "Log Work" field.
When I finished typing up the ticket and clicked Create, the was no error or warning. However, all the text typed into "Work Description" disappeared and seems to be completely unrecoverable. No view of the ticket or configuration options show the missing text.
It turns out, this only happens if the "Time Spent" field is blank. If there is a valid time in "Time Spent", then the "Work Description" is preserved. But there is no warning telling you that the time field is empty, or that you may lose your Work Description text!
Unfortunately, it was a complicated issue and took me a long time to write up, so I lost a lot of work.