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A better text editor when posting on these forums? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Everytime I post on these forums, I have to spend about 1-2 extra minutes formatting the 'final' result because for some reason the HTML formatting is screwed up. The source it in the HTML formatting generated by the Text editor employed by these forums (i.e. this text box into which I'm typing right now!). You can see it yourself when you look at the HTML created.

    Are there plans on having a better editor box here? StackOverflow has an excellent (yet simple!) text editor for making posts - it's very predictable. Right now the usability of these forums is rather poor due to the editor (which sucks because the humans contributing here take time and energy to help each other.

    Cheers
    Sid

    • Moved by Johnson - MSFT Wednesday, December 5, 2012 11:45 AM (From:Windows Azure Development)
    Tuesday, December 4, 2012 9:18 PM

Answers

  • Well, there is CKEditor, TinyMCE. Not to mention the editors being used by Gmail, Yahoo Mail or even Outlook.com when composing the webmail at the respective services. StackOverflow also has a great editor but it's not WYSIWYG.
    Friday, December 7, 2012 9:22 AM
  • I wonder if it is possible to use SkyDrive's Word Web Application.
    Friday, December 7, 2012 9:44 AM
  • A bit of the history on this is that we've been through about four editors, and each one has resulted in a better experience. Current issues probably exist for other reasons... the editor communicating with the platform, server issues, etc.

    Your question is, "Are there plans on having a better editor box here?"

    The answer is, "No. We've done that a lot already (tried to solve the problems by switching editors). In fact, we've even seen editors work well in their sandbox environments, but porting them over here results in an experience that is not as good as the sandbox environment. In other words, our test have shown it's not the editor. It's a platform communication issue. Each issue needs to be identified as a separate bug and then solved accordingly."

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Customer Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)



    Thursday, December 6, 2012 3:52 AM
    Owner

All replies

  • I've never had a problem like that. Did you have to fix up this post? If so, what did you have to change?
    Tuesday, December 4, 2012 10:08 PM
  • I didn't have a problem for that post because it is pretty simple. The issue is for more complex posts involving cross references, links etc I almost *always* have to paste into notepad, THEN copy-paste it here. Sometimes I need to edit the HTML to weed out some markup creeps in.

    As an example, I posted another thread earlier where I did require the notepad/edit HTML route to make it look somewhat nicer.

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012 10:17 PM
  • Right now the usability of these forums is rather poor due to the editor (which sucks because the humans contributing here take time and energy to help each other.

    It's not always the editor.   You can have stuff looking perfect both from a WYSIWYG perspective and from an HTML perspective, but then, after Submit, find it has all changed--especially when it comes to blank lines you have left in to implement paragraphing.   So, you have to learn what the "rules" of the forum software are and work around them to achieve the effects that you want.

     
    ---

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012 5:35 PM
  • To some extent I agree; but we're splitting hairs on what constitutes the editor (before submit vs after submit). When I say editor I mean "that which takes my input to present to others". WYSIWYG HTML editors aren't easy and usually trip on the whitespaces. The user sees whitespace and assume it's a new block (well, it's a whitespace = no visual indicator) but behind in the HTML it's usually a whitespace from the previous block with the the terminating tag (</someHtmlTag>) still further away. So when the user starts typing, the formatting comes from the previous block and things aren't really going per the user's wishes.

    Instead of having a perfect, freeform WYSIWYG editor, we might be better served by something that gives fewer formatting options but with least user-friction. For that reason I prefer stackoverflows editor because its very low friction. Wordpress's HTML editor isn't perfect but better than this forums. There are several open sourced as well as commercial ones, so reinventing the wheel can be left for last.

    I feel (my $0.02 opinion) that the devs in the dev forum would be better served by something that allowed them to express their thoughts with lesser friction than fighting the formatting when presenting a complex question (involving multiple sources, copy-pasting code or results or links etc). I've presented some ideas above, but ultimately it's the forum admin's call. I'm just trying to bring this to their notice because without feedback, nobody would ever know :)


    • Edited by Sid.S Wednesday, December 5, 2012 6:13 PM
    Wednesday, December 5, 2012 6:13 PM
  • No. Do you have a recommendation of a 3rd party editor?
    Thanks!

    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Customer Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)


    Thursday, December 6, 2012 3:40 AM
    Owner
  • A bit of the history on this is that we've been through about four editors, and each one has resulted in a better experience. Current issues probably exist for other reasons... the editor communicating with the platform, server issues, etc.

    Your question is, "Are there plans on having a better editor box here?"

    The answer is, "No. We've done that a lot already (tried to solve the problems by switching editors). In fact, we've even seen editors work well in their sandbox environments, but porting them over here results in an experience that is not as good as the sandbox environment. In other words, our test have shown it's not the editor. It's a platform communication issue. Each issue needs to be identified as a separate bug and then solved accordingly."

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Customer Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)



    Thursday, December 6, 2012 3:52 AM
    Owner
  • Well, there is CKEditor, TinyMCE. Not to mention the editors being used by Gmail, Yahoo Mail or even Outlook.com when composing the webmail at the respective services. StackOverflow also has a great editor but it's not WYSIWYG.
    Friday, December 7, 2012 9:22 AM
  • I wonder if it is possible to use SkyDrive's Word Web Application.
    Friday, December 7, 2012 9:44 AM
  • UPDATE: The current forum hiccups are a sign that there are big updates being planned to fix many existing issues mentioned, these issues go much deeper than the editor.

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Customer Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 3:12 AM
    Owner