Not that I have read every post on the subject but I am trying to avoid posting problems that have been reported already.
A quick overview of those: Text being cleared when switching between raw and WYSIWYG seems to be fixed.
Lists still have strange issues (see the blank “1.” below).
With those quickly out of the way here are the real issues that are extremely annoying to me right now:
- Switching from raw mode to standard mode removes all whitespace from the bottom of the edit box. This is bad. Very bad. Every time I quote someone I want to type under it. In standard mode my text ends up getting added to the quote itself, so I switch to raw mode, add an extra line under the quote tag, go back to standard mode and try to type on the added line. It’s gone. Now I have to go to raw mode, add a new line, type a period, go back to standard mode, select the period, and start typing from there. Bad.
- In the past, pasting code into a post was a tiny problem because in standard mode all the tabs at the start of each line would be removed and the code would be flattened. No problem! Just go to raw mode and paste there. Then come back to standard mode and highlight it and click a button to add the code tags without losing the whitespace. This no longer works, since when I go back to standard mode from raw mode the whitespace is removed and my heart is filled with anger. Instead I must not only paste the code in raw mode but I must also manually add the code tags before going back to standard mode.
- Let’s say I finally get code nicely formatted in standard mode. I want to add comments to make some parts of the code clearer to the person I am trying to help. I want to add the command after a line of code but I want to keep things neat by tabbing it over, trying to keep nice alignment.
- Actually pressing Tab in either raw mode or standard mode now changes the active control (whether it be another edit box, a button somewhere else on the page, etc.) Previously this worked fine in raw mode.
- So I open Notepad, type a Tab, Ctrl-A, Ctrl-X, go to my post, Ctrl-V, and- What the? In standard mode, pasting anything into a code block interrupts the code block. It adds a closing code tag followed by an opening code tag followed by whatever you pasted. Once again forced to work in raw mode.
- I always Ctrl-A/Ctrl-C before posting on any forum in order not to lose my text. If I happen to be in standard mode, all of the rich formatting is indeed stored to the clipboard, which means I can paste it into Microsoft® Office Word and it looks the same as in my post. However try pasting that back into an edit box here and you will get flattened text. Code tags, quotes, lists, all flattened.
- Ever since the bug where switching to raw mode cost me 43 minutes of typing I have fears of switching back to raw mode at the very end of my post just to copy it, although that bug only happened once.
Ultimately I don’t see the need for a WYSIWYG editor in the first place—in fact they are contradictory in terms. Bugs where you type just after a quote and then your text gets added to the quote itself is common to all WYSIWYG editors. The whole purpose of WYSIWYG is to give the user a clear understanding of what the end result will be, which is a purpose completely defeated by WYSIWYG editors because:
- It is no longer clear what any of the actions we taking during the editing process will be. When I paste into a code block, will it break the code block? Will my text just under a quote end up actually getting added to the quote itself? Will pressing Tab actually add a tab, or will it go to another control? Will whitespace be removed when I paste it into the editor? Will it be removed when I switch from raw to standard?
- The only time when we need to check how the post will actually appear in its final form is just before we actually post it. If we have doubts about that then there is always the preview button.
In conclusion, some of the bugs I posted here probably can’t be fixed anyway (I have yet to see any WYSIWYG editor without a few of these issues) but even if they could I don’t think it would be worth the time. The inherent flaw with all WYSIWYG editors is that they never know where to place the text you are typing. If your cursor immediately follows a bold word and you type a character, should it be inside the b tag or outside of it? There is no universal answer.
Instead, not only will no number of improvements to the WYSIWYG system make it useful, it only slows us all down as we try to post. I used to go to raw mode only to avoid having my pasted code lose its opening per-line whitespace, but now I have to jump back to raw mode constantly to fix little things, and now I even have to add all code tags manually.
The previous system was perfectly fine (except that pasting text in standard mode removed whitespace). Having the tags visible in standard mode was a good thing. It made 10 fewer reasons to jump back to raw mode, and also made the editor itself more stable. If I ever did question how my post would look I would use the preview button. 99% of the time, however, I had no questions about how my post would appear (if I was wrong I would just edit it), which make a WYSIWYG editor 99% useless.
Motto: The editor should be designed to make the editing process less arduous.
[EDIT]Damn it, my name was not supposed to be italicized just because I resumed typing at the end of an italicized sentence.
Edited by Michael Tanczos, 26 December 2012 - 01:29 PM.