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Tons of Issues with the New Edit Boxes

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#1 L. Spiro   Members   

Posted 25 December 2012 - 04:55 PM

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.
L. Spiro
[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.

#2 Michael Tanczos   Staff Emeritus   

Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:24 PM

Believe it or not, the editor was supposed to be *better*. We're going to be patching the editor soon - apparently we're not the only one expressing anger with the new editor setup. The claim is that many of these problems will be resolved but we'll sort out issues that crop up as soon as we can.

Pasting code is a huge huge concern as it's a fundamentally huge part of what we do here. The WYSIWYG is so finicky that it's almost not even worth it to have it and just go back to the pure bbcode plain editor.

While this upgrade resolved a ton of existing bugs, it introduced all new issues that make me wonder if we should have let it bake a while longer before we upgraded. Typically most of the bugs in the software get resolved after the first minor update, but they may have done a bit too much with this update.

Edited by Michael Tanczos, 26 December 2012 - 05:02 PM.

#3 L. Spiro   Members   

Posted 26 December 2012 - 05:16 PM

I know it was meant to be better, and I didn’t intend for my post to trail off in such a complaining direction—it was meant just to report a bunch of issues but started to trail off when it made me realize for myself that WYSIWYG is probably just not suitable for this type of site at all.


I don’t think there is really any way to make such an editor compatible with all the code pasting we do here.  I have always had to fight WYSIWYG editors when pasting code anywhere else as well, including on my blog, in HTML help-file makers (2 different ones), in Dreamweaver, etc.


This is one vote for going back to the previous system.  I would take those bugs over the new ones any day.



L. Spiro

#4 Hodgman   Moderators   

Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:51 PM

I'll hijack this thread because I've got a similar report on the mobile site. The mobile site doesn't have a WYSIWYG editor, but it's plain-text editor seems to have been changed recently too.


I just typed up a post using manual [i] tags to italicize some of it, but then when I hit edit, my post had been converted to HTML -- all my newlines had become "<br />" and my italic tags <em class='bbc'>!


I didn't fix these issues in the editor, hoping that when I hit submit, the forum would cope with the HTML... but it didn't and I got this:


n.b. I've edited the post to look correct now.

#5 Michael Tanczos   Staff Emeritus   

Posted 27 December 2012 - 07:00 PM

Hodgman, that was another issue that was uncovered that has a fix in the upcoming patch.   We're just waiting for the release while it goes through final testing.   Should be any day now.

#6 Ectara   Members   

Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:00 AM

I don't mean to intrude, but there's another issue that I ran into related to edit boxes. If you use the code button and create a code block at the very beginning of the post, it is impossible to insert any text before the code without deleting the code block or changing to raw mode. I came to this realization when I was reading someone's response to me, and posted some code, then went back to selectively quote them, only to find that I couldn't place the cursor before the code block.

#7 Tom Sloper   Moderators   

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

I really hate how quoting works now.  Before, you could see the left-bracket-quote-right-bracket code, and use it, manipulate it, as desired.  Now you can't see the left-bracket-quote-right-bracket code anymore, and if you try to adjust things to achieve a desired look, you have to deal with the vagaries and whims that the automatic whatchamacallit deals you. 


People who use this forum are technical enough to deal with formatting code, even if they don't always know a better term to use than "whatchamacallit" sometimes.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#8 Michael Tanczos   Staff Emeritus   

Posted 05 January 2013 - 06:43 PM

The shear amount of digust with this editor everyone across the world who uses IPS software (at least the new version) has not been lost on our vendor.   We're trying to get this resolved as quickly as possible.   There are some major problems both with code tags and quoting that appear nearly resolved.   Just waiting on the patch.

#9 Ectara   Members   

Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:27 PM

I'm posting again in this thread, because it is directly related to the issue I raised here. I noticed that an attempt was made to fix the problem by inserting a newline before the quoted section, but this has raised a new concern: when I edit a post I made that had several quoted sections, it placed newlines around the quoted sections again. Much to my surprise, after making a small change in a post that had a lot of quotes, the whole post was padded with whitespace that I had to remove again.

#10 Kylotan   Moderators   

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:05 AM

I think the new editor is screwing up about 2/3rds of my posts at the moment. It's often double-encoding things, taking the BBCode, generating equivalent HTML, and then escaping the HTML so it appears inline. It doesn't even have to be BBCode - sometimes it'll spot my 2 carriage returns, change them in to <br> tags, and then escape those too and place them inline.


This is really basic stuff that any web developer should be able to handle trivially, because learning when to escape data and when not to is pretty essential. Who do we have to talk to to get the relevant coder flogged?

#11 Michael Tanczos   Staff Emeritus   

Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:10 PM

We're on version 3.4.1 of our software.. 3.4.2 is now in beta and includes a boatload of fixes.   Hopefully if it passes through we can upgrade out of this steaming pile of horribleness.   I think this is the first iteration that made me want to destroy my own monitor out of anger.


I and a ton of others are pushing hard to get this editor pluggable so we can scrap it.. we don't need any rich formatting at all for this site.

#12 Michael Tanczos   Staff Emeritus   

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:42 PM

if (1==1) {

Edited by Michael Tanczos, 29 January 2013 - 08:42 PM.

#13 MrDaaark   Members   

Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:32 AM

Anytime I have any kinds of tags or links in my post, it mangles everything.

I had to submit my long Beat-Em-Post several times the other day before I could get it to somewhat look like I expected. I don't think youtube links should embed by default. Especially when I link 15+ of them in one post! We need 'youtube' tags for that, just like with images. Sometimes I want to link them, sometimes I want to embed them.

This post is unfixable for me for some reason. The screenshot of FFX always gets messed up in different ways.

Chunks of my posts often go missing, or the whole editor errors out telling me I can't post before I post, or I replied to my own post too soon (I forget, but the message doesn't make sense).

I use Notepad now if I write anything longer than a paragraph, and then hope for the best.

#14 Tom Sloper   Moderators   

Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:37 PM

Another issue I have with the way it works now is Quoting.  If I try to shorten the quoted text in the reply window, the Quoting is thrown out.  I don't mind creating my own left-bracket-quote-right-bracket tags, but then it no longer contains the name of the quoted person, unless I go to extra trouble (and cannot see how to write those, now that the tag code is hidden from view).  It worked better a couple of updates ago.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#15 Ectara   Members   

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:52 PM

Every now and again, when editing a post, creating a new one, or handling quotes, I see a bunch of newlines added in various places, for different reasons than before. It happens so often in so many different occasions that it is hard to grasp what the rules are for where it inserts newlines. On one hand, I can think of no good reason for why unexpected newlines should be added, so finding which ones shouldn't be there is a simple process for the people responsible. :)

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