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Minor irritations...

12

Just a brief note on forum irritations.

  1. Posting is slow. I can take up to about 30 seconds sometimes, usually 5 or so.
  2. Any kind of posting error and poof! All that hard work is gone. It would be really nice if the error message included the posted text so I could recover and try again. [This time the Internet went out and the post timed out.] Stack Overflow never loses what you wrote.
  3. And that editor! Is there really nothing better? I would compose offline but the cut and paste is pretty bad too.
Andl - A New Database Language - andl.org
Quote from dandl on February 3, 2020, 3:06 am

Just a brief note on forum irritations.

  1. Posting is slow. I can take up to about 30 seconds sometimes, usually 5 or so.
  2. Any kind of posting error and poof! All that hard work is gone. It would be really nice if the error message included the posted text so I could recover and try again. [This time the Internet went out and the post timed out.] Stack Overflow never loses what you wrote.
  3. And that editor! Is there really nothing better? I would compose offline but the cut and paste is pretty bad too.
  1. Not sure what's happening there. There is a delay after selecting 'post' that appears to be the forum software doing something in the background (indexing words for the search function, maybe?) that got a bit slower with one of the forum updates, but it's normally five seconds, not thirty. A thirty second delay sounds more like an external network issue.
  2. The lost-post problem -- which is actually a lack of being able to create drafts -- is a known one for the given forum plugin. I don't know if there's a fix in the works or not.
  3. There is nothing better than that editor; it's the standard tool for the stack and it's far superior to the usual BBCode-based forum editors (I've tried them.) If you can be specific about the editor problems, there may be plugins I can add or settings I can change to fix them.
I'm the forum administrator and lead developer of Rel. Email me at dave@armchair.mb.ca with the Subject 'TTM Forum'. Download Rel from https://reldb.org
Quote from Dave Voorhis on February 3, 2020, 6:57 am
Quote from dandl on February 3, 2020, 3:06 am

Just a brief note on forum irritations.

  1. Posting is slow. I can take up to about 30 seconds sometimes, usually 5 or so.
  2. Any kind of posting error and poof! All that hard work is gone. It would be really nice if the error message included the posted text so I could recover and try again. [This time the Internet went out and the post timed out.] Stack Overflow never loses what you wrote.
  3. And that editor! Is there really nothing better? I would compose offline but the cut and paste is pretty bad too.
  1. Not sure what's happening there. There is a delay after selecting 'post' that appears to be the forum software doing something in the background (indexing words for the search function, maybe?) that got a bit slower with one of the forum updates, but it's normally five seconds, not thirty. A thirty second delay sounds more like an external network issue.

I think it's only ever the first post, and since I'm on a very different timezone, maybe it's hosting getting stoked up? Not bitching, just saying in case you weren't aware.

  1. The lost-post problem -- which is actually a lack of being able to create drafts -- is a known one for the given forum plugin. I don't know if there's a fix in the works or not.

It's hard to believe this is final, polished, released software used by lots of people. This is just one of a series of "things that just don't work quite right".

  1. There is nothing better than that editor; it's the standard tool for the stack and it's far superior to the usual BBCode-based forum editors (I've tried them.) If you can be specific about the editor problems, there may be plugins I can add or settings I can change to fix them.

Major issues:

  1. Keyboard shortcuts. Especially for full screen and post. Also format as code (not insert code) and show blocks. [NEWSFLASH: Ctrl+Sh+F has appeared since I last looked. Hooray! But it still doesn't show on the button. And why no Post on the File menu or in full screen?].
  2. Getting the quoting to work right while editing. Delete a bunch of stuff and it's anyone's guess how the result will turn out, or what to do to fix it.
  3. Tables. Don't even go there.
  4. Non-US spell check. Maybe that's me?
Andl - A New Database Language - andl.org
Quote from dandl on February 3, 2020, 11:40 pm
Quote from Dave Voorhis on February 3, 2020, 6:57 am
Quote from dandl on February 3, 2020, 3:06 am

Just a brief note on forum irritations.

  1. Posting is slow. I can take up to about 30 seconds sometimes, usually 5 or so.
  2. Any kind of posting error and poof! All that hard work is gone. It would be really nice if the error message included the posted text so I could recover and try again. [This time the Internet went out and the post timed out.] Stack Overflow never loses what you wrote.
  3. And that editor! Is there really nothing better? I would compose offline but the cut and paste is pretty bad too.
  1. Not sure what's happening there. There is a delay after selecting 'post' that appears to be the forum software doing something in the background (indexing words for the search function, maybe?) that got a bit slower with one of the forum updates, but it's normally five seconds, not thirty. A thirty second delay sounds more like an external network issue.

I think it's only ever the first post, and since I'm on a very different timezone, maybe it's hosting getting stoked up? Not bitching, just saying in case you weren't aware.

Maybe... But it shouldn't be, because the infrastructure is continuously running.

If you catch it at the right moment (00:00-ish GMT to shortly after), you might be running against a somewhat performance-robbing daily backup.

  1. The lost-post problem -- which is actually a lack of being able to create drafts -- is a known one for the given forum plugin. I don't know if there's a fix in the works or not.

It's hard to believe this is final, polished, released software used by lots of people. This is just one of a series of "things that just don't work quite right".

It's Wordpress, which is used by millions of sites, with the popular Asgaros forum plugin. There's a Wordpress forum plugin made by the Wordpress folks, but it's generally considered inferior to Asgaros.

Wordpress is rather notorious for things that just don't work quite right -- and sites are built out of 3rd party plugins, where plugins vary dramatically in quality -- and it's where the idea of it being "final, polished, released" would have most Wordpress user/developers doubled over with laughter. Unfortunately, the only thing worse seems to be everything else. Dedicated forum software would be an alternative, but that seems to have generally declined in quality and support since Web forums are no longer the "thing" they once were. They're declining in favour of Facebook groups or -- increasingly -- people sending Instagram pictures of their hobby interests (which once heavily drove forum use) to each other and not using forums or forum-like things at all.

  1. There is nothing better than that editor; it's the standard tool for the stack and it's far superior to the usual BBCode-based forum editors (I've tried them.) If you can be specific about the editor problems, there may be plugins I can add or settings I can change to fix them.

Major issues:

  1. Keyboard shortcuts. Especially for full screen and post. Also format as code (not insert code) and show blocks. [NEWSFLASH: Ctrl+Sh+F has appeared since I last looked. Hooray! But it still doesn't show on the button. And why no Post on the File menu or in full screen?].

I'm afraid they're not a priority for either the editor plugin developer or the forum developer. Fortunately, the editor plugin does make an effort to support them on a number of buttons, which is nice. Unfortunately, Webware generally de-prioritises keyboard shortcuts.

  1. Getting the quoting to work right while editing. Delete a bunch of stuff and it's anyone's guess how the result will turn out, or what to do to fix it.

I'm increasingly disinclined to delete stuff. I position the cursor where I want to insert a comment and hit the quote (Shift-Alt-Q) button. That puts a nice break in the quoted text where my response can go.

  1. Tables. Don't even go there.

Yeah, they suck. No suggestions there.

  1. Non-US spell check. Maybe that's me?

Isn't spellcheck a function of the browser?

I'm the forum administrator and lead developer of Rel. Email me at dave@armchair.mb.ca with the Subject 'TTM Forum'. Download Rel from https://reldb.org

It's hard to believe this is final, polished, released software used by lots of people. This is just one of a series of "things that just don't work quite right".

It's Wordpress, which is used by millions of sites, with the popular Asgaros forum plugin. There's a Wordpress forum plugin made by the Wordpress folks, but it's generally considered inferior to Asgaros.

Wordpress is rather notorious for things that just don't work quite right -- and sites are built out of 3rd party plugins, where plugins vary dramatically in quality -- and it's where the idea of it being "final, polished, released" would have most Wordpress user/developers doubled over with laughter. Unfortunately, the only thing worse seems to be everything else. Dedicated forum software would be an alternative, but that seems to have generally declined in quality and support since Web forums are no longer the "thing" they once were. They're declining in favour of Facebook groups or -- increasingly -- people sending Instagram pictures of their hobby interests (which once heavily drove forum use) to each other and not using forums or forum-like things at all.

But most of isn't forum-specific. It's an in-browser text editor with a few word processing features. Maybe they can't use it because the backend expects a special structure.

  1. Keyboard shortcuts. Especially for full screen and post. Also format as code (not insert code) and show blocks. [NEWSFLASH: Ctrl+Sh+F has appeared since I last looked. Hooray! But it still doesn't show on the button. And why no Post on the File menu or in full screen?].

I'm afraid they're not a priority for either the editor plugin developer or the forum developer. Fortunately, the editor plugin does make an effort to support them on a number of buttons, which is nice. Unfortunately, Webware generally de-prioritises keyboard shortcuts.

Pity. It's very inefficient to be constantly jumping from mouse to KB and back again. Making everything accessible by KB helps both power users and a range of disabilities, such as motor and vision impairment. I suspect those who don't do it are young or lazy or both.

  1. Getting the quoting to work right while editing. Delete a bunch of stuff and it's anyone's guess how the result will turn out, or what to do to fix it.

I'm increasingly disinclined to delete stuff. I position the cursor where I want to insert a comment and hit the quote (Shift-Alt-Q) button. That puts a nice break in the quoted text where my response can go.

Mostly putting the cursor at the end of line and hitting Enter is good enough. I prefer to prune, but deleting and keeping things balanced is hard. The behaviour of Del, BS and Undo is seriously counter-intuitive.

 

Andl - A New Database Language - andl.org
Quote from dandl on February 5, 2020, 5:54 am

It's hard to believe this is final, polished, released software used by lots of people. This is just one of a series of "things that just don't work quite right".

It's Wordpress, which is used by millions of sites, with the popular Asgaros forum plugin. There's a Wordpress forum plugin made by the Wordpress folks, but it's generally considered inferior to Asgaros.

Wordpress is rather notorious for things that just don't work quite right -- and sites are built out of 3rd party plugins, where plugins vary dramatically in quality -- and it's where the idea of it being "final, polished, released" would have most Wordpress user/developers doubled over with laughter. Unfortunately, the only thing worse seems to be everything else. Dedicated forum software would be an alternative, but that seems to have generally declined in quality and support since Web forums are no longer the "thing" they once were. They're declining in favour of Facebook groups or -- increasingly -- people sending Instagram pictures of their hobby interests (which once heavily drove forum use) to each other and not using forums or forum-like things at all.

But most of isn't forum-specific. It's an in-browser text editor with a few word processing features. Maybe they can't use it because the backend expects a special structure.

Maybe. I think it's just a wrapper around the nearly-ubiquitous CKEditor (https://ckeditor.com/).

  1. Keyboard shortcuts. Especially for full screen and post. Also format as code (not insert code) and show blocks. [NEWSFLASH: Ctrl+Sh+F has appeared since I last looked. Hooray! But it still doesn't show on the button. And why no Post on the File menu or in full screen?].

I'm afraid they're not a priority for either the editor plugin developer or the forum developer. Fortunately, the editor plugin does make an effort to support them on a number of buttons, which is nice. Unfortunately, Webware generally de-prioritises keyboard shortcuts.

Pity. It's very inefficient to be constantly jumping from mouse to KB and back again. Making everything accessible by KB helps both power users and a range of disabilities, such as motor and vision impairment. I suspect those who don't do it are young or lazy or both.

I'll take another look at the relevant plugins to see if keyboard shortcut options have appeared. There have been several updates since we last looked at this, so maybe something has been added.

  1. Getting the quoting to work right while editing. Delete a bunch of stuff and it's anyone's guess how the result will turn out, or what to do to fix it.

I'm increasingly disinclined to delete stuff. I position the cursor where I want to insert a comment and hit the quote (Shift-Alt-Q) button. That puts a nice break in the quoted text where my response can go.

Mostly putting the cursor at the end of line and hitting Enter is good enough. I prefer to prune, but deleting and keeping things balanced is hard. The behaviour of Del, BS and Undo is seriously counter-intuitive.

Sadly, yes. That appears to be the price of something approaching WYSIWYGness, with a touch of being able to paste from external documents. Unfortunately, in the forum world, it's either that or something even worse: BBCode.

I'm the forum administrator and lead developer of Rel. Email me at dave@armchair.mb.ca with the Subject 'TTM Forum'. Download Rel from https://reldb.org

I find that the best forum editor is just a textbox where one types Markdown and then it is rendered when published, and any wizzywig is just an alternate view that produces Markdown which one can also see.

Quote from Darren Duncan on February 7, 2020, 9:09 am

I find that the best forum editor is just a textbox where one types Markdown and then it is rendered when published, and any wizzywig is just an alternate view that produces Markdown which one can also see.

Markdown isn't rich enough to support WYSIWYG from the usual sources like Word and PDF. Pasting into the usual CKEditor-based editors is by no means perfect, but generally less effort to restore formatting post-paste than the usual Markdown editors.

I'm the forum administrator and lead developer of Rel. Email me at dave@armchair.mb.ca with the Subject 'TTM Forum'. Download Rel from https://reldb.org
Quote from Darren Duncan on February 7, 2020, 9:09 am

I find that the best forum editor is just a textbox where one types Markdown and then it is rendered when published, and any wizzywig is just an alternate view that produces Markdown which one can also see.

It's better than nothing, but a long way short of the best. And it imposes a serious cognitive load, remembering the particular weird codes for this particular markdown. Between PHP flavours, MediaWiki, SO, GitHub (just to mention a few) my brain hurts. Who knows, maybe CommonMark will be our saviour. I'll still prefer a rich text editor.

Andl - A New Database Language - andl.org
Quote from dandl on February 3, 2020, 11:40 pm
Quote from Dave Voorhis on February 3, 2020, 6:57 am
Quote from dandl on February 3, 2020, 3:06 am

Just a brief note on forum irritations.

  1. Posting is slow. I can take up to about 30 seconds sometimes, usually 5 or so.
  2. Any kind of posting error and poof! All that hard work is gone. It would be really nice if the error message included the posted text so I could recover and try again. [This time the Internet went out and the post timed out.] Stack Overflow never loses what you wrote.
  3. And that editor! Is there really nothing better? I would compose offline but the cut and paste is pretty bad too.
  1. Not sure what's happening there. There is a delay after selecting 'post' that appears to be the forum software doing something in the background (indexing words for the search function, maybe?) that got a bit slower with one of the forum updates, but it's normally five seconds, not thirty. A thirty second delay sounds more like an external network issue.

I think it's only ever the first post, and since I'm on a very different timezone, maybe it's hosting getting stoked up? Not bitching, just saying in case you weren't aware.

Yes I've experienced very slow times to post. Sometimes so slow the whole thing times out. I think David's on to something with the timezones idea. I'd say somewhere between 2am - 4am UK time. I'm surprised Dave hasn't seen it, given his sometimes-irregular hours ;-) I guess Murphy waits until the SysAdmin goes to bed.

I usually copy what I'm posting just in case; but of course Murphy waits until I've forgotten ... In any case, pasting into a blank message usually loses most of the formatting, especially the Quote levels. Which goes to Darren's point.

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