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better wiki-like shortcuts.

by Courage (Parson)
on Mar 11, 2006 at 16:54 UTC ( #535968=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Of course I am not first one to come with this, and even I am not first time talking about this (although I didn't speaked loudly :)

It is very annoying to enter HTML markup every single time.
Technical progress all over the world makes life more and more comfortable, this technical progress invented shortcuts to many HTMLs verbosity.

It is obviously stupid to force people to enter <p> every single time, when all (s)he wants is to start new paragraph! This must be as easy as hitting "Enter" extra time.
Hitting "enter" is easy: it is large and duplicated. Entering "<p>" is hard, I need to search for all these chars yet graciously pressing "Shift" at predetermined moments; very complicated!

Why, oh why, some simple wiki-like markups are not here, on PM??
PM already has some shortcuts ([id://nnn] is an example), why not adding one or two more, which will significantly make life better?!!

Best regards,
Courage, the Cowardly Dog

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: better wiki-like shortcuts.
by graff (Chancellor) on Mar 11, 2006 at 17:56 UTC
    Any sort of "global" conversion like  s/(?:\r?\n|\r){2,}/<P>/g; would of course need to apply only to regions that are outside of code tags. Maybe the PM source code would support this with little or no fuss, but I haven't seen the code, so I don't know.

    Personally, most of my time and effort during PM posting is in spent thinking about what I'm writing, and crafting my words, code and presentation to be as clear as I can; so holding down the shift key for a fraction of second while I type  <P> might not be a big enough issue to warrant someone else spending many hours to simplify it for me.

    (update: you do know, of course, that the "P" can be upper-case, don't you?)

    (another update {geez, why can't I just leave this alone?}: Any sort of change like this would need to be backwards compatible, both with the established archive of posted data, and with the established habits of many monks. If the approach for such a change requires the elimination of paragraph tags, it won't work. For that matter, if the above substitution were applied to the existing archive, it might have "unintended consequences" -- paragraph breaks appearing where node authors did not intend to put them. Things could get weird and tricky...)

      If such a translation were to be done (converting text wrapped in repeated line ends to wrapped by <p></p> tags), then it could be applied at the time a node is posted and need not affect any currently posted nodes.

      An alternative that some people may find even better, although slightly clunky, would be to use a PerlMonks editor and paste the prepared HTML text straight into the current edit facility. This would require someone writing a PerlMonks editor of course. :)

      Actually, if there is a demand for such a thing, and people could tollerate it written on Tk, I'd be prepared to put my hand up for the job - let me know.

      DWIM is Perl's answer to Gödel
Re: better wiki-like shortcuts.
by eric256 (Parson) on Mar 12, 2006 at 17:06 UTC

    The short version: It is assumed that everyone here will have basic HTML knowledge. Since there are no shortcuts this means everyone should be able to format a nice message without learning some new set of shortcuts. Also if you do put shortcuts on \r\n then you have to give us a way to turn them off.

    BTW: its easy to just setup your signature to contain some basic HTML so that when starting a post it is all there for you already.

    Eric Hodges
Re: better wiki-like shortcuts.
by acid06 (Friar) on Mar 12, 2006 at 07:28 UTC
    Hmmm... maybe someone should write a GreaseMonkey user script that addresses this specific issue.

    Of course, that'll only be any good if you're using FireFox (or possibly another Gecko-based browser, don't know for sure).

    perl -e "print pack('h*', 16369646), scalar reverse $="
Re: better wiki-like shortcuts.
by planetscape (Chancellor) on Mar 14, 2006 at 10:52 UTC

    Hello, all. My name is planetscape and I am addicted to Microsoft products.

    Over the sympathetic groans of some, and the hostile growls of others, the majority reply: "Hello, planetscape!"

    I know what this sounds like, but I'm not in denial...

    scattered chuckles

    Microsoft is what the majority of my clients use, and, well, I like to eat...

    more, rueful, chuckles as the familiarity of her plight sinks in

    So... I must confess that for longer writeups, I've copied the site CSS for PerlMonks so things like code tags get handled correctly, and I've copied the CSS for the Dark Theme, since that's what I'm accustomed to using...

    planetscape's voice drops to a whisper...

    And then I use FrontPage...

    hostility erupts at the back of the room and several individuals are forcibly escorted outside

    Of course, before I post, I strip out the more egregious bloat that FrontPage puts in...

    even with this admission, the swelling anger in the crowd surges, pressing people forward toward the podium, and security hustles planetscape backstage and out of the building

    over the tumult of the crowd, planetscape can still be heard, shouting:

    Ok, so it's not pretty! but it works!


Re: better wiki-like shortcuts.
by VSarkiss (Monsignor) on Mar 13, 2006 at 15:57 UTC

    Maybe I'm just an old-timer, but I actually like using plain HTML markup for posting here. To me, it's simpler than having to learn another set of rules for each site. (I don't post to a lot of other sites, and I admit I find it difficult to remember which one uses what.)

    The square bracket notation is very handy, but those create links, not formatting changes, so I don't have a problem with those -- they're orthogonal to markup, so to speak.

    Not that I have a problem with your suggestion; I'm just stating my preferences.

      Can't we make it configurable on a per user basis, and or with an option group in the post /forms?/? I think these three options should satisfy 95 of all users: PMS (Permonks Style, not Premenstrual Syndrom ;-), BBCODE and POD. To integrate those two should not be too hard since they both can be translated into html.


      holli, /regexed monk/
Re: better wiki-like shortcuts.
by CountZero (Bishop) on Mar 12, 2006 at 16:04 UTC
    Why, oh why, does one always try to repair things which are not broken?


    "If you have four groups working on a compiler, you'll get a 4-pass compiler." - Conway's Law

Re: better wiki-like shortcuts.
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Mar 14, 2006 at 06:59 UTC

    I would like this too; it's a lot more convenient to write POD or wikitext than it is HTML. I try to avoid writing HTML as much as possible for this reason.

    One difficulty is figuring out how to store the data however; does it convert to HTML after you create a node? Do you always have to edit in HTML after that? Is there an option to attempt to convert back to wikitext at some point?

Re: better wiki-like shortcuts.
by spiritway (Vicar) on Mar 14, 2006 at 05:47 UTC

    How hard is it, really, to type in the tags? Most of these add seven extra characters; some, like blockquote, are much longer (but not as frequently used). If you really want to make it simpler for yourself, type in the <p> tags (and the closing tags), copy them, and then past them each time you need a new paragraph. A simply ctrl-v will do it in windows and Linux; I'm sure MAC has a similar way to paste.

    This Website is already hugely complicated and extensive. There are many cool features that were added to make our navigating and viewing easier, to enable us to simply link to other resources, etc. At some point, we just need to bite the bullet and live with a few things like HTML tags.

    I've got a blog that requires me to type in square brackets around the HTML letters (like [b] [/b] for bold). I can't even imagine why they came up with that "improvement", but they have. And it's just one more thing I have to remember, that unnecessarily complicates my use of that resource. I prefer to keep it simple - or at least, as simple as we can.

Re: better wiki-like shortcuts.
by Joost (Canon) on Mar 15, 2006 at 02:25 UTC
Re: better wiki-like shortcuts.
by zer (Deacon) on Mar 13, 2006 at 23:34 UTC
    it is possible to have a java interactive script attached to the form that will insert the markup is needed. It wouldnt cause any format problems with the rest of the cgi's and is a good temp fix until it is fixed. Or it can just be something added for the ol timers who enjoy the html practice. just a thought
Re: better wiki-like shortcuts.
by GrandFather (Saint) on Apr 17, 2006 at 06:40 UTC

    I finally got a preliminary version of my PerlMonks editor up here. (Polite) suggestions welcome.

    DWIM is Perl's answer to Gödel

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