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Re: Making Perl Monks a better place for newbies (and others)

by mr_mischief (Monsignor)
on Mar 18, 2009 at 22:05 UTC ( #751587=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Making Perl Monks a better place for newbies (and others)

There is a certain risk one takes when skimming for material rather than reading for comprehension. It seems you've taken my discussion of TinyMCE out of context here.

What I actually said was:

TinyMCE might actually improve a few things for a few people. However, most of its utility would not be useful for a PM-like site. It requires additional complexity in the node editing pages. It takes additional bandwidth to serve the JavaScript for it. The best feature of TinyMCE for a site like PM is the automatic paragraph breaks, which are easy to do in the code for the node engine.

This was in direct response on a point-by-point basis to cosmicperl's assertion that "Easier to use interface (TinyMCE)" was a goal for a site friendly to new users.

I specifically stated that while TinyMCE might be some help (the part you mention here) that most of the features it offers would not be useful here. Most of the complexity, therefore, would be for not much benefit. The best feature, as I said, of TinyMCE for a site with text content such as PM would be automatic paragraph breaks. I even mentioned that would be simple to do in the node engine without any JavaScript. Slashdot for example has a mode in which two consecutive newlines get straightforwardly translated into a paragraph break.

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Re^2: Making Perl Monks a better place for newbies (and others)
by PerlGuy(Tom) (Acolyte) on Jan 29, 2020 at 04:19 UTC
    "...automatic paragraph breaks, which are easy to do..."

    I found this thread because I searched for "paragraph breaks".

    Posting from a tablet or phone, (something I do more and more frequently these days) and inserting code for paragraph breaks on a touchscreen keyboard is like, a nearly intolerable nuisance. I don't like Tiny MCE, please no, but converting text newlines to html paragraph breaks is a trivial substitution.

    I'm not exactly a "newbie", though, historically I post very infrequently, I thought, perhaps it was thought that forcing people to insert a minimum of HTML into their posts will be educational or something. I don't know.

    But now, to make this posting more readable, I will need to navigate down into the deep recesses of this bloody tablet and find the left angle bracket, navigate back out, through several layers of keyboard functions to type in a p. Dive back down for the right angle bracket, do the same steps for the end paragraph, including the forward slash this time. Copy these to clipboard and go back through my post and paste in paragraph breaks. All of which takes more time than it took to write the post itself.

    If I were going to post here often, it would probably be easier to hack my tablet or phone (both Android) and do something with the keyboard layout to include some basic HTML. Maybe there is an app for that? Sometimes on my phone I see a .com key.

    Now time for another grueling exercise in constructing html paragraph breaks. (On my computer, typing html is second nature, but the angle brackets are actually on the keyboard!)

    Tom

      I agree that needing to add your own HTML markup is a pain. However my experience with a number of other forums where a WYSIWY(almost never)G is provided has convinced me that PerlMonks' actually has landed in the right place by placing the smarts on the far side of the keyboard.

      For reasons I can't fathom every online editor I've used offering more than trivial markup gets it wrong, especially when trying to handle a mixture of prose and code. Some make it almost impossible to post something and have any idea at all what it's going to look like. Even big players like Google can't get simple editing right.

      PerlMonks seems to get scorn poured on it for "looking old". Maybe, but I find it much easier to navigate than any other similar forum I've used - bar none! I use Recently Active Threads as my "home page" and open threads I'm interested in reading in a separate tab. In my opinion the sideways tree view makes the flow of conversation much easier to follow than any other forum I use.

      Yes, it would be nice if it were easier for noobs to enter nice posts, but for the most part a poorly formatted post is a great heads up that the OP has applied laziness in the wrong way.

      I consider for the most part PerlMonks ain't broke, so please don't "fix it"!

      Optimising for fewest key strokes only makes sense transmitting to Pluto or beyond

        I largely agree (I myself am perfectly used to crafting my own HTML and see no reason noobs can't likewise learn to walk uphill both ways in the snow :), but then I wonder if a markdown option of some sort might not help since everyone and their dog uses it for markup these days. If there were a toggle that defaulted on for new users (and/or you could twiddle per post) that might let the new, unwashed, markdown-accustomed masses contribute "more easily" while still allowing the power users / ancient fogeys to hand lathe their posts.

        The cake is a lie.
        The cake is a lie.
        The cake is a lie.

        I detest, for the most part, any WYSIWYG html editor I've ever used. I would not propose that.

        But paragraph breaks are so frequently used, I think it would be justified. I would not (edit: want to ) have to manually insert space between words with   either.

        I think if there is a big key on the keyboard for it, (RETURN) why not use it.

        The whole problem goes back to the 80's only because different computer makers had different implementations for "return". newline for Unix and newline-linefeed for windows.

        If not for such incompatibuilities, we never would have needed HTML to bridge the divide.

        Tom
          A reply falls below the community's threshold of quality. You may see it by logging in.
      I wrote Wikisyntax for the Monastery some years ago, this might be of help for you.

      Most of my posts are written on mobile and I almost never need to type html markup.

      Cheers Rolf
      (addicted to the Perl Programming Language :)
      Wikisyntax for the Monastery FootballPerl is like chess, only without the dice

        Now that so much effort has gone into finding such imaginative workarounds, It would be a shame to actually fix it.

        I know what would be fun.

        Someone could open up CGI.pm, if that's what this forum uses, and remove the URL encoding decoding line.

        text=And+see+how+the+Perl%2Fjavascript+hackers+in+here+
        deal+with+everyone%27s+posts+looking+something+like+this

        Tom

      I don't believe that in March 2009 when I wrote my reply so many people were using their phones and tablets as primary Internet devices. Still, I think a markdown or similar wiki-friendly input method would be worthwhile.

      Even if the site just added links for URLs and auto-added paragraph tags for consecutive newlines it would be nice. We'd still need a way to denote code, and I like PM's way generally more than, say, Reddit's.

      But now, to make this posting more readable, I will need to navigate down into the deep recesses of this bloody tablet and find the left angle bracket, navigate back out, through several layers of keyboard functions to type in a p. Dive back down for the right angle bracket, do the same steps for the end paragraph, including the forward slash this time. Copy these to clipboard and go back through my post and paste in paragraph breaks. All of which takes more time than it took to write the post itself.

      Make yourself a template ;) I keep mine in my clipboard , something like

      <p><i> </i> <p> <p><i> </i> <c> </c> <p> <p> [mod://]] <p> [cpan://]] <p> [dict://]] <p> [wp://]] <p> [href://]]
        See also

        Signature Settings

        Your Node Template: You can put tags that you often use here so that they will be pre-loaded into the text area when you compose a new node

        Cheers Rolf
        (addicted to the Perl Programming Language :)
        Wikisyntax for the Monastery FootballPerl is like chess, only without the dice

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