wysiwyg and light-markup are oil and water

bowerbird bowerbird at aol.com
Fri Sep 12 02:19:25 EDT 2014

mofo said:
>   I think a mark down wysiwyg would still
>   be very useful, even if not perfect

except it wouldn't be anywhere near "perfect".

i'm saying that it is, in the end, _unworkable._

>   Take for instance Adobe dreamweaver.
>   It can edit both in output mode and in source code.

except that's explicitly _not_ wysiwyg.  not at all.

rather, it's a multi-mode environment, where you
_switch_ between fully different representations.

(again noting "wysiwyg" means _so_ many things.)

>   The ability to switch between two views
>   is a lifesaver.

right. because sometimes what you do in one view
screws up stuff in the other, and it cannot be fixed
without switching to work in that other environment.

thus, what you end up with when you try to mush the
two environments together is the worst of both worlds,
where you can't tell for sure whether it's right or wrong,
and -- if it's wrong -- you don't know how you can fix it.

this example upholds my point, it's not a counter to it.

>   Plus this is a good opportunity to push the idea
>   of separation between presentations and text
>   for typical non tech savvy office workers.

yet another case of not choosing your battles carefully.

for all of these issues, a much better solution is the
two-up interface with both your input and the output,
in the form almost all the good implementations use
(i.e., edit on one half the screen, display on the other):
dillinger, ghost, mmd-composer, stackedit, markable,
and a host of other tools, not to mention marked2.app.

if you can show me any wysiwyg implementation that
works anywhere near as well as any of those tools, do.

or any tool that tries to mush together input and output.

even medium, with all of evan william's money, cannot
work it well for more than a meager handful of features.

i'm not going to review the attempts, because it would
be overly cruel and i sincerely wish 'em good luck, but
as far as i can see, it will take some big breakthroughs.


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