wysiwyg and light-markup are oil and water

bowerbird bowerbird at aol.com
Fri Sep 12 12:27:23 EDT 2014

mofo said:
>   Yea, but I want to see more of the actual output
>   rather than the markdown representation.
>   But I don't want to lose track of what parts of
>   the output can be seen in the now 'smaller' input

i'm not following you.

but i'm sure it's just a simple matter of terminology.

when the _input_ field is showing any specific paragraph,
users should be able to summon that spot in the output,
i.e., automatically scroll (or "sync") to that paragraph.

or, in cases where they prefer to do it the other way,
when the _output_ field is showing a specific paragraph,
users should be able to summon that spot in the input,
i.e., automatically scroll (or "sync") to that paragraph.

i think both of those are very straightforward.

now, as i've said before, doing sync between the fields
at any other time (or, indeed, on a continuous basis)
is not as simple a matter as you might suppose at first.
(per the example i just gave, which way do you sync?)

>   I do hope somebody does give
>   'editable' output view, a shot.

me too. and people are, to be sure.

>   Maybe it might not be too stupid an idea in practice.

i never said the wysiwyg markdown idea was "stupid".

what i said is that my research/thinking indicates it is
_unworkable_, which is a very different thing entirely.

so if someone proves me wrong and makes it workable,
it _might_ be a great idea. (or, we must say, it might not,
because it still mashes content in with presentation, but
i'm not one of those people for whom this is sacrilegious.)

but, until someone makes the idea work, it's all irrelevant.


michael said:
>   I just added a toggle for source view,
>   so one can check and edit the source.

that's a good addition.

i was perplexed when i pasted in markdown text
and it wasn't recognized and formatted correctly.
that was a serious violation of my expectations...
and i still don't know if that "should" work, or not.

>   Actually I don't think it is the goal that
>   people learn or type Markdown.

we -- you, me, everyone -- choose our own goals.

live and let live.

>   Why should a person who only wants to
>   write down some content switch to Markdown.
>   They are used to WYSIWYG editing, and with
>   Markdown hidden in the back end they get
>   the Markdown publishing environment for free.

make it work. i wish you luck. i'm rooting for you.

>   imagining the output from the input is hard
>   for many people, have both next to each other
>   seems the current way to go, but be honest
>   that is a crutch and not end user ready.

i'm not sure i agree with your bottom line there,
but it's not worth disputing.   :+)

>   What if the output determines the input?

then we will need to switch the terminology we use.

plus your level of complexity will increase significantly.

>   One has to formalize and "parse" the user input
>   and that is hard.

that's not why i say that combining the views is hard.

it's because if you show all of the input characters,
then you will have compromised the wysiwyg value.

but if you do _not_ show all of the input characters,
then you will have compromised the ease of editing.

some apps try to escape this dilemma by showing
the "invisible" input characters in a gray font, but
-- in my opinion -- that is the worst of both worlds.

>   One has to have in mind, that
>   not all formatting and content
>   can be resembled in Markdown and
>   Marko Editor only takes from a paste
>   what it can handle, so again what you see
>   after a paste in the editor is what you get

right there you will have violated one of the main
expectations that people have for a wysiwyg tool.

(and, again, wysiwyg "means" _so_ many things!)

but as the saying goes, i don't want to interrupt
your success by telling you that it can't be done.

so go do it! prove me wrong!   :+)


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