Let me lay out a case for allowing HTML. I’m working with a client who is starting a forum for investors.(Closed beta started yesterday, as it happens.) Their legal team insists on a disclaimer. It must:
- Be prominently displayed on every page of the forums.
- Not be dismissable.
In other words, a global notice.[^1]
For an example (not the site I’m working with, but in the same space), see the disclaimer on Freetrade. It’s important to note that legal doesn’t care whether the notice includes HTML. They just want to see that it’s there and that users can’t claim they didn’t see it.
Unfortunately the notice is something of an eyesore because it’s a big block of text. Thankfully, legal is ok with a smaller font and using a link to the full disclaimer. The team submitted copy to legal last week that included a link to the disclaimer. This week we discovered HTML is not allowed in a global notice anymore. So that’s fun.
Meanwhile, if we were using this for the intended purpose (“URGENT, EMERGENCY, non-dismissible global banner notice to all visitors”) wouldn’t it be handy to have a way to link to a status page or other place to learn more?
It really isn’t “any other user input” though, is it? It’s a site setting that only a handful of people can change. From the perspective of the site owners, this isn’t user input, but part of the interface provided to users.[^2]
Is there an explanation of the reasoning somewhere? If y’all are working on another tool to support non-dismissable global banners which allow links,[^3] it would be helpful to know when it will be ready. I’d rather avoid having to set up a customization if possible.
I apologize if I come off a little cranky. We didn’t know that this change was coming and it puts us in an awkward place. The community was going to be opened up to a larger audience next week and this change throws a wrench in the works.
[^1]: I can see an argument that this is misusing the feature. But if we were to build this feature ourselves, it would function exactly like a global notice.
[^2]: I understand that from Discourse’s point of view admins are users. It just sorta feels like the wrong way to think about it in this case.
[^3]: And also styling, but that’s secondary.