Simpler markdown editor?

Hypothetical and yes I know, potentially volatile subject but my old hobby horse - the markdown editor and non-technical users. I don’t want to go over old ground but this continues to be a bit of a blocker for adoption of Discourse in our mainly over 50 CAMRA forum - it’s not going away :frowning:

I’ve just used the Fasthosts beta community recently and thought to myself “this is a nice little editor, simple and effective”. I noticed a little menu box bottom left which opens up the usual limited editing options like bold, italic etc.

But there is an advanced button on there which to my surprise reveals that this community is based upon markdown. I can’t comment how effective switching between the two is but would it be feasible for something similar in Discourse?

I see this as a win-win situation. The markdown detractors are happy as they have a nice simple editor for 99% of the time and the technical camp are happy because it’s still markdown under the hood.

Could you share some screenshots (better yet, screengrabs) of the editor UX you’re talking about? Not many people are gonna bother signing up to that website just to have a look at some buttons :wink:


Sure - this is new comment box when you open up an existing topic:

I entered the bold text using the Ctrl-B keyboard shortcut. Clicking the only visible menu icon slides in a limited text editing toolbar:

And advanced mode switches to markdown:

Editing help opens another page describing markdown:

Not sure that link will work so here’s a PDF print of the page:

Advanced Editing Help.pdf (84.6 KB)

I entered some text that gets interpreted as markdown and it prefixed it correctly. For example, people often put #1 at the start of a line which turns it into a header. In this editor, #1 worked as expected and when I switched to advanced/markdown it had been prefixed as \#1

I asked on the community if the moderators knew which system it was and they said Oracle. Zero knowledge of Oracle these days but maybe it’s Lithium?


Interesting enough, I had the same request in my newly transferred community just the other day - mainly because our old solution had an rich text editor.


I completely agree with @Rob_Nicholson I think this compromise with a simpler viewer but markdown under the hood is a great solution.
This looks like a very interesting solution… @sam @codinghorror @erlend_sh @XieLong
Anyone did any further work on this? Any plugins / extensions available. Can more people bump this discussion up ? Or are there any alternate discussions that I can’t find…
This help in a huge jump in adoption…


lol I just saw this for the first time. Its exactly what I made:


Thanks! Checking this out!!

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