Simpler markdown editor?


(Rob Nicholson) #1

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.

https://help.fasthosts.co.uk/app/community

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.


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #2

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:


(Rob Nicholson) #3

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:

https://help.fasthosts.co.uk/app/community/utils/editing_help

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?

https://www.lithium.com/pages/idc-marketscape-worldwide-online-communities-2016-vendor-assessment?source=Google%20AdWords&source2=Google%20AdWords&cc=GS-gaw&gclid=Cj0KEQiAw_DEBRChnYiQ_562gsEBEiQA4Lcsss3VWwF6CINK5HtcGbujSCe61fVhVobfz4OYWSl8J24aAs1U8P8HAQ


#4

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.