What are the plans to improve the composer in 2024?

I would love to read more details about the plans to modernize the composer in 2024, which @lindsey explained at 19:10 in Recap: AMA with The Discourse Product Team.


I hope that efforts are made to improve the editor. This is one of the features I want most in discourse.


We’re exploring a more WYSIWYG editor in the composer, while keeping compatibility with Discourse features and post markup.

Early experiments led by @renato are very promising, but since composer is such large and important part of Discourse we are not rushing nor making any promises around details of the implementation.


@Falco summed the general idea up nicely. We want to create a composer that feels more familiar, intuitive, and accessible to new users by aligning more with the various writing experiences out there today, such as a single-pane composer where formatting is applied in real time. It’s still early days though in our design and planning process.

Feel free to share any and all feedback about the current experience and problems you’d like to see us solve here!


Here is a small collection of difficulties in our community:

Pasting Lists

Part of the content into our discourse is written in word / other office and then pasted into discourse.
Bullets are not converted to - or + disabling lists.

Pasting Cursive Fonts

For pasted referenced email content, every line gets quoted in asterisks.
If such texts are detected, embracing with a tag (<em> or similar) would be more appropriate.

New Users Do Not Understand Using Hashes for Headlines

New users do not understand using hashes for headlines.
They keep using the available buttons and use bold text instead.
An Icon to add headlines could help here.
In addition, some heuristic could trigger educational texts.

Orientation in a Collection of Images

When working with a bunch of images, the preview and cursor position are not synced. To identify uploads, the image caption has to be edited.

Possible improvements:

  • auto increment the image description
  • add visual clue about cursor position into the preview and sync this into view

These 2 feel like straightforward fixes vs a composer rewrite (a few hours vs many months)

Feel free to open dedicated feature requests with examples on how both fail.


Just as general feedback, Waterhole has some patterns I really like. E.g. picking a category:

Or this detail for replying to a specific user or in general: