1. Chip Bennett

    I think it far more likely that any potential “demise” of WordPress would result not from a failure to implement post-editor features, but rather would result from the underlying attitude that would lead the WP devs to ignore the obvious desire of the WP community to have such features implemented.

    The #1 most popular idea is especially telling.


  2. Jeffro

    @Chip Bennett – Well, I was limited with answering the question based on a current feature and attitude is not a feature. But, you do make a valid point.


  3. JLeuze

    I think you bring up a legitimate weakness of WordPress Jeffro.

    Many of the problems that my co-workers and clients have with WordPress are related to formatting their posts with the visual editor.

    I don’t think that how the editor handles HTML matters nearly as much as how well the WYSIWYG editor works. It is a serious weakness, the vast majority of WordPress users are just ordinary folks, they need it to be as easy as writing an email (and I usually tell them that it is!)

    Of course nobody in the Tavern here needs WordPress to be that user friendly for their own use, but what about your clients? If another CMS came along that had a better visual editor that boosted the usability for novices, I could see it posing a problem for WordPress.


  4. Jess Planck

    I haven’t looked at WordPress Ideas for a while. That area really needs a cleanup. Looking at the top 5 shows frustration that was prevalent two years ago, but may not be a good measure of current situations.

    No. 1 and the One you’re focused on is a case in point that has had modest improvements. They might rocket back to the top if deleted or cleaned up, but I don’t know if they would be as popular now.

    If you really dig through the idea “Choose a better WYSIWYG editor” you will find quite a few questionable entries that seem almost like shills for some of the replacement ideas.

    the visual editor is such a complex idea that completely goes contrary to the purpose of HTML. “Let’s edit HTML with… HTML” Anyone taking on that challenge has to be respected or needs medication.

    If you actually go out and work with the javascript HTML editors out there, you will find they all have issues. Some won’t be as easy to modify as TinyMCE, some are easier but lack a community. Others have so-so licensing that require sums of money before they even look at you. You think it sucks reporting a bug for WordPress, try some of those projects.

    I reported one or two bugs to TinyMCE years ago. The response was decent with either a fix or “gohd, idiot, do it this way”. There are only a couple others that I would name worth including in WordPress.

    The real solution would be at the source… Get the W3C to do a form content type HTML and a form textarea type HTML editor. Then we can blame them for the problems.

    Now “Trust me when I edit HTML” from ideas is also complex and part of the over all problem you mentioned. The old double-line to paragraph and single-line to line break mixed with attempts force compliant HTML in WordPress caused that issue.

    Believe it not it’s caused both in the PHP and in javascript. The javascript is wpautop and near impossible to override at this point without writing a customized WordPress TinyMCE plugin.

    To top both of those “ideas”, You sprinkle in some out of date or really badly coded WordPress Plugins to the mix and boom. There are few comments in Extend Ideas for both of those that are obviously support questions related to this type of issue.

    God, I finished a whole cup of coffee. I’ve been personally involved in these issues, so I thought I would offer some historical perspective. Andrew Ozz has really improved things immeasurably. It’s not perfect, but much better than WordPress 2.0 for sure.

    My take on the Demise of WordPress. Just follow the history of ActiveCollab and ProjectPier for a look at a Free GPL’ish project going commercial. That would be my fear, having more sort of commercial things like Akismet and Gravatar creep in.


  5. Jeffro

    @JLeuze – I agree, the Visual editor is still a weakness but as Jess mentions, it’s gotten better over time.

    @Jess Planck – Jess, thank you for the wonderful and insightful reply. I drank a can of Mountain Dew reading it :). You are right about the Ideas section needing a cleanup. In fact it wasn’t too long ago when I wrote an article highlighting the fact that Porn Ideas were being published on the site. I certainly would be interested to see what would happen to the Ideas site if it was cleaned up. Would these visual editor issues creep back to number one or would something else take its spot?

    I know that TinyMCE is actually a project outside of WordPress and the team just takes it and manhandles it to work with WordPress in their specified way. I know their are complexities involved but it’s hard for me to understand sometimes how certain things work in the Visual editor such as, blockquoting something, pressing enter, and you’re still within the blockquote tags. Is Andrew Ozz the only guy who works on the Post Editor in WordPress? Maybe I can try to get him on the show to talk about the complexities of the situation.


  6. Jess Planck

    Having an interview of the current architect for the visual editor would be interesting for sure. I’m pretty sure Andrew Ozz has been handling the tinymce integration for at least a year or so. Other than Ryan Boren and Matt M. I don’t know who else has worked on it.

    There are a few third party things like phpmailer in WordPress, but I would point to TinyMCE as the most complicated to integrate since it involves php, javascript, and html. Along with dealing with a third party developer (Moxiecode) it has to make coding interesting.


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