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The Post Editor is Ridiculous and Needs Attention...

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The Post Editor is Ridiculous and Needs Attention... Shawn von Beast 3/15/12 6:42 AM
I've seen an entire blog post wrapped between <b></b> tags.
- After making a word bold, the person(whomever) must have tried to get the text to the normal font-weight, and instead the editor closed the <b> right after the word that needed to be bold, the editor decided to use <span class="Apple..." style="font-weight:normal...">s for everything(even images and the dreaded <br>s) and closed the <b> after everything else in the post.

I've seen <br>s wrapped within <div>s every time you press return. Wait! I've seen every new line of a blog post wrapped within <div>s. Why don't you use <p> elements for paragraphs?...come on. Why do you delete <p></p>s when I switch modes in the editor. That, is ridiculous, for I do not comprehend.

Instead of inserting inline styles for everything, please use CSS classes. Look at how simple this is:

Aligning an image: <img src="#" class="float-left" alt="meh" height="xxx" width="xxx"/>

Soooo simple.

...and until it is decent, I'm sticking to the HTML side.
Re: The Post Editor is Ridiculous and Needs Attention... Slumberland 3/15/12 2:37 PM

I have begun a blog featuring a lot of mathematics.  So I have to work in the HTML view a lot.  Attempting to bridge a technical topic in Blogger is a nightmare.  Which is funny when you think about it.  Isn't Google Super Keen to know who is technically literate, anywhere in the world.  I mean, heck yes, bring a bunch of guys over from India who know Calculus. But.... ah.... literacy means being able to read and write, so a nice first step might be some attention to making reading and writing mathematics feasible on the internet.

The result is that, to type basic math equations, I have run into the same issues you are having.

*It rewrites everything in sloppy, impossible-to-read html.
    - carriage returns, even hand-typed as <BR /> become <div> </div>
    -<div>  </div>  <span> </span>    and there is nothing I can do about it.  At first I used find/replace, but for 100+ copies...? 
    -and it's just going to rewrite my HTML anyway

* Switching between Compose and HTML view does not necessarily retain the cursor position.

*A variety of basic formatting options are not available in the COMPOSE view.  Sub and super-script.  Special characters.  Font changes.
   -about font changes.  I can change ALL of my posts , As-A-Giant-Block, to any of over 100 fonts on Google's awesome font library.  Meanwhile
    -WITHIN a post, none of these fonts will appear in the text editor, my primary interface.  This is dumb.  So, for example, even though I could  arbitrarily change a specific category of header to transliterate into Greek using any of a number of fonts, change the global attributes any way I want...     I hand-type

 sin<sup>2</sup>&theta;<sub>1</sub> + cos<sup>2</sup>&theta<sub>1</sub> = 1
 for "sine squared of theta 1 plus cosine squared of theta 1 equals 1"

    -Remember, that greek font won't show up in the text editor.  I can't use it.
*The HTML Editor is not visibly HTML aware.  All tags are undifferentiated, plain text.  I'm not asking for a code environment.  How about gray text for tags?  Anything.  Any way to distinguish.
    -I am not exaggerating or kidding when I say that "reveal codes" on my 8086, monochrome yellow monitor, no hard drive, Wordperfect on 5-1/4" floppys was significantly easier to navigate and edit.  The tags showed up in bold.  They stayed put.  I could use keystrokes to sub- and super- script.  It was 1989.
    -It warns me when my HTML is bad, but it does not update the warning in response to my editing, tags do not pairwise-highlight like a code environment, so I can't find them that way.  The warning message does not direct me to the flag in question.  Oh look, I have opened a <div> tag and not closed it.  *sigh*  No.  No I have not.  But I have to find it anyway.  And which one would that be?

*Formatting is unpredictable.  Justify doesn't always apply to the location of the cursor, and repeated attempts to center a line can, for example, cause the creation of multiple <div></div> lines for every line of written text.  It's much better using Chrome, but the <span> and <div> tags remain squirrely.  I have no control over them, and so I find myself inadvertently getting the "wrong side" of a tag, and deleting a line of text because it's easier than figuring out how my HTML was "supplemented".

*  The post editor is a fixed width.  That width is determined by the width of my blog.  These two widths are not the same.  Please, include formatting information.  Like, a gray line.   A minor issue, but annoying nonetheless.  When hand-typing LaTeX equations and inlining the images, it is frustrating to align the text by repeatedly opening "preview" windows.   A gray line would save me hours a month.

*Aligning an image is a pain.  SECONDED.

*copy and paste is unreliable.  HTML symbols are magically substituted, but if I copy and paste them in the "compose" view, the tags do not (usually?  always?) carry over.  Sub- and super- scripts are lost.  This means that I also cannot, for example, work out a formula in a text editor, and paste it when I need it.  Even if that text is originally copied from Blogger, and contains only the plain text, and the needed HTML tags.  This leaves 2 possibilities
   1) write them from scratch every time
   2) navigate and align them in HTML view.  Equations are unreadable in this view, as mentioned above.

*Many crucial organizational options are gimmick, and of no use.  Font support.  Labels.  I intended to use elementary hierarchy, fonts, and labels to organize math blogs.  The way  -um-  math has been organized since the printing press.   Math  >  Book (general). > Book (specific)> 1) Chapters 2) General notes.
Labels are unavailable when editing my blog (which is when *I* need them) and apparently are unconnected to logic.  Folders?  Associativity?  Strict hierarchy?  Throw me a bone.  I'll work with any functional relationship.  Labels "label" something.  Let me do that.  Let me connect this to my editing process.  As it stands, I have gadgets to allow visitors to navigate all kinds of relationships I am unable to create when posting.  Yay.

Likewise, fonts.  I am 100% for global application of fonts by rule.  Blogger is not a signal processor, it is software.  So let me provide the rule.  The fonts in Google's Open Font library are (even lacking symbols, as it does) sufficient to supply the symbols needed to distinguish a great deal of mathematical text consistently and correctly, greatly reducing the times one needs to resort to LaTeX or other outside image sources.  But this would require the ability to use fonts.  To select fonts from a library, organize them into a list, and use them according to some rule.  There is exactly one place this is impossible in Blogger, and that is the primary editor.

In general, when dealing with Blogger, I end up choosing whichever choice is the least significant MindBogglingWasteOfTime.  This has never been my experience with any google app or product before.
Re: The Post Editor is Ridiculous and Needs Attention... Slumberland 3/15/12 3:49 PM
Hmmm.  I am not cut out for un-editable posts.

It seems several of the problems are with IE.  To hone in on the problems, I'm being strict and refusing to use Internet Explorer, and it appears the following can be stricken from my list:

1) Regular HTML symbols and tags can be typed an recognized in the compose view.  Switching over to "html" and back converts them correctly.  I can copy and paste.  Thank god.
2) When working this way, the "bad html" warnings appear and disappear in real time. No more getting a drink or taking a walk, to wait and see if it liked my HTML.

These are, together, a huge part of my frustration.  I am glad they are either fixed, or were never problems.  If the latter, please accept my apologies.  And worried frown about the inability to edit posts.
Of course, once I have to wade into the HTML view, all bets are off.  Text-Align Arbitrary!  Apple-span!  Kumquat-map!
Re: The Post Editor is Ridiculous and Needs Attention... beatmushroom 5/29/12 3:20 AM
Yeah it really needs attention.

If you post javascript links in, when you change to the compose view it will change it all. eg.

<div id="controls">
<a id="play" onclick="play();" href="javascript:void(0);"></a>
<a id="pause" onclick="pause();" href="javascript:void(0);"></a>
<div id="time"><p id="currenttime"><p></div>

Will turn into this:

<br />
<div id="controls">
<a href="javascript:void(0);" id="play"></a>
<a href="javascript:void(0);" id="pause"></a>
<br />
<div id="time">
<div id="currenttime">

Notice how it removes the onclick method. So they wont work if I change views.

Re: The Post Editor is Ridiculous and Needs Attention... Shawn von Beast 5/29/12 9:23 AM
I am forced to stick to the HTML side :( or use CKEditor :)

I hope Blogger adds a new HTML5 WYSIWYG like CKEditor, but keep the clean design.
Re: The Post Editor is Ridiculous and Needs Attention... Slumberland 5/29/12 12:54 PM
That is fascinating.  Sorry I'm a little new to coding in general; is it possible that you have to define the javascript you're going to use in the header?

Continued experience (grwahahaha nobody cares)
1) Thank you for supporting HTML entity name input.  (versus, say, Unicode-only)
2) Thank you for converting the entities to the desired character, and keeping them that way in HTML view.

3) I think I understand the <div> madness.  They encapsulate each tag so I can move things around.  In theory I can rearrange images by dragging them.  Text flow and alignment adjust automatically, with the help of the image toolbar.

But it doesn't work.  The tags get jumbled immediately.  The results are confusing and can appear much later.  Suddenly alignment won't work and there are a dozen </div>s at the end.

4) Layout is not a mystery.
I learned the words I need to know in the seventh grade, using Word Perfect. They're no more or less confusing than any other words.
They allow you to precisely define what you want to do.

5) I think there is some misunderstanding about technical subjects. There exist fields where rules have been codified in an extremely efficient and flexible way, so that a person who wishes to learn that subject can, wielding this small palette, unambiguously define any series of choices.
It is PRECISELY because of the need for absolutely anyone to be able to learn and apply the rules in practice, that such systems exist.
It would be ludicrous for anyone to assert such a thing about the layout options in a modern word processor or Blogger.  IMO

Simple examples:
a) alignments should not be mutually exclusive.  Standard business letter can start immediately with (align left) (some text)   then (align right) (some text).
b) It is impossible to read my mind.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  Stop trying.  I have no idea how to perform elementary mark-up alignments.  This is a mark-up langauge, right?  Perhaps they hired a user experience expert from Microsoft.  If so that person should be fired immediately.  :(
c)Tabs.  Tabs.  Tabs.  Tabs.  There is a magical answer to soooooo many alignment woes, and it is the ability to set global tab spacings.  No more pressing "preview" over and over to see if your fonts all line up.

d) NO.  Stop and think about that one.  Say I want to make a simple diagram using text characters.  Say, an arrangement of cards for a bridge column.  Type some addition and subtraction of fractions, grade-school size
  1     3
_+2_  _+4_
  3     7
like this... the only way I know to do this quickly and easily is to use no layout at all and a monospaced font.  Which is why I bothered to give an example, because I have no layout options and a monospaced font.
Too bad about the underline.

These are things which can be done with the greatest of ease on a Typewriter.

Advanced features build on top of...... not 'in sudden whirlwind collusion with...'
  On a related note
e) Don't make me create a table in order to justify text.  Let me justify text.
And further
f) I LIKE the way bullets and numbers (almost) work, and I'd like four things
  i) It needs to work.  They suffer the same problem as images.  The  tags dissociate, and I have to edit the spaghetti code.
  ii) Cut the extra line spaces.  I can add them myself if I want.  <return>. see?
  iii) more of it.  Currently, text justify and organization tools (bullets, headers, quotes, alignment) make big holes in the text instead of helping me glue the text together.  


     If I hit shift return, I keep my justification line. Elementary text organization.  I want it back, for general layout.  Systematic indentiation, for example.  Any way you want to do it.  All I ask is,  let me manipulate it myself. Once I've TABBED to a distance and typed c), I want to say "let me keep this distance".  And then "thank you, I'm done now".

And lastly:
42) I don't care in the least whether it's xhtml or html5 or if you convert the whole thing to your own internal format.  Nobody does.  Really.  We care, because we're stuck managing it. Nobody cares how most StuidoMax tools and context menus "work" because they WORK.  This whole "encapsulated tags with dividers" thing doesn't seem like a good idea.  The tags consistently get jumbled.  Perhaps you have an Awesome New Way around this.  But it seems to me that "I can directly rearrange the text, with the tags invisible, plain text, and binding", and "The computer can keep them straight" are two mutually exclusive positions.

Something should give.  Personally, I like Shawn's idea.

In short, this month's grip is that without alignment, layout tools are pretend.

Re: The Post Editor is Ridiculous and Needs Attention... comingfrom 8/9/12 12:27 AM
Hi everyone.

I'm a forum poster from way back, and have learned to live with this.
I began in Internet Explorer {buggy}, then I tried Firefox for a while {also buggy}, and now use Chrome {the buggiest of them all}. When it comes to the HTML editor, otherwise I consider Chrome the best of the browsers.

They're all trying to be too fancy, and drop in far more tags than necessary, for discussion posts and blogs.
It is frustrating at times, as I have to switch to text view when it doesn't behave, and manually fix the code.

I have come to hate the 'div' and 'span' tags, and have no use for them whatsoever in my posts.
All they do is cause my text to format in ways I don't want, when simple 'br' and 'font' tags would do the job just fine without any issue whatsoever.

Sometimes, the HTML has so much tags, and gets so screwed up, I have to use the search feature to find and delete every 'div' and '/div' tag, and then every 'span' and '/span' tag, before my post will look like it should again.

One trick I do, is paste any content into notepad, and select and copy it again, before I paste it into my post, so it doesn't paste in the HTML code with it, which then carries on into my typing, due to being with the divs or spans.

If anyone knows how to configure Chrome, so it doesn't drop in all these unwanted tags that create such a nuisance for so many of us, I'd very much appreciate it.

And thank you all, for showing me I am not alone with this issue.

Re: The Post Editor is Ridiculous and Needs Attention... Shawn von Beast 8/9/12 12:42 AM
I fail to understand how you see Chrome as the buggiest browser when, clearly, it's the best of the 3 mentioned. It isn't the browser that's inserting all those blasted <div/>s and <span>s; it's Blogger's post editor that's doing that.

A better way than using Notepad is using CKEditor. That thing is beast! Click to see a live demo. If you click on "Create Post", it will publish but won't show you a message saying it was published, so if you click it twice or more, you'll have that many duplicate posts.