Connie (intrepia) wrote in suggestions,
Connie
intrepia
suggestions

Make the HTML Editor Default for New Users

Title
Make the HTML Editor Default for New Users

Short, concise description of the idea
The default entry editor for new LiveJournal users should be the HTML Editor, rather than the Rich Text Editor.

Full description of the idea
LiveJournal has two entry editors on the Post an Entry page, the HTML Editor and the Rich Text Editor. Currently, when a new LiveJournal user goes to this page for the first time, the Rich Text Editor is displayed by default. Subsequently, whichever editor was last used to post an entry will be displayed the next time that user opens the Post an Entry page, although this can be changed.

I propose that the default entry editor for new users should be changed from the Rich Text Editor to the HTML Editor.

An ordered list of benefits
  • The HTML Editor offers a simpler interface than the Rich Text Editor, which would make it easier for new users to learn and use than the Rich Text Editor.
  • The HTML Editor is a more stable interface than the Rich Text Editor. It has not been affected by the vast majority of the technical problems that have plagued the Rich Text Editor. LiveJournal should offer its more reliable entry editor as the default editor, and the flashier, less stable one as an option for more advanced users.
  • The HTML Editor is a more accessible interface than the Rich Text Editor, in several ways:
    * the Rich Text Editor requires JavaScript to be fully enabled and working in order to function properly, and this can lead to a number of problems when people try to access it from browsers that do not fully support JavaScript or where JavaScript is not fully enabled.
    * formatting entry text in the Rich Text Editor requires selecting text, clicking on buttons, entering responses to pop-up prompts, and other interruptions in the interface that make it less usable for visually impaired users or users with more rudimentary browsers. In contrast, formatting in the HTML Editor is done through HTML, which is entered inline in the entry text box.
  • Users who expect to be able to use HTML formatting in their entries and who are shown the Rich Text Editor by default might enter their HTML code into the Rich Text Editor, which would then display their code as it was entered rather than interpreting it as code, leading to confusion.
  • Copying and pasting text from external sources (including but not limited to Microsoft Word and other pages on the internet) into the Rich Text Editor causes large amounts of extraneous code to be added to the entry, in an effort on the part of the Rich Text Editor to preserve the original formatting. This often dramatically reduces the amount of content users can fit into a single entry, because this code is still counted toward the character limit on the length on an entry. This also can lead to problems when this extraneous code attempts to interact with LJ-specific functions in the Rich Text Editor (such as lj-cuts or lj user links). While some more advanced users might decide that the benefits of the Rich Text Editor outweigh these problems, this behavior is likely to confuse new users, who will wonder why LiveJournal allows so little text per entry and why functions such as lj-cuts do not work as advertised.
  • Presumably fewer users would use the Rich Text Editor if the HTML Editor were set as the default entry editor, and this would lead to fewer technical support requests regarding the Rich Text Editor. This would make the technical support team very happy and would free Support volunteers and staff to devote more time and energy to addressing other problems.
  • PONIES FOR EVERYONE!
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • Users unfamiliar with HTML would have to manually switch to the Rich Text Editor (which takes one click on the Post an Entry page) in order to add their desired formatting.
  • Users who would like or benefit from the features of the Rich Text Editor might not discover it on their own.
  • Users whose existing accounts used the Rich Text Editor by default might be confused if they create new accounts that use the HTML Editor by default.
  • Change! Scary! etc.
Tags: entries, entry creation, entry editing, entry editor, entry editor: html, entry editor: rich text, user interface, § no status
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