Yuri Khan (yurikhan) wrote in suggestions,
Yuri Khan

Fix the WYSIWYG editor

Fix the WYSIWYG editor

Short, concise description of the idea
The WYSIWYG editor must generate HTML without any presentation markup by default.

Full description of the idea
Currently, LiveJournal offers two ways to post; the classic HTML editor where the poster sees all markup and has to keep it in mind, and the rich text editor where the poster clicks buttons and the editor generates markup.

The markup generated by the rich text editor is often excessive and non-semantical, especially if formatted text is copy/pasted from Word or another web site. Posters cannot easily see that their post specifies white background, gray text, a fixed font size or a hardcoded font face such as Proxima Nova or Helvetica Neue.

Such posts are annoying when viewed in a customized Friends feed or even in the list of community posts.

The ru_chgk community, for example, has an explicit rule against excessive and obnoxious markup, and it is violated on a regular basis. When called out, posters retort that they are “just typing text into the post message window”.

I hereby suggest the following list of modifications to the WYSIWYG editor:

* As long as the author does not use any of the visual formatting controls, the post shall not contain any presentation markup, as deprecated in HTML 4 and obsoleted in HTML 5, nor style="…" attributes.

* Pasting from clipboard, when the clipboard contains formatted text, shall strip all formatting, unless the clipboard copy source was the current instance of the LJ visual editor. (That is, content copied from another site, or another post, or Word, shall lose all formatting.) This must be tested in all major browsers.

* If the author *has* invoked any of the visual editing controls, there shall be a way to remove any applied formatting in a way that removes the previously inserted style attributes or reduces their scope.

An ordered list of benefits
  • Readers benefit by seeing all community posts in a reasonably consistent style.
  • Posters also benefit by being confident they are not unknowingly annoying their readers.
  • Moderators benefit by having less yelling to do.
  • The Internet benefits by becoming closer to the ideal of semantic markup.
  • Kittens benefit by not being killed by gods every time somebody posts in 12px #333 Proxima Nova on a white background at 19.6px line height.
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • Internet providers and mobile carriers indirectly lose by having less data to transfer and therefore less money to extort from users.

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