An note on the usefulness of WYSIWYG editing in the browser.

For those interested in more technical detail, I've written up a technical description of the techniques involved with this WYSIWYG implementation.

Expressing one's self. For different levels of knowledge.


For web content creators who are new to HTML or who are somewhat familiar with its purpose but don't have a use reference handy without leaving their task (hint: this is most of the web, millions and millions), WYSIWYG editing is a boon.

For those creators who are familiar with simple uses of HTML styling like bold, italics and hyperlinks but who would like more stylistic control over their content (hint: this is a significant number, and perhaps a majority, of users in the "participatory web") then mixed-mode WYSIWYG and additional style controls like making bulleted lists or changing the horizontal alignment or adding keyboard shortcuts can reduce the number of mistakes, reduce the amount of information needed to be retrieved during an editing task that is outside the scope of that task, and generally reduce the time and effort it takes to generate content.

For content creators who require more advanced styling controls and content information including positioning, page counts, floating elements, templates, varied encodings, and block-level margins and padding there are many tools available that they prefer using to a browser. We know for sure because we've asked and asked and asked and, to date, advanced content creators find the convenience and ubiquity of browser-use less useful than using a feature-rich client. Additionally, many advanced content creators (hint: if you're reading this, I'm very likely talking about you :) know enough HTML and CSS that hand-coding style attributes and class selectors enables you to create content faster than when using WYSIWYG components for the same tasks.

What you see is mostly what you get.

So, it became evident during testing trials at Google of WYSIWYG editing that a large set of people have learned a minor set of HTML for basic expression needs, and have grown so accustomed to using them that a WYSIWYG mode which didn't easily allow these people to compose using that markup presented large and sometimes unacceptable interruptions to their content creation task. Furthermore, having a place for them to enter a "source mode" only frustrated them further as they wondered where the styling went. You see, some of us know some HTML but not all, and with broader expression available to them, these new-to-them tags presented challenges that were, at times, more annoying to them than if WYSIWYG didn't exist.

One solution, implemented now at Blogger, is to create a mixed-mode enviroment for WYSIWYG where a user can enter rich styling and HTML and have both work. So (as coined by Jason "Mr. Product" Goldman) the result is more of a WYSI-M-WYG or "What You See Is Mostly What You Get" editor.

We believe that is helpfully pronounced "Whizz-ah-ma-wig".
posted at July 15, 2004, 10:43 AM

120 Comments:

  • At 2:51 PM, CarLBanks said…

    I don't see it in Firefox 0.9.2, it's a white area with a few boxes of text.

     
  • At 3:07 PM, Mike said…

    It crashed my Firefox .9 browser. I'm all for WYSIWYG, but it is so hard to do correctly on the web.

     
  • At 3:13 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    Carl...try hitting "Refresh" when you get to the Create a Post page. Firefox/Moz caches the Javascript something fierce.

    Mike...hard. Yep. Don't I know it. How'd it crash...a particular button click? What system are you running it on?

     
  • At 3:17 PM, Mike said…

    I switched a couple times between HTML and the other mode. Fixed some formatting then it crashed when I clicked the publish button. The double line break is interesting as well, is it just with my stylesheet or something?? It is a Windows XP machine running Firefox .9.2. I also had the pop up issue that evhead discussed (and I'm not on a mac).

     
  • At 3:25 PM, CarLBanks said…

    Thanks for the tip Massless, it works now!

     
  • At 3:31 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    Got it. I see it and can reproduce the problem using Firefox 0.9.2 on XP. I think something slipped before shipping. I'm working on a solution right now. *typing, typing, typing...*

     
  • At 3:33 PM, CarLBanks said…

    Also when it showed red and yellow box telling you about errors the top bar in the editor dissappeared.

     
  • At 4:01 PM, CarLBanks said…

    Ok it crashes a lot for me.

    In Tictac the numbered list is shown has a dot and not numbers, how can I fix this?

    The publishing hangs at 0% unless you refresh.

    If there is one space between something in the editor it gives it many spaces.

     
  • At 4:07 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    Yep. Confirmed. We missed something for 0.9.2. I'm on it. I have a change being reviewed right now and will get this on Blogger shortly.

     
  • At 4:22 PM, CarLBanks said…

    Wow thank you! This shows me that Blogger cares. So all my bugs are caused by one simple problem?

     
  • At 4:27 PM, Keith said…

    Carl, the '0% when publishing' problem is a known problem, the Blogger team are working on it. It's just a problem with FireFox - the blogs is really being published, but the screen isn't updating (as far as I understand it)

     
  • At 4:41 PM, CarLBanks said…

    Ahh, since this problem only arose during the update of the editor. Like it wouldn't refresh ever.

     
  • At 4:51 PM, JM said…

    re: the non-updating % when publishing - it's NS 7.1, too. It doesn't freak me out because I know things are there and it's all good, but it's def. not just FFx.

     
  • At 4:52 PM, CarLBanks said…

    Also a question, is there a possibility of making an ehanced version of BlogThis!?

     
  • At 4:54 PM, Mai said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 5:03 PM, BillSaysThis said…

    Is there a way to turn back to the older, simpler editor? If I click the Edit HTML link, that's kind of close, but the setting doesn't persist over use. That is, the selection doesn't show up on the next Create after a Post or Publish. Why not?

     
  • At 5:22 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    Carl: We're definitely looking into making an enhanced version of BlogThis, but we want to see how this goes before pushing it to other editing areas.

    Julie: You're absolutely right. I'll try and be more specific--these problems outlined here so far are being exhibited in Gecko-based browsers.

    Bill: I'm looking into having that state persist and will see if I can't get that in very soon.

    So, everyone, I think I have fix for the crashing and weird spacing bugs. I'm looking now into the publishing status problem. (Whoa, that's weird.) I'll take this opportunity to say that I hope to change that thing to an IFRAME or something for v5+ browsers soon so that the entire banner doesn't blink.

     
  • At 5:23 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    And by have a fix...I mean I've written. It hasn't yet been pushed to Blogger servers. (It's in the process...I'll announce when it's finished.)

     
  • At 5:31 PM, CarLBanks said…

    Thanks Massless, when Blogger is back to normal in Firefox I'll start using it again.

    All programs have bugs, so I understand that.

     
  • At 5:43 PM, CarLBanks said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 6:00 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    Hey, Carl. You can fix the numbered list by altering the CSS in your template. Here, let me show you:

    1. click on the Template tab
    2. scroll down until you see a line that looks like the following:

    li {
    list-style:none;
    padding-left: 14px;
    margin-bottom: 3px;
    background: url(http: ...etc...
    }

    3. add this stuff after that

    ol li {
    list-style: decimal;
    background: transparent;
    padding-left: 0;
    }

    and that should replace the orange dots in Tictac with the numbers in an HTML numbered list.

    That's a good catch. Thanks for letting me know.

     
  • At 6:02 PM, meg@mandarin said…

    1. The Blogger style sheet isn't loading.

    2. It's inserting </br> hard breaks in our code.

    3. It's trying to correct code that is already correct.

    4. It is actually "removing" code.

    5. There's a runtime error at line 39

    Blogger is not usable for us today at all. It trashed an existing post. We are manually posting until the problems at least have some workarounds.

     
  • At 6:04 PM, CarLBanks said…

    Thanks and Ev said the firefox stuff was fixed, but I'm still having problems with publishing.

     
  • At 6:22 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    Okay, so the fix for Firefox spacing (and therefore, we hope, crashing) has been pushed to all the Blogger servers.

    We're looking into the publishing refresh issue right now. (It's pretty weird.) If you see it, and are here, please let us know what browser and OS you're using, that would be helpful.

    To "private": Let me see if I can help. What browser/OS combination are you using? Were the line breaks you saw malformed like that? (i.e. "</br>") What code is it removing?

    Keep 'em comin'. I'll try and squash the nasty bugs as they come.

     
  • At 6:28 PM, CarLBanks said…

    About the publishing problems, I'm using Windows XP Home and Mozilla Firefox 0.9.2

     
  • At 7:02 PM, Russ Abbott said…

    I don't see the formatting buttons -- either here or on my own blog, either when editing or creating. I also don't have an option to switch between wysiwyg and html. Basically, all I see is a text box with no controls above it.

    I'm using the most recent IE.

    Also, I just posted a blog, and when I go to my blog (http://russabbott.blogspot.com), all I see is the most recent posting, not all the previous posts!

     
  • At 7:18 PM, CarLBanks said…

    My comments on the new publishing. It's a very good thing. It has a few quinks, which I'll test out and then report to Blogger support - but otherwise it's an excellent and needed upgrade.

    Now I still don't have my publishing attempts updating automatically, so it's probably not totally fixed yet.

     
  • At 8:08 PM, Kris said…

    I'm having a weird problem I haven't seen mentioned. In both Foxfire 0.9.2 and IE 6.0 when I attempt to edit a post the post text does not appear in the edit box (under XP). Now, I have Foxfire 0.9 (not 0.9.2) on another XP box and don't have any trouble at all. I don't get any errors in Foxfire but IE does pop up two errors.

    "Line: 78 Error: 'HtmlSource' is undefined" comes up when I choose the post to edit. After I hit "No" to skip debugging I briefly see my post in the original edit screen and then get "Line: 302 Error: Object expected" on the /app/post.pyra page.

    All the new editing features seem to be showing up, but the text of the post I'm trying to edit just isn't there to be edited.

     
  • At 8:11 PM, John-Paul said…

    Hi,

    The wysiwyg editor is completely unusable for me. It is injecting spaces into my HTML when I toggle between raw HTML and wysiwyg modes. It is taking the outermost close div tag in my HTML and repositioning it at the end of my post text. If I save a draft and return to it, sometimes wysiwyg improvises formatting for me (like spontaneously downsizing text with font tags). If I insert HTML into the wysiwyg editor (being unable to reliably do so in the raw HTML editor), it doesn't tend to keep if I ever toggle into and out of raw HTML mode.

    I am using IE 6.0.2800.1106 on a W2k box.

     
  • At 8:23 PM, Robert said…

    All I am seeing is a text box with commenting options and post time options below the text box. Gone is the preview button.

    As I have IE 5 I guess I am pretty much up the creek without a paddle, so to speak.

    All I really need is a preview button since I compose my posts in windows note pad. I do all my own coding and spell checking with that. The only blogger text tool I used was the preview.

     
  • At 9:51 PM, meg@mandarin said…

    Is there any way to post for those of us who code our own HTML and CSS?

    Blogger is inserting extraneous code and deleting end DIVs and what it percieves to be misplaced code. It isn't working in IE or Mozilla (any version) for us.

    The HTML editor doesn't appear to understand any advanced styling controls or even basic tables. It removes the end DIV and then will not post because the end DIV isn't there. We've tried repeatedly.

    If anyone knows of a backdoor to the old program we would appreciate it. For now we are posting manually.

    Thanks,
    meg@mandarindesign.com

     
  • At 9:54 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    kris: If you could point me to an example of the HTML of your previous posts that have so far failed to come up in the editor, I'll look at it and see what I can do. The 'HtmlSource' is defined error *might* be because the new file at http://blogger.com/app/scripts/post.constants.js is not being refreshed. I'm definitely having trouble reproducing that error. It might be that deleting cached files could help (Tools -> Internet Options -> Delete Files... and check Delete all offline content)

    john-paul: our conversion might have some problems with the type of HTML you're using. i'm looking at stuff on your blog... do the body of your posts contain the "QSM:ENTRY POSTER-ID" and "QSM:END ENTRY" HTML comments or are those included outside of Blogger?

    robert: You have my sincere apologies about that. We talked about it for a while and tried hard to figure out a way to support IE 5.01 or at least degrade and leave Preview remaining but the amount of bugs that were being generated by trying to support both IE 6 and 5.01 were prohibitive. I'm definitely sensitive to that... I have another box that works perfectly and has 5.01 and I don't have time to mess with it. If it's at all helpful, I can at least put in a plug for the Firefox browser and give it a hearty recommendation as a replacement for IE, if you at all have the time or desire to try it.

    I take public transportation home...so I had to wait a little before getting back online. I'll keep working on this. Just to let you know, I'm also still working on the publishing refresh bug that's popped up in our latest build of Blogger.

    Thanks, everyone, for keeping the bug discussion nice and for your interest. More later.

     
  • At 10:01 PM, John Jakala said…

    Blogger still crashes for me when I try to create a new post or edit an existing one. This happens in both Firefox 0.9.1 and Mozilla 1.7 running on Win98. And I'm also having spacing and formatting issues similar to the ones others have mentioned. One thing that's annoying is that when I edit old posts (ones that looked fine under the old editor) basic things like hyperlinks get mangled so they no longer display correctly.

     
  • At 10:10 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    Advanced HTML issues: The WYSIWYG components of Mozilla and Gecko definitely won't understand certain HTML fragments. I'm a hand-coder myself, and I understand that problem.

    Certain HTML comments seem to be breaking some stuff and I'm looking into that. But a bigger and more troubling issue (and maybe this will effect some of you commenting here) is those of us starting posts in the middle of a TABLE element. Midas and MSHTML (the Mozilla and IE WYSIWYG components) are looking at that code and going, "huh"? So, in the meanwhile, I'm going to make it so that the more advanced content editors can go straight to Edit HTML mode and bypass that WYSIWYG conversion. I'm doing that tonight and hope to get that in by tomorrow and re-enable editing for more complex sites.

     
  • At 10:33 PM, John-Paul said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 10:37 PM, John-Paul said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 10:42 PM, John-Paul said…

    Massless,

    Thanks for getting back to me. I'm not sure I understand your question fully. To the best of my knowledge, the comment tags to which you refer are generated by the following code in my blogger template:

    ***

    [!-- QSM:ENTRY POSTER-ID [$BlogItemAuthor$] ENTRY-URL [$BlogItemArchiveFileName$]#[$BlogItemNumber$] ENTRY-ANCHOR [$BlogItemNumber$] DATE [$BlogItemDateTime$] --]

    [$BlogItemBody$]

    [!-- QSM:END ENTRY --]

    ***
    ( I replaced < and > with [ and ]. )

    Yes, the QSM tag does appear in the body of each post I create.

    Here is an example of code the wysiwyg editor refuses to leave alone, so to speak:

    ***

    [div class="padded quote">This is my quote text.[/div]

    [p]Blah blah blah. Commentary.[/p]

    [div class="padded quote"]This is quote text #2[/div]

    [p]Blah blah blah. Commentary #2.[/p]

    ***
    This code will get turned into this:

    ***

    [div class="padded quote">This is my quote text.

    [p]Blah blah blah. Commentary.[/p]

    [div class="padded quote"]This is quote text #2[/div]

    [p]Blah blah blah. Commentary #2.[/p][/div]***
    Please let me know if I can provide you with any more information.

     
  • At 12:10 AM, Chris Foresman said…

    I'm not getting the full new posting editor in Safari. But I am getting a bug I've been able to reproduce. The text of my posts are not saved, only the title. After I type a post and hit publish, it publishes as normal. When I reload the blog in another window, only the new title appears. When I go back to "Edit Posts", the title is there but no text for the post. I've tried three times to no avail. I've been using Safari since the beta and have never had probs with Blogger until now. I've got Apple Safari 1.2.1 running on OS 10.3.3. and Java 1.42.

     
  • At 12:16 AM, Jody said…

    you screwed up my HTML with this! make it work, but don't force me to work with it. I had to fix my image links ten times because after previewing my blog took me back to that crap. make that an optional thing, not something that will screw me over while trying to update my blog.

     
  • At 1:11 AM, Davide said…

    It looks like the preview mode of the new editor (and of the old one) does not take into account one's setting wrt "Convert Line Breaks". I have it set to "No" (because I normally compose posts with Mozilla Composer and just paste the html when I want to post), and hitting "preview" shows my posts as if the editor wanted to insert < br > all over the place. It would be nice if preview would actually give us a hint on what the post will look like in Blogger (without spurious < br > etc) respecting formatting prefs. To reproduce, set convert line breaks to no, go to edit html mode, write e.g.
    this
    is
    a
    test
    and hit preview.

     
  • At 3:20 AM, Anonymous said…

    I will second that comment about line breaks. I have it set to no, and enter them manually. When I publish the br tags disappear and if I dont enter them in again, the whole posts combines together.

    It would also be cool if there was a checkbox you could click so it would always open in the text editor. WYSIWYG or WYSIMWYG makes my brain catch on fire.

     
  • At 3:24 AM, Anonymous said…

    Also it is adding weird  's throughout my posts.

     
  • At 4:29 AM, Mme Polak said…

    I still use Mac OS 9.2.2 and intend to remain with it. This means I cannot even see your new interface, much less post anything. A friend of mine was going to help me open a blog. She did, but I cannot do anything with it now.

     
  • At 4:31 AM, John said…

    Regarding the publishing refresh issue.

    I'm using Firefox 0.9.1 for Mac OS X 10.3.4.

    Otherwise I'm lovin' it!

     
  • At 4:31 AM, Chris Wetherell said…

    I should have a fix for at least a couple of things later today:

    1. The above-mentioned weirdnesses in Safari.

    2. Having the Post Editor "remember" where you saved it, so that if you last saved a draft or published in Edit HTML mode, it'll open the next post you edit or create in that mode and bypass WYSI-M-WYG altogether. This should provide a workaround for most everyone who's getting their HTML munched in an unusable fashion.

    I'll give a heads-up here when I'm finished with those changes and they're pushed to the Blogger servers.

    Things I'm still trying to help with and will be musing about will include:

    1. Better conversion techniques to accomodate more complex bits of HTML.

    2. Something that can help with the "ConvertLineBreaks = no" folks.

    3. Letting HTML entities get through. (Not mentioned here, but it's now a known problem.)

     
  • At 4:33 AM, Chris Wetherell said…

    Oh...and I'll try and have a fix for the refresh bug. But I gotta sleep just a couple of hours first.

     
  • At 4:40 AM, John said…

    The changes to the Post Editor feature set are very welcome and add value.

     
  • At 4:55 AM, CarLBanks said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 5:35 AM, Steve said…

    Here's a list of things that are bumming me out about this "improvement:"

    * I'm having the same issue with Safari as mentioned by Chris Foreman and, like Chris, I had always used Safari for blogger stuff with no problems before.

    * I've tried to login to my blogger account with Firefox 9.1 for the mac. I get "hung up" at the sign-in screen. No matter how many times I try to sign in, it doesn't let me in. Grrr...

    * Camino will give me all the great "features" possible with this "improvement" (never mind that all I want to do is just add text-- I don't really want all these "features" which just does stuff like not work on my computer), but it doesn't work either. When I try to edit previous posts, it shows the title but not the text in the body of the message. When I try to start a new post, it will let me type a title but won't even let me click in the body for a post.

    * Mozilla has the same problems as Firefox. So does Netscape.

    * The only browser that will work for this is Internet Exploder, which also gives me not a single worthwhile feature, old or new.

    I just recently shifted back to blogger away from Movable Type for a variety of different reasons, but these "improvements" are really making me question that shift. I like the idea of using blogger because it is just easier (in general) than supporting the software and site completely by myself. But if I'm going to face ongoing upgrades like this, well, I might have to reverse myself again.

    --Steve

     
  • At 6:17 AM, CarLBanks said…

    When the HTML error dialouge pops up in Mozilla Firefox 0.9.2, it won't show the top bar in the editor. Making it hard to fix the errors.

     
  • At 6:23 AM, CarLBanks said…

    It also keeps talking about an unclosed font tag, when I publish it normally and there is no missing font tag. I didn't change anything in the html area, I let the compose editor do it all.

     
  • At 7:36 AM, 笔戎 said…

    I like the Blogthis! function in google toolbar.

    But the blogthis editor still is kept simple style.

    1, can't control if user allows comment or not.
    2, hasn't the button "insert quoteblock" in toolbar.
    3, can't convert to "Compose" style,only can use "Edit html" style.

    The blogthis's url is like such format:
    http://www.blogger.com/blog_this.pyra?blogID=xxx&source=toolbar&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&u=xxx&t=

    Can you improve the blogthis's editor?

     
  • At 7:41 AM, 笔戎 said…

    1, the strike tag also is very useful for expressing the content has outdated.

    Please add the strike buttion to rich-text editor.

    2, If the "Post a Comment On" editor also is powerful same as the article rich-text editor,Blogger will get more efficency to share contents.

    THX.

     
  • At 8:25 AM, Matt said…

    Personally, I don't care for the WYSIWYG method, I'd rather hard code my own HTML.

    THE NEW EDITOR AUTOMATICALLY DISCARDS ALL MY OLD TAGS WHEN I GO TO RE-EDIT THE POST! ARGH!

    Plus, even using the WYSIWYG editor isn't working for me, because it's not putting in the line breaks I want. I can't post anything now.

    I BEG you, put an option back in where those of us who are fluent in HTML can actually CODE in HTML (without losing our tags in favor of the ones that the Composer wants to put in when we save)!

    Also, it'd be helpful if the preview button would actually show the post as it would appear on our website, like it did up until about 2 months ago.

     
  • At 8:34 AM, John-Paul said…

    Yes. A good stopgap might be to allow the user to toggle raw HTML or wysiwyg as his default editing mode. Calling up any of my posts in wysiwyg instantly destroys its formatting, even if I immediately switch to raw HTML.

     
  • At 9:10 AM, Chris Wetherell said…

    Yep. That's a good point. As I mentioned before, I'm working on a way to make either mode the default mode by having Blogger remember that state it was last saved in.

    To Steve: I haven't been able to reproduce your login errors with FF 9.1 on the Mac. And Camino has a funny problem...it builds with the Gecko rendering engine but didn't include Midas, the WYSIWYG component. Right now, that's pretty broken, but I'm working on a fix to have the editor degrade more gracefully for it. That'll take a little longer than the rest of the stuff that's been mentioned so far.

    To everyone, here and elsewhere who's asking: We're already getting a lot of requests for this kind of functionality for BlogThis! and Comments. We'll definitely investigate it.

     
  • At 9:14 AM, CarLBanks said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 9:18 AM, John Jakala said…

    Well, I can get into Create/Edit mode with Mozilla now, so that's a plus. But as many others have mentioned, there are still major problems with Blogger losing HTML code when you go in to edit an existing post or toggle between modes on a new post.

    And it's not remembering that I prefer "Edit HTML" after I save my posts in that mode.

     
  • At 9:32 AM, Anonymous said…

    dasdfasdfasdfdsa

     
  • At 10:30 AM, M said…

    Just wanted to share a couple of experiences:

    1. I'm on WinXP. I used IE6 to post an entry in one blog. My blog entry had a blockquote, which I added to the entry using the WYSIWYG editor. When I published the post, the new post looked okay, but all my old posts lost their left indentations (they were all flushed completely to the left) and my sidebar disappeared to the bottom of my page. So I edited the post, and switched to "Edit HTML" mode, and that's when I noticed there were a few stray div tags within and after my blockquote. When I removed those tags and republished, everything was fine again.

    2. On another blog, I used Firefox 0.9.1 (still on WinXP) to make the update. When I clicked "Create Post", the page that appeared was incomplete. The two upper right tabs were missing, as well as the icons along the top of the edit area. Following the advice here, I simply refreshed the page and everything appeared properly. When I published the post, it appeared to have gotten stuck in the "updating your blog" process. So I just refreshed the page again, and when I did, it showed that the blog had been updated (update 100% completed). When I checked the post, it was also okay.

    I don't know whether this feedback helps or not, but figured I'd share it.

    And a final note to Chris -- I admire the way you're handling the outpouring of feedback here. Good luck on getting the rest of it fixed.

     
  • At 11:07 AM, meg@mandarin said…

    Maybe we simply need a "don't touch my code" edit option.

     
  • At 11:22 AM, ElisaC said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 11:36 AM, CarLBanks said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 11:38 AM, CarLBanks said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 12:42 PM, John said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 1:10 PM, John said…

    Would it be possible to add a facility whereby blogs can be retrospectively edited i.e. justified without having to re-edit individually?

     
  • At 1:34 PM, Kris said…

    massless, just a follow up on my comment from yesterday regarding not being able to see the text of my post in the editor when I was editing a post. Clearing the cache did not seem to work last night however this morning I was able to see my posts in the editor and modify them with no issues on both browsers. I had made a new post last night and had not checked the functionality of the edit feature afterwards so it would seem that either the act of posting a new post or something you all did on your end fixed the issue I was having.

    Good job by the way - nice functionality and ease of use.

     
  • At 1:58 PM, CarLBanks said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 2:02 PM, Joshua Blankenship said…

    To echo the Safari issues, here's a little picture back-up. This is a screenshot of what most Safari users get now. No html, no compose. Just a text box that posts nothing, and erases anything you type in after you try to post it.

    Please don't tell me that Blogger is going to simply chalk it up to "Safari doesn't support rich text editors" and leave all the Mac users in the dark until it does... i would be crushed.

    By the way, i'm using Safari 1.2 and OSX 10.3

     
  • At 2:15 PM, The Wanderer said…

    The WYSIWYG editor won't allow me to enter text in the text box. When I click on the text box and start to type, Firefox does its "find-ahead" thing, and finds a link on the page that matches what I type.

    I can enter a title just fine, but entering actual content is a exercise in futility.

    I'm using Firefox 0.8 on Yellow Dog Linux 3.0.1. If Firefox 0.9 is required, I apologize for filling this space with a non-problem.

     
  • At 2:32 PM, CarLBanks said…

    I realized I was complaining too much in this post. I apologize, I am sorry for posting too much with questions and such.

     
  • At 2:33 PM, david said…

    yeesh... I guess it's back to BBEdit and BlogThis.

    I liked the older posting box which worked fine with Firefox, though it never had the same functionality with Safari which was OK with me. I just used FF for posting anyway. But this new thing is way too much for me and probably others who aren't afraid of markup.

     
  • At 2:46 PM, Steve said…

    Well, all I know is this:

    * I *can* post with an older version of IE, which is annoying but workable for the time-being.

    * I *can't* post with Safari, which is annoying because I could post with it on Wednesday.

    * I am running 10.3.4 with all the recent updates on a iBook G4, and Firefox 0.9.1 doesn't allow me to post. I know you're saying you can't make the error happen, Chris aka massless, but what happens to me is this: I go to blogger, I log in, *sometimes* I get to the dashboard (sometimes I don't), and when I click on anything else, I get a screen that tells me I need to log in first. You can see what it looks like by visitng http://www.stevendkrause.com/academic/error.jpg For some reason, this source wouldn't go through with this post.

    If it would help to visit my blog, you can take a look at it here. If I've got to use IE and email to keep posting to blogger for the time-being, well, I guess that's the deal...

    --Steve

    PS: I tried to post this with Firefox, and no dice. I had to back up and copy/paste all of this into Safari. Frustrating...

     
  • At 3:00 PM, Anonymous said…

    Just wanted to say thanks. It is really not a huge problem for the no break people, it erases your tags and you just have to add [br] tags if you edit the post.

    But releasing any new software update is going to have bugs you need to iron out. Good luck.

     
  • At 5:30 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    Thanks for your patience, everyone. Just uploaded a series of changes with two important fixes:

    1. Safari shouldn't crash. And it should have Preview again.

    2. Blogger will now remember what state you saved your editor in. That is, if you were last using Edit HTML mode then that's what'll appear the next time.

    The funny/painful thing is...we're mostly Mac users here at Blogger HQ and the result of not synchronizing certain changes in time for release penalized Mac users to a greater extent. Please accept my apologies for that. I'll be making further changes over the next few days and tightening down the feature. Which is actually nice for me, since one of the things I love about working on web application software is the ability to move quickly to make adjustments.

    Okay...'nuff that. Back to your bloggin'.

     
  • At 7:17 PM, Leon said…

    I use Mozilla in Linux and the buttons etc of the new editor work fine. I would like an hr button because I use hr to separate ideas sometimes. - One thing I miss is the ability to copy my post from my home computer and right click to paste into the compose window. That was a big help before. --When I tried to use the html window for this Blogger crashed for the first time in over a year. -- For those of us who like minimal coding the compose window is great.

     
  • At 7:28 PM, John-Paul said…

    Massless,

    Thank you for making the last-used editor mode stick. It seems to work well. This provides us with a real workaround.

     
  • At 7:51 PM, James said…

    Massless,
    Running Mozilla 1.6, and XP professional.
    I too have had some issues, but using Edit HTML seems to fix most of them. The rest I can live with.

    Just wanted to say that I admire you releasing something, unfortunately having these kind of issues, and then supporting it on a blog where people have the ability to flame you real time. And then you pushing fixes out there pretty much real time.

    Personally I feel your dedication to trying to publically get this stuff fixed is cool. I'm a software architect and I know the kind of pressures you can face internally... nevermind externally like this.

    Yeah, there are some bugs. But you'll get them fixed. I've been using Blogger for a long time and I've always been happy with it. I can stand a few disruptions, given the cool things you guys have done.

    Nice job.

     
  • At 8:10 PM, James said…

    Oh, and one more bug report that I haven't seen (but maybe I just missed it). When I'm in "Edit HTML" mode and I highlight a word and then click on the 'link' icon, it pops up the link box like it used to, but it also erases allt he text in the main box that I just entered.

     
  • At 9:06 PM, Seitherin said…

    I'm using XP Pro and Netscape 7.02 and nothing works. Blogger remembers that I prefer the edit HTML mode, but it doesn't display a tab to let me toggle to the Compose mode. Push a button, nothing happens. Click Preview, nothing happens. Save as Draft works and I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that Publish Post probably will work. I've cleared cache and logged in and out of Blogger. No joy.

     
  • At 9:29 PM, Seitherin said…

    The problem persists whether I'm editing a saved draft, a new post, or a published post.

     
  • At 2:37 AM, CrazyMoogle said…

    I'm trying to remain calm about all of this and I'm glad to hear that progress is being made, but this latest implementation has left Blogger almost useless to me in the meantime.

    -With Firefox (0.9.0, .1, or .2) often the text cursor disappears. This is a prelude to the program crashing entirely. The publishing bug (stuck at 0% despite being published) occurs 100% of the time.

    -With both Firefox and IE, Blogger is inserting random line breaks. When I say random, I mean it - the original post at my blog (www.moogle.net) had no line breaks when I typed it, and instead turned into the mess I've preserved there for the next 24 hours.

    -For a WYSIWYG editor, I'm surprised at how little "WYSIWYG" is happening. The preview window (under both browsers) sticks with Arial, normal-sized text no matter what option you select. Changing the text size has no preview - you won't know it until publishing the blog entry. Also, there are no longer default fonts - everything is reset to normal Arial unless I specifically choose otherwise.

    Best of luck with the fixes, because I'd honestly settle for what I had a week ago. :)

     
  • At 3:22 AM, Anonymous said…

    What's with all the
    "This post has been removed by the author."

    Secrets?

     
  • At 5:05 AM, CarLBanks said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 6:27 AM, Seitherin said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 6:38 AM, Seitherin said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 9:31 AM, Claude said…

    I too would like blogger the way it was before. It may not have been as fancy but *it worked*! And I think a lot of us don't enjoy doing the debugging...

     
  • At 10:10 AM, NeoFascist? said…

    My problem is basically the same as Russ Abbot's. I don't have the formatting buttons. I have the "allow comments?" option and the "change time and date" options, but I have no formatting buttons, which really tends to cramp my style.

    I am using Microsoft Internet Explorer v. 6.0 and Windows ME. Still though, my browser says "error on page" on that bar above my taskbar, and it stubbornly refuses to show my formatting buttons. Is there anything that can be done?

     
  • At 12:08 PM, Lisa said…

    Okay, all the computer stuff is scaring me. All i know, is i have lost my preview button. Is this a known issue you are working on? I am a dogged blogger, i can still publish, but, editing would be great. Keep up the improvements, bug and all!

     
  • At 12:23 PM, ZZ OpenWeb Staff said…

    First - massless - I would also like to commend your courage. Your approach here puts yourself right "out there", and the user community needs to acknowledge that.

    There was a post in this thread by a "private" which was very short but might have the nugget of something for the folks on the Blogger Development Team to seriously consider. He suggested "...maybe we simply need a 'do not touch my code option?'". Obviously he/she does not understand it is your code but nevertheless...

    Let me build on that thought for a minute, as it might provide your development team some hidden power since it brought a possibility to mind regarding the overall strategy for revision management. Consider the following:

    1 - Set a cookie (or other cleaver tools you guys have in your tool box) that provides a mechanism for the development team to identify end user that are willing to explore the journey of beta testing with you. Provide some guidelines for providing feedback... mini polls, surveys etc.and interact with your newly defined willing beta testing endusers. It should attract an audience that feels good about being part of an involved user group to assist in software enhancement. Folks that don't want to be hassled with assisting developers with debugging new versions simply would opt out in their profile. Why bother them ?

    2 - Keep your "beta testing subgroup" informed of upcoming release info via their eMail. By opting in or out, they themselves can decide to participate based on a proposed feature change or not while it is in beta testing.

    3 - Here's the nice part. All users can monitor progress here on your blog ( and/or in Blogger News ).

    4- When the other users feel comfortable to take the plunge based on what they are reading they go for it by making an edit in their profile opening their sessions up to new code currently in beta testing from the older code one rev. back. You only keep two revs in play. That way they choose when they want to join the party in the pool rather than feeling "pushed in" :)

    As a result you might be able to create a true user based development forum to work along side your team! You could refine it to even deeper levels for the true software engineers out there. You can then even screen for, or "invite" to join in at a Tier III level.

    Just a thought... either way I wish your organization the best of luck. Remember "Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot-- ZZB editor of ZardozZ

     
  • At 1:15 PM, David said…

    The problem with the refresh is that meta refresh is being used improperly. You have this:

    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="2" url="publish_status.pyra?blogID=6952717&inprogress" />

    When you should have this:

    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="2; url="publish_status.pyra?blogID=6952717&inprogress" />

    You only use http-equiv and content for a meta refresh. Notice the semi-colon between the time and the URL. That should do the trick!

     
  • At 1:16 PM, David said…

    Why does the WYSIWYG editor use things like span style="font-style:italic" instead of tags like em?

     
  • At 1:28 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    ZardoZZ: A bunch of good ideas. Will discuss it with the teams. As I'm sure you're aware, there are currently various development methods, pressures and dependencies within Google at the moment, and it's not up to me to make those decisions, but I have some input as a developer and can start that dialogue.

    A couple of people were worried for me, when I asked to be placed as link in the help document at Blogger. But I'm comfortable with being a focal point for this for several reasons:

    1. Good products allow developer exposure.

    2. WYSIWYG (and any broad management of HTML, like creating a browser or other user-agent) is an incredibly daunting task because of the variety of use. Anyone who's seen the large, older threads on Hyatt's site regarding stuff on their site which didn't render in Safari the way they expected can attest to this. :)

    3. If a product doesn't have a public bug reporting tool (say, like, Mozilla's public use of Bugzilla), then a better sense of users' bug priorities could be gained by gathering comments at a concentrated few public locations.

    4. Sharing bug fixes for web application software in comment threads has proven exceedingly effective (again for those without a public bug reporting tool).

    Regarding rolling the feature back: An important point to note is that concrete data here at Blogger shows that the vast majority of posters/editors are not encountering problems with the new editor. This suggests several things:

    1. Their use scale is small. Not very many features used, i.e no toggling. (Unlikely. It's on by default, which means they're using the most prominent feature, the designMode element of Mozilla and IE.)

    2. They're all using IE 6, whose WYSIWYG components actually seems to handle a wider variety of errors than the other browsers. (This is likely.)

    3. Their use (or their environment) is complex and there are bugs for these cases we need to address. (This is also likely.)

    Because we're seeing what amounts to a smaller subset of Blogger users alongside a large amount of positive feedback, we shouldn't roll back at this point. (We know about the feedback, because we have internal tools which help us find out the -er- zeitgeist of Blogger users' public posts.) But, most importantly, this doesn't invalidate anyone's bugs here. The problems you're encountering are extremely important to me. And Blogger's userbase is so large that even if only 3% of users are reporting serious issues, that's still a large number.

    So, I will be out here trying to get all the complex cases I can. In fact, I've set up a blog where I'll be testing the use cases that I get on different browsers and systems. It's at http://wysiwyg-tests.blogspot.com/. The first series of posts are tests of the problem CrazyMoogle addressed. It should be easy to see... the problems described are confirmed as problems on FF and Moz on Windows, yet not on FF on Mac OS X or IE on Windows. Weird.

    Anyhoo...back to bug fixing. For those worried that they'll just have to give up, you should know there's no question in my mind that this'll be resolved, it's just how fast. Also, if anyone has suggestions for where to take this thread (it's getting a bit long, and as I fix stuff, the most relevant info is going to be at the bottom). I'm thinking I should make a blog. What do you think?

     
  • At 1:32 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    David: Yep. I've got that. But there's another issue I need to address behind the scenes.

    Regarding style attributes: We'll have to ask Mozilla. At times, when aggregating style information, say when we bold and italicize and change color within a single selection or range, Midas (the Mozilla component) will use font-style:italic.

     
  • At 3:10 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    Oh! Wow...Just discovered that some bug-fixing code didn't make it to our production servers. There may be very good reasons that it didn't (and it's likely my fault) as there are number of things that can stop any particular code block from getting out there.

    Y'all Gecko/Windows users must've thought I was bonkers. :) It just happens to be the fix I made Friday to stop the weird spacing and subsequent crashing for Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape on Windows.

    Dang, dang, dang. We'll get this resolved as quickly as possible.

    For the nerdy: the reason you don't see the problem on the Mac is that the bug involves line feed whitespace. Which, as the nerdy know, is different on different platforms.

    David: I was abrupt before, excuse me. I should've mentioned that even with the semi-colon syntax of the META tag, the bug still exists in Firefox within the Blogger application environment. It could involve other markup or scripting or simple be something weird with the way we're serving the page, so that's why I have to dig deeper to find the problem.

     
  • At 3:36 PM, CarLBanks said…

    I can't change back to compose in Firefox 0.9.2

     
  • At 3:44 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    Carl: Yep, that's a result of the bug I'm referring to in the previous comment. I'm going to try to push that out as quickly as possible.

     
  • At 3:57 PM, CarLBanks said…

    Ahhh, and did you get the ticket on being unable to delete comments even if your signed in?

    Sorry, I'm just trying to get an answer on the comments bug.

     
  • At 6:30 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    Just verified... we pushed that fix to blogger.com that I'd talked about in my last previous comment. Whew.

    Carl: I'm sorry...that bug's not assigned to me. As far as bug-fixing in Blogger goes I'm on task for addressing any WYSIWYG stuff that crops up right now, and you can probably tell I have my hands full. :)

    Back to the other bugs: Must squish.

     
  • At 6:40 PM, Brian said…

    I'm really disappointed with this. It has made it exceedingly difficult to post links on my blog. As you mention, I'm one of that large group of people that got use to using bits of HTML. I'm really upset and annoyed that I'm now unable to use the link HTML. The simple (a href="URL")link to this(/a) tags don't work. That seems like a pretty basic HTML code to support. It has taken extraordinarily long to post the last couple of days because every time I try to do a simple link, Blogger now just completely screws up my HTML. I need to put the link in using the short cut (which seems to only allow a URL to link to that URL instead of a phrase linking to the URL) and then go into HTML editor to fix it. That is way to complicated for such a basic and obvious need as HTML links. I'm really upset by this and that there is no explanation whatsoever on how to do this or even that it would be a problme at all.

     
  • At 7:03 PM, CarLBanks said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 1:32 AM, seeolfreeloader said…

    Neat effort, but how *different* is it from the free HTMLarea (www.interactivetools.com/products/htmlarea/) addin that gives identical functionality with an Image manager?

    For a combi user-developer perspective, the JS used to power such editors works rather erratically on the Mozilla family :)

    I'm not sure if developing for a Beta platform that constantly reinventing itself is a good idea.

    Finally, a crib. Your new editor breaks my Notepad copy-paste. The ^Ps vanish. Waah!

     
  • At 2:03 AM, Catherine said…

    I usually copy/paste a piece of code given on http://mandarindesign.com on one of my blogs and since the beginning of Blogger's new era the shadows in IE don't appear any longer.
    You can see it here
    http://lve.scola.ac-paris.fr/anglais/lastnews.php
    "Nouveau", which was posted before the new blogger does have shadows, but "nouveautés B.O." at the top of the blog, which was pasted and copied just the same doesn't have shadows.

     
  • At 2:06 AM, Mme Polak said…

    Blogger on my iBook with 9.2.2 shows less possibilities than before the changes. Everything would have to be coded manually, my friends say, and they had told me it was so simple! ;(

     
  • At 2:30 AM, Mme Polak said…

    Blogger on my iBook with 9.2.2 shows less possibilities than before the changes. Everything would have to be coded manually, my friends say, and they had told me it was so simple! ;(

     
  • At 8:50 AM, Seitherin said…

    Using Netscape 7.02 under WinXP still doesn't work. There is no change in behaviour since I made my first post.

     
  • At 11:33 AM, Chris Wetherell said…

    Seitherin: I highly recommend upgrading to Netscape 7.1 if you are able. There are a number of security exploits and dangers that exist with 7.02 (For example, 1, 2) and it would fix the problems you're seeing with the post editor. I think you can download it here.

    Mme Polak: I hear ya. My girlfriend works at an organization that uses Mac OS 9.2.2 and browsers on those computers are unable to take advantage of a number of cool features all over the internet. The problem is that Apple no longer supports that platform and so bugs that exist in browsers for that system version will very likely not get fixed by those browser makers. Also, there'll be less opportunity to take advantages of features since all of the fun stuff is being made for Mac OS X. You may not have the time, interest, or money for an upgrade to OS X ... but if you do I can imagine it might also solve other issues for you. You can read more about it on Apple's site.

    To others: I'm looking into your issues as I have time.

     
  • At 11:42 AM, Michiel said…

    Earlier today I had a short moment where I had no link/bold/etc. buttons at all (guess you guys were tweaking then) but now it is working, looks great!

    You guys rule!

     
  • At 11:55 AM, Michiel said…

    oh, and as a PS I'm on Firefox 0.8 (yes, yes I need to upgrade), it works fine, except right now the publishing bit seems to hang forever at 0%. The post does get posted/updated however.

     
  • At 12:34 PM, CarLBanks said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 12:37 PM, KarlKFI said…

    I'm kind of confused as to what all the complaining is about, but maybe I'm jsut a little late.

    Both the WYSIWYG editor and html editor work flawlessly as far as I can tell using Mac OS 10.3.4 in Firefox and Netscape. Safari, Opera and IE5 just use the old editor, which works too.

    So I assume the editor requires a working DOM model, which isn't surprising. I was a little surprised that Safari wasn't supported, but not too surprised, while it is a Mozilla build it does handle things a little differently than NS6 and MOZ. I assume IE on windows works since it's the largest browser base, but it also has those cheating .internalHTML tags.

    Regardless It's a quality chuck of code. I've been trying to do cross browser things and it's driving me nuts. I can't wait for the new IE update when I won't have to program 5 different code segments just to make 1 dynamic content change in a div tag.

    I'm also waiting for a standard Opacity and Visibility style.
    Oh and playing media without using default console is hell..
    difforent for real, quicktime, window media player... and you can't even get one to work on more than a single browser!

    but I'm rambling... Keep up the good work... Beta test next time...

     
  • At 3:08 PM, Sarah said…

    Hmmmm I'm having a lot of problems with this. I post artwork in my blog, but now I can't seem to do more than one piece per post using the method I always have, entering the (img src) tags myself. All I can get is one thing to show up, which isn't much use to me as I need to put several images into one post. If I use the html editor and preview the post, when I go back to carry on it's entered a load of tags I didn't ask it to, and the images don't show up.

    The publishing screen also hangs at 0% despite the post going up. I'm running Firefox 9.01 (need to upgrade) and Windows XP, but viewing the page in IE shows that the images still aren't there. I've gone through all the replies here quickly and some people seem to be having similar problems. ... any idea on the image issue? Everything else seems to work ok. :(

     
  • At 3:16 PM, Sarah said…

    Sorry, further to the above. I should have said that the images that I'm trying to put inline already exist on another part of my site. It seems that I can get them to appear only if I use the image upload facility, but if I use that I'm going to have to host all my blog images twice, as they're part of a sketchbook gallery. Any ideas would be helpful as it could end up costing me webspace... :(

     
  • At 7:39 PM, Dan "Winter"Coates said…

    I am bascially having all the same problems that everyone else is having, buttons not working, HTML being messed up and the like. I use Firefox as many of the others are. I think I speak for many of the people in here that I personally liked the old way of making posts better.

    Is there any chance that it could be brought back?

    Going to IE isn't a option either, I as many are tired of that piece of junk as well.

     
  • At 8:18 PM, Dan "Winter"Coates said…

    Ahh, I know my comment doesn't really describe any problems I am having. I am just fustrated with the whole damn thing. I just really liked the simplicity of the old system. Not too many features, just what you need to get the job done. That is what I liked about Blogger when I joined, it was simple and it worked.

    Oh hell, just ingore me, I am just a rambling 20 year old man.

     
  • At 9:12 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    Dan: Venting's okay. Just try and make it constructive...I can probably help. Go ahead and list a problem if you like. Just be sure to let me know what browser and operating system you're on.

    Currently, you can use the old way of doing stuff by saving a draft while in Edit HTML mode. Blogger will remember the editor's state and you can bypass WYSIWYG altogether.

    (For those that have inspected the code already, you probably already know, but for those that don't... the "Edit HTML" tab *is* the old way. We left it in as it served two needs: to help those of us who like to use more advanced markup and for those of us who would prefer the old method of posting.)

    Oh, and to all Firefox users: Be sure to upgrade your browsers to the latest version. Firefox is still a beta product and as such changes greatly with each revision and, in some cases, introduces some regression bugs. The differences between 0.8 and 0.9.2 are significant.

    I should add... Firefox is my favorite browser. When it gets to version 1.0 - I'll evangelize specifically for its wider use. I'm pretty excited by Safari's new features, too. I met members of the Safari team and we talked specifically about WYSIWYG. The next version of Safari / WebKit has advanced rich editing support and I'm looking forward to taking advantage of that stuff.

    This thread is getting long, and I'm getting quite a lot of test cases to work through, so if people have specific bugs they'd like me to address, post 'em here shortly, since I'll have to wrap things up here.

    ... not the publish-status-refresh bug on Firefox though...I'm on that one already. :)

     
  • At 9:55 PM, CrazyMoogle said…

    I posted my specific problems and experience as a new post at www.moogle.net. Thanks for keeping me updated, massless.

     
  • At 9:58 PM, CrazyMoogle said…

    Two extra notes that are related to your site in particular, massless (as I seem to be a regular visitor now!)

    1. From a user perspective, it is unbelievably annoying to have the search entry window at the top of the page steal away my pagedown controls. Just a comment, but considering how long the page is...:)

    2. I'm noticing that half the time after I publish a comment, I get the whole "can't find this page" error. The comment still makes it, but something else is going wrong.

     
  • At 10:11 PM, Seitherin said…

    I tried to take your advice about installing Netscape 7.1, but doing that completely hosed my 7.02 installation. 7.1 will not install on my computer. So I installed Firefox 0.9.2. Hated it. Installed Mozilla 1.7.1. Using it as I type. It appears to function with the new and improved Blogger but I haven't really put it thru a test yet.

     
  • At 10:55 PM, Chris Wetherell said…

    Thank you for all the comments and your patience. I'm sorry but I have to close off this thread 'cause it's getting pretty unwieldy in terms of size. But in a few days I'll report back with a new post on updates and feature enhancements.

    More sleep now...

     

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