[pmwiki-users] New addon: Lightweight WYSIWYG editor

Petko Yotov 5ko at 5ko.fr
Sat Jul 29 10:25:13 CDT 2017

On 2017-07-29 01:09, Christopher Cox wrote:
> Love the name!  Makes me cringe a little bit less.
> IMHO WYSIWYG PmWiki == MediaWiki or other "lesser" wiki.

This specific WYSIWYG editor is an addon, people who do not need it 
should please not install it. How does an addon makes PmWiki a "lesser 
wiki"? Isn't it like saying "wikis using VideoAttach == lesser wikis" 
because one uses Cookbook:Ape to include videos in her own wiki, or 
doesn't include videos at all? Or, "The only addon anyone should ever 
need is "Cookbook:EnableHTML" as it allows you to create any content you 
like, you simply have to learn HTML, CSS and JS"?

Additionally, as opposed to earlier tries (RichText, Wikiwyg, 
Cookbook:WTF) Worse has no vocation to replace or usurp the whole PmWiki 
editing interface. It is one markup among many living happily in a 
(:worse:)...(:worseend:) block. Nothing prevents you from using 
pagelists, conditionals, wikistyles, frames, trails or any other PmWiki 
or custom markups in that page, before or after the Worse block, or even 
to not include a Worse block in a page.

Again, as opposed to RichText and WTF (or most other web publishing 
software, eg Wordpress), Worse doesn't store the content in HTML but in 
its own subset of PmWiki markup, and converts it to and from the HTML 
source used and returned by the browser. This should work very well with 
page history, page indexing/search, and the occasional editing by hand.

Favoring writers over readers (and I would add, over super expert wiki 
wizard dinosaurs with 20+ years of wiki/HTML/CSS/JS experience like you 
and me) is the PmWiki Philosophy #1. Does it make PmWiki a lesser wiki 
when a recipe moves it towards the #1 philosophy? Even if the features 
added by this recipe are limited to *ONLY 95%* of all the web content 
most people ever need to create and maintain?

Yes, it is a fact that you and I, and probably most people on this list, 
do not need WYSIWYG editing[*]. But ask them what is the learning curve 
for a newcomer.

Most people who look for a publishing system today come from their word 
processors and from [the social media giant]. Thy are not professional 
wiki writers or HTML coders, they have other jobs and only need a tool. 
They use smartphones and tablets and apps and cable and social media, 
youtube, sms, snapchat, they work overtime and commute and pay mortgage 
or rent and/or alimony: the *information overload* and 
physical/intellectual *fatigue* is at a level where they cannot spend a 
few minutes to read the cheat sheet, let along a few days to read the 
documentation, to not become proficient but simply to get their way with 
PmWiki. And, they can't understand why all pages suddenly disappeared 
(they didn't, they followed a link they mis-typed with an extra dot and 
moved to another group) or why all text became a very wide line and the 
page now scrolls horizontally (they typed a space at the start of a 

About the only people who do learn to use wiki markup are those whose 
company (or professor) decided that everyone will use the intranet wiki 
to document their work and to communicate, and where other helpful 
people are around.

So often the learning curve is not a curve at all, it is a dot or a 
short dash after which they move elsewhere.

So no, these users should not suffer and fail, let's give them at least 
some way to start writing the way they already know, without the markup 
divide, and they will upgrade progressively if they need it. Let's give 
them 8-10 features they will immediately guess how to use and let them 
be happy. :-)


[*] I actually find some of the features of Ajax editing *very* 
attractive. One is the possibility to edit a section in a large page 
without having to wait for the source editor to load, preview and save, 
and without having to scroll or to use Ctrl+F to find what I search. The 
other is the possibility to drop files and to upload them without 
leaving the current page or opening a new tab or doing anything else. I 
may be getting lazy, or just old. :-)

P.S. I feel there is also a misunderstanding about the MediaWiki visual 
editor. You are not required to use it -- I always use the wikitext 
source editor, and the content is saved as wikitext not HTML. (On my 
edition of Wikipedia  (bg), both preview and save are done with Ajax 
calls, and section editing is enabled by default so I don't mind the 
source editor. :-)

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