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JohnBeckett/Rich text editor

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Revision as of 09:46, September 2, 2009 by Drmikehenry (Talk | contribs)

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Use this page to discuss whether the Rich Text Editor is useful for the Vim Tips wiki. If a consensus agrees that it is not, I will contact Wikia and ask for it be disabled on this wiki.

Feel free to edit this page. Please add comments at the bottom (keep the RTE, or remove the RTE from this wiki).


The Rich Text Editor (RTE) is a Wikia attempt to simplify editing, so users do not need to confront wikitext. Easier editing = more involvement = bigger community = greater success. Some details are in the announcement and a forum discussion.

A registered user can use Special:Preferences to enable or disable use of the RTE. By default, it is disabled for established users (prior to July 2009?), and enabled for new users. The RTE is always used by unregistered users.


Like most proficient Vim users, I use Vim to do serious editing, including when editing here. I never use a web browser to do more than trivial edits (like adding a comment). Therefore, my only experience with the RTE has been to try it out to determine what new users see, so the following may be somewhat inaccurate.

In the RTE:

  • Our pages use many <pre>blocks</pre>, and they appear as centred panels of text (looking totally weird, and wrapping badly).
  • Clicking on a pre block pops up "To edit this section please switch to WikiText view by clicking the 'View Wikitext' button".
  • I can't find a 'View Wikitext' button (Firefox 3.0, and I think scripting was enabled).
  • There is a "Code view" link which does not seem to do anything helpful.
  • Clicking one of the many uses of the {{help|word}} template pops up a mysterious box which attempts to split the template into fields. We often have a list of several of these, and they all look identical. When you hover the mouse, two (often overlapping) boxes appear: one shows a broken view of the template, while the other tells you to click it to edit.
  • Our most common markup is <tt>example</tt> and I think there is no way to edit that.

When people use the RTE, a lot of our markup is damaged. Often the damage concerns only cosmetic changes to the wikitext, however, a person has to be somewhat fanatical about details in order to use Vim, and it is really irritating when our carefully-planned wikitext is damaged. One example of this concerns the fact that our pages use a lot of weird symbols. After much discussion, we decided to removed as many html character entities as possible so editors can see clean wikitext. It was not easy to edit over 1200 pages and remove the character entities!

Here are some sample edits using the RTE:

  • [1] joining template lines
  • [2] several changes, but a null edit (user did not intend a change)
  • [3] massive character entity changes


Remember to sign your comment by adding " ~~~~".

  • Remove For the reasons I have outlined above, I think the RTE is unhelpful here. JohnBeckett 04:52, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Remove vim users should be able to cope with wiki-syntax. 07:54, 27 August 2009 (UTC) (Bastl)
    Wooo! Bastl, thanks for dropping in. I was thinking about you just the other day (the dates in the RSS feed at Vim scripts have fouled up, presumably due to some change from what your scraper expected). I don't think it matters, but I was thinking about you... JohnBeckett 08:19, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Remove I like to check all anonymous edits to make sure they aren't spam or misguided, and I hate sorting through pages of RTE changes to insert character entities when the only real change is fixing a 1-word typo. --Fritzophrenic 14:00, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Remove In particular, don't let anonymous users use it. Let registered users have a choice, if possible. (Spiiph 10:17, 28 August 2009 (UTC))
  • Remove, for the above mentioned reasons. 10:55, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Remove I agree that RTE is unhelpful here Lessthanideal 12:23, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Remove It is quite ridiculous to have a WYSIWYG editor for a Vim wiki... to make editing articles "easier", all I need is the It's all text! Firefox extension and GVim. I'm with the OP here. Tuxman 02:26, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Remove Me too, It's all text! that is.
JLittle 04:51, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
  • REMOVE Jakobi 10:20, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Remove for the reasons described under "Problems" above. If you've gone to the trouble of learning Vim, Wikitext should be easy as a breeze, and if you don't remember some particular Wikitext idiom, HTML (which may or may not get "standardized" by JohnBot later) is available to get you out of the pinch. --Tonymec 14:16, September 1, 2009 (UTC)
  • Remove I much prefer plain-text editing formats, particularly for a wiki about Vim. Drmikehenry 09:46, September 2, 2009 (UTC)

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