Example: Why I believe we need a new HTML editor

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at beonex.com
Fri Feb 19 17:37:54 UTC 2016


Axel Grude wrote on 17.02.2016 01:55:
> In our Company people often use colors for showing "quote level" (*) - 
> you may argue because Outlook is too stupid to show real quote levels.

Exactly. Outlook cannot quote properly.

Using color for something semantically critical - as who wrote what and 
what is part of the message what is not - is a really really bad idea.

 1. red appears unreadable on my screen
 2. people might be color-blind - particular red and green, because 5%
    of males are red-green color blind
 3. it's not machine-readable. <blockquote> or plaintext "> " are, which
    allows nice recipient-side formatting, collapsing, trimming etc.

> (*) one person may reply (inline) in red and then the next one in 
> green. One may say that this is "retarded" but we should not ignore 
> the way the ordinary user is going to use a tool.

They do that only because Outlook gives them no other reasonable option. 
It's not what the users want, but what their tool enforces!

Do not copy Outlook. Esp. in this area. We win hands-down in this area. 
I think TB quotes in our reader look lovely and clear. ***Please*** do 
not break or delude our excellent quoting. It's essential, all of the above.

> we could build a really cool UI and better features than Outlook if we 
> embraced the concept of customizable styles 

Personally, I struggle with all editors, including LibreWriter and 
Outlook. They always seem to get it wrong by continuing a style that I 
intended only for 1 word or one paragraph, sometimes just by pasting, 
but it continues for the rest of the doc like that and I have to 
manually change it back. Highly annoying. TB composer does that much better.

Consider that email is something we write more quickly than documents. 
The direction is rather to go even quicker, see SMS, WhatsApp, and GMail 
and Apple are emulating that for email with "quickresponse".

That's not to say our Composer was perfect. But please don't copy the 
mistakes of other applications, where we are miles ahead.

Ben
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