Example: Why I believe we need a new HTML editor

Matt Harris unicorn.consulting at gmail.com
Sun Feb 21 01:37:58 UTC 2016

On 21/02/2016 4:59 AM, Axel Grude wrote:
> bottom reply:
>> *Subject:* Re: Example: Why I believe we need a new HTML editor
>> *From: *Matt Harris
>> *To:* Tb-planning
>> *Sent: *Saturday, 20/02/2016 14:47:33 14:47 GMT ST +0000 [Week 7]
>> On 20/02/2016 4:07 AM, Ben Bucksch wrote:
>>> 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.
>> The composer is terrible, users complain about it all the time. It 
>> was ok a decade ago,  but the last ten years have really put some age 
>> on it.
>> The users do not like it.  They are particularly vociferous about the 
>> size issue.  They want numbers.  Windows has numbers for font sizes, 
>> so does everything in their experience except Thunderbird, and they 
>> want it for their email.  They do not care about standards, HTML Vs 
>> printing or Interoperability.  They do their correspondence in XXXX 
>> font and XX size.  And god help you if you tell them that the font 
>> they have chosen is unlikely to be visible to the recipient, let 
>> alone that the size they sat might look different as well
>> They want to be able to do pretty tables with pretty borders.
>> They want to do background images.
>> They want to paste tables and text from word and excel and have them 
>> arrive looking like when they left the Microsoft product. (sans table 
>> formatting anyone.)
>> They want to specify line spacing and length.
>> They want to set tabular tabs and even decimal tabs
>> The want images to auto size and respect the orientation information 
>> in the exif data.  Lots of complaints about upside down images over 
>> the years.  The email looks fine on an iPhone or pad
>> In a nutshell they want a word processor that can turn their 
>> creations into email.
>> The composer might do quotes and do them well,  but we offer no 
>> customization of that either.  You have to have an add-on to change 
>> the layout of the quoted header information to the more business 
>> styled (outlook) four lines.  While you might strongly disagree with 
>> coloured quote levels, I like them, almost as much as I like 
>> Thunderbird's block quoting with lines.  But we offer no 
>> customization at all,  after all it is up to the user if they want to 
>> do something stupid with the customization like white text on a white 
>> background, or try and retrieve mail very minute.
>> Matt
> You can probably do pretty much anything you has described. But you 
> need to know HTML and CSS. And probably us the Stationery Addon in 
> order to edit the HTML source code (in its mostly broken HTML tab). So 
> in my mind adding a UI for things like colored tables, background 
> images. I think a built in HTML code editor (tab) would be a good start
> There were some fixes around font sizes (and lengthy discussions on 
> it) so you might find this better once Tb45.0 lands.

I use Kaosmos HTML editor,  not as much work space,  but it just works 
mostly. As my HTML is usually "pasted in" work space is not all that 
important to me.  Having said that,  my needs are mostly simple.  I am 
"reporting" what I hear in support forums and while I can do interesting 
things with HTML and CSS, most users can not and are frustrated by the 
fact.  It is also probably time we sorted out the Audio issues in Bug 
515082.  Be it voice mail, greeting from the grand kids or a your fired 
sound byte, we do support the media,  but fail with the issue of user 

> Clipboard cross compatibility with Microsoft Editors is a big 
> difficult ask, and probably not worth the effort if we had built in 
> table formatting.

> Axel
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“Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.” /― Friedrich 
von Schiller, Die Jungfrau von Orleans /
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