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Edit Summary Needed

By far the greatest area of contention within our organisation about the use of TWiki is the un-ease of editing.

Some people here describe TWiki as "a twenty-year jump back into the past"!

There seems to be a number of efforts at trying to make the editing more pleasant, including the Kupu, Wikiwyg and Xinha editors.

But without fully implementing each of these, it is very hard to know what the (dis)advantages of each one is. It is a great waste of effort that every new TWiki implementor has to go through this evaluation process.

Right now, for example, I don't know if the Xinha editor gives more/better functionality than the Wikiwyg editor. I am faced with implementing both to try them out. Something I'm sure that other people have already done.

It would be really good if someone (preferably independent of the individual efforts involved) could write a summary of the various approaches to editing and how they compare. Even a matrix of capabilities would be a great start.

I realise that it is very difficult to maintain impartiality, but just as there is the WikiMatrix site to compare Wikis, TWiki needs something similar to compare editors.

As a start I will list the editing enhancements that I have come across:

I have not tested all of the above, and would appreciate any feedback on these.

Oh, and please let me know if this is not where I'm supposed to do this.

-- DuncanKinnear - 13 Apr 2007

Yes. You are 100% right. The "a twenty-year jump back into the past" is exactly the words I hear from my users. Or they say "a jump back to the 80s"

This is why I am pushing hard for having a Wysiwyg feature that works as a release these for TWiki 5.0. I would personally have liked the work to start now but unfortunately the priority will be a 4.2 release driven by a feature that very few installations will ever use.

Unless new contributors take up the task I fear this is going to be the picture for a long time. There is always a new small creaping feature being pushed in front of the really important and resource demanding work. For a huge piece of work like a proper Wysiwyg editor we need several staff years of work done. My hope is that one or more companies raise the funding to bring TWiki into this decade. Either by throwing in a couple of full time programmers and testers for a time period or buying the time of some of the current contributors for at least 6 months to get the job done. I am already trying to raise some resources within my own company.

See the agenda point 2 in FreetownReleaseMeeting2007x04x09 and the IRC log attached and you will understand what I mean. People such as you should let your voice be heard much more and everyone are very welcome to participate in the release meetings. We need the customer voices at those meetings.

Maybe you should consider becoming a customer advocate. See TWikiRelease04x01Process.

With respect to the editing summary.

The list of editors you just gave is a perfect example of the problem. So many small contributions. I would describe them as good prototype studies of what can be done and they may be useful for particular twiki applications also.

A summary topic here in Plugins web describing each of the editing related plugins is not a bad thing and feel free to do so. But it will probably not solve much

-- KennethLavrsen - 13 Apr 2007

I suspect that the less than adequate WYSIWYG experience is the single most influential feature that works against choosing TWiki in the initial evaluation period. This is something that needs to be fixed as quickly as possible. I am actively looking for a sponsor.

-- PeterThoeny - 14 Apr 2007

Guys, it is very heartening to read that 2 of the top contributors (?) in the TWiki community see this as the top priority. Reading your responses makes us feel a lot happier about continuing with TWiki. As I have said to a few of our users "this is as bad as it is going to get. It will only get better from here"

Although, it is good to keep some perspective on this and say that I have not seen a really good implementation in any of the TWikis that we have used/evaluated. I do not believe that it is turning people away from TWiki. Indeed, we came down to two choices in our evaluation: MediaWiki and TWiki. Twiki won despite not being as 'sexy' as MediaWiki.

It would be good to have you guys making similar statements publicly on TWiki.org (although I guess this topic is a start). While you may think that it would be too negative to have these things out in the open, letting people know that this is not all there is would be a positive step.

Once I get more up-to-speed with the TWiki framework, I'd like to think that I can contribute quite a bit as I have a fairly good level of knowledge in both Perl and Java (although not in a CGI-type environment).

In the meantime, I'd be happy to start building an EditingMatrix, but you need to point me to the right place to put such a thing.

Would it be possible to put something up on the main Plugins home page asking for peoples experiences with the various editors and I can summarise from there?

I do hope you find a sponsor, Peter. I think that would make the world of difference.

-- DuncanKinnear - 17 Apr 2007

Kenneth, I'm sorry you don't feel that TWiki has a "proper" Wysiwyg editor. Given the constraints of TML, then we have as proper a solution as anyone has been able to write (see WysiNwyg). The bottom line on this is as Peter hints at; no one is interested enough to fund additional development to fix the bugs or develop an alternative. That's a clear indication to me that it is not the top priority. Otherwise surely there would be more than Kenneth and Peter asking for it? I see no evidence of that....

-- CrawfordCurrie - 17 Apr 2007

Duncan, welcome to the TWiki community!

-- ArthurClemens - 17 Apr 2007

Yes, Welcome Duncan. We need you smile

Crawford - you should not be sorry. You have often yourself said that the current Wysiwyg is best described as a beta and that more funding would be needed to improve it further. If you read what I write then it is a recognition that making a Wysiawyg (a=Almost) that works is not a week-end job for a hobby programmer but a task that requires substantial resources and my mission is to encourage misc. corporate users to help raise the funding for people such a you to finish the job. WysiNwyg is where THAT discussion naturally will continue.

-- KennethLavrsen - 17 Apr 2007

Actually, I've personally been working on my new Twiki for 3 months, trying to get it ready for my 600 members and I'm about to stop it in its entirety and go to a web server based wiki that has a user friendly wysiwyg editor. I'm much more savvy than my average user, and I see this time is a waste, since the editing is so gosh darn difficult to use. My members will never contribute out of fear of understanding how to do it. The kupu editor is not bad, except I can't get it to work consistently. There are a lot of bugs in it when it begins to save a file and then I can't figure out what happened to my tables.

So, I may be one of those "tried it before I bought it" guys who said, "goodbye guys after I tried it".

The first Wiki software Open source to get this part right, will be flooded with work.

Thats the opinion of one humble user who is above average but below your levels on understanding this product.

-- RichardHobbs - 01 Jul 2007

TopicClassification PluginBrainstorming
TopicSummary A summary of the various Editing addons and plugins is required to help new users
InterestedParties DuncanKinnear
RelatedTopics SmartEditAddon, WikiwygContrib,
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Topic revision: r10 - 2007-07-02 - CarloSchulz
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