Another call for article editor ideas

Approximately a month ago, I posted about a discussion I started in the Contributors forum, to gather ideas criteria for an improved Knowledge Base article editor. There is still time to post your thoughts and feedback about what problems you have with the current editor and ideas on how to solve those problems.

For instance, the problems gathered so far are:

  • While tikiwiki markup is simple and relatively easy to learn, you still have to learn it. When a new contributor wants to edit an article and opens the editor, he/she is often confronted with a lot of markup code, which can deter him/her from attempting to edit the article.
  • In order to remove a tag from an article, you need to open the editor and make an edit to the article.
  • There are a lot of small variations of tag names (e.g. bookmark vs. bookmarks) meaning two or more articles that should have the same tag, end up not having the same tag. This is mostly because people don’t know which tags already exist, when adding a tag to an article.
  • The additional categories sometimes get misused, or not used at all.
  • Use of the dynamic content feature or the fantastic ShowFor plugin that we use to show/hide content depending on the Firefox version and OS requires manually typing the markup, which is not only laborious but increases the chance of markup errors.
  • Not many people are citing references when adding content to articles, or even explaining their changes.
  • The images for quickly applying markup are not very intuitive.
  • Uploading of screenshots is separated from the article content, and hard to find.
  • Whenever the ShowFor plugin is used, we have to add {SHOWFOR(spans=on)/} to the top of the article.
  • When using the ShowFor plugin, you have to save an edit to see if it works; previewing it isn’t possible.
  • The size of the content area is not wide enough or tall enough, causing a lot of content lines to be wrapped, and a lot of scrolling to reference content elsewhere in the article.
  • The category selector to choose where the article will exist can easily be misused. In fact, if you’re editing an article that is already in the Knowledge Base, all edits have to be made to the staging copy first, which should only exist in the staging area category.
  • The “Alert translators” checkbox is often misused, causing translations to be marked as out of date.

Some of the proposed ideas for solving these issues are:

  • The editor should be “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG). This way, contributors do not have to know the markup in order to improve content.
  • Adding and removing tags should be separate from the article editor; and in the separate UI, contributors should be able to find out which tags have already been created, either through auto complete or using checkboxes to add tags.
  • The additional categories checkboxes should only be visible when creating a new article, and only made available afterwards for admins/locale leaders.
  • Dynamic content blocks should be part of the editor toolbar as a quickpaste function.
  • We should have buttons on the editor toolbar for applying ShowFor.
  • {SHOWFOR(spans=on)/} should be automatically applied to every article that uses the feature.
  • Create or find icons for the editor toolbar that are easily interpretable.
  • The image upload feature should be part of the editor toolbar, just like in WordPress.
  • The width of the content area should be 100% of available space; and default height should fill up a large portion of the average screen space, only leaving room for the toolbar.
  • Get rid of the category selector on staging copies.
  • Relabel the “Alert translators” checkbox to more accurately communicate the affects, and add a warning to it.
  • We could either add a ‘Reference’ field for contributors to cite references, or add something to the “Edit Summary” label about citing a reference.

There’s still time to add more ideas and feedback, and we want to make sure everyone has a chance to contribute to the discussion. If you would like to add anything, please post in the discussion thread. Thanks!

4 responses

  1. Thomas (Lendo) wrote on :

    A picture database would be useful to delete, rename, or change uploaded pictures.

  2. Chris Ilias wrote on :

    Thomas (Lendo), see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=398767

  3. Simone wrote on :

    Since I usually translate the whole article text offline and use the editor window only for the final corrections, it could be a good idea to add a link to download the source (now I copy-paste the source).

    Thanks ;-)

  4. Artcile Content wrote on :

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