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Summary of observed/reported bugs or poor features with new editor Answered

(10/16 Updated with overnight fixes)
(10/15 Updated with new dropped-spaces/wrapping bug)
(10/9 Updated with overnight fixes, and two new bug bullets)
(10/8 Updated subsequent to Rachel's very nice response, with discovery of another bug.)

I originally posted the following as a comment in Eric's announcement about the new editor, but it seems more likely to assist staff as a separate bug report.  I've tweaked the text a bit from my original comment.
It would be helpful to know (by response) whether these issues are being (or cannot be) addressed, either by Instructables staff or by the CKE developers.

It seems there are some fairly substantive bugs or obstructive "features" in the newly rolled-out editor. The ones I've collected so far (from reading posts as well as personal experience) are (now grouped separately as "true bugs" vs. "feature changes" or "design issues"):

Browser Incompatibility

  • There are serious shortcomings with the new editor on non-Firefox browsers
  • Cannot paste comments at all, mishandling of links, etc.


  • Additional user-entered spaces left as " " entities, rather than collapsed
  • Pop-up box for hyperlinks is empty (no where to enter/paste a URL) FIXED
  • Inexplicable "invalid formatting" errors FIXED
  • Text pasting interference (hijacking of Ctrl/Cmd-V) FIXED
  • Interference of spell-checker with built-in and configurable facilities FIXED
  • Extra whitespace inserted between HTML markup and adjacent characters FIXED
  • Line wrapping has problems:  spaced between words get dropped FIXED
  • Spell-checker mistakes and application to hidden format codes FIXED

Feature/Design Issues

  • Extremely slow loading and processing FIXED! FIXED! FIXED!
  • Inconsistent recognition of typed-in URLs (maybe three separate bugs?) FIXED
  • Text box loses keyboard focus and requires multiple mouse-clicks to recover
  • Editor box, icons, and posting button cut off by sidebar
  • Limited keyboard-based markup (only bold, italic, and underlining), no entities
  • Blank-line separation is not identified/translated into proper HTML paragraph tags
  • Redundant end-of-line tag ("<br />") at end of user's text.
I realize that you all have already gone through the conversion of the existing database of comments and everything else, so backing this out is essentially impossible. However, it might be worthwhile rolling out fixes for these problems as soon as they're available, rather than waiting for a regular update cycle.



8 years ago

Kelsey, thanks for consolidating, this is super helpful! Here's where we're at on each of these:<br /><ul> <li>Inexplicable "invalid formatting" errors</li></ul>Bug, which I am working on even now, which I think I ought to have squished and released tonight.<br /><ul> <li>Extremely slow loading and processing</li></ul>Mostly this is due to the javascript being larger than that required for the previous editor. It's noticable primarily in commenting, because we don't load it onto the page by default, but only when someone actually goes to comment. We will probably try pulling the javascript after loading, but before the Add Comment button is clicked, which should mitigate this. Couple days on this one.<br /><ul> <li>Text pasting interference (hijacking of Ctrl/Cmd-V)</li></ul>This is How The Editor Works. It bugs the *&$% out of me too. We're looking at the next version (which was in beta still when we deployed) to see if this has been fixed. Unfortunately it won't be an immediate fix. We decided that this was not a blocker for the release, because we believe that most input is done by typing directly, and not by pasting. But we're gonna fix it if at all possible.<br /><ul> <li>Invalid recognition of typed-in URLs (unrecognized, attached HTML tokens)</li></ul>I assume you are referring to the fact that if I just type https://www.instructables.com/, it doesn't show up as a link? On the fix list, but we'll have to add that ourselves as it's not a feature of the editor. The workaround is, of course, to use the link button (the globe/chain link icon). Select what you want to apply the link to, press the button, and paste the URL into the box: <a href="https://www.instructables.com/">https://www.instructables.com/</a><br /><ul> <li>Spell-checker mistakes and application to hidden format codes</li> <li>Interference of spell-checker with built-in and configurable facilities</li></ul>I haven't gone through the spell-checker much myself so I don't know all about these issues. I take it you're confident they're not browser issues, but issues with the editor itself. I've put it on the bug list to look into the spell checker. I'll also check the other forums to look for specific issues that people have found.<br /><ul> <li>Editor box, icons, and post button cut off by sidebar</li></ul>Couple of days, there are a couple complexities here that make it slightly more difficult to rearrange that bit of code than one might expect.<br /><br /><ul> <li>Lack of keyboard-based markup, including URLs (see above) and entities</li></ul>Because this is a WYSIWYG, the markup ability is gone. This is on purpose. While there are a few points where this makes life slightly more annoying for power users, in general it'll make life much easier for those who don't know, and don't want to know, a markup language. Really, knowledge of a markup language shouldn't be necessary in order to interact on Instructables. Also: change is good, right?<br /><br />And my personal bugaboo, where certain keystroke commands made within the editor don't do the same thing they do in a normal editing situation: specifically ctrl/cmd-(arrow), which sometimes takes the cursor to the end of the line, and sometimes kicks you out of the editor altogether and back a page in browser history... it's on the list. This may be a Mac-only issue and I'm the only one I know of so far who sees it, so it's at the bottom. But I insist that it's on there!

You are quite welcome, Rachel. I'm glad it's useful to you. Just a quick followup on a few of your points (fourth attempt).<br /><br /><strong>Text pasting interference (hijacking of Ctrl/Cmd-V)</strong>: <em>This is How The Editor Works. It bugs the *&$% out of me too.</em><br /><br />Would it help if lots of us posted comments/complaints directly to the CKEditor feedback system? Or would that just frighten the poor souls? Yes, I'm just kidding :-)<br /><strong><br />Invalid recognition of typed-in URLs</strong>: See a test I posted to <a href="https://www.instructables.com/member/kelseymh/">my Orangeboard</a> . Sometimes URL strings aren't recognized at all. Other times they are, but the generated <A> tag doesn't contain a sensible HREF, and the text wrongly incorporates pieces of what should be HTML markup.<br /><br /><em>I haven't gone through the spell-checker much myself so I don't know all about these issues.</em> Look for postings from Goodhart and gmjhowe.<br /><br />Again, thank you (and thanks, Eric!), for your responses. It's very helpful to get this sort of public notice that you all are working on the problems. It gives me something to cite when the newbies/numpties whine.<br />

I have added a bullet point to the text regarding the new bug where the pop-up box for hyperlinks comes up "empty", with nowhere to paste in a URL.

This was fixed in the 26-27 Oct overnight bug release.


8 years ago

 I've noticed that suddenly the html text appears and formatting has all gone bodged. Look at rachel's comment!

No you're not, and those attached pictures are way too excessive, and don't provide anything relevant to your point.  Why exactly did you choose to include all those comment texts?

Why don't you look in the Bugs forum?  You can see what's already been reported.

WHOMP No space for yoo!

I just got whomped!
Whyfore get I no space?
Tom says I can have plenty of space...


8 years ago

I have windows vista home premium and use google chrome. Although the invalid format thing is fixed, some new problems have emerged:<br /> -Can no longer paste into comment boxes<br /> -When adding links, it makes any text I type that is below or next to the link, a link (if that makes sense), I put an example of what I mean below.<br /> -Sometimes, when I post the comment, some words get mashed together, like what was three words becomes just one, like this: "Hello there!" becomes "Hellothere!"<br /> Link:<br /> <a href="https://www.instructables.com/">www.instructables.com/<br /> And when I type after that, it is still in link format!<br /> <br /> That's all<br /> </a><br />

It looks like there was an overnight patch installed at I'bles, fixing (at least) two of the bugs I've reported:  the line-wrap/dropped-spaces bug is gone, apparently, and the text box now comes up substantially faster (less than 3 seconds for me, where I was seeing ~15 seconds).

And there were even more fixes! 
  1. The extra whitespace after markup tags is gone (so punctuation after bold/italic/links stays where you put it).
  2. Typed in URLs are properly parsed and turned into hyperlinks (without having to use the icon and pop-up box).
  3. The new, built-in spell-checker does not see or try to correct entities like "&nbsp;".
It looks like right now there's just one technical "bug" remaining: user-entered spaces get stuck in as &nbsp; entities, instead of left alone to be collapsed and rendered properly by the final reader's browser.

The substantive feature changes, implicit in switching from one software package to another, are still there.  Those will, I am sure take more time to change (and a policy decision about whether doing so it possible or worth the cost).

I've added a note about a brand new <a href="https://www.instructables.com/community/Comment-problems/">bug which appeared 14 October</a>: in comments (but not in forum topics or I'bles steps!), the neweditor drops spaces between words, typically one pair of words perline. You will see several examples when you read this comment.<br /><br />We initially thought the editor was dropping "soft returns"and not replacing them with spaces. That may be the case, but itcertainly doesn't apply to the visible word wrapping we see within theWYSIWYG box. The joined words are typically three or four words <strong>before</strong> the end of our typed lines.<br /><br />What is more interesting, this bug does not appear in"preview," only in the final posted comment.<br /><br />

I'm not sure whether the spacing bug has been fixed or not, but last night's deployment did dramatically improve the loading time for the text box, and it appears to show up with keyboard focus!  Ah, darn.  Switching to the scroll bar does take away focus, still :-(  Let's see whether this post has the spacing correct or not...

I've updated the bullet list with the three items repaired overnight (THANKS!), and added a couple of relatively minor ones that I had overlooked.

I would like to add one more, although it is a minor one, if one puts a lot of extra spaces into their text - like I sometimes do, each space (just like they show up in the Spell Check) shows up in the Email on the forum topic or Ible sent.    It can make some of them very hard to read.

I think I'd incorporate this in a general minor "layout" bug -- including the extra spaces that get put in between markup tags and subsequent characters.  I have never liked the "&nbsp;" entity Netscape introduced, but that's a separate philosophical argument.  I certainly don't think they should be used as a substitute for "pre-formatted text".

Unfortunately, I expect that this area is one where the I'bles staff have no control.  It's probably built into the CKEditor parsing/translation code.  One of the main points of this switch is obviously to get away from a roll-your-own software package with all of the associated maintenance costs.


I have now THREE times lost a fairly long comment (reply to Rachel) which I've been trying to add here.  I will add a new bug to the bullet list above.

The damned text-editor box seems to lose keyboard focus if you move the mouse.  Even if you don't "click", it still loses focus.  And an evil side effect of that is that, for reasons I don't understand, the "delete" key on my MacBook seems to be mapped to "go to previous page" in Firefox. 

So I end up losing the text box, and if I come back to the page, what I typed isn't cached and I have to start over again.

You can edit your FireFox configuration so that delete isn't mapped to back.  Doing so on my machine has saved no end of frustration.  Who in their right mind wants delete mapped to back, anyway?

Thanks, Eric.  I hadn't (knowingly) encountered this before, and I agree with you.  I might put it, "what kind of moron maps delete to back?", but yours is more diplomatic :-)  Now I just have to figure out how to change it....

For the record, Google Is My Friend :-)<br /><br /><a href="http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20070511123925218">www.macosxhints.com/article.php</a><br />


8 years ago

I wrote a topic, and the internet eated it, I don't know where it's gone now, can I blame the new editor?

Thanks for writing this up.  More soon.

You're most welcome.  Good luck to you all!

Don't forget the preview button being obsolete.

(It's not obsolete for pro-users, who have the option of typing in formatting commands like <i></i> etc)

It's not obsolete. Kiteman pointed out its utility for paid accounts. I also discovered earlier today that if you embed a video, the text-entry box does NOT have the actual object, just a little placeholder box. You can use Preview to verify that the actual video is shown before posting.

Yup, I've had all those.