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Author's profile photo Eddy De Clercq

From the Grumpier Old Man: Still Waiting for Godot

            I still have difficulties, even after having  spent almost 4 years in this community, getting a grip on both it and what’s  going on in peoples mind. As Craig Profile Contest – where are you?,  the community isn’t very responsive these days. As this forum thread My rant about standard of questions and answers,  people seem to simply spend their time posting the same questions over and over  again in the forums instead of just searching the forums of the answers instead.  The same thing happens in the web logs, where The specified item was not found. appear where they shouldn’t be if one only went to the trouble to take 5  minutes to search what’s already available. On top of that, people get rewarded  for that kind of behaviour.
            As I said before in one of the forum threads concerning this kind of behaviour;  one should introduce the same logic as in the OSS messaging system, where one  is obliged to search in the database before one can submit a message. This applies  equally to the forums, web logs and the wiki.
            As has been said, the community isn’t as  vibrant as it claims to be. One example is the launch of the new WYSIWYG  web log editor. Finally! There’s been SDN and Open Source about such an editor for ages now. I even showed how Eazy az 1-2-3 things were to implement. However it’s there now and how has the community  responded? Except for Nigel’s rather mild New toys for the bloggers and – just when I wanted to publish mine, but beaten by the timezones – one from The specified item was not found.,  nothing at all. Is it lack of interest, doesn’t one care or is there not really  that much to say about this new editor? In the contrary there’s loads to say, sadly  enough not all of it is postive. However I wouldn’t be a Grumpy Old Man would  I, if I didn’t highlight the negative points.
            First of all, it is still slow. I would have  expected  that someone would have done  something about this after Nigel mentioned this problem. Unfortunately, one  doesn’t seem to (be able to) respond appropriately. Another example of this lack  of response is the fact that I have now reported multiple times, over quite a  period of time now, that the Points Development Area items show double (I have  even had triple or even quadruple). Well it’s still the case no matter which OS  or browser one uses.
            Speaking of browsers. When does one finally  learn that – yes, I’m repeating myself again – there is something in this  computer world other than Microsoft Internet Explorer? This company seems to  live in the (digital) Middle Ages, where there’s only MIE (6) supported. It  doesn’t limit to SDN: BI 7, SAP Passport and SAP Gui are some other examples of  that corny behaviour.
            And no, Firefox isn’t a browser that is used by a very small amount of people.  Studies have proven that even in Belgium 20% are using Firefox. Where is the Firefox  2 support? A quick look in the OSS notes doesn’t promise a lot.
            One seems to pay more attention to a gadget  phone, which



  • isn’t       widely available

  • hasn’t a       full blown browser

  • doesn’t       support Flash (solved by a fix?) nor Java

  • doesn’t       seem be safe, according to what I read in the press

  • doesn’t       support 3G and is linked with an expensive obligatory provider       subscription and thus a cross-belt sale (which is illegal in Belgium)

  • I don’t       see myself writing a weblog with


Having said that let’s get back to the web  log editor again. I wonder if anyone has  tested things on other browsers. If anyone  did, they would have seen that nearly every popup – including the one for  posting the web log ( as mentioned by Alvaro); the 640×480 screens are long gone!- is too small. One  can’t insert hyperlink, images, etc. in a proper manner. The scrolling bars are  left out and double clicking on the title bar doesn’t help either.
            Speaking of inserting images. Since the images must be uploaded anyway, why  can’t one show all the pictures available? Isn’t it a bit stupid that one has  to go back to the upload section in order to copy the link and paste it in the  popup?
            Additionally, I have my doubts on the  editor features. What’s the guarantee that everything that you do in the editor  will be shown properly. I had the problem that list items, such as those given  above, didn’t show in my web logs anywmore. I needed to report this several  times to get this fixed. But when it finally did, all the list items were mixed  up and appeared numbered and unnumbered as well. On top of that, the editor  wouldn’t let me fix me things since it couldn’t interpret the HTML code  properly. Something had generated this code. And it wasn’t me, since I had the  original (made in Dreamweaver) to compare with. The only solution was to edit  the HTML. This, in my opinion, is against the philosophy of a WYSIWYG editor.  There shouldn’t be any interpretation/translation when saving the things you’ve  entered in the editor.  If you want to  limit the possibilities of what is allowed in the web log, you should do it in  the editor, by disabling that feature. I don’t see that happening in this  editor. Certainly not when you’re allowed to paste things from Word. All of us  know that the HTML produced by Word isn’t standard and certainly not all of it  is allowed within the SDN web log system.
            What is allowed within that system anyway?  There was so much fuss about the fact that scripting could harm your PC and  nearly everything was disallowed. But now I see that we have the possibility to  add embedded media. Isn’t there a security risk anymore? What is allowed in the  web logs these days and what’s not? Wouldn’t an updated list be helpful,  certainly for the people who wish to continue to contribute in HTML? In  addition to that, a revision of that policy would be more than welcome. S(D)N  shouldn’t be concerned about the security level of the users PCs. It’s up to  the browser/OS manufacturers to take care of that and for the users themselves  to decide if they want to allow things on their PCs or not. The real thread  lies somewhere else if the end user doesn’t take care. I’m rather sure that the  main purpose of writing a web log on S(D)N is to share information in the best  possible way without any restrictions and NOT to harm people.


            I have to admit that I’m disappointed in  the WYSIWYG editor. I don’t understand why it took so long to deliver this  result.  One doesn’t need to blame things  on the technology used. It works perfectly. We’ve implemented the same editor  without the browser hassle. One should certainly test/try things out without  eye flaps. The testing stage should have been over long ago and someone should have  come up with something decent (and have even gone beyond the standard  functionality) by now.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Please and cries are not going unheard we do hear! To address a couple of items, more things are being allowed for the simple reason that weblogs are no longer and application process meaning that you have to invited and therefore we've drastically reduced the potential threat we had in the past so we are opening things up a bit more again.

      Our weblog system is not native and does not run on our servers it's hosted, one reason why we can't offer "group only" blogs simply because we use a hosted solution (not the best we know, we've been in discussions about it several times now over the last couple of years) which means that test cycles take longer unfortunately and we have a huge test pattern we use to try and account for every possible thing going on, therefore the delay in getting the WYSIWYG in place was partially due to that as well as a hardware problem that took longer to resolve than should have been necessary but these are the breaks. The other item was simple "demand" we reacted more to everything else the community was asking and demanding as well as working to improve performance that the WYSIWYG was a lower priority and we don't have that big of a team you know.

      As for the items allowed as pure HTML that actually did not change, the addition was the tag combo for audio and video so the list is the same.

      As for the double entries that is now a high priority and is being fixed, it was annonying but not a show stopper so we focused on other areas.

      It's hard to make almost 900,000 people happy but we do try...

      Author's profile photo Eddy De Clercq
      Eddy De Clercq
      Blog Post Author

      First of all thanks for the reply.

      Concerning the allowed tags list. I don't know if there is any more recent list (maybe a link to it in the editing screen would help?), but I've based myself on SDN: Weblogs and Formatting!
      The following tags don't work with the new editor when entered via the HTML editor:

      They (together with the closing tags off course) vanish when submitted.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Thanks Eddy those actually got removed before the editor - I'll update that blog and pass the suggestion for the link into the "system"
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Nice blog as usual -:) In my blog, I test most of the functionality and it worked for me...Maybe I was just lucky -:P

      Something that I forgot to mention (I did mention about the lack of ALIGN option), was that I include some HTML code that was somehow ignored by the blogging system...A simple...

      Haven't got the time to test test on FF or Safari, which I'm planning to do soon...But on IE and at work...It loaded very fast...

      Anyway, thanks for showing the grumpier aspect of the blogging system -;)