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.