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ehku

Let's vote for Post Preview feature

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Hello IPS 4 users and developers,

We all know that since IPS 4.0, the Post Preview feature has been removed. I think Preview is always important, even for a WYSIWYG editor (I really don't feel "safe" when submitting a post without seeing how exactly it will be displayed :D ). Wordpress, for example, has a WYSIWYG editor for years and I don't think they will remove the Preview function anytime in the future. 

In my particular case: one of the forums I manage is a science forum (more specifically about applied maths and computer science), and we use a JavaScript library called MathJax to display math formulas. What it does is to convert "formula code" into "displayed formulas". For example, if I type:

ckeditor.png

then I should get the following after submitting:

post.png

Without the Preview option, the user cannot know if everything he's typed is correct (especially the formulas), until after they submitted the post.

Preview is for me something of fundamental importance. 

I have searched on this site and saw that some people had already asked for this (links below). My forum is in the minority, of course, but I hope other people here will have strong arguments so that we can together convince IPS to re-introduce this functionality.

Best regards.

 

By @querschlaeger:

 

By @Geoffro73 and @rgf100:

By @Bill Edwards and @Christopher Furlong:

 

By @Trevor Carey and @Alush:

 

By @Dennis_87:

 

By @Ammar Kucevic:

 

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I think it's fair to say your situation is unusual and I can certainly see the use for a preview there. However, for the vast majority of situations (and communities), a preview is just duplicating what's already shown in the editor, which is why don't feel it has value as a feature any more.

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I'd say given the editor is (should) be fully WYSIWYG then if the preview does not match the posted output then its an editor concern... I'm not sure what editor vers is being used on this (4.1) and if its the latest CKE or not I've not checked.

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2 hours ago, Nathan Explosion said:

@ehku

Could you post the actual math tex text please? I'm too lazy (and my eyes are tired) to type it out.

Alternatively, maybe copy it in to the demo of the mathjax plugin demo on the ckeditor site to see if it overcomes the need for a preview in your case.

http://ckeditor.com/addon/mathjax

Thanks, @Nathan Explosion! Actually I already have that plugin installed (have a look at http://networkflow.net). Although it has limited functionality, it works pretty well. But the major concern is that when I edit a post, the code are not converted to (iframe) formulas.  

Edited by ehku

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It's funny, honestly I don't think my members have any need for a preview with the current editor, but that is the feature they want back the most. For some of them it's that they don't trust the WYSIWYG, but after some digging it turns out that for most it's because for fifteen years we've been training them to click the preview button and then to proofread their posts. So now they don't proofread until they click post! So while I understand Invision's position here, all I can say is that my members want it back, and are being rather vocal about it.

For my uses, however, I think the ability to have a short (say 5 min) grace period where they can invisibly edit their posts before the normal edit window kicks in would also do the trick, and they would probably like it better.

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My members (at the Box Office Theory forums) are also asking for the Preview Button to come back. They might not need it for a regular post but they post things like very complicated lists and other stuff that they would like to see. Now I know some people (including Invision) might argue that since this is a true WYSIWYG editor you don't need it but I think that's kinda nonesense. Even OpenOffice and I assume Microsoft Word offer you the ability to preview before you print. There is something psychological about being able to actually see what you typed as a post rather than what's in the editor.

 

At the very least, someone should create a modification to bring this back. Members are missing this feature. This is a standard forum feature as well so I'm kinda surprised Invision decided to remove it.

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1 hour ago, Heradite said:

My members (at the Box Office Theory forums) are also asking for the Preview Button to come back. They might not need it for a regular post but they post things like very complicated lists and other stuff that they would like to see. Now I know some people (including Invision) might argue that since this is a true WYSIWYG editor you don't need it but I think that's kinda nonesense. Even OpenOffice and I assume Microsoft Word offer you the ability to preview before you print. There is something psychological about being able to actually see what you typed as a post rather than what's in the editor.

At the very least, someone should create a modification to bring this back. Members are missing this feature. This is a standard forum feature as well so I'm kinda surprised Invision decided to remove it.

You have a very strong point here. 

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We haven't upgraded yet, my community resists change, and the more changes, the less likely I am to upgrade successfully, which is a real pity as V4 seems so much better.

The "Preview Post" may, not be strictly "necessary" (although I would argue it is), but it certainly "desirable" as can be seen from the support here!

Would it really be a lot of work to re-add it? Perhaps making it possible to toggle it on and off either by Admin action or user choice?

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On 10/27/2015, 5:16:22, ehku said:

You have a very strong point here. 

10846161_10152980234714578_1295695716239

 

To be fair, it's a wysiwyg editor, so what you see in the editor is how it will be in the preview (generally)

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My members still complain after many months on 4.0 and now 4.1.

The function how it is today is not good enough. New post on my car detaling forum have gone down by almost 40% after the upgrade since many users don't want to make new show and shine post because its to much of a pain.

Many of my users have posts with 100-500 of images. Example if a member copy a list of 100 links to images from photobucket, like they did before. It does not change to images and the user don't have a preview button that does it. Its not possible for a user to remember what link is what image!!

I have to choose another forum software soon if IPB dont listen to the customers or some make a custom preview button :( I want to have as little as possible custom because it always makes problems when upgrading later.

 

Edited by Dennis_87

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On 10/29/2015, 3:40:56, Paul.F said:

To be fair, it's a wysiwyg editor, so what you see in the editor is how it will be in the preview (generally)

And this is the reason, mate :D 

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2 hours ago, Dennis_87 said:

What exactly is the problem to include a simple preview button function? 

Redundancy, WYSIWYG, What You See Is What You Get

The only realistic need for a "Preview" would be to see it without it being wrapped in an editor, but realistically the editor contents is translated to HTML on-the-fly and is your preview.

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By including an additional preview feature you'd be undermining the WYSIWYG functionality of the editor. If there's something you think is not showing correctly in the editor, you should not ask for some redudant preview feature, but instead want the actual problem / devitation to be corrected.

As for the psychological effect argued over earlier, that'd be a human error and not a problem with the software. Change is scary, yeah, but you'll get used to it eventually.

Edited by Vikestart

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As I did write in my other post:

On my car detailing site many post large content with 100-500 or even more images. After upgrading from 3.4 its much more difficult to paste many images since the editor does not have a preview button or support to paste multiple image links at once from example photobucket that most of my users uses.
You have to post one link and then enter for it to show as a image. Its much easier to post the links to all images and then look at the images where to add the text. But since the editor does not support this and no preview button its not possible.

Many members don't post large show and shine posts any more because of this issue.

Edited by Dennis_87

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35 minutes ago, Dennis_87 said:

As I did write in my other post:

On my car detailing site many post large content with 100-500 or even more images. After upgrading from 3.4 its much more difficult to paste many images since the editor does not have a preview button or support to paste multiple image links at once from example photobucket that most of my users uses.
You have to post one link and then enter for it to show as a image. Its much easier to post the links to all images and then look at the images where to add the text. But since the editor does not support this and no preview button its not possible.

Many members don't post large show and shine posts any more because of this issue.

Curiosity - what did they do previously? The thing I'm not getting with this example, unless I'm missing something, is that image urls have not automatically parsed previously (ie in pre-4.x) and for them to show up in the preview then they would have had to use the image bbcode tags....which would be parsed by the preview option.

[img][/img]

So when they pasted images previously, what was it that they were actually doing to have them then show up in the preview?

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7 hours ago, Vikestart said:

By including an additional preview feature you'd be undermining the WYSIWYG functionality of the editor. If there's something you think is not showing correctly in the editor, you should not ask for some redudant preview feature, but instead want the actual problem / devitation to be corrected.

As for the psychological effect argued over earlier, that'd be a human error and not a problem with the software. Change is scary, yeah, but you'll get used to it eventually.

The problem with your argument, put forth by IPS and most others, is that the editor is a WYSIWYG.

Except it's not. 

This has nothing to do with embracing change or being fearless. 

As users @ehku amd @Dennis_87 have pointed out, there are limitations to the live rendering.  There are certain specialized bbcode or libraries that dont appear properly in the editor.  This is why even I think that a post feature would be beneficial, and why I think it's arrogant for us to outright reject a Preview option when you or I don't see the need for it ourselves.  Even though my typing or your typing may not need a Preview and the basic CKEditor suffices,I can understand the frustrations of others who can't check the formatting on their posts.  

The editor is fundamental to the entire IPS community experience, which is also why I highly disagree with the "unusual" statement from @Rikki.  If there's one experience that needs to absolutely work for every single IPS client, its the editor.  

 

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