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Add WYSIWYG editor to "Composer" probably markdown! #569

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bnvk opened this Issue Apr 7, 2014 · 9 comments

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bnvk commented Apr 7, 2014

Sending and receiving HTML email is a polarizing issue, some people love it, some people despise it. Personally, I fall into the later category most of the time. I say that as a designer & visual oriented person. Sure, I like seeing colorful, well designed emails from interesting sources as much as the next person, but for my daily correspondence I HATE the chaos of HTML emails nasty formatting, colors, and font sizes that marke it harder for me to simply read messages from people that matter to me. Additionally, HTML emails open up a whole slew of security issues that need to be taken into account properly. That said, HTML emails is something we must support.

What I propose is using a WYSIWYG markdown editor like http://epiceditor.com which does the following things:

  • Provides sending user with a GUI WYSIWYG experience
  • Sends a plain text/plain parts (with markdown format) and HTML parts
  • On reading email, always read text/plain but render markdown as HTML

This should allow users to do basic h1, h2, h3, strong, em, p style elements, but work seamlessly with the larger mailpile design.

For more design heavy emails (mailing lists, marketing, etc...) we should explore more creative nicer ways to display these messages a la what Gmail is planning to do http://gmailblog.blogspot.ca/2014/03/a-new-more-visual-way-to-view-your.html

@bnvk bnvk added this to the Beta milestone Apr 7, 2014

@bnvk bnvk self-assigned this Apr 7, 2014

@bnvk bnvk added the Front End label Apr 9, 2014

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bnvk commented May 6, 2014

The modern blogging platform Medium has a nice inline approach to WYSIWYG

medium-editor

Perhaps this is the right way to go? More at https://medium.com/about/df8eac9f4a5e

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bvorak commented May 8, 2014

Yeah, I Really like it's simplicity.

@BjarniRunar BjarniRunar modified the milestones: Beta, 1.1 Release Aug 12, 2014

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vinipsmaker commented Sep 16, 2014

  • Provides sending user with a GUI WYSIWYG experience

I don't care about this one, but I think a lot of users do. Then I also think this is important.

  • Sends a plain text/plain parts (with markdown format) and HTML parts

+1

I came here in the mailpile bugtracker just to suggest this.

It may be of interest to this discussion: http://blog.codinghorror.com/standard-flavored-markdown/

  • On reading email, always read text/plain but render markdown as HTML

I disagree about this feature. You're assuming that all text will render nicely with MarkDown. You're assuming that all email users will use software similar to mailpile to be ensure nice format in MarkDown. You're assuming the HTML part doesn't have elements that are important and unrenderable in the text/plain counterpart. Not only all that, but you're hiding the real content from the user. If this is implemented, there should be an option to disable it.

The modern blogging platform Medium has a nice inline approach to WYSIWYG [...] Perhaps this is the right way to go?

+1

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vinipsmaker commented Sep 16, 2014

What I propose is using a WYSIWYG markdown editor like http://epiceditor.com

I like the idea of live preview like advocated by Bret Victor on the Inventing on Principle talk.

EpicEditor doesn't have a live preview, but the Ghost blogging platform does:

After playing with epic editor in the past I realized my workflow was suboptimal, then I configured Emacs to "preview" MarkDown as I type and I noticed I no longer lose time on the "edit, preview, edit, look for the point where I stop before changing to preview" tasks.

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Cathryne commented Sep 16, 2014

Neat! The discussion software Discourse has a similarly well designed solution as well. If WYSIWYG, then +1 for (the option of) such a split-view approach.

However, I can imagine that longer writing can be disctracted by the constant updating in your peripheral vision. IMHO, a contrast-reducing overlay that is removed on mouse-over or after a few seconds delay could counter that problem, if it arose.

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0b10011 commented Sep 17, 2014

👍

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benkaiser commented Sep 20, 2014

👍

I think this project is awesome, and this would really seal the deal. The idea of making it markdown based so that the text part of the email can still be readable is an awesome idea.

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danyill commented Feb 17, 2018

This is a great feature request.

I would be quite keen to see Asciidoctor as an option instead/as well as Markdown. Asciidoctor while natively a Ruby application is also cross-compiled via Opal to Javascript and widely used in this form. It also has a "markdown compatibility mode".

There seems to be a few leading lightweight markups and so an extensible interface perhaps supporting Markdown (many variants thereof), Asciidoc and RestructuredText would be very cool.

I'd be very keen to see a side-by-side preview (providing user feedback) rather than a tabbed view.

There is recently a Thunderbird Asciidoc plugin to allow writing Asciidoc in the compose window and also a Firefox Asciidoctor plugin (using Asciidoctor.js) which may assist. Also there is the Docgist which offers a similar WYSIWIG interface (although not quite as cool as those above).

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vinipsmaker commented Feb 17, 2018

I love asciidoc. I converted documentation of several of my projects to asciidoctor. I have everything in asciidoc.

I do not mind if the plugin is CommonMark thou. I'm fluent in CommonMark (although I prefer asciidoc everywhere).

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