Public Lab Research note

Rich Editor project: Calling for alpha testers!

by warren | August 15, 2016 21:20 15 Aug 21:20 | #13353 | #13353

Hello all -- it's been some time since the original call for input on the new #rich-editor project, but a huge amount of progress has been made, and we have a mostly-functioning initial version -- I'm using it right now to write this post.

Now, I'd like to ask for some initial alpha testers to give it a try. There are some rough edges -- see below for some known bugs -- but there's a working "history" module which will do a lot to ensure that you don't lose anything while you type, so I think it's a good time to ask people to try it out and provide some feedback!

What to look for

We're looking in part for some feedback on the interface in general -- what it's like to write posts in rich text instead of Markdown, how image uploading works, what are the hiccups and problems you encounter. But we also have some specific features to try out:

  • table generation
  • various formatting -- headings, blockquotes, lists
  • pasting rich content from other sites or even from MS Word... (totally untested!)
  • recovering past versions from the history module
  • the new tagging interface
  • the (still buggy) @ and # autocompletion helpers (see known bugs below)

In general, we'd like to know how close we are to this going live, what features we should enable/disable for a live version (vs. a "beta features" version, perhaps) and how you like the solutions we've come up with. A lot of changes are under the hood, and will enable us to tweak and refine the interface with your input.

Known bugs

  • Any autocompletion features (related posts, suggested tags, author name) are still returning very brief "example" results until the new Rich Search system comes online later this month (it's a #gsoc project!)
  • Using the @ and # characters triggers an autocompletion menu, but this sometimes results in the cursor moving unexpectedly, or a line being deleted. Please excuse this bug and use the history and undo features to recover any lost typing! To avoid this, simply manually type out #tags and @usernames, instead of hitting enter or using your mouse or arrow keys to select a suggestion.
  • Pasting HTML links seems not always to work properly -- we're looking into this.

Thanks, just reply below in the comments if you'd like to be an alpha tester!

To try it out, just go to


Ah -- a quick followup -- I'm still debugging drag & drop image upload, so please hold tight on that; should have it running by tomorrow with luck.

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I'll try to think of something to test the editor in the next couple of days.

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The instructions that come up with item 3 keep appearing and disappearing making the page jumpy. The instructions with item 1 do the same thing, but since that is only 1 line it is less jarring.

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Oh, great point. I wasn't sure if that would be annoying, but it is. I filed a possible solution here:


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@warren I have filed some issues recently. Do have a look at them.

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