Sneak Peek – Main Site Editor

Hello everyone, and welcome to another Sneak Peek blog post, where I give you a quick preview of what’s coming our way in the near future here at Obsidian Portal. By now, you’ve no doubt had a chance to see and get a bit of experience with the CKEditor that came as part of the community forum update.

As you might have heard over on the boards, the new editor is coming to the main site as well – part of the overall plan to move towards HTML 5/6 as the primary markup language used for OP campaigns.

Now, some of you may be a bit concerned at this news, and I can fully understand why. After all, it was only a few months back when the editor on the main site was updated, “broke” many peoples’ pages, and was then rolled back after some user uproar. Having said that, let me take this opportunity to set your mind as ease.

First and foremost, I’d like to say that no one’s pages will be broken by this change. Technically, no one’s pages were broken last time either, they simply weren’t formatted because CKEditor doesn’t recognize textile, and thus all of their textile markup was being processed as just plain text. While there is a textile addon for CKEditor, investigation by the tech team has found that it isn’t working, and hasn’t been updated since 2009.

John has said that the team could look into repairing the addon and maybe get it working somewhere down the line, but more realistically, it’s better to start nudging users away from textile. I mean, if the addon hasn’t been updated in 7 years, what message does that convey?

“But what about me? I’ve made heavy use of textile on my campaign!”

Not to worry. If there’s one thing that the previous editor update event showed everyone, it’s that there is a sizeable portion of the userbase that relies on textile due to having used it exclusively for so long – and who would be drastically impacted without some manner of textile support. To that end, the legacy editor isn’t going anywhere, and users will be able to select which editor they’d prefer to use in the Advanced Settings area in the campaign dashboard.


click to see larger size

This means that the choice of which editor is completely up to you. If you’re one of those users who has been around since the early days and have your entire campaign decked out in textile, use the legacy editor and ignore the new one. If you’re just starting out or want to ensure your campaign is using the newest markup, then use the new one. Or maybe you’re somewhere in the middle? Practice with the new editor on your test pages while using the legacy editor on your public areas.

“When is this happening? Is it going to be an Ascendant only thing?”

We are perhaps a week or so away from this update as of yesterday (July the 26th). With regards to needing Ascendant status or not – No, Ascendant membership is not required for editor selection. Everyone will have access to this feature. In talking to John about this rollout, he has informed me the editor setup will be as follows:

  • Existing users will have their default editor set to textile and can then change it if or as desired.
  • When users create a new campaign, the default will be set to the new editor initially.

“What do we gain with this editor over the old one?”

When you get right down to it, this editor (aside from not having working textile support) is flat out better than the legacy one. It’s user friendly, allows visual or source based authoring, has automatic draft saving so nothing gets lost and it’s also extensible, which gives the techs the capability to add and customize plugins so as to provide an enhanced editing experience as we move forward. Hell, it even lets you paste straight from Word and keep all of your formatting.

Anyway, that’s going to pretty much wrap it up for this Sneak Peek. Thanks for reading and I’ll see everyone next time.

All the best,
– Kallak

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