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[Request] More powerful editing abilities

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Would it be possible to allow users to edit the actual source code of their post (whether it's BBCode or HTML+CSS)? It's not possible using the WYSIWYG editor to include a BBCode floating box (or a box at all) because it seems it only understand a more limited form of BBCode, and a box isn't included, meaning Wiki-style factbooks aren't possible on the forum. The WYSIWYG editor also makes other compromises regarding formatting, such as regarding each {hr} divider as being in its own paragraph spacing-wise, inflexible tables, and being unable to choose a more granular font size (or, for that matter, a font which is not included as a preset in the drop-down menu). One way of avoiding this is by entering the post as BBCode manually, which gives more control over formatting and layout, but clicking preview means all the BBCode is also formatted in the WYSIWYG editor when you *leave* the preview mode, meaning no further BBCode editing is possible without starting over.

Tl;dr - the WYSIWYG editor is a powerful feature which simplifies rich text formatting, but there are situations where complete control over layout would be more desirable, namely for posts where paragraphs aren't the main structure. Could an feature be integrated allowing the option of editing the source of a post?

Edited by Monvisret (see edit history)
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@Monvisret I hear your complaint and I agree wholeheartedly. In April I asked a similar question on the support forum of our CMS provider. You can read about it here. Right now we're using the CKEditor v4.3, while there is already a newer version available. I'm unsure if or when this would be upgraded, since CKEditor 5 has a steep pricing.

Now, it is possible to allow the editing of source code. This is enabled for the admin role. I disabled this for security reasons, since enabling source editing would allow the user to embed scripts as well.

I could investigate a better 3rd way. Have a look at what's possible by extending our existing CKEditor. I appreciate the more advanced "Article Editor":  https://ckeditor.com/ckeditor-4/ It can be extended with a wide range of add-ons. https://ckeditor.com/cke4/addons/plugins/all

Would you have time to have a look at this and make a recommendation?

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@Orioni That's interesting. I've only had experience as a Zetaboards admin previously which was quite simplistic. I've done a bit of reading and I've found a few plugins that look interesting to me:

Layout Manager - This tool allows you to separate the text area into boxes, rows and columns, meaning you can format the text without using fiddly tables or unsupported boxes. I believe this would allow Wiki-style factbooks. The Demo link on that page explains it well.

Magic Line - Makes it easy to insert new lines in places where it is otherwise impossible, works similar to Microsoft Word's mechanism for inserting new rows into tables. I believe this would fix problems people have with not being able to type before or after a Letter because they forgot to leave a line, etc.

Copy Formatting - Allows you to copy and paste tables and other elements without the formatting being broken. I found I couldn't copy and paste a table I made in my factbook as the table formatting was lost. Hopefully this would fix that problem (although this isn't really a big issue, just an annoyance).

I also have a few questions; forgive me if any of them display ignorance!

  1.  How much does this forum cost? How is the price split up, and what influences the price? (i.e., if this month is especially busy in terms of users, would that bump up the price?).
  2. How is the forum funded? Who is paying? Is it funded in any part by advertising or other revenues?
  3. How would a HTML-only editor create security vulnerabilities? I didn't know HTML allowed scripts to be implanted, but I'm genuinely not knowledgeable on this topic.

Thank you!


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Thank you @Monvisret for all your work and research. I really appreciate your help with improving the editor. I will take some time tomorrow to have a go at these addons. The magic line is something I tested before, on the night had to reset everything. Since then I haven't risked touching the settings, since it requires the manual re-adding of each and every button. There is no easy undo for the editor.

The additional questions you ask are not bothersome at all. It shows you interested you are in asking questions and figuring things out. Anyone who's had experience with Zetaboards will probably have tinkered with similar stuff as well. 

  1. Costs. Each month I'm billed $20 for our minimal setup of an average 20 active users. The next tier is +$5 which would be nice since it unlocks the HTTPS feature. Right now we're not big enough to request it.
  2. Funding. No ads. Just me. Our previous version, actually our original one which I exported from Invisionfree, employed Google Ads. But we didn't get anything out of that.
  3. Editor security. You can hide a lot of sneaky stuff by adding some inline CSS. Dumpt some code in there and hide it with {display:none}. That's rather easy. I'm sure @Adaptus could tell you more about this, preferably in private. We wouldn't want to dig our own grave.
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