ninetydegrees: Drawing: a girl's face, with a yellow and green stripe over one eye (Default)
Ninety Degrees (90d) 🌻 ([personal profile] ninetydegrees) wrote in [site community profile] dw_suggestions2016-03-04 02:13 pm

Have previews load on same page in small pop-ups

Lightboxes are a bad idea so I've submitted a new suggestion to improve our current preview pop-ups. Please comment on this one instead once it's approved. :)

Title:
Have previews load on same page in small pop-ups

Area:
entries, comments

Summary:
We have wonderful magic for Quick Reply and a nice pop-up for browsing icons. I'm thinking that something along these would be nice for previews too. So no more loading the preview in the same tab (like DW does for comments) or even loading it in a new window (like DW does for entries). Just a small pop-up you could post your entry and comment from if you're happy with what you see or with a link to go back to the editing page, which would close the pop-up (it is currently not possible to post an entry from its preview page or go back to editing from there; you can only close the window). This type of previews is already implemented on several sites.

Description:
On the Comments preview page, there is additional info (such as which HTML tags are allowed). I think this info should be accessible before you click preview (I don't see how you're supposed to know you have to click on preview to get it in the first place). It could be via a ? button or a text link.

Feel free to suggest better implementation! There may be even better preview magic I haven't seen yet :)

Poll #18018 Have previews load on same page in small pop-ups
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 29


This suggestion:

View Answers

Should be implemented as-is.
3 (10.3%)

Should be implemented with changes. (please comment)
3 (10.3%)

Shouldn't be implemented.
14 (48.3%)

(I have no opinion)
9 (31.0%)

(Other: please comment)
0 (0.0%)

denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2017-02-20 09:36 pm (UTC)(link)
For clarity, when you say "pop-up", do you mean a separate, smaller-sized window, or do you mean a "lightbox" inside the window/tab you're currently looking at?

The big issue with lightboxes is that it's really hard to do them in an accessible way...

[personal profile] swaldman 2017-02-20 09:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Also, I bet I'm not the only one who will,
1. Write a post
2. Hit Preview
3. Put the preview side-by-side with my main browser window on screen
4. Read through the preview, editing the original when I find errors.

I like it separate :-)
(Also, a lightbox-like thing would probably fail on small screens)
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)

[personal profile] melannen 2017-02-20 10:44 pm (UTC)(link)
+1
musyc: Black and white image of rose (B/W: Rose)

[personal profile] musyc 2017-02-21 01:45 am (UTC)(link)
You're not the only one. XD If I need to edit a post, I keep the preview open so I can see all the squiggly lines and/or just where my HTML went messy.
anaraine: A slightly washed-out crop of sunlight shining through the branches of a cherry tree. ([flora] cherry tree)

[personal profile] anaraine 2017-02-21 01:56 am (UTC)(link)
+1
montuos: cartoon portrait of myself (Default)

[personal profile] montuos 2017-02-21 03:37 pm (UTC)(link)
I do not have any intrinsic objection to having a lightbox preview, and would probably end up enjoying it for quick verification. I just do not want to lose the separate window option for lengthy posts and/or those with more difficult formatting.
turlough: small purple crocuses, March 2016 (Default)

[personal profile] turlough 2017-02-21 06:52 pm (UTC)(link)
+1
phidari: (Default)

[personal profile] phidari 2017-02-20 09:43 pm (UTC)(link)
I love lightboxes, but if they're difficult for accessibility... :( They do work pretty well for icon selection; has anyone reported issues with those?

If a browser doesn't support lightboxes or is smaller than a certain width, perhaps the preview could degrade gracefully to the current method.
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2017-02-21 02:44 am (UTC)(link)

Yeah, there are ways to make them accessible, but it's hard and takes a lot of careful work. (We do have a bunch of people with experience in making "web 2.0" Javascripty features more accessible, but 'more accessible' is not always 'fully accessible', and sometimes it's easier to just not go there, yanno?)

The icon picker lightbox is one of those "done in a fairly accessible way" lightboxes, and it works for most workflows and in most assistive tech, but it is also not a crucial workflow -- if someone can't use it, they can work around it (by loading the icon page in another browser window and then picking by keyword in the dropdown) -- and so we can have a little more leeway with it. For something that only has one workflow or is a core function of the site like previewing posts/comments, we'd have to be more careful.

(Which is not saying "we wouldn't do it" -- otherwise I would have rejected the suggestion! It can be done without sacrificing accessibility, if people think it would be enough of an improvement to the workflow. Just mentioning some concerns.)

denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2017-02-21 02:46 am (UTC)(link)

Pop-up is what happens when you hit Preview on the create entries page. Lightbox is what happens when you open the icon browser while you're leaving a comment. Does that help? (I don't use gmail, so I can't say for sure...)

denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2017-02-21 02:47 am (UTC)(link)
That is a lightbox!
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2017-02-21 05:05 pm (UTC)(link)

Sure, just refer back to this one!

sporky_rat: The Roman Orator from Rome, hand upraised. Text: Ahem (my own opinion)

[personal profile] sporky_rat 2017-02-21 02:46 pm (UTC)(link)
I am okay with a popup window if it had a 'Post This Entry Now' button on it.
jducoeur: (Default)

[personal profile] jducoeur 2017-02-21 07:47 pm (UTC)(link)
My preferred option would be neither the new window (as it now is) nor a lightbox, but instead a side-by-side or top-and-bottom: opening a new pane in-page that shows the rendered view. I don't *think* that would have as many accessibility problems as a lightbox.

I should note: I honestly think the current pop-out preview is overkill -- I rarely (probably never) care about the page styling. (Which after all, some users are going to override with their own preferences.) Seeing my style's framing just gets in the way of the preview, IMO.

What I care about is the content that I've written, rendered properly. (This is much more important if you're using Markdown than with the WYSIWYG editor.) That works best in a side-by-side or top-bottom style, so I can see what I wrote and the way it renders next to each other. That's not an unusual approach -- for example, Discourse does its previews side-by-side, and I'm planning to implement that for Querki.

In a *perfect* world, the preview would update as you type, keystroke by keystroke. If DW was *only* using Markdown, I'd strongly advocate that, since there are now decent browser-side Markdown processors, but I suspect it's impractical (or at least, a very large project) in the current architecture. But it would be nice to have some sort of ctrl-keystroke to update the Preview with my current changes.
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

[personal profile] marahmarie 2017-02-22 08:01 am (UTC)(link)
In an even more perfect world you can update the preview, like on SquareSpace. Their preview is editable and (though it's been years so can't exactly recall) I think you can update right from it.

I write in straight HTML (I don't use RTE or Markdown) so I need a preview and like the new window that opens for that, just as it is. The memory load with pop-up previews (like they do now on Wordpress.com - which I think is actually more like the lightbox discussed above) is considerable; all the page features of the preview are sluggish and it just slows everything down).
jducoeur: (Default)

[personal profile] jducoeur 2017-02-22 01:30 pm (UTC)(link)
In an even more perfect world you can update the preview, like on SquareSpace. Their preview is editable and (though it's been years so can't exactly recall) I think you can update right from it.

While I don't object to it, at that point I start to wonder what the difference is between that and the WYSIWYG view. (Also, implementing that is, I suspect, much, *much* harder: in most important respects, it *is* essentially implementing a new version of the WYSIWYG editor.)

The memory load with pop-up previews (like they do now on Wordpress.com - which I think is actually more like the lightbox discussed above) is considerable; all the page features of the preview are sluggish and it just slows everything down).

While I can believe that's true in some implementations, there's no reason why that should be generally true. Doing a dynamic keystroke-by-keystroke preview is going to add some load, sure, but a simple preview pane (either side-by-side or lightbox) shouldn't add much; that just suggests bad implementation...
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

[personal profile] marahmarie 2017-02-23 05:10 am (UTC)(link)
While I don't object to it, at that point I start to wonder what the difference is between that and the WYSIWYG view. (Also, implementing that is, I suspect, much, *much* harder: in most important respects, it *is* essentially implementing a new version of the WYSIWYG editor.)

Yeah, I would never, ever suggest it for a smaller site like Dreamwidth. It was actually way ahead of its time when it came out, and probably some of the reason SquareSpace is a bit pricey for what was, up until recently, merely another CMS (I see they've added domain name services in more recent times).

But the difference between editing on page and using WYSIWG is vast, though I suppose purely psychological, for me: I don't tend to catch a lot of errors and rewrites I could do until things are published. There's something about that after-post adrenaline rush I get that suddenly triggers the "Oh, wait, I completely fubured that" or "Wow, this entire piece sucks" mechanism in my brain that slept until just that moment.

My writing flow, in other words, is not normal, which has caused me to run into problems, for instance, when writing or replying to comments, including on DW itself. I'm not proud of this, but the point is, my posting and replying (writing) flows are pretty much the same, but with comments, I don't even get what *looks like* an on-page preview (as opposed to posting top-level entries, which does let you have that), so no adrenaline rush to help clear my addled brain and help the words along. :)

SquareSpace, with their on-page writing/editing, would let me think - in some irrational corner of my brain...and my brain can get so fuzzy even I wonder how it can function, sometimes - that the piece I was writing was *already up*, which made the adrenaline rush kick in a lot faster and earlier, and might have produced better work as a result (but this was so many years ago, right after SquareSpace became a thing, that I can't exactly recall what I wrote under their CMS now). But, basically, that's the difference, at least for me.

While I can believe that's true in some implementations, there's no reason why that should be generally true. Doing a dynamic keystroke-by-keystroke preview is going to add some load, sure, but a simple preview pane (either side-by-side or lightbox) shouldn't add much; that just suggests bad implementation...

Agreed. But if even a big name player like Wordpress.com can produce a less than ideal implementation, then I'd want to know that anything similar DW does will be designed with performance at the forefront, because there's nothing worse IMO while trying to think what to write/how to word it than the page slowing up and being distracting, or having to wait for things to load or become usable.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2017-02-23 05:36 am (UTC)(link)
Having used Squarespace in the past two years, that's also sluggish as hell. At least, on a system that's not got the resources for what's being asked of it.
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

[personal profile] marahmarie 2017-04-11 07:12 am (UTC)(link)
Is it?

(Just saw this comment, so I'm sorry for the delay in replying. Kind of was looking around for similar posts to another Suggestion I want to make when I ran across this one again.)

I used SquareSpace...I want to say during 2006 or 2007, specifically - I was off LJ altogether at the time, with every LJ journal deleted, and was using it on an older tower running XP with a big old CRT monitor, so I mean, this goes waaaaay back. Things were fast on SquareSpace back then, but this was pre-Web 2.0...much simpler times.

I wonder if SquareSpace being sluggish now is limited to how much power the device used for it has or if it's an unavoidable site issue (which would be a shame if that's the case...but still, I miss the days when any web page loaded pretty fast on just about any computer - DW is one of the few sites that's still pretty much that fast, and I hope it never changes).