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Feature request: Option to use (regular) line-breaks when posting on together.jolla.com [answered]

asked 2014-05-14 21:35:12 +0200

oitos gravatar image

updated 2014-05-15 05:56:08 +0200

I was just typing a comment to a post here on together.jolla.com, and I noticed that when the comment was posted, all my intended line-breaks were removed, making my message more difficult to digest than is necessary.
I feel that it is important to enable users to put in proper line-breaks when responding, as it can help to make the whole forum far more readable.

I will use said comment as an example. It is not exactly a worst-case scenario, but it does illustrate my point.
Of course, the longer a post is, the more the line breaks are needed for clear formatting.


This is how I formatted the comment prior to posting:
"I too have been annoyed with this bug several times.
I have found on several occasions that instead of scrolling up to read the previous conversation with the person I am typing to, I end up clicking the page back button, which results in being taken back to the message list and losing everything I just wrote.
This is particularly annoying when typing long messages, as I am sure many of you have experienced too!"

This is how it was formatted after I submitted:
"I too have been annoyed with this bug several times. I have found on several occasions that instead of scrolling up to read the previous conversation with the person I am typing to, I end up clicking the page back button, which results in being taken back to the message list and losing everything I just wrote. This is particularly annoying when typing long messages, as I am sure many of you have experienced too!"


Note: Double line-breaks do work, as I have used above for clarity; however, if you want to break off text on successive lines (i.e., no empty space between the two lines), then a regular line-break will simply be ignored. Either enter double white space (i.e., hit the space bar twice) after a sentence, or use HTML tags,
as suggested by jgr to properly line-break. I did not find this information anywhere on this page, so I feel that should be made clear.

I still think normal line-breaks should be accepted; this would be by far the easiest, as this is what users do already.
Are there any obstacles in doing it this way with regards to the coding of the forum, I wonder?

Edit 2: Removed link to PasteBin and inserted my example directly into this post, as I figured out how to format using alternative methods + other changes for clarity.

( Not relevant for this particular topic, but the comment is from: https://together.jolla.com/question/7666/sms-add-ability-to-view-received-sms-messages-while-composing-a-new-message/ )

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The question has been closed for the following reason "the question is answered, an answer was accepted" by oitos
close date 2014-12-20 15:34:00.529925

Comments

What's wrong with using double line breaks?

(Double line break there.) That's how you can separate paragraphs here, and the empty space makes it easier to tell paragraphs apart.

If there's no space, you sometimes can't see the line break at all (if the line preceding it happens to be full).

ssahla ( 2014-05-14 21:52:00 +0200 )edit

@ssahla: It's not that there is anything "wrong" with it, it is just that most people type by making regular line-breaks, and those will be ignored - and they, as I, may not be aware of how to change it.
Double line-breaks are handy, but sometimes you want a paragraph to be broken off from the previous one, without separating them with a double - just a single. Right?

oitos ( 2014-05-14 21:58:21 +0200 )edit

I see your point; if you enter line breaks when editing your text, it's a surprise to see them ignored in the "published" text. Actually, I don't know why they are ignored, maybe there is a reason. Maybe they shouldn't be ignored.

Regarding line breaks without empty space between the lines, it is an almost-universal typographic convention that new paragraphs start with either an indentation (like in books) or some white space (like on this forum). And breaking a line without starting a new paragraph is rarely needed. It can be needed in some special cases, so I agree that it should be possible also.

I don't really disagree with your suggestion, I'm just saying that in 99 % of cases it's good to have that white space before the line break; it really makes it easier for the reader. And using double line breaks for separating paragraphs helps you when you are editing your text – you can see the paragraph breaks at a glance.

ssahla ( 2014-05-14 22:24:54 +0200 )edit

Yep, that is my point exactly. And yeah, there may be a technical limitation as to why line-breaks aren't just recognised. I feel then, however, that it should be made clear to users how to make them.
I don't use indentation like that much, I admit, but I did some testing and using double white space in front of a sentence does nothing for the formatting. It must be after the previous sentence.
White spaces in front of a sentence are ignored entirely as far as I can figure (even 3, 4 or 5). =)

oitos ( 2014-05-15 05:52:55 +0200 )edit

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answered 2014-05-15 02:34:02 +0200

this post is marked as community wiki

This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >75 is welcome to improve it.

updated 2014-05-15 02:34:02 +0200

jgr gravatar image

This forum supports many HTML tags in your messages (questions, answers, comments). For line breaks just include a <br/> where the line break should occur.

When you want to test the appearance of tags used in comments, enter your comment in an answer field first but do not post it but copy it into a comment field.

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Comments

Thanks for the suggestion.
I figured this may work, but I don't feel it is a solution. It's not like every user is going to be aware that they can do line-breaks (and many other things) with HTML tags, or that they can even be bothered if they know. Thus most posts will be ill-formatted in any case.
I think it'd be best to either highlight that double white space after the sentence you want to break from or, better yet, just fix it so that line-breaks are recognised.
As mentioned in my post, this would make the forum more easy to digest in general; it would count for all messages, instead of just the ones posted by those who bother to find out.

oitos ( 2014-05-15 05:46:43 +0200 )edit
2

answered 2014-08-12 22:52:42 +0200

Keto gravatar image

Comments, just like questions and answers, are processed as Markdown syntax to produce the HTML output.

This allows adding formatting, like strong text, emphasized text, even images jolla

Unfortunately it also means that single line-breaks get chopped... But you can always edit your comment if it does not look good.

From the Askbot code point of view, it might be possible to change how single line-breaks are handled. But it probably would be quite difficult to do without affecting all the existing posts.

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Thanks for highligthing this. I am actually familiar with Markdown, but I didn't link its usage to this forum.
I still think t's a bit troublesome to have the double space as a necessity in the forums, because I see a lot of posts where the user expected the formatting they saw to stick.
However, Markdown is a pretty well-thought through system, so it seems to make good sense to use it in cases like this.

And also, edits are of course possible, but then if people are following on email, they will either get spammed (double notification, same post with edits) or only an alert of the original (perhaps faulty) message.

oitos ( 2014-08-13 15:37:33 +0200 )edit

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Asked: 2014-05-14 21:35:12 +0200

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Last updated: Aug 12 '14