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Message Board Changes
Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. Message Board Changes
  Rick Strahl
  Apr 5, 2017 @ 04:07am

Hi all,

There have been a few changes in the way the message board works in the last few days. These changes have to do with editing of posts and how images are managed.

Here's what's changed:

  • Plain Text Editbox for editing Messages
  • Support for Clipboard Image Pasting into Messages
  • 350k Image Upload Size limit

Plain Editbox

Previously I've been using an Ace Editor control for editing message text here. Ace editor provides syntax coloring for Markdown, some minimal autocomplete features for things like lists, images and links and maybe more importantly support for text editor style formatting that makes it easy to format text/code easily.

While this is nice for editing Markdown text on the desktop, there are a number of drawbacks for using ACE:

  • No spell checking
  • Bad behavior on mobile devices
  • Big library

Spellchecking is kind of a nice feature for text messages as we type here, so that was one big reason to switch. Mobile behavior of Ace is not very nice because it uses HTML markup rather than an input box. While you can edit text with ACE on a mobile device it's not the same experience you typically have with a zoomed in edit display and auto-correct features devices typically offer.

So now the editor is a plain textbox and you get all the features you'd expect from a textbox including spell checking and more consistent mobile editing experience. There's no more markdown syntax highlight however, and also no support for editor formatting (like tabbing to indent selected blocks) so that's something we lost in the process. Probably a reasonable trade off, given how few of you actually use the code formatting features at all.

Although this seems a pretty basic change (or even a step back), it actually was not a very simple thing to build as all the insertion options from the toolbar had to be changed and moved to support edit boxes. This is actually quite tricky to support cross browser selection insertion and it took a bit of effort to make this happen.

As before the messages have full support for Markdown sytnax,so you can take advantage of any Markdown features in messages you write here.

Image Pasting

The new editor now supports pasting of images from the clipboard. You can of course still import images from the toolbar's Image button and explicitly embed a URL or upload a file, but now you can also copy an image to the clipboard and simply paste it into the text, which for me has become one of the most convenient ways to deal with images from screen captures. I rarely save images, just capture with SnagIt, copy to clipboard and paste into Tweetdeck, Markdown Monster, Word, or now here on the message board.

Image pasting does not work in Internet Explorer or Edge unfortunately due to security restrictions. It does work in Chrome and Firefox and I believe in Safari however.

I have fixed all toolbar links for Internet Explorer however - previously update operations like inserting and formatting weren't reliably working in IE, but this is fixed now.

350k Image Upload size limit

Image uploads are now capped at 350kb size. Looking through the image archives some folks - especially in the FoxInCloud forum - have been uploading multi-megabyte screen shot images, and that's just not efficient. Images can be easily compressed by either using a different format (jpg if there's photo-type data) or by reducing color density or DPI levels.

Png images are now also compressed after upload both for pasted and explicitly uploaded images, but this compression is applied after the image is added as it is slow and runs asynchronously, so these optimizations don't count towards the 350k upload image.

Please optimize your images before you upload them especially when they're massive HD+ screen shots.

Check it out

The changes are in operation now, so you'll see these changes when you post new messages. Let me know if you run into any problems.

+++ Rick ---

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