Implemented Disable Markdown as an Option

Rudy

Well-known member
Either of these ideas would be much appreciated by many of us who do not need, want and/or like Markdown:
  • Give XenForo a global switch so admins can shut down Markdown forum-wide...or...
  • Give users three options to use the rich text editor, Markdown, or the plain BBCode editor (my preference)...or...
  • Make Markdown active only in the BBCode editor, since it is not the default XF editor experience and is more of a "plain text" environment already.
Also (and no offense meant here), isn't it a bit ironic that Markdown is active inside of the default rich text editor, which it is intended to be a substitute for? ;)

My reasons may differ from others' reasons (and I'm sure the kind folks at XF would appreciate us debating this elsewhere), but this is why Markdown needs to be switchable for many of us:
  • As a content creator primarily, I dislike how Markdown sometimes gets in the way of formatting my work. I have encountered situations where Markdown fails me, and I am having to go and re-edit my work.
  • As a site owner, I have to consider my users. In some of my forums, the members skew older. Many are also not computer savvy. Most of them haven't even heard of Markdown, and having their text transform unwanted is very frustrating for them.* Some can't even find their way out of a simple formatting error using the rich text editor, and request staff assistance to help.
* I had to install a WordPress plugin to disable Markdown in their editor, since it was giving my content creators issues.

I have already installed an add-on to remove Markdown, but my suggestion is that this could be in core XF as an option, switchable for those who want it, and those who don't. :)

For those who don't visit Reddit, here is their solution:

193281

193283
 
While I don't exactly agree with the reasons, in the current implementation it seems to be a valid option.

As a content creator primarily, I dislike how Markdown sometimes gets in the way of formatting my work. I have encountered situations where Markdown fails me, and I am having to go and re-edit my work.
This is especially painful given the many Markdown implementations that exist. What's even more painful is XenForo's implied conversion to BB Code. There's no way to fix the Markdown content anymore.

As a site owner, I have to consider my users. In some of my forums, the members skew older. Many are also not computer savvy. Most of them haven't even heard of Markdown, and having their text transform unwanted is very frustrating for them.
That's actually a counter-argument. Markdown seems to originate from the way very old computer users formatted their plain text (asterisks for lists, underscores/asterisks around words for underline/bold, etc). By itself it's designed to be readable but it does come as a surprise to some users. It's definitely not because they're older. Ignorance is widespread in all ages. But Markdown is quite "natural".
 
We sometimes use our forum to collaborate on Markdown documents before shipping them off to the CMS. It would be fine if XF just rendered the Markdown, but it is actively corrupting our data by converting it to BBCode
 

Aivaras

Active member
The option to disable Markdown conversion should be set to default. One simply cannot assume that what appears to be Markdown syntax is in fact Markdown syntax in messages that had been composed and formatted in the past solely by means of BB code.

I'll give you an example of how troublesome Markdown can be:

A couple days ago, after having updated to v2.1, I had to edit a post containing a relatively complex table with multiple col- and rowspans, vertical writing mode and the like (all achieved through a heap of BB codes). Once edited and re-saved, the formatting of the table got corrupted. It took me a few hours of troubleshooting to determine that the culprit was the newly introduced Markdown conversion that misinterpreted the usage of certain syntax as Markdown when it was not.
 
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