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Why is it still so hard to format CODE as CODE?

APC Oracle ACE
Currently Being Moderated

This is a technical forum.  Most of the threads involve posting code, in the question or the answer, usually both.   Yet the forum editor doesn't make it easy to format posted code in a way which makes it easy to read as code.

 

I mean, gosh it was hard enough with the old forum software but it's even more obscure with this new one.  What I find so hard to believe is that, months after the so-called upgrade, the situation is still unresolved.  This is a fundamental failure to understand the prime purpose of the site, which is to answer technical i.e. code-related questions.    The new social features are okay if you like that sort of thing but cannot compensate for the general unsuitability of the interface to its main task.

 

A forum doesn't five level of header styles (five! FCOL).  It needs at most two, plus a code style.  This is what comes of buying something, or making the wrong purchasing choice.

 

At least the old software allowed us to use the quote functionality to see how people used markup tags to achieve formatting.  The new editor is too advanced for that.

 

Sorry if I sound like an old curmudgeon, but the OTN forum just feels clunky and obstructive compared to say StackOverflow.  The more energy I spend in wrestling with the interface, the less energy I have to spend on answering questions.

 

Cheers, APO

  • 1. Re: Why is it still so hard to format CODE as CODE?
    Nicolas.Gasparotto Oracle ACE
    Currently Being Moderated

    Welcome on board Andrew ! Many, many, many threads have been raised about those issues though. One of the last is that one : suggestion to moderators and Curious observation re: Content listing and [off-topic] How to {code} and {quote} tags?

    And many others.

     

    Nicolas.

     

    PS: I just have had a heachade posting those url again in proper format.

  • 2. Re: Why is it still so hard to format CODE as CODE?
    Hemant K Chitale Oracle ACE
    Currently Being Moderated

    Jive quite apparently is NOT built for technical forums.

     

    Hemant K Chitale

  • 4. Re: Why is it still so hard to format CODE as CODE?
    Dude! Guru
    Currently Being Moderated

    Syntax Highlighting in the advanced editor is meant to replace the previous {code} tag formatting, but it is very buggy and useless. The results of copying code, such as ignoring the line numbers, depends on the client web browser and the applied font is variable-width proportional and does not allow empty lines, which is unacceptable. Editing of code under Syntax Highlighting is nearly impossible since the lines of text edit/input masks are not aligned and way off, etc. etc...

     

    Interestingly, other sites like Apple, Intel, Netapp, to name a few, rely on Jive too and have the same editor issues. Nobody cares about the complains. https://forums.oracle.com/thread/2561633

     

    I previously thought that a HTML table was a reasonable option for code presentation, until I found out the double-line issue, which is a show stopper and affecting the cutting and pasting of text content. See https://forums.oracle.com/thread/2577779 for more info. Having to replace line endings with shift-return is quite annoying. It has simply become too much effort to post code  in the new forum.

     

    And last not least, many previous postings with <pre> and {code} tags were not migrated and instead the content was converted into text formatting, such as double dashes to strikethrough, effectively rendering some posts useless. At first I thought only the majority of my own posts were affected, but meanwhile I have come across posts of others with destroyed info too.

     

    It seems the OTN staff or whoever is in charge are sitting ducks and it's time for plan B and bother the Jive support forum directly.

  • 5. Re: Why is it still so hard to format CODE as CODE?
    EdStevens Guru
    Currently Being Moderated

    Dude wrote:

     

    Syntax Highlighting in the advanced editor is meant to replace the previous {code} tag formatting, but it is very buggy and useless. The results of copying code, such as ignoring the line numbers, depends on the client web browser and the applied font is variable-width proportional and does not allow empty lines, which is unacceptable. Editing of code under Syntax Highlighting is nearly impossible since the lines of text edit/input masks are not aligned and way off, etc. etc...

     

    Interestingly, other sites like Apple, Intel, Netapp, to name a few, rely on Jive too and have the same editor issues. Nobody cares about the complains. https://forums.oracle.com/thread/2561633

     

    I previously thought that a HTML table was a reasonable option for code presentation, until I found out the double-line issue, which is a show stopper and affecting the cutting and pasting of text content. See https://forums.oracle.com/thread/2577779 for more info. Having to replace line endings with shift-return is quite annoying. It has simply become too much effort to post code  in the new forum.

     

    And last not least, many previous postings with <pre> and {code} tags were not migrated and instead the content was converted into text formatting, such as double dashes to strikethrough, effectively rendering some posts useless. At first I thought only the majority of my own posts were affected, but meanwhile I have come across posts of others with destroyed info too.

     

    It seems the OTN staff or whoever is in charge are sitting ducks and it's time for plan B and bother the Jive support forum directly.

     

    Plan B .......

     

    One thing I've noticed is that going into the change and for a while after, Sonya was very active (dare I say pro-active?) in letting us  know the status of things.  Now that we've gotten past the issues most directly related to the transition itself, we've not seen her around.  Makes me wonder if management has perhaps reigned her in for being a little too customer focused in an area that's not revenue-generating. 

  • 6. Re: Why is it still so hard to format CODE as CODE?
    Dude! Guru
    Currently Being Moderated

    I'm not sure whether this is the right expression, but I find it rather difficult to share the same level of enthusiasm. What info about the forum upgrade prior to the upgrade beside the postponed time schedule has come true? Why was the new forum interface by enlarge kept secret although people asked and plenty of example sites exist; surprising OTN members in the end?

     

    My understanding of pro-active and customer focused service is different - and yours probably too. I see more action of damage control, like the Welcome to the new OTN Community! discussion and business as usual, which is more or less acting as a lightning rod for the first wave of complains.

  • 7. Re: Why is it still so hard to format CODE as CODE?
    EdStevens Guru
    Currently Being Moderated

    Dude wrote:

     

    I'm not sure whether this is the right expression, but I find it rather difficult to share the same level of enthusiasm. What info about the forum upgrade prior to the upgrade beside the postponed time schedule has come true? Why was the new forum interface by enlarge kept secret although people asked and plenty of example sites exist; surprising OTN members in the end?

     

    My understanding of pro-active and customer focused service is different - and yours probably too. I see more action of damage control, like the Welcome to the new OTN Community! discussion and business as usual, which is more or less acting as a lightning rod for the first wave of complains.

    I don't know that I'd call my position "enthusiasm".  Perhaps just a little more .. I don't know .. tolerant? understanding that there are humans involved?  thinking what it might be like if I were in the shoes of the guys on the project team but at the bottom of the food chain, being forced to work with decisions they didn't agree with?

     

    As I recall, there was some feedback on the early-on issues with performance, auto-logoffs (though those have continued to some degree, it seems they were much worse the first couple of weeks.), etc.  At least some acknowledgement of the problems and some assurance they were being addressed.  A person (Sonya) who was at least engaged and acting as a lightning rod.  Even that seems to have gone away.  I guess that was really my point.

  • 8. Re: Why is it still so hard to format CODE as CODE?
    Dude! Guru
    Currently Being Moderated

    Well, some managers make themselves rare when the going gets tough . Do you have some info that Sonya did not agree to the forum upgrade and was quiescent?

     

    I found some interesting info browsing around in the Jive support forum. Beside that the editor has been troubling people for years, apparently Jive 5 is end of life in a couple of month already.

     

    https://community.jivesoftware.com/community/products/blog/2013/08/14/fix-pack-5062-is-now-available

     

    So perhaps OTN staff is busy testing Jive 6 or 7, I wonder. Will it be worth the effort or another round for fancy wrappings.

  • 9. Re: Why is it still so hard to format CODE as CODE?
    Dude! Guru
    Currently Being Moderated

    Do any problems here look familar?

     

    http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-24192

  • 10. Re: Why is it still so hard to format CODE as CODE?
    EdStevens Guru
    Currently Being Moderated

    Dude wrote:

     

    Well, some managers make themselves rare when the going gets tough . Do you have some info that Sonya did not agree to the forum upgrade and was quiescent?

     

    I found something interesting info browsing around in the Jive support forum. Beside that the editor has been troubling people for years, apparently Jive 5 is end of life in a couple of month already.

     

    https://community.jivesoftware.com/community/products/blog/2013/08/14/fix-pack-5062-is-now-available

     

    So perhaps OTN staff is busy testing Jive 6 or 7, I wonder. Will it be worth the effort or another round for fancy wrappings.

    The only info I have is that which is available on this forum.  It just seems that I recall her making a few discreet references to internal struggles over specific features and how far to go to retain old content.  Nothing over the decision on Jive vs anything else or to upgrade or not to upgrade.

  • 11. Re: Why is it still so hard to format CODE as CODE?
    jgarry Guru
    Currently Being Moderated

    Oh, so that's what SCN means

  • 12. Re: Why is it still so hard to format CODE as CODE?
    moniquevdb-oracle Guru Moderator
    Currently Being Moderated

    The reason Sonya hasn't been around is that she is on a medical leave of absence. This is also why we are short-staffed at the moment. Feel free to @ me if you feel there's something I need to be made aware of, and I will do my best to keep you proactively updated in her absence. And yes, we are working on the Jive 7 upgrade, along with a lot of other behind-the-scenes features and projects. I will post an update for everyone within the next week or so and try to keep the lines of communication open.

  • 13. Re: Why is it still so hard to format CODE as CODE?
    Dude! Guru
    Currently Being Moderated

    I think the Jive 7 Box and Salesforce integration sounds very exiting - just kidding.

     

    Do you know of any site that uses Jive 7? I would be interested to test the editor to see if it is still the same POC. Sorry, the edtior is without doubt one of the biggest annoyances of the current forum software.

  • 14. Re: Why is it still so hard to format CODE as CODE?
    Dude! Guru
    Currently Being Moderated

    I just spend several minutes to test some critical editor functions in the Jive community forum again. According to the page source it could be running on Jive 6. Perhaps there has been some improvement.

     

    Functions like selecting multiple lines of text and code highlighting and to change the font or select several lines of text works better in Internet Explorer than any other browser, including Mozilla Firefox. The nasty issue of incompatible end of line and paragraph handling that affects the copying of text from the browser or editor window still persists. It causes double-line spacing and makes the copying of code useless. Other issues like getting the cursor out of pasted URL links, etc. also still exist.

     

    Apple Safari and Google Chrome are the most incompatible browser with the Jive editor, however, except for one thing: Copy and paste of text works fine and does not have the double-line spacing issue.

     

    I guess most software vendors, including Jive, concentrate their efforts for maximum MS Windows compatibility. However, not every insane person in the world uses Windows, and I have no doubt this trend will continue. But people should use the OS they deserve!

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