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RSN Update and Upgrade: Why Me, WYMeditor, CKEditor, FCKeditor, Disable Rich Text Crash, Autosave and More

roadskater's picture

If you've lost text you were writing in create/blog or create/events, especially when you clicked "Disable Rich Text" or "Enable Rich Text," my apologies! I've switched built-in editor code for the text areas from WYMeditor to CKEditor, so it will have a different look. Thanks to eebee and timv for signaling their loss of work as nicely as possible. It turned out that the problem coincided with some time off from regular hours of late.

It is always a good idea to compose in a system you love then paste over, or to copy the text before submitting to any website (even Yahoo! Mail), but you shouldn't have to. Be assured, I work hard to make sure you don't lose your text or formatting (part of why I switched from TinyMCE to WYMeditor earlier). It has been rare, but it has happened. I don't want to waste your time and lose your contributions!

So help me test the updated system if you will with some posts or comments!. 

Switching from WYMeditor to CKEditor

Yesterday I switched from WYMeditor (which may not have been to blame for the recent lost first drafts) to the CKEditor (formerly FCKeditor, a name which triggered filters enough to warrant changing the name from the author's initials). Again, WYMeditor may not have been the problem, as several modules and safety filters in the framework must cooperate, and a helper WYSIWYG module may have been the problem too, as that module had updates available as well.

I actually really liked most of the WYMeditor approach, but after using WYMeditor a while, there were some things I liked not so much and one or two missing items. So I had decided to change editors when I could, and was waiting for CKEditor to mature a bit, as I had heard it was fast. Alas, while WYMeditor stands for "what you mean" (as opposed to "what you see is what you get" of WYSIWYG), in my mind it looks like "Why Me" editor, even if it was not the culprit in my particular collection of horrors here on RSN.

So we're now using CKEditor. Currently there are features displayed that won't be visible on posting, due to filters RSN uses to keep the pages safe. I hope to limit the features displayed or use lighter filtering so you won't waste time making it "pretty" only to find it has returned to the standard look of Roadskater.net. 

Preliminary testing with Explorer, Firefox and Chrome went well, but I've heard some talk that some Firefox plugins can throw a validation error. Chrome seems to work well with RSN and is fast, so I use it most. Sometimes I use IE just to see that it's working OK. Firefox with NoScript is what I try to use for unknown and untrusted sites, and I used to use that most of the time but now use it second most often I think...seems slow to start up with my plugins in there.

Failed Email to Phone Alerts and Picky Browser Issues

I set up emails that trigger my phone to go off when there's a security or other update, and to tell me when the site is down or laboring significantly. Recently, as I have been busy at other projects, this system had been limited, as did my ability to work in the background to fix mostly-unseen problems as soon as I knew of them. 

For a while yesterday my emailed alarms said the site was down, but I was still using the site in Google Chrome browser for Windows XP and it was working just fine. Still I got no email that it was back up again, even as I continued using it. The eventual explanation was that I had turned on a jQuery Calendar feature in a set of options, and neither Internet Exploder nor Fearfox liked it. They happily presented completely white pages of death with correct html code that was not visible on the web page unless viewing source. Removing that option made it work again, so that goes back on the someday/maybe list.

Automatic Salvation


It looks like AutoSave is working again too, so that may be a bit of extra protection. A blue band will appear regularly as you work on an article if your work is autosaved (it still needs to be submitted to be posted on RSN of course). Various other options will appear as well if you have recently lost a text while writing and now you are trying again, or if you abandoned one midwriting and have returned. Hover over the options for more info on each. This has been in place for some time but I do not know if it works for all browser/plugin setups. I'll just go ahead and say probably not.

So that's an update on some of the invisible challenges to keeping the site going, which I mostly allow to remain unspoken as well. I'd like to get to some visible changes, but the invisible ones come first. 

Especially, it's important to let the writers and commentors know that if you lost some effort I'm sorry and I hope and believe it's working now such that you won't lose text. Best to be safe of course, just as with web email and other sites, but I take your time and fresh originality seriously. It's always harder to recreate the moment than it is to edit the moment. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience with the world. 

Why Roadskater.net

Skate/bike/exercise/charity email lists are great (like InlineNC on YahooGroups.com), but they do nothing for the people who don't know about them, and most are not searchable on the web. In fact, that's one good feature of a private email list...it's private! But we meet people almost every day who don't know how or where to start and how to get off the couch and get started slowly and safely. Remember? Love your sport back by passing it on, brothers and sisters of the wheel! We love our human-powered transportation, and we love to help people get started. If you write about your passion, knowledge and experience using terms others, including newbies and wannabes, would use to find that information (including putting some obvious words in the title that you've forgotten others would need like "bike ride" or "skate event", the (internet) searchers will visit, I assure you. Thanks for what you have done so far, including all the money you've helped to raise for people with Multiple Sclerosis! Skateylove, roadskater


roadskater's picture

Hold the Enthusiasm for AutoSave

Well it turns out the fields are saved, except for the most important one that uses CKEditor. We'll see if I can hack a fix or flip back over to TinyMCE, which is AutoSave compatible. Also some other major upgrading may be going on soon so this may have to wait. Arrgh. I'll update as I know more.

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