[Grok-dev] Re: maintaining the Grok website
optilude at gmx.net
Mon Sep 17 15:30:38 EDT 2007
> I maintain a Plone site at Georgia Tech used by more than one hundred
> people, and after explaining to nearly-tearful document authors how
> their work is simply gone after their browser crash, it is clear that
> web browsers simply are *not* editors. I have never heard of a vim
> user, nor an emacs user, losing data because of an application crash;
> at the last resort, both editors save emergency copies of your work.
> Over decades of using both tools, I don't think I've ever lost more
> than one minute of work from a disaster.
This is a general problem, of course. We are looking at auto-save
functionality in Plone, by the way, using AJAX, to get around this.
> Also on Plone, I have had my own edits erased when someone happened to
> be editing the same document at the same time. Even after the tedium
> of getting versioning installed, so that such changes are not totally
> lost, there seems to be very little help with the common task of
> having to merge two versions of a document.
With Plone 3, documents are automatically locked, so hopefully this
> Writing content as text also allows the wonderful practice of placing
> separate clauses on separate lines, so that one can see the shape of
> sentences, see the pattern of punctuation, and judge the flow of one's
> prose. For example, if I were editing the sentence I've just written
> as "source code", it would look like:
> Writing content as text
> also allows the wonderful practice
> of placing separate clauses on separate lines,
> so that one can see the shape of sentences,
> see the pattern of punctuation,
> and judge the flow of one's prose.
> This is what raw content ought to look like! :-) It uses lines, which
> in something like this email I'm writing are merely noise, bearing no
> relationship to what's being said, to make clear the shape and flow of
> thought. Punctuation becomes very easy to check - look for the ends
> of the lines! Editing becomes very easy - both vim and emacs are
> wonderful at moving lines around! You don't waste time having to
> stare into the middle of an prematurely-formatted paragraph looking
> for the beginning of the next sentence. And when the lines are
> finally formatted either for a text file, or a printed book, or the
> web, then the formatter can do the final task of making it look like:
> Writing content as text also allows the wonderful practice
> of placing separate clauses on separate lines, so that one
> can see the shape of sentences, see the pattern of
> punctuation, and judge the flow of one's prose.
> If you get used to editing text broken meaningfully into lines, then
> when you go back to normal text, you'll feel like you're trying to
> edit C source code that someone has formatted as a paragraph. :-)
> Well, okay, maybe it's not that bad. But it does feel awkward!
That's ... weird, I've never seen anyone work like this. But you're
right, it's not a feature supported by Plone.
> Now, there are many people who don't like or don't enjoy the added
> convenience of writing text-as-source, and just want to see it get
> wrapped into presentation-level paragraphs as they type; and I have no
> quarrel with such people, as long as they leave me a way to (a) use a
> text editor for text-editing tasks
Plone supports this, via the External Editor feature.
> and (b) store and retrieve my
> content in such a way that the line breaks in the "text's source code"
> are preserved.
You can enter reST or STX or Markdown text in Plone; the WYSIWYG visual
editor is just one option, but it's the one that makes most sense to
> So if the Plone we run can be induced to offer me DAV access to my
>, and if I can continue writing them in ReST,
> then I will be
> But I will, myself, miss being able to control documentation
> right alongside the source code of Grok, as well as having its strong
> and mature merging features available if I and someone else edit the
> same tutorial at the same time.
Concurrency shouldn't be a big issue in Plone 3.
Acquisition is a jealous mistress
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