Slack just updated its longtime editor for its primary interface — and the rich-text result hints at a longstanding tension over how much of a helping hand users need from their text editors and communication programs. From a report: Power users, like programmer Arthur O'Dwyer, make the case that they don't really need any — and the rich-text interface they added just gets in the way. „I wish Slack would provide a way to disable the WYSIWYG rich-text-input box,“ he wrote in a viral blog post. „I don't think it's useful, and it's extremely annoying to have to keep backspacing to fix mistakes.“ After the decision was criticized by O'Dwyer and others (and after this article was published), Slack told Motherboard that it would switch gears and provide an option to bring the old interface back.
It noted that it was trying to make the app more palatable to the broader audience of users it's gained in recent years since. But concerns from older users who liked the prior Markdown-driven interface led the company to rethink the decision, and bring the tool back in the coming weeks. „Our recently introduced WYSIWYG formatting toolbar was developed with that broader customer community in mind,“ the company said. „We thought we had nailed it, but we have seen an outpouring of feedback from customers who love using Slack with markup.“ The situation will find a happy medium resolved in the coming weeks as Slack brings back the old editor, but it nonetheless highlights a central question that created the debate in the first place: Can we ever truly accept Markdown formatting — which the old Slack editor relies on — in the mainstream?
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