What do Google Pages, Blogger and Google Sites have in common? A rubbish HTML WYSIWYG editor component is what. Using the WordPress editor I am consistently impressed at how good the HTML generated is and how rarely I need to go from the Visual view to the raw HTML.
With Google’s version though you never know when you’re going to be dealing with a set of <br> instead of the paragraphs that you might have thought you were working with. In fact sometimes when the visual editor is going wrong I dread to switch views and find out what has actually been going on behind the scenes.
There are two ironies in this, firstly Google Docs actually has a decent HTML editor dressed up as a word processor. It still suffers from switching between paragraphs and break returns but it is generally pretty good at keeping in the same mode once you’ve manually set it.
The second irony is that I have been using Markdown in both Couch.it and Tumblr and I have to say that while there is some overhead in learning the syntax the truth is that Markdown pretty much gets everything right from a HTML point of view and is much quicker to right than a WYSIWYG component that you have to keep double-checking.
Please Google, if you really cannot cooperate internally to create one HTML editor that does the right thing could we please have an option to use a humane markup language. I don’t mind which one: Textile, Markdown, Wiki Creole – take your pick. Throw a power user a bone!