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Ask HN: Are there drawing tool plugins to be used within forums?
55 points by maruhan2 on Oct 24, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 32 comments
I'm looking for discussion forum websites (e.g. stack overflow) that has a built in drawing tool in its text editor.

Are there any out there?

And are there any tools/plugins to do this on your own website?

Whenever I need to draw something, I open https://www.Photopea.com in the browser (loads very fast) and draw the thing. Then I press File - Publish on Imgur (the new panel opens with the PNG image on Imgur). Then I just copy the URL and paste it into a forum / chat.

You can also paste the screenshot into Photopea and draw into it, crop it etc.

BTW. I am an author of Photopea :) It has an API, that allows embedding it into a website (https://www.photopea.com/api/playground), but I am not aware of any large website using it.

Amazing, how does one write such an app? Is it mostly done with canvas? I’d like to make something like powerpoint in the future, but not sure where to start.

Actually, it is quite simple. You just need some basic computer (I use a 400 USD laptop) and a couple of thousands of hours of time :)

You can start by making a PPTX file parser, or PPTX to HTML converter, and then you can start adding some user interface, etc.

Wasn’t clear, didn’t mean powerpoint but like it. Need to draw graphics on screen and manipulate them.

Very impressive. I was even able to open it on an (old) iPad, and draw with my finger.

Wow, man. Nice job.

https://ux.stackexchange.com/ < has a built in version of the Balsamiq (https://balsamiq.com/) UI drawing tool.

There is a write up on the integration here - https://blog.balsamiq.com/uxstackexchange/

It looks really cool, but it looks like a handcoded integration. The OP wouldn't be able to integrate with his/her forum/blog software.

https://electronics.stackexchange.com/ has an embedded circuit editor from https://www.circuitlab.com/ , and it works extremely well.

Probably not what OP is looking for, but you can <pre> an ASCII diagram. It's my favorite way to add more info to a particularly complex piece of code (parsers, state machines, etc.), right there in a comment. You need to update the diagram when shit changes, which is pretty annoying, but all in all it's a fun, quirky way to improve the source code reading experience.


This so needs a ditaa[0] integration.

[0]: https://github.com/stathissideris/ditaa


Not embedded and it's horribly expensive, but very nice. There are a bunch of similar systems, but not quite as smooth.

draw.io is licenced under APL and usable. https://github.com/jgraph/drawio

Then there is the horrible but very practical: https://docs.google.com/drawings/

I don't think google docs drawing interface is ... HORRIBLE. But it's not the best. I have used it multiple times though, can't really beat the ease of access when working on a google doc that needs a simple diagram.

Sugar (https://github.com/elektronaut/sugar) has a custom drawing tool (called Napkin), though it’s pretty bare-bones (line-drawing only) and uses Flash (eugh).

Futaba style imageboards used to come with a Java applet called oekaki that let people draw and post images.

I wouldn't recommend trying to track it down, though.

When I first saw the headline I was thinking did you mean oekaki-style drawing? In which case... ChickenPaint


But I take it you meant more like Visio or Powerpoint style stuff, for that I got nothing.

Maybe Draw.io has something? I know they are a pretty large Confluence addon.

Seems like markdeep would be straightforward to add. https://casual-effects.com/markdeep/

Here's one I wrote: https://danielx.net/pixel-editor/

Nice and simple tool for 'draw an image, get url' is https://scri.ch

Maybe try Literally Canvas? http://literallycanvas.com/

I've been wondering why this doesn't exist for years

Interesting... how do you imagine providing the drawing?

Given the state of most internet fora it would be a dickbutt machine..

Why not let your users draw in the multitude of tools already out there that work better than some half baked js monstrosity and then allow them to just embed PNGs or jpegs?

Too much friction.

Most of the time I don't bother to put a screenshot since I have to :

- open my screenshot program - save the screenshot somewhere on my disk where I will find it later - remember which website doesn't suck where to upload the screenshot - actually upload the screenshot - paste a link

I'm not a JS bloat fan but int this case I'd rather take the bloat ;-)

Who is opening a screenshot program and not using a hotkey?

Most image hosting sites like imgur let you paste an image from your clipboard (I think you can even do minor editing on their site now). Forums are also starting to allow pasting of images such as Discourse.

An editor embedded might be a fun project but it's completely unnecessary.

How many people know the shortcuts for making a screenshot? How many do even know how to make one, or even what it is?

Outside of the IT world, I think very few people are familiar with those things.

Why not both? Let them use drawing tools, but give users the ability to place an image's data into the canvas?

this, and add a few ms paint features if they need to highlight something or doodle

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