Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Slack’s new WYSIWYG input box is terrible (quuxplusone.github.io)
2776 points by ingve on Nov 20, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 1076 comments

This is funny because I work across the street of Slack’s office in Vancouver, Canada and two Slack engineers who I frequently chat with during our daily commute already told me they —and a handful of other employees— hate the WYSIWYG input box too, but were afraid to express their feelings because their role is irrelevant compared to the people who made the decision to ship it.

Bad sign. If the rank and file are afraid to give honest internal feedback, they have a management problem.

At least for me, that's a time-to-leave signal.

It's a company with non-unique tech run by salespeople, of course they have a management problem.

Given that Microsoft Teams is literally an existential threat, they really want to listen to feedback internally!

Did Teams ever fix that issue where every channel is Hotel California, as in you can never leave?

Not until Microsoft Teams gets the layout fixed, see https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/su...

Not really.

Teams biggest "Feature" is that is part of the Office 364 Suite, a lot of the layout and other issues are simply forgiven since there are no additional licensing or costs to use it over Slack if you are already on Office 364 Enterprise

Teams is "good enough" for most organizations and is improving,

That is microsoft current plan, be "good enough"

That has always been Microsoft's plan, to be "just good enough" to make the cost of switching outweigh the cost of muddling on.

In this case, it’s also their competitors plan! Slack seems to have the same ethos.

What happened to the last day of Office 365?

Off-by-one error. Or a joke about availability.

As a 365 admin, I'm quite certain it's an availability joke.

If you’re an office 365 admin, you would know it’s not a joke :-(

Ask Microsoft, they seem to think there is only 364 days in a yer based on their availability

How many days are in a non-Microsoft yer? (sorry!)

Yep. My large, distributed government agency was a free-for-all for several years. After letting everyone try things out, they've now decided to standardize on O365 and dozens of team-specific Slacks are getting torpedoed in favor of the agency-wide Teams instance.

Couldn’t they have had an agency wide Slack instance?

Thanks for the link. I’ll be watching it.

Out of curiosity, what do you think of the Stylish userscript that enables a compact mode in Teams and offers dark and light themes?


It's a well-made workaround until Teams gets a first rate UI.

I still prefer an App instead of the browser, but that's just personal preference.

Microsoft Teams is pretty horrible

That's never stopped enterprise IT from rolling out tools to their users.

Teams is free as part of an Office 365 subscription (just like Sharepoint and all the other crap they bundle with it), which is what definitely makes it an existential threat to Slack, because now Slack is competing with Microsoft's very strong Office monopoly.

Teams has some UI issues (please make the chat more compact) but they have a pretty powerful tool for normal users who are already in the Office landscape.

The fact that you can create a group with some channels, add your files there and edit them together, have a wiki, have a (not very good) kanban board etc. makes it a pretty complete experience. Some of the tools they release needs more polish and some tools are by themselves much worse than stand alone competitors but having everything in one is pretty nice.

The best word I have for teams is ‘clusterfuck’. The files which were already spread around different locations, now have one more location to be added.

Then there is sharepoint, oh, and onedrive, and they all come in the same package so everyone uses something else.

I don't like Teams much but the calendar integration is really nice. If I get a calendar invite for a meeting via outlook I can tab over to teams and it's right there in the calendar view with a join button. Much easier to keep track of compared to the old way (calendar invite, tab over to slack and find the appropriate channel or group chat to start/join the call)

MS Teams is free.

At a previous company, we had slack and MS Teams side by side, to trial out MS Teams. Everyone preferred Slack by a huge margin. We were told to get use to Teams, because Teams is free.

Guess what, it was fine.. no notable productivity lose going from slack to teams. If anything, team's sharepoint file integration is much better than slack, for keeping a single source of truth.

Teams is fine, but Slack is pleasant. I don’t really know how to qualify the difference, but I guess it’s somewhat similar to ‘death by a thousand cuts’.

Endless notifications. I use Teams daily and it drives me insane. Especially every notification you get for a thread you already explicitly told you don't want notifications for. I stopped wishing people happy birthday but cause I would get notifications on three devices for days. Even though I said I don't want notifications for that thread. Teams is a buggy mess they will never get fixed because they only follow the votes on User Voice.

Same here. We used Slack and liked it. We're now using Teams, it's tolerable but Slack had significantly better UX.

The Android app in particular has trouble. And muting is all-or-nothing.

I've also had corrupted channels, I even escalated to Microsoft once.

Same here. Yes, it's buggy and annoyingly messing up the formatting of messages, especially when trying to use WYSIWIG Markdown. Since we're running on Office365 due to Management preferences, we started using Teams. With Franz, it's usabale on Linux. It's bad compared to Slack ofc, but not so much worse that it would justify an additional 11,75€ per user and month.

> Microsoft Teams is pretty horrible

Doesn't matter, since it comes with Office so it basically costs $0.

It's crap, but that's not stopping my employer from replacing literally everything they can with it. Even our desk phones, purportedly.

It doesn't matter. It's part of the Microsoft enterprise offerings. If you don't want to get replaced by one of their products, which the CIO will do just to make his/her own life easier, then you better make a product everyone wants.

It would be a great time for them to add markdown support and in the press release say we're listening.

It's been requested and denied. Still quite a few comments on it since I last posted tho. Go vote and get them to have a powermode to enter normal markdown with no WYSIWIG https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/su...

Doesn’t matter. Orgs are moving to Teams in droves. I personally know four 50k+ orgs moving to Teams just in the last 6 months. Slack’s pricing is not helping them either.

"Pretty horrible" + easy integration with Sharepoint and Exchange + cheap if you're already knee deep into O365 is a tradeoff many large Enterprise IT folks are perfectly happy to make.

really? I find it rather great. Whats wrong with it?

*Slack, not signal.

he might meant to say 'sign', not the company name

And this ladies and gentlemen is the over reaction of the year!

In my company (not a small one) and in any previous ones, I’ve never even thought that people could be afraid of giving honest feedback. I’ve seen internal feedback causing change, I’ve also seen it being ignored (sometimes to be listened to later after all, sometimes it turned out that things weren’t as bad as they seemed), but I’ve never perceived any potential for negative repercussions.

So if that is indeed the case here, then it does indicate some problems.

Uh, that’s actual the default behaviour I’ve witnessed at small and large companies I’ve worked for: complain or be critical of the shiny bright path that executives push you onto, and you’ll be branded a nuisance to suppress. Rule n.1 of survival has always been “don’t rock the boat”. The one time I felt safe enough to speak my mind without filters, I eventually paid the price for it.

Sure, my point is that it makes little sense to jump to these conclusions with so little information, especially since this is not the point of the article.

I’m amazed that I’m still talking about this :)

Not at all. Why stay at a place that doesn't value your ability to think? Or, worse, doesn't value the thoughts of anybody below a certain rank?

Not only is that a miserable experience, but I think it's also a recipe for a product that only gets worse.

> Why stay at a place that doesn't value your ability to think? Or, worse, doesn't value the thoughts of anybody below a certain rank?

That's the over reaction part. The fact that two engineers feels uncomfortable expressing their feelings, says very little about the culture or values in their company.

It could be that they are just too introverted or insecure to speak up about most things, or that they have a good relationship with the fellow engineers in that other team, and don't feel like ruining it by telling them, that their contributions to the product sucks.

If the original commenter had said, "if any two engineers feel uncomfortable, you should definitely quit right away", then you'd be right.

But that's not what was said. It was correctly described as a possible management problem, a signal. If your notion is that one should leave at the first signal, that's something you bring to it.

Anyhow, we have evidence that the problem is more widespread. It's obvious from the HN reaction that quite a lot of people hate this feature, engineers especially. But still it was released. If you want to hypothesize a situation that makes that unimportant, you have to dream up a lot more than two extremely insecure engineers.

While I can appreciate some healthy skepticism on how widespread the practice is, welcoming honest input from rank and file members of any company can be extremely valuable to improving the quality of products, and many successful companies realize this and encourage such feedback

Nice self-reference :-)

Please ask them what they think of the ‘drafts’ section. I’m so fed up of losing chats to that section.

I'm surprised that hasn't been reverted yet. It's so fucking stupid. Where did that chat go? oh it's up in drafts? WTF?

Terrible UI choice. It makes no sense.

It would be okay if the channel were duplicated in the drafts section. But moved? That definitely makes no sense.

I find it very ironic how much slack is moving towards an email UI, given their "goal" to eradicate email a while ago.

Join the hundreds of people complaining in this twitter thread, I put my beef with it in there too. https://twitter.com/SlackHQ/status/1135955676545585164

You can send it directly via /feedback, too. It gets read, and you'll get an answer too.

I complain via my company's slack so they know the observation is from a paying customer

Don't get me wrong, the "you'll get an answer" is almost always the same "thank you for your input" but at least it creates a Zendesk ticket from a paying customer, in contrast to whining on HN or Twitter, where I am about dead certain no corporate OKR is influenced

Oh yes, please please stop that.

This sounds just like how my friends at Google reacted when Gmail and Google Docs were given the "Kennedy" makeover some years ago. Apparently there were a lot of memes going round to the effect of "still have one tab with the old Gmail open; praying Chrome doesn't crash".

For the life of me, I cannot figure out how to create two adjacent but separate code blocks.

I've tried and tried.

The flow of pasting such strings is not great either. Previously you could paste a string with backticks and it would be formatted correctly on send.

Now the behaviour is to ask you every time to apply formatting. There is an option for "don't ask again" which I tried assuming it would make autoformatting the default, but it turns off the behaviour completely with no way to get it back!

`CMD + Shift + F` applies formatting.

Unfortunately it must be done every time, no autoformatting by default it seems.

If you add a blank line between them, then it won't combine them.

I didn't really want an extra blank line between them.

Still...I could have swore I had tried that anyway. Huh.

You can exit a code block by hitting Command Option Shift C. I found this out by hovering over the code block icon in the bar below the editor box.

The trick seems to be to add a blank final line, otherwise, it will not include the last line you typed in a code block.

So in other words: you still need to be "tech savvy" to do this...

Only if you care about that level of specificity of the results; and given that non-technical people love pasting code snippets into slack without the code fences, I'm guessing this change isn't even wanted by non-technical people, and only made detail-oriented folks upset

You don't need the key combo, just as you said, you just need another line, with text or a blank line. I guess before now you could but them right back-to-back? This has never been my use case, but if it was, I can see how this is annoying.

I'm fairly sure you also used to be able to put bullets in blockquotes, right?


  > * My quoted bullet point
I can't double-check it now as all my workspaces have converted

Typing option-return between the two blocks works for me.

insert newlines until your eyes bleed

Argh! Oh, well, bye bye usable Slack, hello full of individual PM review bullet point features unusable frustrating senseless Slack.

Glad my only use is a comms channel for my Ingress group.

Yet again this sounds like the pet project of a VP trying to make his bones while ruining the product, and nobody at the company is powerful enough to overrule him.

Can we start calling it the WYTIWYG (What you type isn't what you get) editor...

We need to distinguish "is" and "isn't". Maybe WYTAWYG (What You Type Ain't What You Get)?

Well... WYTINWYG should do it

There's historical precedent for this https://xkcd.com/1341/

You can start calling it that.

Ahhh the HIPPO strikes again.

HiPPO stands for HIghest Paid Person's Opinion, a trait of dysfunctional culture, in which power politics trumps data.

The concept seems to originate from Netscape's CEO and the acronym exists since 2006, according HiPPO FAQ: http://bitly.com/HIPPOExplained

Why are you trying to track us? Please post non-tracking links https://exp-platform.com/Pages/HiPPO_explained.aspx

Any time I see a bitly link like that, I always copy rather than click and add a + to the end. I should make an extension to do it on hover I guess.

Good tip on adding the ‘+’ to the end. Thanks! To anyone wondering, adding the plus (when logged in to Bitly) displays an info page with the referrers (refererers) and locations by country.

And where the link goes to, obviously. No idea if this counts toward the Bitly link open rate.

My pleasure! Two tiny points

1) don’t need to be logged in for the + to work

2) I’ve not seen it increment the clicks by visiting the + stats page, but can’t speak authoritatively on that.

Sorry, I was just trying to respect the FAQ author's method to keep a stable URL (see the bottom of the FAQ).

What’s that stand for? I’m guessing something along the lines of:

High Importance Person Pushing Own (desires??)?

As others have said it means "Highest Paid Person's Opinion" but as a little extra.

It is usually used when a company has no actual data to work on and therefore goes with the "obvious" as defined by "the boss" (Hippo).

Not that it is necessarily true. There could be lots of data that some people are not aware of and that only senior people are privy to, but if that is not shared with the team developing the software then that is in itself not a great sign.

Nah, HIPPO works perfectly well in "data-driven" companies: the highest paid person proclaims what the data is supposed to tell, and then lots of data "science" happens to make the data show exactly that.

HIghest Paid Person's Opinion

I think it stands for _Highest Paid Person's Opinion_

highest paid person's opinion

It's genuinely hard to make a good design for something, but if you put the time and effort required, that's the difference between Atom and VS Code.

The only way I know how to make a good design, is to have a good Product Owner. Prototyping helps a little bit, User testing absolutely not. You can have five different PO working on the same epic and still get a bad design, but it only takes one to find the perfect solution.

That input box story is not different. They could have made the WYSIWYG feature compatible with the "old" input method by changing the visual without altering the character flow (eg: The <star>brown<star> fox). Apparently, no one thought of that...

That seems pretty confusing to me, as now you’re left wondering which will actually render, and which text won’t...


If I'm imagining it correctly, it should work like this:

writing `help` will render it inline. A rendered `help`^H becomes an un-rendered `help

The rendering doesn't need to show the backticks, but it seems to me that it's perfectly reasonable to have it exist from the text-editing perspective.

The real problem might be that hitting <star><star>help<star><star><LEFT_KEY> can either move invisibly between one of the two stars (technically correct), or jump a star to place the cursor just after p (visually correct).

I would think the best solution is to have all editing keys (eg backspace, delete, insert-then-type) be technically correct, and all movement keys (eg arrow keys) be visually correct.

I think this is also how Typora does its markdown rendering, which was functionally intuitive in my experience (I stopped using it because it slowed down severely with any file larger than like 300 characters, so a worthless text editor, but UI-wise it worked well)

Huh, why do you believe user testing is unhelpful to make a good UX design?

User testing can only help you _validate_ a design, not _create_ one. You can have all testing you want but still end up with a bad design.

On another topic, someone recently posted this youtube video of a Norwegian engineer explaining her views on tech worker ethics, how we've got here and maybe a way to fix it or atleast improve on the current situation. I'd recommend showing it to your commute buddies.

It really resonated with my thoughts, how I've viewed the tech world and my (tiny) part in it.


Supposedly this feature is being walked back now. I just received the following from their support. I'm ecstatic to hear this and hope their Product Management has reassessed the importance of non-WYSIWYG inputs.

>>> We really appreciate your feedback, and we hear your frustration. We're sorry for the impact this is having on your ability to communicate with your team and on your overall productivity. We made a mistake by forcing everyone into this feature without providing an opt-out for customers like you: people for whom the existing behavior was working just fine. We've started working on a preference that will let you return to the previous message composer. We don't have a specific release date to share right now — it's this team's top and only priority, however, and we expect to have it available on the desktop within a couple of weeks, with Android following shortly thereafter. We will follow up with another note when this option is available to you, and we'll include instructions on how to enable it. Again, we're sorry for the disruption and we're grateful for the feedback. We missed the mark on this feature! We will do our best to learn from this and avoid similar mistakes in the future.

First off, that's super good to hear. Secondly, I'm absolutely flabbergasted that this reaction wasn't obvious to them from the get-go. This isn't the first time some silly addition of a wysiwyg feature has ended in outrage. What's even more astounding is that I don't think there are many features as despised as wysiwyg. It's up there with comic sans. Why make your entire UI revolve around one of the most despised features in the UX world?

How did you come to the conclusion that WYSIWYG are “one of the most despised features in the UX world”?

That seems completely unfounded to me. WYSIWYG editors can be extremely bad … but millions of people use WYSIWYG editors all the time and wouldn’t ever think of exchanging them for plaintext editors with Markdown or something like that.

You comment seems completely disconnected from any semblance of reality.

...problem is combining WYSIWIG with Markdown: that can't ever work well, you need a small toggle to let users choose toggle/choose between WYSIWIG (default) and Markdown, and have it remember the last setting the user used.

Best for new users and advanced ones.

If you have BOTH in one editor it's like you've built some kind of Vim-like UI that randomly jumps between modes, it will confuse the shit out of everybody all the time!

I don't agree that a WYSIWIG Markdown editor can't ever work well. I've been using Typora and MarkText a lot over the last year and usually only had to revert to the plain text view when doing larger formatting changes in enumerations/lists. Writing seems much more productive and less distracted that with a split view or plain Markdown/ LaTeX.

That being said, also Microsoft Teams is pretty awful when it comes to `code highlighting`. I haven't exactly figured out why it sometimes renders and sometimes not, it usually works when appending the ` to a letter and then pressing space, but not in other cases.

Just because BigCorps fail to deliver a good solution and then shove it down the user's throat anyway, it's not a bad idea per se. I'd love to have Google Docs & Slides with WYSIWIG Markdown.

With both in one editor, did you mean both Markdow and WYSIWIG in the same editor simultaneously, at the same moment in time, at different parts in the editor?

Otherwise, ProseMirror supports both WYSIWIG and Markdown, and toggling between those two modes. Look:


It's not necessarily WYSIWYG that is the problem. It's auto formatting markdowns in an editor.

I've never seen this done well. You constantly end up fighting the formatting. You end up having to learn obscures combinations of key strokes to make it do what you want. Or you just give up and format the text after you've written it all.

That to me is a real loss. I highly value being able to format on the fly.

Just because millions of people use WYSIWYG editors every day, does not mean that they don’t absolutely despise it.

I haven’t ever heard anyone comment on how enjoyable Word is to use.

...Word doesn't at the same time allow markdown input and autoformats it impredictibly! If you know how bad Word is (or was, haven't touched it in a while), imagine how bad a Word version with multimodal input would be!

>Word doesn't at the same time allow markdown input and autoformats it impredictibly!

Word can't even auto-format plain text input predictably. If you try anything at all complex involving spacing our outline formats it gets completely turned around.

We've started working on a preference that will let you return to the previous message composer. We don't have a specific release date to share right now — it's this team's top and only priority, however, and we expect to have it available on the desktop within a couple of weeks


"team's top and only priority"

I guess they need to learn how to be efficient if they need several weeks to add a checkbox to change one setting

Product plan; UI design mock up; technical implementation plan; task breakdown; implementation; code review; QA; build and release.

The larger a product is, and the more people involved, the more steps and phases are needed to keep everything running smoothly. A dev shop with fewer people can be more efficient because there's less communication overhead, individuals wear more hats. But it doesn't scale.

It's also an artifact of Agile, SCRUM especially. If you keep a fungible pool of devs who can be redirected on a weekly basis, they don't necessarily have knowledge or expertise in the area of code they're working on, so there needs to be extra investigation time, sync on technical details, and more QA to cover omissions and unwanted interactions from lack of total knowledge. Component ownership is less susceptible to this but you lose some agility as dev fungibility is reduced.

Good design, planning, and management would include a feature toggle. Switch on to enable, switch off to roll back.

(If a feature / deploy rollback itself isn't possible.)

The advantage of SaaS is that software can be upgraded rapidly, uniformly, and for all users, on the fly.

The disadvantage of SaaS is that software can be upgraded rapidly, uniformly, and for all users, on the fly.

It's probably more the layers and layers of bureaucracy they have to go through to push any changes. They probably need at least 3 meetings, and several people to sign off on it.

Charitably, there's (e.g.) accessibility issues that need to be addressed on "new" features like the menus, and they need to be sure they're not going to be reamed for the new feature in the same way they are for this. Also testing. Several weeks is still high but not ridiculous.

My (entirely speculation) suspicion is that the old editor had a lot of tech debt, that the team was excited to delete, and since they're now having to put it back, having to make it compatible with the new editor.

It probably assumes that the target audience for slack are developers that might prefer markdown. Look at github, stackoverflow.

Just for anyone who'd like some confirmation of this. Their official Twitter account it's also saying the same[1]

I'm glad they listened to the feedback but their attitude towards people who wrote in with bugs/criticism should also be learned from. Being told 'We know what's best for you, we're not reverting the changes' was pretty insulting.

[1] https://mobile.twitter.com/SlackHQ/status/119764013617293721...

And in more than one place, viz., https://mobile.twitter.com/SlackHQ/status/119764819999085772...

And something that occurred to me: if it's true that "in the future everyone will code (to some degree)," don't you think it's OK to start the baby steps of textual thinking?

C'mon, it's markup with like six modes, people. Practice for half as long as you're on <time_wasting_social_app> in one day and you'll be fluent.

> Practice for half as long as you're on <time_wasting_social_app> in one day and you'll be fluent.

To be fair, you could learn almost anything in that amount of time;)

It's extremely insulting and this is why I think Slack is hostile towards its users.

Funny how different the response I got from them yesterday versus what you got today. “Not in our roadmap to have an option to go back” is rather dramatically different. Power of outcry I guess, I’ll take it!

I wonder if this article being on the front page of HN for so long had a direct impact?

To put the scale of the outrage into context, this is one of the most upvoted articles since the MacOS High Sierra "log in as root by typing no password" bug.

That one got a total of 3000 points. At the time of this comment, this is still on the front page with over 2.6k and counting. It's already surpassed the news of Julian Assange's arrest, which fell slightly short of 2.4k.

Now, if only Atlassian could solve "CLOUD-7184: More Easily Change Atlassian/JIRA Cloud URL Domain"


With 740 companies asking for it ;)

Submitted in 2014.

Microsoft has only just implemented (in preview) the ability to change the name/URL of your SharePoint site[0], a feature that has been widely requested for well over a decade.

Atlassian users might have a while to wait yet :-)

[0] https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/change-site-addr...

Theres a note on the ticket that domain renames can be requested via support and this process does work - I've tried it on my own site :)

I've had some visibility of the internals of this work and it has involved touching a very large number of systems across a lot of teams. If you're interested in this issue, do also follow CLOUD-6999 which tracks custom domains and has a number of updates which are related.

Shocking to hear them be so responsive, given their track record. It took them five (!) years to implement dark mode from when people started publicly asking for it. I guess a walk-back is different from a new feature, but still, this isn't the first change they've made that's upset people who they've then proceeded to ignore.

I think the difference here is that paying customers have threatened to walk away.

> it's this team's top and only priority, however, and we expect to have it available on the desktop within a couple of weeks, with Android following shortly thereafter

Does this seem unreasonably long? I get that large corps have longer development time, but wouldn't this be behind a internal feature toggle anyways? How do they deploy versions really? Did they already ripped out the code and are unable to go back? They need to rewrite the functionality or something like that?

Probably only someone with insight into this specific problem can answer but would be interesting to hear about it...

Rich text editors are a nightmare to implement, especially on the web, mainly because formatting a substring requires creating a new nested element, so you have to constantly synchronize a flat string with a tree structure. It's possible that they dodged this problem by storing the in-progress message as a tree and just intercepting keyboard events to directly manipulate that. If so, the core data structure would've changed and it might not be a clean swap between two different widgets that both just operate on a string.

That's just a guess though; I don't work at Slack.

Sure, I understand the complexity of implement rich text editors / WYSIWYG. However, when implementing and deploying something like this, you usually put it behind a feature toggle (so, if you have a "text editor" component, you start by extracting old text editor into something like "raw text editor" which "text editor" uses by default. Now you can add "rich text editor" to the "text editor" component, but only if the feature flag is activated) so you can toggle it back/forth as needed.

My point is that abstracting things that way may have carried deceptively significant overhead, and if they intended to move everyone to the new editor without a toggle (which they clearly did), they may just gone forward with deep, incompatible changes instead. So now they'd have to go back and re-structure everything to make it modular in that way so that the two versions can coexist.

> may just gone forward with deep, incompatible changes

Yeah, this would be my assumption as well, which is why this is so unreasonable. Any serious company will deploy changes that are easy to rollback (especially when it comes to UI changes) and that Slack can't do that, speaks a lot about their engineering talent. But then again, they never been famous for their software engineering exactly.

If I had to guess, it might not take two full weeks, they're just releasing it as part of a normal sprint cycle, not as a hotfix.

I just got the same copy sent to me. Our collective rage is working

yup, got the same reply back as well. Glad that our voice was heard

Can confirm. I got the same reply as well from their support team.

Yup, I got the exact same reply. There is hope after all.

This reminds me of Atlassian's god-awful WYSIWYG editor.

In both cases, I get that some users can't or don't like to use a machine grammar/markup, however simple. For some people markup is bad UX. Give them a WYSIWYG; that's fine.

But don't remove the markup editor if your WYSIWYG editor is anything but a perfect one-two-one replacement for markup (and I have never seen one that satisfies that).

IIRC there was a time when Confluence axed their markup, and inevitably a table or a template would get completely screwed, and there was nothing you could do but recreate it. TERRIBLE design.

> This reminds me of Atlassian's god-awful WYSIWYG editor.

Oh my goodness: triggered.

I've barred the use of Confluence at our company specifically because of this.

"But, but, we used it at blah company."

"Yes, so did I at blahblah company, and it was unbelievably crappy and made me angry every time I had to edit a document: we're not using it."

I DO NOT want to have to use what amounts to an extremely buggy, capricious, and neutered version of Microsoft Word 6 to edit the contents of a web page.

I will become extremely displeased with you if you waste my time by trying to persuade me it's a good idea. It's not.

Because of this we've implemented a tool called `mark` [1], which allows to write articles in markdown and render them as native Confluence pages.

If you're interested in having self-hosted service for that, just drop us an e-mail here [2].

[1]: https://github.com/kovetskiy/mark/ [2]: https://mark.reconquest.io/

Yeah, the very first time I used Confluence I was in shock of how developer's at one time could have thought this was a good or useful product for discussing/planning code changes.

For ticketing software, I find Clubhouse to be much better than JIRA. Normal markdown that doesn't drive you insane. Much slicker all around.

Concerning Clubhouse.io, it looks great, is there a download version? I know “Cloud is the way to go”, but I work in Men’s Rights (DV abuses, etc) and it is usually something that cloud companies don’t want on their platform, so we’re constantly at risk of being revoked.

No modern software works locally, it's always all in the cloud. That's why most large companies (and some cases like yours) stick with the big guys like Atlassian and Microsoft; the new competition doesn't support their data requirements.

A lot of that stuff still works self-hosted, which is a hard requirement in some places.

Phabricator's ticketing system is excellent, and it's fully open source. Probably the best open source project management tool out there.

It's also very easy to self-host.

Have you tried something git based? That way the tickets, etc, exist on your machine and there's no real risk of being de-platformed.

Whilst not an actual answer to your question, I thought it might be a good direction for you to look into.

Also, I've seen Redbooth (formerly Teambox) we'll recommended and since it's OSS it can be self hosted pretty easily.

I've just looked at the to 4 sites for mensrights and see hosting on Azure, GCP, Cloudflare and godaddy.

Do you have any links to any cloud or other hosting company kicking out any mens rights sites?

The SPLC determined that the most famous of them were “promoting hate”, so PayPal pulled service, and it’s always the roulette on what is going to be pulled next. Each year the International Conference on Men’s Issues had to change venues at least once, and one year the venue pulled out less than a month before the conference.

Don’t say it doesn’t exist. And saying “All men are pigs” is apparently not a reason to pull support from the female equivalent. As much as “Women should be sentenced to smaller prison times than men” is apparently not a hindrance to staying head of the judges of UK’s Supreme Court.

So yeah, we need to avoid using cloud services.

Which is the "most famous of them"?

In this UK it's probably "mankind", hosted on a microsoft owned IP, I assume azure.

I googled "splc men's rights promoting hate", and it looks like A Voice For Men is what alexis_fr is referring to.

Never heard of it. Wikipedia says

> for profit


> Its editorial position is strongly antifeminist and frequently accuses feminists of being misandrist.

somewhat different to things like the white ribbon campaign that it tried to hijack. There's plenty of charities and organisations working to stop domestic abuse of men. This looks like something that would fit well with breitbart.

In the Wikipedia article, the prominent example being used was an write (Paul Elam?) saying that victim of domestic abuse should strike back. SPLC interpreted it in context of mens right to mean that the writer is inciting violence against women. Technically true.

I wonder if in any feminist writing there are feminist who argue that victims should fight back against their attackers. How should that be interpret? Todays news in Sweden we had the first court day of the person who initiated the Swedish metoo movement. She posted a message on social media about a coworker who she said raped her. The prosecutor filed charged against her, arguing defamation as it caused emotional and economical damage to the named person. Technically this is correct and the expected result of the law suit is actually a guilty verdict for the accuser. It also mean that technically anyone who encouraged similar behavior, in the context of feminist writing, is guilty of inciting violence against men.

Swedish defamation law is also a bit different from UK/US laws in that the truthfulness is not a saving criteria. Causing someone harm through trial by media is illegal with only a few exceptions when dealing with major public figures. In the view of the legal system, harm is harm, and it is rarely justified.

Was super skeptical about all those Jira replacement SaaS’s out there. But Clubhouse is actually pretty good. For people on the fence, give it a try.

I for one am still waiting for usable task management SaaS - one that doesn't limit me to "epic/project/task" split, but instead recognizes that the work is being decomposed recursively, and has dependencies.

All I really want is a system that lets me arrange my tasks into a DAG. B is a subtask of A. C and D are subtasks or B. E is a subtask of D. F is a subtask of A, but depends on D being complete. It's simple and matches how people think about work. Add a capability for estimation (for the love of $deity, in durations, not dates!), and you can pull a critical path diagram straight out of it.

Is it so hard to make software like this? Why nobody does? And how come that some project management packages (like JIRA, AFAIR) explicitly mention subtasks as non-features, because they're not "agile enough". The only piece of PM software I've seen that's even capable of what I want is YouTrack by JetBrains, but even there, the graph nature of tasks is only an afterthought; the product tries very hard to look like Jira, with all its bad features.

I also want exactly this and have so far not found an example. I think most software is geared towards "good-enough" problem fitting, where only people who both understand the fundamental structure beneath planning, and care enough to want to implement it correctly, will want a DAG solution. However, I'm already working on quality DAG UI code so I'm tempted to divert temporarily to build such a tool if there's a market for it I'm not aware of.

Perhaps a weekend project/"show HN" to gauge interest would be warranted.

If you have time, please do, and if it's usable enough - task DAG, ability to add estimates in durations ("1 week", and not "2019-11-18 to 2019-11-25"), ability to add labels/tags and to search by it, and the ability to display tasks as a graph with critical path highlighted - you'll have your first paying customer right here.

If you ever get around working on this, or even demoing your DAG UI (I'm interested in UIs for DAGs for other reasons too), please shoot me an e-mail (address in my profile).

I've just sent you an email - I was on the fence about building this previously but I'll definitely get something going now.

Yes! Even if only for my personal tasks, yes!

Subtasks with intelligent dependencies, durations, and maybe top level item prioritization... I'd give up my hand rolled Google sheets idea in a heartbeat.

if you drop me an email (my address is in my profile), I can let you know when I have something to share :)

Yes!! I’d be interested too (email in my profile as well).

Great! I'll drop you an email shortly

Oddly most of these systems will let you specify dependencies, but not show them. Even the good old GANTT chart would let you do that. JIRA has umpteen kinds of "ticket X relates to Y" one of which is "depends on".

I think it's some sort of weird cultural impedance mismatch where the teams have sort of moved over to Kanban or Scrum or whatever, but the managing structures haven't. I used to work somewhere where managers spent a regular big chunk of time manually reconstructing GANTT from Microsoft TFS Kanban boards...

It's a doubly weird cultural impedance mismatch, because I am a dev, and I used to laugh at all the MBA PM gaant PERT mumbo jumbo... until I spent some time re-evaluating my work experience, thinking about what kind of things I'd like to improve in the way my team and I manage our work... and realized I'd very much like a DAG and a GAANT chart and critical path determination.

Have you tried Microsoft Project or the various web SaaS clones? The ones with the task hierarchy on the left (of arbitrary depth) and a Gantt chart on the right. I think they all support entering effort estimates (like “5 days work”), dependencies, and so on.

Was there something you didn’t like about them?

Haven't seen MS Project in a decade. I haven't found any SaaS like it, but maybe I don't know the right keywords to search for.

I came across this list https://thedigitalprojectmanager.com/microsoft-project-alter... (scroll down for the screenshots of the various products) but I haven't used any of the tools on that list. But they're certainly out there.

I used https://liquidplanner.com/ for a bit, it was clunky and slow and expensive, but did get the job done for what I needed.

I wonder if SmartSheet can do this - it’s pretty flexible and let you change visualizations but the underlying data can easily have the relationships you seek since it started as a GANNT tool. I haven’t played with custom templates much but your thoughts might be a good reason to go experiment!

Phabricator does this! It even renders a nice outline view of all your task dependencies. You can built arbitrary m:n graphs between your tasks and view them as a table with current state and so on.

Apparently clubhouse is working on an integrated wiki system[1] too. Can't wait to try it out (alas, beta invite not avail for the free account my company is currently using for evaluation).

[1]: https://clubhouse.io/blog/write-beta

At this point, I like Azure Dev Ops more than the Atlassian suite.

> I've barred the use of Confluence at our company specifically because of this.

It's worse than literally every other wiki I've ever used; even worse than phpBB.

Just to let you know, if you haven’t used it in a whole, Confluence (Cloud) has a completely new editor that seems decent, it just rolled out a few weeks/months ago.

Just curious what do you guys use for KB or distributed project management that doesn't dictate a per user license?

For a period, every time I saved changed to a page in Confluence, I had to completely clear cache and session data in my browser because it would just display blank pages until I did. It doesn’t do that anymore, but it’s still a slow, buggy piece of shit.

We also use Bitbucket at work, which is laughably unreliable.

Having to edit something in confluence always ruins my day

> IIRC there was a time when Confluence axed their markup, and inevitably a table or a template would get completely screwed, and there was nothing you could do but recreate it. TERRIBLE design.

There was. I was using Confluence at the time, and it broke a lot of things. There was a wonderful filed bug at the time with a lot of angry people on it, where they promised to bring the old mechanism back as an option, and they never did. That told me everything I needed to know about Atlassian.

Atlassian Jira/Confluence SUUUUUCKS. They have given up on making anything better. I try to do as much as possible on Markdown files in a GitLab repo using Atom's Markdown preview (e.g., documentation). Gliffy diagrams are still OK.

Same, README.md for most everything I can. Searching for info in the repo is also more productive than the search nightmare in jira/confluence.

GitLab employee here, nice to hear that GitLab is helping solve some of these workflow issues for you.

For sure! One thing to take a look at might be markdown numbering rendering in the browser. E.g., if I use `1. 1. 1. ` I only get ones, not 123 (last I checked).

They're currently trying to force this into pull requests in Bitbucket. Right now you can revert to the old-style pull requests with Markdown support, but that is going to go away once the new system is out of beta.

I really regret going with Atlassian here; I would have advised against it if I knew about this. I will definitely advise against it in the future.

This is why I heavily advocate for not using Atlassian products. I use the "can't trust Australia" statement as a supporting argument but the terrible editor is what started my crusade. My company uses Jira but I do all my tracking in Clubhouse. We have Confluence but most of us write docs in Google Docs because it's less painful. I recently got us moving away from Bitbucket too. If Slack stands by this change (like they did with removing the IRC bridge), I'll be pushing hard to get rid of it before we start growing.

100% agree that Clubhouse > JIRA. If I hear a company uses JIRA, I will actually question whether I want to work there.

My organization uses all of Atlassians products. Every time I as for a sane alternative and get shot down I question whether I want to work here.

Can you recommend a replacement for Jira that can be self-hosted? Many companies cannot store their data on a third-party server.

Take a look at Gemini[0] for self-hosted issue management and help desk ticketing.

[0] https://www.countersoft.com

There's at least Redmine. Uses Textile by default, but there were plugins for Markdown.

Redmine nowadays also comes by default with Markdown.

Menu Administration -> Settings -> General tab

There's a drop down for Text formatting which you can set to Markdown.

I work on this specific issue at Atlassian. Can you email me at jcolli2@atlassian.com to talk more, would love to discuss your markdown use cases for things like comments.

I stopped using confluence the moment I realized the markdown editor was removed. I don't care so much about the flavor, but there's something very annoying about needing to get fancy with the way I edit text to preserve formatting.

Same here. I'd made some nice (and quite simple) tooling to parse docstrings out of a Python project and turn them into Markdown that I could copy-and-paste into Confluence. It was so convenient to run something like "make documents" to basically compile the project's documentation from inspecting the project itself! But then Confluence broke their editor by making it WYSIWYG-only. And in response, I broke Confluence by convincing our CTO to ditch that now worthless documentation system for something else.

What is something else? I’m interested, if it’s available for download (not cloud).

Been working on Documize[0] for a while now and we get plenty of Confluence people moving over.

Open source core supporting WYSIWYG, Markdown, Code and more.

[0] https://github.com/documize/community

Fun fact: the editor is open-source (I think this is the same) https://bitbucket.org/atlassian/atlaskit-mk-2/src/master/pac...

As I have been fiddling with ProseMirror I've found out that their editor is the most extensive PM-based editor out there.

Every Atlassian product used / still uses a different markdown format, infuriating

In Azure DevOps there are two Markdown formats, Project Wiki (Default project wiki and Pull Requests) and Code Wiki (Repository as Wiki).

It's quite annoying.

Same here. I had to resort to making all edits in my browser's devtools instead. If a page in our Confluence wiki looks decent, there's a good chance it's because I hand-edited the underlying HTML. (There's also a good chance it's old, because I've largely given up on using Confluence for new articles. I just email distro lists like it's 2001)

When I had to use confluence, I did all my editing in gists and copied the rendered version into confluence. I've done that with jira too but the copy/paste seems to get mangled.

Confluence/Jira is the worst product suite I've ever had the misfortune of using, I can't fathom how it became popular or who finds it useful.

Elsewhere in this thread is the HIPPO acronym, and that's how one ends up with Jira/Confluence: "no one got fired for buying it" combined with "pointy haired bosses love it"

It's been my overwhelming experience that managers love the _idea_ of Jira, but then the day-to-day in the trenches experience of battling its workflow, its markup, its ... everything ... gets pushed down onto busy people, and even if enough engineers revolt, now you have a "well, we're already so committed to Jira we can't leave now" style reply (again, in my experience)

Yes, was looking for this post. I rarely used the markup in the previous editor, but the new editor is so buggy I keep looking for an icon to switch to markup.

I’m surprised at this. The latest cloud editing experience in Confluence (Cloud) is pretty great in my opinion.

Specific bug gripes aside: I see this editor as emblematic of Slack's broader shift away from what I think it should be (primarily synchronous chat; irc with a friendlier ui and integrated bouncer features) towards what many people seem to want to use it as (async-heavy pseudo-replacement for email where I get to sit and watch the "...is typing" indicator flicker while somebody writes an essay at me).

My rule of thumb generally is: if I need significant rich text formatting in a message I'm writing, it should probably just be an email.

I feel like this increasing hybridization of sync/async comms is largely counterproductive and especially harmful to work-life balance, so it's unfortunate that companies like Slack are apparently unable to focus on core competencies and instead must shoot for disruptive growth via poorly-executed junk like this editor.

I personally have no problem with the hybridization of sync/async communication. That's where everything is headed. People send emails and sometimes expect them to be delivered and/or read immediately. OTOH, people send messages over these "chat" services that aren't time sensitive, simply because it's easy and available.

My problem is that all these networks are proprietary and isolated. When someone comes up with a really bad idea in their UI, you're SOL until they decide to fix it. When someone comes up with a really good idea, you have to hope their competitors re-implement it. And all they can do is gently try to guide their network into the place they want to occupy on the sync-async spectrum via features.

Looking back at the history of computing, I see that when a protocol is open and has many competing implementations, it lives on far beyond what the original designers ever intended. When a protocol is proprietary and implemented only by a single proprietary UI, it has a fairly short lifespan. What I can't tell is if these companies don't know their history, or if they think they're going to be the first ones ever to beat this trend, or if they don't care and just want to grab money while they can.

> My problem is that all these networks are proprietary and isolated. When someone comes up with a really bad idea in their UI, you're SOL until they decide to fix it.

Tons of people said this early on, but the people who make decisions for team tooling/workflows apparently didn't think that was as important. Symptomatic of the disconnect between what most engineers think of as "quality" versus others.

At my first programming job, the company had an internal NNTP server which we used for public (within the company) discussions.

At that time, every decent mail client was also a newsreader, so people could easily flip back and forth between private correspondence and public discussion. News lets you write substantial, email-sized posts and replies, but it also plays perfectly well with quick one-liners. It allows threaded discussion, and newsreaders give you simple but effective tools to navigate it. It's fine if threads blow up and die out in a day, or if they live on for weeks. You can cross-post where a discussion touches different areas. You can post-and-mail if you want to attract a specific person's attention. It's easy to index (although i don't think we did that).

It was amazing.

> I personally have no problem with the hybridization of sync/async communication.

This is how I use Slack as well. It works nicely for me personally.

Indeed, I refuse to use closed communication software.

Also text = async. Use the phone when sync is needed.

« My rule of thumb generally is: if I need significant rich text formatting in a message I'm writing, it should probably just be an email. »

Italic and bold I can do without. But code blocks are absolutely necessary for my day job, especially during a production incident. (Email won't cut it for that!)

Why not? I have my email client set to default to plain-text and I just write markdown in plain-text emails. Other developers don't seem to have any problem parsing it.

You want I should email back and forth during an incident rather than using instant messaging?

The solution is to view Slack messages as completely async, too. If you chat with someone in a different location, you don't know how long they will have time to converse. Maybe they are using Slack on the phone and just replied once to give you quick feedback; but cannot be pulled into a longer conversation.

My memory is fuzzy a bit, but I think I saw Slack being called, or even calling itself, the "e-mail killer". This leads me to believe that the hybridization you mention is on purpose, and its goal is to make profit by destroying the only remaining decentralized communication protocol in widespread use.

I'm pretty sure it was discussed as the "email killer" even here on HN, where there is a tech-savvy audience. You know, in one of those recurring waves of comments to the effect of "email is broken" (and its cousin, "it's time to move past textual representations of code"). Thankfully after all this time email is still used by devs and text remains the primary representation of code -- both for good reasons!

I think they are betting on managers and in this regard it's going to work out well for them. After all Slack is a company thing (slowly turning into corporate thing) i.e. the decision to use it will likely be made by those who like WYSIWYG but hate putting stars or backticks in their messages, or don't understand the concept at all.

So, in the end it's a very clever move.

Oh yes, verrry clever - especially when potential recruits will start factoring in your use of Slack as a negative mark for your company ! /s

Since HTML is too dangerous to use these days in e-mail, the default formatting should be Markdown too.

I've been suffering from this one too so I'll share the most annoying part for me. I frequently have reasons to type out glob patterns generally in backticks. The interface for this is completely broken in the new WYSIWYG editor. Here's what happens when I try to type: `/<asterisk>/<asterisk>`, things work normally up until the second "<asterisk>" at which point the "/" between them becomes gets bolded, which makes no sense, because you can't bold text inside of backticks. Then when I input the second "`" it becomes a monospace block containing `//` and the "<asterisk>"s have completely ceased to exist.

They also somehow broke the tab key for tabbing through users when you're trying to @ someone, after the first tab it just starts refocusing your input boxes rather than selecting different users.

Edit: Ironically, HN's built in markdown seems to understand asterisks, but not backticks, which leads to behavior similar to Slack's that I'm ranting about, I've replaced them with <asterisk> to make it clear.

There's some delicious irony in those slashes getting swallowed by HN's markdown parser.

HN does not use markdown, otherwise a lot more formatting would work; it's four leading spaces to code block something, and asterisks for italics, and that's it AFAIK

Oh god I didn't even realize, one second I'll try to edit this.

I spent far too long looking at that and thinking why is the first or second slash drunk.

If you hit ctrl/cmd-z after it automatically changes something you can keep going like you used to. e.g. try typing `foo`, and then hit ctrl-z, it'll revert it to plain text. I've found that useful for getting around the autoformatting.

That's ridiculous, right?. Cmd/Ctrl-z has a defined function. Slack is hijacking that because they've decided that decades of established patterns are wrong and creating another one-off for their very specific use case is the right thing to do. The hubris...

It's not really that radical of a thing to do though. Word has the same sort of behaviour except utilising backspace. If you type " - " in word it creates a bulleted list, hit backspace once and you get the literal text you entered.

I'm not entirely sure which is the less-worse option here but at least it's not a wildly new concept, just a different button.

There are other products out there that put automatic changes on the undo stack. I regularly encounter this behaviour in Visual Studio: pasting code in the editor is decomposed into pasting text and reformatting it. So the first Ctrl-Z reverts the code to the exact text you copied. The second Ctrl-Z will remove it.

Interestingly, if I do that, it will then send it unformatted. I want to format in the actual chat, just not in my input.

Interestingly, I suffered from the exact same asterisk problem last week, but it's now been fixed on my slack!

Good to see that they are shipping improvements to it now.

Your asterisk example works OK for me. As does the blog writer's "when you do `foo()` it foos the bar".

I could not reproduce the example issues from the blog post, but the dual asterices inside the back ticks still fail for me.

The upside is that it's now possible to have bold passages in monospaced text. I missed that before.

Here's a gif of the second issue from the blog post, just reproduced on my client


Ah, earlier today the Slack app on my Mac had not updated yet -- there I experience the same issue.

The web client on Firefox works better, though: https://imgur.com/a/X53iIlm

Edit: On Chrome it's broken for me too....

Well, that just looks like a bug then.

I think the concern is mostly about what Slack was actually trying to achieve.

Yeah, seems this was fixed pretty quickly by not parsing the ` immediately but only after you've entered the closing `

The funny thing is that I am sure most of the people who work at slack know it's terrible, but no one asks them. There is a small cohort of product managers who probably have a plausible-sounding reason to do it, and they need to do something to justify their jobs, so they alienate everybody else because no one stops them.

I am, to put it lightly, familiar with this in other companies.

I would bet a lot of money I already know the pitch. It's the same one that the Confluence PM I'm sure made. "We have done very well selling to technical programmers and hip startups, but the market is so much bigger. shows Office 365 revenue numbers vs Slack revenue numbers. We have an opportunity to take this to the next level. We need to make this the goto office communication platform. cheers. Markdown may seem easy to use to us, but our user research shows that 90% of fortune 500 employees don't even know what markdown is. We need a more familiar interface to break into this lucrative new market and continue our growth."

>I would bet a lot of money I already know the pitch. It's the same one that the Confluence PM I'm sure made. "We have done very well selling to technical programmers and hip startups, but the market is so much bigger. shows Office 365 revenue numbers vs Slack revenue numbers. We have an opportunity to take this to the next level. We need to make this the goto office communication platform. cheers.

You're probably right. However, Slack will never be _the_ goto office communication platform until it integrates with AD and that will not happen because MS has competing software (Skype for business previously known as Lync).

> You're probably right. However, Slack will never be _the_ goto office communication platform until it integrates with AD and that will not happen because MS has competing software (Skype for business previously known as Lync).

Integrating with AD (or Azure AD) does not require Microsoft's blessing. Source: the product I'm working on (which is in the same market as Slack and Skype for business) is currently doing that.

>MS has competing software (Skype for business previously known as Lync)

Teams, not Skype for Business, is Microsoft's Slack competitor.

Not sure why you were being voted down - Teams was explicitly positioned as a competitor for Slack.

Teams' editor is also terrible

Slack works with Okta which works with AD. These days it seems most IT orgs don't want software interfacing with AD directly (mainly because AD is a hot mess to deal with). Also, Teams is free with O365 :(

How would MS stop anyone from integrating with AD?

you're exactly right, but what I want to know is - how many of those enterprise users even know how to do italics in regular email? And is this _really_ the feature that's holding them back from Slack!?

And they probably aren't wrong either. Even at companies made of mostly programmers, those people aren't necessarily the ones making the decision about which communication platform to use.

TBH, for documentation outside of docstrings and READMEs WYSIWYG editors (usually google docs) are the most popular form of documentation for engineers. I've seen this happen naturally at a bunch of corps unless someone made a coherent documentation policy and enforced it.

I bet a large percentage of Slack people _tried super hard_ to stop that cohort of PMs. However, you can only fight upwards so much before you just check out completely, cash the checks, and halfheartedly build whatever nonsense they're forcing through.

It's common for ambitious employees in not-so-ambitious tech companies to lose their jobs over not realizing that the optimal strategy for keeping their job is to just do their work as told, collect a pay cheque, and not innovate.

In these companies, the fastest way to get canned is to believe you are there to help the company succeed by trying to innovate, and in the process of doing so, imply there are flaws with how it's currently being done.

>It's common for ambitious employees in not-so-ambitious tech companies to lose their jobs over not realizing that the optimal strategy for keeping their job is to just do their work as told, collect a pay cheque, and not innovate.

Also known as optimal strategy to get your soul crushed and die inside.

It's really demoralizing to be on a team on which the devs clearly have better design and UX sense than the designer(s) and/or product manager. But not the titles—they're "just" software developers who couldn't possibly understand users or design or common friggin' sense.

Sometimes, the devs can sneak in a hidden fix. For example, remember back when VS 2012 made menus ALL CAPS? Officially, that was the brave new world everybody was supposed to live in (https://devblogs.microsoft.com/visualstudio/a-design-with-al...). Users hated it with a passion.

And then it turned out that there's an undocumented registry key to re-enable the old behavior, that was leaked without much fanfare (https://www.richard-banks.org/2012/06/how-to-prevent-visual-...). It was never mentioned in any official documentation, but word of mouth spread it far and wide, and its existence probably spared the worst in terms of angry user rants.

Ironically, the outcry over the caps was big enough that this setting eventually got an official checkbox in a major release sometime later, and then became the default behavior again.

Maybe they have statistics that indicate that their larges user group by now isn't capable of using markdown? Most non-techies are not aware of markdown.

Maybe they have, maybe they don't. Or maybe they can pull some out of their behinds on the spot when asked (which I suspect is the most likely case).

If non-techies can be taught how threading or bunch of other Slack idiosyncrasies work, they can as easily be taught that surrounding text with characters like *, /, ~, _ and ` changes formatting. It's a trivial concept. Reddit, or countless Internet forums before, never had a problem with teaching that to non-techies.

Isn’t this how all UI redesign projects happen?

The next step that also seems to happen more often than not: Despite user outcry, the company digs in, becomes defensive, and dismisses complaints with platitudes or snark like “you’ll get over it”. See also: Slashdot redesign, Fark redesign, Reddit redesign, Digg redesign, and so on.

I accidentally clicked a slashdot links yesterday. They show comments by default, sorted by New, despite having invented the best user-enforced moderation system ever seen on the web, and the #2 comment was 10 screenheights of screeenwide ASCII art swastikas. Hooray for UI redesigns to chase the next million dumber users.

Ditto... It goes to show that high quality PMs are just as important as high quality engineers. I've been in orgs where either side is imbalanced, and the same predictable results happen. When you have poor engineers, nothing is shipped, everything is buggy, the product never works and is eventually rewritten from scratch with the same predictable cycle. When you have poor PMs, you spend all your time shipping products no one will ever want to use, which demoralizes everyone and kills the productivity of your engineering organization.

I mean, it's probably not bad feature for a lot of people. But for goodness sake, why not make it optional?

This is exactly why I hate it. I think for the average person it's probably great, but it should be easy to disable for those who don't want it.

Or those who grow past it. Power users are not a different species, they do not come from the planet Vulcan. They get created through repeated use of software in order to solve problems.

my experience with Slack technical folk (on some tricky auth bugs and other issues we've hit over the years) has been excellent. They're fast, knowledgeable, never pass the buck, and communicative. If it's the PMs doing this, they're letting down an otherwise great team.

Really unsure why I was downvoted for this. I posted a link to someone else in this thread that has actually talked to Slack employees, it's directly related to the comment I replied to.

Probably for the same reason people downvote when the same comment is copy-pasted all over a thread; I don't need to be linked to somewhere else in the same conversation. I especially don't need to be linked to somewhere else in the conversation that _I have already read because it is higher ranked_. Also possibly: following an opaquish link to find yourself on the very same page is annoying, and kind of the opposite of insightful, which you might be hoping for.

Well I didn't copy and paste the same comment all over, I just posted this link once. The comment I linked was also not higher ranked when I commented, as I commented right around when the original post was made. Every comment in the thread was still getting shuffled around due to upvotes and nothing was stable.

In the future how do you suggest I handle this?

Your comment would have been better received if it had any explanation as to why it was there, like

"someone else in this thread said that they know some slack employees and it's true: <link> "

that way people scanning know what the link is and why it's there.

Yes, this would probably have been better recieved.

But it's only a few downvotes, and I think that total downvote count effect is limited to only a few points per post? So don't sweat it.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact