Authoring pain

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This is so funny, Tim Bray is having his own Powers-That-Be at Sun complain that authoring web pages on their weblog is painful:

I’m hearing private gripes from our internal writing community, from the President to the marketers to the Solaris geeks, about how their writing tools stink. The state of Web authoring tools is kind of like the state of what we used to call “Word Processing” twenty years ago when I was getting into this business. If everyone’s going to write for the Web (and it looks a lot of people are going to) we need the Web equivalents of Word Perfect and Wordstar and Xywrite and Microsoft Word, and we need them right now.

Hardly news to me. Looking back at my own publishing history about this subject:

  1. January 24, 2003 - I want a rich text editor in Flash -- this is one of the most popular posts of this weblog, there are TONS of people looking for a good rich text editor. Ironically, none of the links you'll find from that post work. I found nobody who has come out with something acceptable (to the folks at Ektron, no more spam please, your stuff isn't what I'm looking for)
  2. January 26, 2003 - NetNewsWire Pro -- Brent Simmons adds a weblog editor to a desktop application. I'm still using NNW to edit my posts today, although it still requires a little knowledge of HTML.
  3. January 31, 2003 - I argue that we'll remain lost in semantic space until the user interfaces properly hide the technology behind the scenes. No one who just want to write and use the web to publish should have to worry about tags
  4. February 09, 2003 - a look at Postmaster gives me the occasion of a little follow-up about RIA and Flash as rich text editors
  5. April 01, 2003 - big rant about old-school rich text editors -- I'm afraid we're still surrounded with those, even some which pretend to be better like Midas (which generates CSS compliant tag soup)
  6. May 23, 2003 - It's the interface, stupid! -- my first foray at one of the biggest opportunity for weblog software editors to set themselves apart from the crowd (hint, they should still pay attention!)
  7. May 25, 2003 - I reported on BitFlux, finally an open-source XML visual editor that pays attention to semantic. Still a work in progress
  8. October 21, 2003 - digging around the future of content management, I toyed with some ideas about desktop applications and office suites. Hey Tim! I seem to recall that your company owns Star Office, have you thought about that as an editor?
  9. November 17, 2003 - YAOSHE! -- it still amazes me that some people waste their time building yet another old-school editor instead of building what people really need
  10. March 24, 2004 - I dreamed about a couple Contribute + Movable Type -- Contribute is one of the best editors for content workers out there
  11. May 08, 2004 - FUC Weblog software! -- one year after the first one, another rant about how terrible the current weblog software still are in terms of wysiwyg editing
  12. June 10, 2004 - When dynamic content looks static or how to use Contribute on dynamic content. May be Atom will add possibilities (but frankly I don't care about the plumbing)
  13. July 19, 2004 - Blogger goes Whizz-ah-ma-wig -- first attempt from a weblog service to bring WYSIWYG editing to their users. Unfortunately, it generates an ugly tag-soup (but at least it's a step in the right direction)
  14. July 19, 2004 - Macromedia with its Web Publishing System is getting more serious about a simple desktop application for web content management

So I guess we had to wait until corporate weblogging lift off and the CxOs of big software companies start confronting themselves with the state of affairs in web publishing before things could get better. I just hope someone will come out with something good before Bill Gates starts his weblog and decides to impose this thing to the rest of us.