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  1. #1
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    Forcing "Preview" before "Submit"

    If you were designing a CMS or forum type application, would forcing users to "Preview" before "Submit" be a bad idea?

    This would be especially useful if markup was involved. We've all messed up HTML or some other markup when submitting an article or forum post.

  2. #2
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    Forcing a preview may be a useful means for keeping spambots away. As far as I know, it won't cause too much accessibility problems, as longs as you're clear about what's going on.
    • Label the submit button as 'Preview' in the first form.
    • Label the submit button as 'Post' (or 'Send' etc.) in the second form.
    • Include some information in both forms, e.g., saying 'This is step 1 of 2'.


    The only ones who will suffer a bit are dial-up users (like me), who have to wait for an extra page, but we're used to it. Use as little graphics as possible on those pages, to minimise the problem.

    OTOH, you should [i]never[i] use anything submitted by a user without escaping it or checking it. If you want to allow markup, you should parse it and exclude potentially dangerous elements (like IFRAME and SCRIPT). Or you could use a made-up markup language like bbCode, which must be translated into HTML on the server side.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  3. #3
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    AutisticCuckoo, good points.

    Unfortunately there's no easy way to mark up text in web based applications. A lot of us here are used to "BBCode" and some of us here are used to XML or HTML. I'm surprised I don't see markup like this:

    _strong emphasis_ *emphasis*

    But that's about as far as it goes with the markup above. Hyperlinks, citations, HTML headings 1 through 6, lists, and so on are best marked up with opening and closing tags.

    The "BBCode" [x]some text[/x] markup is what seems the most popular. XML or HTML would require pressing the shift key frequently, whereas "BBCode" does not.

    I'm not aware of any alternatives to some kind of markup in web based applications. Markup is prone to errors and that's why I'm considering forcing "Preview" before "Submit."

  4. #4
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephRagsdale
    AutisticCuckoo, good points.

    Unfortunately there's no easy way to mark up text in web based applications. A lot of us here are used to "BBCode" and some of us here are used to XML or HTML. I'm surprised I don't see markup like this:

    _strong emphasis_ *emphasis*

    But that's about as far as it goes with the markup above. Hyperlinks, citations, HTML headings 1 through 6, lists, and so on are best marked up with opening and closing tags.

    The "BBCode" [x]some text[/x] markup is what seems the most popular. XML or HTML would require pressing the shift key frequently, whereas "BBCode" does not.

    I'm not aware of any alternatives to some kind of markup in web based applications. Markup is prone to errors and that's why I'm considering forcing "Preview" before "Submit."
    Textile is really good for this sort of thing. There's probably an implementation already available in whatever server-side language you use.

    As for the forced preview, it's effective in both stopping spambots and forcing the user to think about what they are typing, but as far as accessibility goes I'd consider it neutral.

  5. #5
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    That's pretty neat.

    I use C++. I can make my own implementation of that.

    Edit:

    Come to think of it, it's not that much better.

    "This is a link (This is a title) ":http://www.textism.com

    vs.

    [\url="http://example.com" title="This is a title."]Example[/url]

    I might just try multiple markup styles/languages in my applications and let the user decide which is best. e.g., HTML, BBCode, and a Textism implementation.

  6. #6
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    I could spell check when the user "Previews."

    I could also store the preview in a drafts folder. When the user is finished previewing, the draft would be deleted.

    Hah! Ideas are fun.


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