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VisualEditor: Insert a <br /> when the user creates a new line from an existing blank link
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Description


Version: unspecified
Severity: enhancement

Details

Reference
bz65707

Event Timeline

bzimport raised the priority of this task from to Lowest.
bzimport set Reference to bz65707.

Please provide steps to reproduce - no idea at which stage/keyboard focus I press some key on my keyboard, and which browsers this was tested with

Please see https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/How_to_report_a_bug

go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jaredzimmerman_%28WMF%29/VEtest

  1. place cursor after "line 1"
  2. press enter/return on keyboard twice
  3. save page

expected : there will be two blank lines after "line 1"
actual: there are no blank lines after "line 1"

see attached images for pre and post save appearance.

Created attachment 15502
pre-save

Attached:

Created attachment 15503
post-save

Attached:

Unfortunately MediaWiki has no representation of a blank paragraph, so they get destroyed when you save.

We could theoretically not let you insert a second new line (so "enter" in a blank paragraph does nothing), and though this is an extant UX in the wild – LyX does this because LaTeX has the same limitation – I think it's pretty crummy, and probably worse than the current behaviour.

What would you expect to happen?

Closing temporarily as there's no proposed action. Please feel free to re-open.

Two possible proposals that we could use one, both, or some variations

When consecutive breaks are found we could use

<br>
<br>

which is what you'll commonly see on wikipages when people are trying to do some advanced formatting

if the <br> is followed by a [[template]] or == Section == we could strip out any <br> and replace with {{Clear}}

(In reply to Jared Zimmerman (WMF) from comment #7)

Two possible proposals that we could use one, both, or some variations

When consecutive breaks are found we could use

<br>
<br>

which is what you'll commonly see on wikipages when people are trying to do
some advanced formatting

… and is horrendous and explicitly deprecated.

if the <br> is followed by a [[template]] or == Section == we could strip
out any <br> and replace with {{Clear}}

This is verging on a WONTFIX, but leaving as a possible thing for later consideration.

Where do we draw the line about being paternalistic and disallowing users to do things they want to do but we don't think are "good code" or "stylistically wrong" it seems like in many cases we go to great lengths to make things possible or easy even if we think the outcome may be that users misuse or use in unexpected ways and other times we block on them by saying we don't want to be enablers of bad behavior. Curious in this case how that logic is applied to do, or not do this?

Jdforrester-WMF moved this task from To Triage to Freezer on the VisualEditor board.

A <br /> could be inserted when the user uses Shift + Enter (line break instead of change of paragraph).
This would be consistent with word processor software.