What would you like to see in the HN story editor?

#1

Writing about tech isn’t the same as writing a generic short story. Sure basic formatting is important. You’ll also need to toss in a few images. But what else do you need to share your code, ideas, tutorials, and experiences?

A few ideas to get started:

We’re thinking about integrating with Code Sandbox, Codepen or JSFiddle.

It would also be nice to easily create line graphs, bar charts and scatter charts.

When uploading images, it would be great to be able to easily apply the traditional Hacker Noon filter.

The ability to add annotations or easily list sources.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the above ideas :point_up: or anything else you’d like to see in our story editor. Thanks for your input!

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#2

A blank screen.

Drafts saved.

Can change some formats.

Can embed something or other.

Maybe a couple friendly keyboard shortcuts. Or dark mode? Or terminal mode? Or stats? Or the ability to go back in time and edit the past?

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#3

I’d like to address each idea individually:

Excellent idea! For technical posts, this absolutely makes sense, and I’d love to see some kind of option to embed a working example in a post. It would certainly make my Protip series more pleasant to look at…

This would be cool, but I think anyone who has the technical background required to embed data in some custom format can create an image of a chart and embed that image. A neat feature, but I don’t think it’s 100% necessary.

Awesome idea! We can use ImageMagick on the backend – I’ll add an item to my todo list, to explore ImageMagick filters for an hour or so one day. This could be a really fun feature, and cheap if we do it right.

Is there any way to do this with Markdown? I think our editor should support a Markdown mode in any case, but it may make this case in particular a lot easier. For now, people can cite sources like this [1]

[1] and have a reference at the bottom.

Personally, I’d like to have font options. Not too many – we don’t want the site to look like a circus. But a nice monospaced font would be excellent for technical posts that reference a lot of commands/code. That’s something that’s sorely missing in Medium’s editor, and something I’d like to correct in 2.0.

I’d also like to see changes highlighted in the editor when someone else changes the draft. That’s a major annoyance on Medium, and although it will be difficult to pull off correctly and consistently in 2.0, I think it’s something we’ll eventually need to have.

#4

Nice thoughts.

I think a simple graph embed is more important than a technical challenge. Think about it this way. The value of a HN graph plays a similar role to applying the HN image filter. If users can simply add a HN green graph rather than copy and pasting a simple black and white graph…the output is content that feels more like HN.

So not trying to suggest all graphs should go through our graph rendering option. Writers should always have the option to design and embed their own graphs. But simple, HN graphs are a nice option to reinforce our brand.

I really like the idea of adding a source citing option via the toolbar. It’s something users could do manually but we can do auto-linking. This also gives us the option to show sources/annotations in the margin…which I believe could be a better reading experience if done well.

#5

Thanks!

I agree, an HN-branded graph would be a cheap way to expand the brand, in terms of time spent. That’s a lot of value for a little work, in other words. Consider me swayed. :slight_smile:

Annotations and sources in the margins would be awesome! Just imagine, you’re reading an article that makes a dubious claim, your eyes drift to the margins…and there’s a source! We could potentially open-source an annotation component…something to think about. “The Source-o-tron” (I could see it being used on news sites, at least, to back up claims with reliable sources…what do you think?)

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#6

I like how medium allows you to insert photos and bleed them LARGE as well use them at various sizes. I also like the photo captions option. It gives the layout of an article a more magazine feel.

I also like the text treatment options on medium. Again it gives the articles a more magazine feel when used effectively.

Easy link options where you can link photos.

Easy insert youtube video or multimedia options.

#7

I will absolutely keep this in mind as we develop 2.0. We might not have all the options Medium has for photos at first, but they will look good, or so help me.

We need to consider this a goal to strive towards: a magazine feel. We definitely don’t want to lose that feel in the move to 2.0. I think a few simple font options (like creating h2 headers, as you can on Medium) will go a long way towards this goal.

These are must-haves for me, as an author. Specifically, I like to add a “soundtrack” to my blog posts in the form of a Youtube embed. Media embeds, easy media embeds, are crucial. I’m glad you brought this up, and as we work on the editor (myself and @Dane) we’ll have to keep this in mind. I know Dane’s already working on media embeds as we speak, so they are on the way.

Thank you for the feedback! Great stuff. :smile:

#8

Here is an example of a few stories I wrote that I tried to give a mag feel.

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#9

That Venezuela story is insane! It read like a Vice story, in that you get a peek into an underworld that you don’t normally get to see. I’d like to see more stories like this – it was thrilling, honestly. Great stuff!

I see what you mean about the magazine feel, from this article. @Dane what do you think we could do to give stories more of this look-and-feel? Specifically, can we give authors an option to size their images (like S/M/L/XL)? I think we could do a lot with a little here i.e. a few simple sizing options could go a long way.

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#10

One problem with full-bleed images in HN 2.0 is that might be tricky with how we’re planning on using the margins for displaying the author bio and the emoji interaction.

#11

I think with the emojii interactions, full bleed images won’t matter because there is no text to react to if the line is only image, but its definitely a spacial priority problem for contributor thumbnail.

#12

That is a bummer. That is one of my personal favorite features on medium. It allows the story to breath and adds another layer to a good article. Medium is the only blog editor that I have found that does it. Daniel Jeffries taught me how to use it to build more impact in a story. Without details like this every story looks the same. People who use it effectively work stands out. I personally would rather continue to publish on medium without it is how much it matters to me. I am sure there are writers/artists who feel the same. I don’t really care about my bio. I can add that at the end of my piece. The writing and how it is layed out is what I want to speak. Use twitter for example. Bios are usually embellished and do not equate to more engagment. I am not hating on it but I am just offering my opinion. Bios do not drive eyeballs. Good articles and content do. I believe the layout and writing is what made my Venzuela piece gain traction. The interview was one story. The photo layout added another layout to the story.

#20

I know its probably a tall order, but mathjax support (or some form of inline LaTeX) would be amazing and really enable HackerNoon to support any writers who want to delve deeper into theory related articles. Outside of that, having the ability to do a syntax highlighted inline code (without needing to make a separate code sandox/embedded gist) like in github flavored markdown would be amazing. (e.g.

const test = 'some js code that is syntax highlighted'
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#21

I absolutely love the idea of a LaTeX mode, for your more mathematical posts. :smiley: I’ll have to look into it to make sure it’s doable, and either way I don’t think it’ll be there from day 1, but I would love to support this in the near-future.

Syntax highlighting for code snippets is something we’ve thought about as well. Come to think of it, I don’t think it would be terribly difficult to implement given the editor we’re using…you’ve inspired me to experiment this weekend. :wink:

Anyway, thank you for the ideas! Awesome stuff, truly.

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#22

Not a crucial feature but still wanted: anchored links. An anchor link is a link that scrolls a page down to a header on click. They are mostly used to create a ToS.

Users tend to consume content faster. I would love to give them a tool to quickly jump to a section of an article they are most interested in.

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#23

must needed for sure…
text color
Is it possible to import statistical data from websites like Google data studio, and other Data providers

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#24

@alexanderisora excellent idea. I’d love to be able to link to a specific section of an HN article, personally. I’ll look into this.

@epromotors @Dane has actually been thinking about how to represent data in posts for a while, so I’d like to loop him in on the conversation. Right now, it’s not possible, but it is something we’re thinking about, absolutely.

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