Mar 8

WP Blog Editor Review: Wilde

 

My journey with Wilde didn’t start well. My testing is starting with writing the review post within the tool itself plus a few other experimental posts to see how it behaves. And it didn’t get started well by losing the data after I thought I saved
it. Except I didn’t? That’s ok, I just started rewriting the first paragraph again, then I wrote a few more paragraphs worth of my experience. Then I tried to schedule the post, it posted three items to my blog as drafts and then crashed. When
I opened up the content of the post on the blog it only had the rewritten first paragraph that I’d saved and had lost the other three paragraphs I’d written. Third time’s the charm?
The advantage of having to rewrite the post multiple times is that I got sick of writing some of the fluff that I had done about The Escapers. I started off really positive and then neutral and now I’m writing what you see here.
It also focuses me on what this tool is doing badly. Let’s get the largest pain point out of the road: it lost my data. Twice. In ways that I didn’t expect it to lose it: the first I thought I saved but then it was empty. The second when I tried to
publish, it published the paragraph I’d hard saved prior but dropped the other three or so paragraphs I’d added afterwards. To add insult to injury it managed to upload three copies of the same post to the blog just before it crashed:

 

The other interesting task was to open a post that I’d written in Desk 3 and ended up with a wall of text:
Wilde has a “Live Preview” feature and What I Saw Was Not What I Got:
The HTML mode seemed to look ok though I didn’t want to touch the post for fear of nuking it’s formatting. There is also a Markdown mode however it appears that unless I start with Markdown, it won’t convert an existing post to Markdown. That means
you have to write in Markdown and then it’ll turn that into HTML (or WYSIWYG). You can’t make any changes on the HTML/WYSIWYG side and expect them to be reflected on the Markdown side, it’s a purely one way transaction. Flipping between HTML and WYSIWYG seemed to work better however.
The data loss event that I had related to scheduling the post and triggering a crash. The interface for scheduling a post is a little awkward. It presents a picker with a calendar on the left and then an analog clock on the right. It took me a few clicks to realise that I
needed to drag the hands around to set the time. The first attempt I hit schedule, we had the crash and three drafts saved with missing content. On subsequent attempts I tried to set it for a time and it never seemed to save. The date and time
I’m aiming for was the 6th March at 1am. Turns out that’s harder than it looks because when I clicked the schedule button afterwards…it didn’t have that date and time. It would change to 11pm (10:59:41pm?!?) and if I pushed it to 1am, it’d change
the date to the 7th if I moved the hand across 12 however if I went backwards around the clock it’d stick to the same day. Some how it turned into 4pm after I saved the post a few times. Rather frustrating! However there is a much simpler problem with using an analog clock: is it AM or PM? The only way to tell is to drag over the top of the clock to see if the calendar changes. I’d really just like a text box to set the time and date. It’d also be nice if it didn’t randomly change on me too.
I was curious how resilient it would be to handling crashes in general so I created a draft post, didn’t save it and then used “Force Quit” to terminate Wilde. As I expected, Wilde didn’t handle this well. Desk 3 also didn’t handle this well either, it turns out sudden termination isn’t something these editing tools handle well. Save early, save often.
Another interesting quirk of their editor was the “read more” option. Or the lack thereof. The WYSIWYG editor seems to be missing the option entirely. Given my posts usually start with an introduciton paragraph followed by a “read more”, this is definitely
an omission that I’ve noticed. I do seem to be able to add it in HTML mode and then swap back to WYSIWYG mode. Unfortunately there is no visual indication that the tag exists.
As a part of building this post up, I tried to drag and drop the various screenshots that I’d taken. In the WYSIWYG editor it put a placeholder with the name of the file but for whatever reason didn’t actually embed the image file. Desk 3 also had
this limitation as well however Wilde has a right panel that lets you upload images and then you can drag them into the post. It’d be good if this could be simplified to just handle automatically so that drag and drop for images just worked. The
other complaint I have about the right panel is that it happens in the background with no progress bar visible. I’d drag an image in and sit twiddling my thumbs waiting for it to appear to drag into the post. The other annoying aspect was the lack of retina display support. The WYSIWYG editor let’s us down here again where in the editor the images look small but when swapped to Live Preview it displayed full size and escaped the blog post. From the WYSIWYG editor there doesn’t appear to be any controls to resize the image either: they land at what ever size the system picked.
The last area I’d like to complain about is the tag and category picker. Adding a tag requires you to hover over the post on the left, select the tag option and it creates a little pop up. It doesn’t seem to suggest anything based on my existing tags and doesn’t seem to handle categories. By default for remote posts it seemd to have an “Uncategorised” value by default. If I click out of the area it will sometimes also duplicate the tag as well. And what happens when I hit save? It puts “Uncategorised” back in again! If I go and remove it? Well, just look below:
It’s mildly concerning that clicking on the remove icon doesn’t seem to delete the right item. When I go back to the WordPress administrator area, it shows me the tags set based on what Wilde has however there seems to be no categories option.
I’ve spent a lot of time on what isn’t working for me because there are a lot of pieces that are broken with the editor. That said it’s a generally pleasant editor even if it is a little basic. The choice of Markdown, HTML or WYSIWYG is pretty powerful. I really like the tabbed editor format at the top for having multiple posts open. Writing a post is relatively straight forward and the keyboard shortcuts do what you expect them to do with the exception that there is no shortcut for creating a link (urgh!).

 

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