Keyboard helpers

Vince's Avatar


02 Jun, 2018 05:49 PM

The B(old) and I(talic) keyboard helpers Do the Right Thing™, both when something is selected and when something isn't. When nothing is selected, they insert the appropriate asterisks and position the cursor in the middle. When something is selected, they surround the selection with the appropriate asterisks. Tapping them again removes the asterisks. So far so good.

But that's the end of the good. None of the list items (bullet, numeric, and whatever > is) nor the headers (#) do anything when there is no selection. Like Bold/Italic, they should insert the appropriate characters and leave the cursor ready to type the entry.

Also, I can't get the header (#) to insert more than one pound sign even if something is selected. How do we get a ### header? Nothing I tried worked.

Last, I don't use closed syntax for headers, and I don't want to start. They are not required, they offer no benefits, and they make changing a header's level much more difficult. MMD/iOS either needs to use open syntax, or it needs to be an option.

I lied. That's not last. A suggestion: two header buttons (#^ and #v?), to let us easily increase/decrease the header level. (Headers can't toggle like Bold/Italic since there are multiple levels). Tapping up on a non-header makes it a header, and so on. If you want to be really snazzy, a long-press on the down button would delete all of the #'s and make it a non-header.

Last (really!), what are the three parallel lines immediately to the right of the # button? I can't get them to do anything whether something is selected or isn't, and three lines means nothing to me from a Markdown perspective.

  1. 1 Posted by Vince on 02 Jun, 2018 05:56 PM

    Vince's Avatar

    If it wasn't already obvious, I'm using the on-screen keyboard. And, for the record, if that doesn't work well, then I won't use MMD. In seven years of using iPads, I've never once connected an external keyboard to one. If I want a real keyboard I use my laptop. I may be (probably am?) the exception, so you are free to not care. :) Just letting you know there are people who don't, and aren't going to, use them.

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by Fletcher on 02 Jun, 2018 06:35 PM

    Fletcher's Avatar

    The various line conversions are based off Mac, and currently require some content to work (they leave blank lines alone so that when you convert lists to blockquotes, or whatever, you don't end up messing things up). I'm still deciding on exact interface mechanics for new lines. (So for now, start typing your line and you can then tap any of the buttons you want.

    Closing # in headers is optional, just like the Mac version.

    I've thought about "header up" and "header down" buttons. Trying to decide how to provide proper functionality without overloading the UI with too many buttons. Especially with limited space on iPhone.

    The three lines without any markers are for plain text. Trying to decide on the header icon to make it fit the theme, but having a bunch of headers in a row doesn't quite make sense (unlike lists, bullets, etc.). Plus the # were rather small..... Still tweaking that.

  3. 3 Posted by Vince Rice on 02 Jun, 2018 07:01 PM

    Vince Rice's Avatar

    Yes, I know they do, that's what I was complaining about. :) They shouldn't. If I'm on a blank line and hit a list button, it's because I want to start a list. I'm not sure what converting lists to blockquotes has to do with anything.

    If I've ever seen the "Append '#' to end of heading", it's so long ago I don't remember it. I would argue that, like typewriter mode, it should not be the default.

    The "#" is perfect for headers. Don't overthink it. If the three lines are plain text, you don't the need the hard press on the header down button. :)

    I don't know that I would have one list button and have it give you a popup list to choose which one you wanted. As you said, take up a lot less room, especially on a phone. (I'm never going to use this on a phone.)

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by Fletcher on 05 Sep, 2018 01:36 AM

    Fletcher's Avatar

    Next version has the "#" button cycle through headings, and cycle back to 1 after hitting 6. Given how tight screen real estate is, I would prefer to use a single button for this rather than separate "header-up" and "header-down" buttons.

    I'll consider combining the two list buttons, but in this case having to double tap might be worse than two buttons. I realize that these two decisions aren't entirely consistent, but they "feel" right. Time will tell, and I can change it as I get more feedback and "finalize" the interface.


  5. 5 Posted by Vince Rice on 05 Sep, 2018 04:28 AM

    Vince Rice's Avatar

    You might consider 3d-touch to allow choosing a particular heading, instead of taking six taps to get back to one. I'm not married to the idea, just a thought.

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by Fletcher on 08 Sep, 2018 04:35 PM

    Fletcher's Avatar

    That's a thought. Will have to think about it more.

    First impressions:

    1. I rarely remember to use 3-d touch. Not sure how other people do with it.

    2. I worry about different interfaces for devices that support 3-d touch and those that don't. (I use an iPad Mini, so I only have access to 3-d touch on my phone, not my ipad.) Though not absolutely necessary, the more consistent the iPhone and iPad versions are in behavior, the better.

    Another option -- sounds like I may be able to recognize "long presses" with a UILongPressGestureRecognizer. So touching and holding the button could allow a pop-up menu? This would work regardless of 3-d touch ability, so it might be better?

  7. 7 Posted by Vince Rice on 08 Sep, 2018 05:24 PM

    Vince Rice's Avatar

    Sure, same idea. I said 3d-touch because, though your #1 is often true for me as well, if it provides a shortcut that wouldn't be otherwise available, then it doesn't hurt anything and provides benefit to those that have it. IOW, if you're going to use a cycle to get around (which I understand; I don't want six buttons, either), then the 3D touch provides a shortcut for those that have it. Those that don't have it have to cycle. NBD.

    But if you can recognize a long press and do the same thing, all the better. (I have a hard time on my MBP with differentiating between a long press and a force touch, but I generally don't have that problem on my phone.)

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