Nabble Editor line wrapping

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Nabble Editor line wrapping

DaveC49
Hi,
I'm a member of the GnuCash User and Gnucash Dev user forums, I often run across a problem in composing replies using the inbuilt Nabble editor. becuse the Gnucash forums are principally mailing lists that seem to be echoed to nabble, the display of posts seems to line wrap somewhere around 75-80 characters however the nabble editor does not. I often illustrate accounting problems which tend to be tabular in form but if I am not careful it is easy to make a line which is longer that the width with which the posts are displayed using the inbuilt editor.  I frequently end up with columns wrapped around which makes it hard to get the accounting point across. If I reply to the mail lists from my mail account, I have set my editor up to wrap at 75 characters which seems to work fairly well, but replying diretly from Nabble is my preferred form of response as I can easily browse through the thread.

Is it possible to set/change the line wrapping setting in the Nabble editor to set it at the same width as the display width of the post? If so who do we contact to request this? I am not sure who maintains the GnuCash forum on Nabble but the GnuCash development team doesn't.

David
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Re: Nabble Editor line wrapping

GregChapman
This post was updated on .
Hi David,

I think that you may have missed a fundamental point about the web. How a "document" (that includes pages on a forum) is rendered depends on the equipment and settings used by the recipient. Here's your message displayed on my phone:

Phone Screen Portrait

Phone Screen Landscape
Note how the text wraps at about 36 characters when in portrait mode but there's considerably more room when in landscape mode. Note that I'm only seeing the text that way because of the font and font size that is set in my phone's browser (I can change them if I wish but if I changed them to show 75 characters per line the text would become too small to read). And, of course, it will be rendered in a different font  and at a different size on my desktop. Not only that, for anyone using a laptop or desktop computer, there will be an almost infinite number of widths at which someone can set their window size and this will affect the point at which text wraps.

In short, do not expect anyone else to see things the way you do. Some won't even see the screen they'll hear it. The blind will use screen reader software as do car drivers who manage their email using voice activation software, dictating replies on the move.

It may help you to know that if you are working on a laptop/desktop computer your browser will allow you to make a certain amount of adjustment of the edit box. At the bottom right below the scrollbar there will be a re-size handle, which allows to to shrink or stretch the edit box both vertically and horizontally. It does nothing to set the word wrapping, but may help you to see how the post might look on other people's devices:

Edit Box Re-size handle
If it is impossible to demonstrate your point without a fixed width, and I accept that might be necessary if the output of GnuCash is expected always to be printed, then it may be best to prepare a PDF file and attach that to your posts on Nabble.

Another possible approach would be to take a screenshot and upload that portion of your message as an image - but that might either lead to the image being shrunk to the width of the users screen, making things illegible, or require awkward horizontal scrolling of the screen. (Note that, on Nabble, the scrollbar will appear at the bottom of the post and not immediately under the over-sized image, and it is easy for those using Nabble to miss it!)
Just a Volunteer Nabble Helper - because the nice folk at Nabble have helped me!
GregHelp - Building a set of answers to Nabble FAQs.
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Re: Nabble Editor line wrapping

DaveC49
Hi Greg,

Thanks . I do appreciate that web stuff generally tries to be adaptable to the device screen size. It's just that the posts to the GnuCash Forum Nabble site are limited to a framework ~75 chars wide (I am viewing it on a 1920 x 1820 22 inch monitor and it barely occupies 1/3 of the scrren width so it is not totally scaleable) . I suspect that has been set somehow because the main mailing lists are managed using Gnu Mailman and are echoed to the Nabble version of the forum rather than the forum being native on Nabble. Something in the system is set back at the days when monitors could only cope with 80 chars. I grew up with that, so it isn't totally alien to me. I was hoping there was something like a user preference I could set so I was able to restrict the editor so it would match what was probably the size of a VGA monitor a couple of decades ago. My text editor which is used by my mail client as a mail editor can do that and it is convenient for preparing posts to the forum to have it set to limit line lengths to ~74 chars. I know we don't work with punched cards anymore ( that was the origin of the 74 chars as the IBM cards were 80 chars wide and a number of columns were reserved for line numbers and one for continuation card). The attached screenshost illustrates what Iam trying to address for this specific forum. It is just a convenience really.

Cheers

David
On Tue, 2018-09-04 at 01:01 -0700, GregChapman [via Nabble Support] wrote:
Hi David,

I think that you may have missed a fundamental point about the web. How a "document" (that includes pages on a forum) is rendered depends on the equipment and settings used by the recipient. Here's you message displayed on my phone:

Phone Screen Portrait

Phone Screen Landscape
Note how the text wraps at about 36 characters when in portrait mode but there's considerably more room when in landscape mode. Note that I'm only seeing the text that way because of the font and font size that is set in my phone's browser (I can change them if I wish but if I changed them to show 75 characters per line the text would become too small to read). And, of course, it will be rendered in a different font  and at a different size on my desktop. Not only that, for anyone using a laptop or desktop computer, there will be an almost infinite number of widths at which someone can set their window size and this will affect the point at which text wraps.

In short, do not expect anyone else to see things the way you do. Some won't even see the screen they'll hear it. The blind will use screen reader software as do car drivers who manage their email using voice activation software, dictating replies on the move.

It may help you to know that if you are working on a laptop/desktop computer your browser will allow you to make a certain amount of adjustment of the edit box. At the bottom right below the scrollbar there will be a re-size handle, which allows to to shrink or stretch the edit box both vertically and horizontally:

Edit Box Re-size handle
If it is impossible to demonstrate your point without a fixed width, and I accept that might be necessary if the output of GnuCash is expected always to be printed, then it may be best to prepare a PDF file and attach that to your posts on Nabble.

Another possible approach would be to take a screenshot and upload that portion of your message as an image - but that might either lead to the image being shrunk to the width of the users screen, making things illegible, or require awkward horizontal scrolling of the screen. (Note that, on Nabble, the scrollbar will appear at the bottom of the post and not immediately under the over-sized image, and it is easy for those using Nabble to miss it!)
Just a Volunteer Nabble Helper - because the nice folk at Nabble have helped me!
GregHelp - Building a set of answers to Nabble FAQs.



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http://support.nabble.com/Nabble-Editor-line-wrapping-tp7601337p7601338.html
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Re: Nabble Editor line wrapping

GregChapman
Hi David,

Apologies! It seems I mis-guessed your level of experience! I also guess we are of similar ages.

I learnt to program in BASIC, as a 30 year old in the late 70s, on a teletype terminal,  while the HP mini all us students were connected to sat in a special air conditioned room next door and only gave up using a plain text email program - check out nPOPuk - when I finally switched to Linux three years ago.
DaveC49 wrote
It's just that the posts to the GnuCash Forum Nabble site are limited to a framework ~75 chars wide
As you say, that would seem to be a setting in the GnuCash Mailman list or that others are using similar software to you (as I note that when I reply to your message in Nabble Support it also wraps at around 7x characters - because of the limit you impose on your text).

Nabble is a web-based forum so follows web conventions and expectations, not the standards that were applicable to email 30 years ago. So I think it's a question of coming to terms with the web, where line breaks are meant to have semantic meaning and are not intended to be used for page layout, as one did when all you had were mono-pitched fonts and 80 character monitors.

Nabble does not force wrapping at 7x characters by default. It only does that if an email posted to the forum contains hard returns. There is no setting within Nabble to remove hard returns. Nabble will assume that people are using HTML mail programs that are compatible with the web.

I see two possible routes to a solution - neither ideal:

1. Ask the moderators of the GnuCash Mailman list to remove the 7x character line length and for you to turn off the feature in your editor. (Fixed line length emails and the web don't mix too well.)

2. Ask the owner of the GnuCash list to request that Nabble makes them the owner of the Nabble archive. Then they will be able to use the facility within Nabble to set the "Main Font" to one that is mono-spaced (and let them be prepared to face the wrath of those who use more modern software.)

Font Control Dialogue

PS: Remember this is a forum, not a mail list archive, so it is best NOT to quote any of the original message if you are to post via email, as that just clutters the forum with duplicate content, which then makes search results a complete mess. As ever - horses for courses!
Just a Volunteer Nabble Helper - because the nice folk at Nabble have helped me!
GregHelp - Building a set of answers to Nabble FAQs.
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Re: Nabble Editor line wrapping

GregChapman
I've just done some further testing and realised that hard returns are treated the same way whether you insert them in the Nabble editor or post via email. This confirms my view that Nabble does what you would expect and always respects hard returns, including in Nabble subscription emails.

Having had a look at a number of posts in the GnuCash archive it does seem that a very high proportion of users there are using plain text with hard returns. I have no idea why that should be in this day and age.

However, it is also clear that hard returns are not forced on users by Mailman, witness the posts by "Adrien Monteleone-2" in the topic:
http://gnucash.1415818.n4.nabble.com/GNC-A-feature-request-for-next-release-td4703355.html
or by "Deva -" in:
http://gnucash.1415818.n4.nabble.com/GNC-GC-3-2-Import-Price-File-CSV-td4702706.html
Neither of these people can be posting via Nabble, as they are unregistered users, so they must be using some other software.

This all suggests that the Nabble archive is simply respecting what is sent to it. I'd argue it is for those who make hard return posts to change their ways. If that is something to do with Mailman settings then it is for the owners of the list to do something about that - although the evidence is that Mailman is not to blame.

Is there some other popular way for users to interact with the GnuCash mail list that forces plain text, hard return posts on users? In my view, that is where the problem lies and it's not for Nabble to sort that, or provide a work-around.
Just a Volunteer Nabble Helper - because the nice folk at Nabble have helped me!
GregHelp - Building a set of answers to Nabble FAQs.
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Re: Nabble Editor line wrapping

GregChapman
In reply to this post by DaveC49
Hi,

I've just read your initial post and realised that, from your point of view, I have been tackling the issue in completely the wrong way. so to answer your initial questions:
DaveC49 wrote
Is it possible to set/change the line wrapping setting in the Nabble editor to set it at the same width as the display width of the post? If so who do we contact to request this? I am not sure who maintains the GnuCash forum on Nabble but the GnuCash development team doesn't.
It is not possible to set a wrap length using the Nabble editor. The easiest way to do that would probably be to paste in text formatted to the required length. You can force such content to appear in a mono-spaced font by using the "More > Raw text" menu option while composing your message.
(I'll ignore the misconception that any post on the Mailman list has a restricted line length, but plainly there is some way of interacting with the list that many users use that does.)

To make a feature request simply post the request in Nabble Support.

You can always see who the owner of a Nabble forum is from "Created by" link in the footer on the forum home page. It seems that http://gnucash.1415818.n4.nabble.com  was one of many archives created by a member of the Nabble team who is no longer with the organisation. Nabble is sympathetic to requests to adopt ownership of the archive by the owners of the original list. Get the Mailman owner or a moderator to post a request on Nabble Support.
Just a Volunteer Nabble Helper - because the nice folk at Nabble have helped me!
GregHelp - Building a set of answers to Nabble FAQs.
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Re: Nabble Editor line wrapping

DaveC49
In reply to this post by GregChapman
Greg,

I think it is just that some of the Gnucash users grew up with teletype interfaces and haven't moved past them yet. The core development team is fairly small and has limited time so they tend to stick with what is there and working unless it is a problem. They have expressed no desire to take over the Nabble interface at all. I'll have a talk to whoever runs the Mailman lists. We may be able to find a volunteer to take over administering them. It is regarded as an unofficial forum in the Gnucash community at this stage. I'll set my editor back to something decent and not worry too much and just see what happens. I have been sending some posts in by email but I generally use Nabble but I gather I am a relative rarity. It is also possible to be signed up for Nabble and not for the official mailing lists as well, as I found out recently after 5 years thinking I was all signed up to the official list. The small amount of moderation seems to do done from the Mailman side. . Thanks for the help and info. I'll just have to work with the limitations at present.

David