If you're using Jive, then you know how integral the rich text editor (RTE) is to the Jive experience. Millions of unique users are creating documents, crafting blog posts, discussing, commenting, and collaborating in Jive every day! Through many discussions with customers, end users, and conversations here in the Jive Community, we know how important the RTE is to each of you. With this post, Olivia Teich (the RTE's product manager) and I (Adam Wulf lead developer for the RTE) are beginning a blog series focused entirely on creating content inside of Jive. Over the coming months, we'll be focusing on new RTE features and improvements, quality, tips and tricks, and much more. If you have any specific questions you'd like answered, please reach out and let us know!

 

Focus on Quality

Over the past month at Jive, there has been a lot happening behind the scenes with the RTE, and to kick off this blog series, today I'm going to focus specifically on the improvements we've been making to RTE quality and to our development process. We've significantly increased the size of the team members focused on the design, development, and testing of the RTE. This new team is making progress on quality and consistency across browsers and operating systems faster than ever before.

 

As the first task of the expanded RTE team, we have re-reviewed every reported bug and all of the enhancement and feature requests. Many of the issues are related to consistency across browsers and operating systems, where all web editors still lag behind desktop editors. To this end, we are focusing our near-term efforts on a few high-impact areas, especially:

  • Adding and editing tables
  • Copying and pasting text, especially from Office programs
  • Formatting bulleted and numbered lists
  • Inserting and editing links

 

We have already begun significant development to address these issues, and our upcoming releases (especially Jive 4.5.5 and 4.5.6, Jive 5.0 and 5.0.1) will focus almost entirely on tables, copy & paste, and lists. For our next major release, Jive 5, we are also building a completely new interface for working with tables that we think you'll love. I'll demo that new UI and share more details in our next post.

 

Improvements in How We Test the RTE

With all of the new bug fixes and features that we're adding to the RTE, we're focused on making sure that we're consistently making forward progress (with no regressions). While we have always had some automated tests for the RTE, until recently the bulk of our stability and bug testing was done manually. A full end-to-end manual test of the RTE takes upwards of two weeks, and is subject to human error – this has impacted the pace of our progress in the past.

 

To remedy this, over the past month we have been adding new tests and we begun a complete overhaul of our RTE automated testing strategy, including:

  • adding hundreds(!) of automated JavaScript unit tests to the RTE code base
  • adding even more automated Java unit and functional tests
  • completely reviewing and augmenting our browser automated Selenium tests
  • and, before every release, we will still do a full end-to-end manual test of the RTE

 

Over the next few months, we'll continue adding hundreds more JavaScript, Java, and Selenium tests to the RTE. This focus on automated testing techniques will reduce our dependence on manual testing and let us develop and innovate faster, with quality. Even over just the past few weeks, our team has been able to fix bugs, add features, and and improve the RTE experience much faster than in the past. You'll see the results starting in the Q1 releases.

 

Measuring Our Progress, and How You Can Help

Along with this new blog series, we're also launching a survey to gather your feedback on the RTE:

 

Click here to take the Jive RTE Satisfaction Survey

 

Please help us by filling out this survey now. It's only 1 page and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Share it with colleagues, members of your community, and anyone you know using Jive. Your feedback will help guide our focus for the next round of improvements.

 

We'll post a new version of the survey after each quarterly fix pack release -- please fill it out again whenever you upgrade your instance of Jive, or based on your evolving experiences with the RTE here in the Jive Community. Your answers will help shape the directly of RTE development.

 

 

Thanks to all of you who have spoken with us about the RTE. We're all extremely grateful for your Jive passion! Your input helps us move in the right direction. We'll post again next month with an update on our progress and plans. We hope this blog will continue our conversation and help clarify exactly what steps we're taking at Jive to make the RTE awesome.