Ooh, does that mean they finally fixed the blank line issue?
To answer your question of why that would be desirable, it's because a blank line is only useful to someone who confuses content with formatting. The confluence editor's best feature IMO is that its UX design is opinionated about generating clean content.
Very well. If a blank line is content, and you are concerned with formatting, there must be another way.
How would you achieve the formatting-goal of wanting some space between two document elements (for example, a bulleted list and a paragraph of text that follows it)?
In case it bothers someone, sorry for replying to a year-old comment.
The idea is that the content, in this case, is a bulleted list followed by a paragraph. The content model should only contain that information.
Deciding how content should be formatted for one method of display or another is done site-wide for consistency (CSS). Look at it this way: if you don't give the user the option of determining the amount of space between a bulleted list and following paragraph, then it will always be the perfectly-spaced, readable format. Not too much OR too little.
Thanks for taking the time to explain. I appreciate the point. Formatting is not content.
I can apply bold or italics (formatting) to whatever text (content) I want, and make other formatting choices. I suppose the philosphical difference is one cannot abuse bold/italics as readily?
In the end, I did what I suspect most users will do: Lacking the privileges to make the change, not wanting my preferences to be site-wide, and facing a deadline for the document... I abused the system to get what I wanted. Some combination of adding an extra bullet, removing it, and typing a space. Horrid. I am guilty of crimes against content management. :)
It's true it can be a subtle distinction. But I think your bold/italics point is well illustrated by the changes in HTML over the years. You used to write <b> and <i> tags for bold and italic, and this was an example of mixing formatting and content. But in current HTML, you would use <strong> and <em> (emphasis) tags to get the same "effect". This shifts from defining formatting to defining content -- the fact that a word is emphasized a certain way in the text is considered content of that text. Then it's up to the designer to determine whether emphasized text will be displayed as italics, or in green, or in small caps, or any number of other formatting choices. Bold/italics are just the default formatting in most browsers for <strong> and <em> tags, but they can be overridden by the CSS.
As a tech writer, I like this aspect. Let (force) authors to concetrate on content. Let me define the presentation as defined by CSS and macros. The goal is to have all documentation look like it comes from the same company.
And I use the source editor to run a series of RegEx to remove any manual formatting, extra spaces, empty paragraphs, pasted in formatting, etc. Eventually authors learn to let go, and just focus on the content. ;-)
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