The problems with browsers, OSs, and the WYSIWYG interface: you don’t get what you’re supposed to

Among my other jobs, one aspect of my business is new media consulting. I recently had to deal with one of the most popular blog publishers for businesses and corporations, Typepad. While I know it is an excellent service, I ran into a problem that I have also encountered in one form or another with several different services. I still haven’t figured out how to fix it.

As I was on the phone with a client about their new blog, I noticed that I wasn’t seeing that many icons on the visual control panel. Since I use a Mac and was viewing the site through Safari, I wasn’t that surprised or concerned. I switched over to Camino and had a much better experience. But options were still missing. So I switched to Firefox (which is somewhat resource-intensive on the Mac, so I only use it as a last resort). I still could not see a simply image-posting button. It simply wasn’t there. I tried Opera. Still no way to post images.

Not a problem. I’m not married to the Mac. I have a PC in the house as well for just this problem. So I went to my PC. First I tried Internet Explorer and then the Windows version of Firefox. Still no way to post images. I searched the knowledge database and found the directions on how to post images. The included a picture of what the screen should look like, and it was different than what was visible in my browser. There was a button for posting images, which I was missing. I have no idea what could be wrong in the case of my PC, unless Typepad’s interface is only fully functional for the XP operating system rather than Vista.

As I said, I’ve run into this problem in other services. I can’t use Safari to post to any of my WordPress blogs anymore, because all paragraphs markers are stripped out of the entry. I typically use Camino.

Has anyone encountered this problem and, perhaps, found a solution. Posting images is a significant feature. I could work around it using html and an offsite storage for the image, but that would be rather clumsy. It would defeat the whole point of a WYSIWYG interface.

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