Update: August 1, 2018

The newer versions of the Koenig editor have drastically improved on the performance and operation of the editor. I am still not fond of writing within a card, but my overall workflow is no longer as heavily impacted as it was in the earlier betas. To that end, I am happy to see Ghost working to improve the editing experience for their users who prefer a Markdown-based editing environment. Now, if I just had cleaner export functionality.

If I wanted WYSIWYG, I would be using Wordpress.

I used Koenig for a week, and then turned it off. If it becomes mandatory, I will probably end leaving Ghost as a platform. This isn't about bugs. Beta tests have bugs. This is about usability, writing, and inevitable feature creep.

The only reason I decided to step away from a static site was because I wanted a better Markdown writing experience with a faster publication path.

Ghost, to its credit, has given me that. The SimpleMDE-based editor has been great. I really enjoy writing in it and my posting has increased because of it. Now Ghost seems ready to take that experience away in the name of rich media. I hope that it finds a way to capture a better balance, instead.

It is true that I can still use Markdown via the Markdown card, but that card adds needless visual clutter to my writing environment. Frankly, I want the simple clear text that I have in my current editor. This movement away from a plain text standard (which has been going on for some time now in Ghost) bothers me. I can't even export my posts in Markdown. Rather, I get a JSON export with HTML formatted data. If I want to migrate posts, I (or someone else) have write a JSON import tool for the engine I am transitioning to. Thankfully, this is not a complex problem but it is a frustrating one.

This is also a problem if I want to convert my posts to another format. When I was using a static site generator, if I want to provide pdf copies or develop a series of posts into a slide presentation, I could do so. I'd make a few small updates to the front matter of my markdown files and then pandoc handled the rest. There is no way to really do this in Ghost. I accepted this limitation because the value that Ghost provided more than made up for that small loss in functionality.

This new editor is a step backward for me, though. I understand the need and I know a lot of people are excited for it. I even think it makes sense for Ghost to implement the new editor. It just isn't for me, and I hope that Ghost developers consider those of us who just really wanted a nice Markdown-based writing experience. As the Koenig editor moves from beta to production, I hope that I can continue to use my simple little Markdown editor just the way it is with no card and no visual clutter. That would be a win-win for everyone.