The Drupal markup filtering system is confusing for a couple of reasons:
- The terms “format” and “filter” are used inconsistently. For example, the main admin page is title “Input formats”, but the url is “admin/settings/filters”. The best I can do is: The markup filter system consists of multiple input formats which are ordered stacks of individual filters.
- The term “Input format” itself is misleading, because the filters work on output, not input.
- The “Input format” admin page is unhelpful and hard to navigate.
Jody over at ZivTech wrote a nice article on Understanding Input Formats, that talks about the first two issues and more. To address the third point, I have released a new Drupal 6 module: Input Format Manager. The advantages of this module over the default admin are:
- It makes clear the fact that formats are really just stacks of filters.
- It allows you to easily test a format as you configure it.
- It unburies the filter reorder and filter configuration functionality.
- It integrates nicely with the Popup API module.
I have been chatting about the design of this module over in the usability group: Attempt at improving the Input formats admin page. The screenshot over there is a little out of date, so here is a more recent one (the little boxes on the links show that my Popups API module is on).