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I think Raw HTML is preferable because it is very easy language and all the users can utilize this language very easily. I have also learned this language from online homework help service and the company provided me the complete knowledge about this language.
please please please don't put in a WYSIWYG editor, all of them are horrid, and half the time they're bugged (yes, ALL of em do that. No exceptions. Simply because the <textarea> element was never meant to be styled. Simple as that)
Wow, fckeditor is ..... just... wow. Having said that, I still don't think I'd like that for forums but man I see some spiffy uses for that.
If they were to put in a GOOD wysiwyg editor, it would be preferred, otherwise I'll stick to bbcode. I'd recommend http://www.fckeditor.net/
raw html for the win, because in the end, everything gets parsed to html. otherwise plaintext or hybrid
Plain text for the win. :-)
I'm a huge sucker for markdown as well
Having extremely readable raw text and nicely formatted results makes for a better experience!
I for myself prefer plain text or BBCode, since I believe in good design and content which should follow the given design. Usually for posts this should be enough.
But for any person uncommon with html or BBCode WYSIWYG or plain text may be the better way. And with WYSIWYG ONLY to give some base formatting in the given design.
BBC. Easy to use and is common everywhere, especially on the mod sites. You know how much of a pain it is to switch formats when updating on multiple sites? Copy/Paste FTW.
posts dont need formatting other then a way to quote and paste code
edit: but if you must then textile.