Thanks for the link Josh, it looks like you've really put a lot of effort and thought into this! It could definitely be a replacement and satisfy the needs of "the people" (or at least my needs).
However, I did have a few requests/recommendations/questions if you're willing to consider them.
- The ability to insert raw source media is really well executed! It definitely seems like there is a minor learning curve there, but not so significant that a quick written or video tutorial couldn't prepare them for.
- I think the image map editor is simply too complicated for the average user. Verbiage like href, coord, etc... are intimidating. So if there were a way to hide advanced fields like that or you could come up with different labels like href = link, etc... it might simplify the UI for the user.
- Color coding is great! However part of good UI design is eliminating unnecessary elements. So I think you should hide the visual and HTML tabs, or at least provide an option for users to do that and have it set, by default, to hide them.
- The custom code for the register/login page seems irrelevant to the purpose of this plugin so I would separate that for a different plugin (though there are many out there that already do that).
- The help messages are great, but I would recommend using a jQuery popup on hover so it appears more like a "message bubble" rather than requiring the user to click and have it pop open in a separate window (which popup blocks will prevent).
- Lastly, part of why TinyMCE isn't ideal is because it doesn't rely on the standard WordPress UI. So popups look like nasty old TinyMCE. If you can create a jQuery skin to match WordPress' UI better that would be ideal. You could probably just hook into the styles so when WP updates your styles update with it.
All that to say; please accept my criticisms as constructive Josh! You really are on a good track!! I can definitely see this becoming a sufficient replacement for what is there, but I do think it has a little further to go.
I would encourage you to checkout the TinyMCE advanced plugin as well because they have an excellent way of ordering, hiding and adding elements to the different rows, different from yours but a bit more intuitive in my opinion.
Thanks again for posting!!