[whatwg] Regarding rich text editing

Max Romantschuk max at provico.fi
Mon Jul 5 03:00:15 PDT 2004

Note: Combining replies to several messages to avoid extraoneous traffic.

Matthew Raymond wrote:
>> In secion 1.5. (Missing features) of the  it states that (among other 
>> things) a rich text editing or HTML editing control was ejected for 
>> this version of the specification.
>    It was moved to Web Apps 1.0.

Thanks! I had neglected to properly look trough the other specs.

Ian: Perhaps section 1.5 could be modified to inform the reader about 
the relocation of the rich text editing features?

>    I wouldn't mind having something like a RTF control in WF2, since 
> text areas where people input markup are fairly common these days, but 
> my main concern with RTF is that the actual RTF format is suboptimal. It 
> would be better to define a control with some basic HTML editing support 
> and can submit in [X]HTML. Also, this control would probably need some 
> method giving the author the power to limit what markup can be used.
>    Actually, now that I think about it, something of the complexity of 
> an HTML editing control needs to be in Web Apps 1.0.

I believe that something this complex may well belong in another spec 
than WF2. The CMS we have developed at work uses IE's HTML editing 
features to make regular block elements editable. It's rather complex to 
control, but the WYSIWYG end result appeals to our customers. I'm not 
sure if this is a good general approach though, it uses tons of 
JavaScript to tie things together.

Ian Hickson wrote:
 > On Fri, 2 Jul 2004, Matthew Raymond wrote:
 > FWIW, it is highly unlikely that WF2 will get any new features at
 > this point. The combo box thing will be the last major addition to
 > the spec. Future forms additions will go into Web Forms 3.0.
 > The reason is simple. If you write a big spec, implementors run
 > away, or start doing very different parts, and so forth. The result
 > is that you don't get any interoperability.
 > Instead, if we have small specs, the path of which to implement
 > is pretty clear.

I believe Ian is right on the button here... CSS2 is a prime example, no 
wonder CSS3 is being drafted into separated modules.

Doron Rosenberg wrote:
 > Mozilla and now Safari support this already :)

Neil Deakin wrote:
 > Info for Mozilla rich editing is here:
 > http://www.mozilla.org/editor/midas-spec.html
 > Demo:
 > http://www.mozilla.org/editor/midasdemo/
 > It works fairly similar to the way IE does it.

It's true that there are solutions out there, but we need a _standard_ 
in order to create truly usable applications. No one will implement 
something like this across multiple browsers if there are a million 
incompatible ways to do it. Quirks in browser rendering may be 
manageable across different browsers, but something this complex won't be.

In any case, I look forward to taking up discussion on this issue when 
it is more appropriate. I believe Ian has a good point in keeping things 
simple, so let's get WF2 out the door first, shall we? :)


Max Romantschuk

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