[whatwg] Re: several messages

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Mon Nov 8 15:55:35 PST 2004

One set of the ideas that was brought up in this forum was the ability to 
extend <textarea> to support syntax highlighting, or WYSIWYG editing of 
BB code markup, or just the ability to do rich text editing of any kind.

Having considered all the suggestions, the only thing I could really see 
as being realistic would be to do something similar to (and ideally 
compatible with) IE's "contentEditable" and "designMode" attributes.

I've added a placeholder section to Web Apps for now (7. Editing). I'll be 
filling it in due course. If anyone has any comments related to IE's 
contentEditable/designMode feature (problems with it, quirks, undocumented 
features, etc), please let me know.

On Wed, 30 Jun 2004, James Graham wrote:
> I was having thoughts about a somewhat similar feature - the ability to 
> specify a input 'language' for a text-area and possibly to specify a 
> subset of language elements allowed. This would principally be for 
> situations in which the input was text supplemented by a markup language 
> such as (x)html, textile, bbcode or similar. Providing this information 
> would allow the UA to provide word-processor-like editing controls for 
> the textarea. Allowing the specification of a particular subset of the 
> language (e.g. html, 'a' elements only, 'href' and 'lang' attributes 
> only) would allow the UI to be further refined. Clearly one would need a 
> set of default language profiles to ship with the UA. A good 
> implementation might allow the set of profiles to be easily extended. 
> There would need to be a mechanism for storing and fetching the 
> information about the allowed subset of the language.

Realistically, I just can't see something of this scoped getting 
implemented and shipped in the default install of browsers.

On Thu, 1 Jul 2004, Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> Although, you've given me another idea.  It would be nice to be able to 
> reference a DTD or Schema that could be used by the UA to validate the 
> user's input as a valid (X)HTML/XML fragment.  That feature would be 
> really helpful with many blogs that currently suffer from validation 
> problems that come with readers posting comments containing markup.

Once you're talking about Schema-based validation prior to submission, I 
think you're into XForms territory, really. If browsers implement it, you 
could use DOM3 Validation to do it from script, too.

On Thu, 1 Jul 2004, James Graham wrote:
> So something that would roughly work: Add an optional dataformat (better 
> name?) attribute that takes a URI. For XML formats, this will typically 
> be the namespace of the format, for other formats it must simply be 
> globally unique. Additionally, specify a set of string -> URI mappings 
> for common formats such as HTML, XHTML and others so they may be 
> identified by the shorter string (which must not be a valid URI) rather 
> than the long URI. The behavior of the UA in response to the presence of 
> the attribute is not specified.

The problem with this is I imagine UAs would probably just end up doing 
nothing, and we'd be back to where we are now.

On Thu, 1 Jul 2004, Ryan Johnson wrote:
> Anyway, I think that it might be quite a jump for manufacturers. I also 
> see that a standard language would need to be decided upon just to 
> describe the structure of the programming languages. Is it worth the 
> time to come up with suggestions and examples of a programming language 
> definition markup, or is my head in the clouds? - Ryan


On Fri, 2 Jul 2004, Max Romantschuk wrote:
> We use the MSHTML editor in one of our products at work, and the editing 
> features have been a huge selling point. It's a real shame it only works 
> on IE. (We have a fallback based on regular forms tough.)

I think the fact that there is already content that uses these features is 
probably the strongest argument towards WHATWG just reusing them.

> http://msdn.microsoft.com/workshop/browser/editing/activateeditor.asp

(Thanks for the reference.)

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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