[whatwg] Re: several messages

Max Romantschuk max at provico.fi
Mon Nov 8 23:20:06 PST 2004

First of all, thanks for bringing this to my attention Ian. Real Life 
(tm) has been quite consuming lately...

Ian Hickson wrote:
> 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 support this idea. My experience with our CMS product at work support 
the idea of standardizing these features. The approach allows for 
designing standards based layouts and making them near-WYSIWYG editable.

End users with nothing more than MS Office experience can produce high 
quality content when the page editing is limited in a sensible way. 
(Allow for limited styles etc. to keep things at bay.)

> 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.

One important thing (which probably/unfortunately has to be done largely 
by testing) is to determine which elements should allow editing and how 
they are to behave. In our CMS we try to make only DIVs and SPANs 
editable, but according to MS documentation [1] it seems the property 
can be applied to most elements.

Our approach is to have editable "slots" on a page, and a 
Javascript-driven toolbar in a separate frame over the page. 
Unfortunately our product is closed source, so I am not at liberty to 
disclose it's inner workings in detail.

I will try to get one of our developers closer to the core workings of 
these features involved in this discussion, if he has time.



Max Romantschuk

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