[whatwg] What exactly is contentEditable for?

Anne van Kesteren fora at annevankesteren.nl
Wed Aug 24 02:03:52 PDT 2005

Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> And, as I demonstrated in an earlier e-mail with the widgEditor I linked 
> to, it's not hard for an author to provide a script that converts the 
> textarea to a WYSIWYG editor using the contentEditable DOM interface. 
> It's not much different from the scripts that are being written to add 
> support for other extensions in today's browsers.

It is important for web applications to be able to make only certain 
parts of a page editable. It is also important to be able to add event 
listeners to the page to capture certain events. From a semantic point 
of view contentEditable is much better than a textarea hack.

Submission could be handled using the 'form' attribute as suggested 
earlier in this thread by Hallvord Reiar Michaelsen Steen. (Perhaps 
allowing the 'name' attribute as well to make it even better.)

Kind regards,


  Anne van Kesteren

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