[whatwg] What exactly is contentEditable for?

Jim Ley jim.ley at gmail.com
Mon Aug 29 09:25:31 PDT 2005

On 8/29/05, Hallvord Reiar Michaelsen Steen <hallvord at hallvord.com> wrote:
> On 24 Aug 2005 at 12:16, Ian Hickson wrote:
> > contentEditable needs scripting anyway, to offer things like "insert <em>
> > element here", etc.
> Why must contentEditable depend on scripting? What if we make sure
> the wording of the spec allows non-scripting implementations? 

Please, no, a lot the use cases for contentEditable are not full
wysiwyg editing, a lot of the ones I create allow only a minimal
subset of editing, and they do this by scripting, if you can only
strong/make link/italic/colour/insert image, then you get a simple
editor that allows for easy editing, but doesn't run into much
tag-soup that needs elaborate cleaning up.

Whilst I agree the concept of contentEditable is not good, I don't
think it should be solved by trying to modify the existing behaviour
the accept="text/html" is a much better way of meeting your use case.

> My question is whether we could make contentEditable more useful for
> HTML/CMS authors by removing scripting requirements.

I would be extremely unhappy, and would need to find ways of blocking
browsers that implemented contentEditable in this manner from
providing the functionality, that's not a good thing, but the risk of
letting any user/browsers attempts at html into the CMS would be

So whilst I agree with the need, please seperate the browser provided
from the script provided interfaces.



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