[whatwg] Authoring Re: several messages about HTML5

Sander Tekelenburg tekelenb at euronet.nl
Thu Feb 22 02:52:57 PST 2007

At 21:45 -0500 UTC, on 2007-02-21, Adrian Sutton wrote:


> The only real problem we've seen in terms of HTML limitations for
> implementing the editor is a lack of granularity in terms of
> contenteditable. There is some demand to be able to specify an
> uneditable template to use within the editor and have users fill in
> and/or edit specific parts of it. Unfortunately there are a number of
> situations where the editability is ambiguous such as:
> * when an uneditable element is at the end of the document - is the user
> allowed to insert another element after it?
> * when there is an editable paragraph inside an uneditable block, is the
> user allowed to break the paragraph in two? Can they insert another
> paragraph after the editable paragraph?

I'm not sure I can follow. The "uneditable template to be filled in" you
mention sounds like a form to me. Surely a form can specify whether some
field must contain a single paragraph or allows several? Surely when such a
form needs to be filled out, it is up to the author of the form to decide
whether or not to leave room for "anything else" at the end of (but still
*part of*) the form?

Again, I may be misunderstanding what you're saying, but I would think that
you could simply choose to let people enter either "anything", or force them
into a specific format, through a form. When you choose the latter, it is up
to the author of the form to define whether that form contains one or more
areas that allow "anything".


> I would hate to have to implement an
> editor based around a standard DOM model of the HTML document because
> the user doesn't view the document as a tree - they view it as a string
> of text.

Do they? People structure strings of text all the time, by splitting it into
paragraphs, into chapters, etc.

I'm aware that some people simply have never learned to work with structure,
but then that will come out in *anything* they do. Nothing much to do with
Web publishing as such. (Although I think a "structural editor" may well in
fact help them learn to get comfortable with structures -- that someone has
never learned something doesn't necessarily mean they're incapable of
learning it.)

Sander Tekelenburg, <http://www.euronet.nl/~tekelenb/>

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