[whatwg] Authoring Re: several messages about HTML5

Dave Raggett dsr at w3.org
Fri Feb 23 03:11:18 PST 2007

On Thu, 22 Feb 2007, Andrew Fedoniouk wrote:

> | On Wed, 21 Feb 2007, Andrew Fedoniouk wrote:
> |
> | > I agree that HTML DOM is not suitable for WYSIWYG editing.
> |
> | I beg to differ. It is true that an editing style sheet may be
> | needed to avoid problems with delivery style sheets that use the
> | display and visibility properties to hide content, or which use CSS
> | positioning to layer things in complex ways. But apart from that,
> | The HTML DOM is just fine as it is.
> So this means relaxation of requirements - strictly speaking
> it will not be WYSIWYG anymore. If "editing style sheet may be
> needed" then what you will see is not what you will get.

The power of CSS kind of makes this inevitable for the general case
as was nicely explained by Daniel Glazman in last year's XTech 
conference. You can't very well rely on wysiwyg when the style sheet 
has set display to none and visibility to hidden.

When it comes to content management systems and supporting different 
roles for people in the website team, the use of an editing style 
sheet is beneficial as it focuses the editing task on the matter in 
hand -- producing copy -- since the layout job is someone else's 
responsibility.  Special style sheets may also be needed to support 
certain kinds of templates. These style sheets are provided by the 
website. This is already commonplace, e.g. for blogging sites.

> Let's take a look on example you've provided: "The enter key then 
> starts a new paragraph within that list item" So after enter you 
> will have:

> Case #1:
> <ul>
>   <li>First paragraph.
>         <p>Second paragraph.</p>
>   </li>
> </ul>
> *or*  Case #2:
> <ul>
>   <li>
>      <p>First paragraph.</p>
>      <p>Second paragraph.</p>
>   </li>
> </ul>

Yes, indeed. Two ways to deal with this are to either configure the 
stylesheet to make the two cases render identically, or for the 
editor to include rules that produce the 2nd version. This can be 
arranged via the notion of markup critics that look for particular 
patterns and suggest corrections. [Think of a crowd of people 
hovering over your shoulder as you type]

> Beside of that , yes, "Manipulating the DOM is a
> straightforward matter of tree walking algorithms.".

You're right, I forgot to mention the expert system that directs the 
tree walking algorithms. Coming from an AI background, I tend to 
take the heuristic approach for granted.

Thanks for the comment on contentEditable. I and doubtful just how 
useful the attribute would be in practice. I expect that instead 
most developers will use scripts to determine what can be edited and 
how. Such scripts will also be able to recognise and support 
microformats and other templates.


  Dave Raggett <dsr at w3.org> http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett

More information about the whatwg mailing list