[whatwg] Authoring Re: several messages about HTML5

Dave Raggett dsr at w3.org
Fri Feb 23 04:03:46 PST 2007

On Thu, 22 Feb 2007, Andrew Fedoniouk wrote:

> In reality WYSIWYG principle has one hidden part:
> What You See Is What You Will Get and What You Can
> Change Consistently by Using Solely UI Facilities/Tools.
> That is real meaning of modern WYSIWYG interpretation.

I think I understand what you mean, and that is the wysiwyg approach
has to be supplemented by other UI. In my case, this is provided 
using a context pane that gives users the means to access and 
manipulate the information that is hidden in the purely 
presentational wysiwyg pane. The inspiration comes from Visual Basic 
forms editors where a properties pane is provided for the currently 
selected object. In my case the context is associated with the 
position of the editing caret in the wysiwyg pane. Users can widen 
or narrow the context as needed to look at the properties of 
ancestor elements.

As an example, consider a form field. The user selects the text for 
use as a field label and clicks on the field button (part of the 
editing toolbar). The editor then inserts the field and sets up the 
label. The user then uses the context pane to enter the name of the 
field, and to set additional properties. My forms-lite/xforms-tiny 
library supports JavaScript expressions for validation constraints, 
calculated field values, the context in which the field must be 
filled out, and when it is relevant. The user can define these 
expressions by filling out the input fields within the context pane 
that appear when the field is selected in the wysiwyg pane.

The context pane isn't a slavish UI for element attributes, but 
rather a means to support the tasks that users are expected to do.

p.s. with the use of an editing style sheet and the notion of 
skinning the page as a separate operation, the wysiwyg pane can use 
CSS to show borders for div elements etc. as appropriate to support 
the editing task. That is very much application dependent and not a 
fixed part of the design.


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

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