[whatwg] behavior when typing in contentEditable elements

Ojan Vafai ojan at chromium.org
Thu Dec 24 09:11:33 PST 2009

On Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 5:15 PM, Robert O'Callahan <robert at ocallahan.org>wrote:

> On Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 7:21 AM, Ojan Vafai <ojan at chromium.org> wrote:
>> Dealing with inconsistencies in browser behavior during typing is one of
>> the hardest parts of writing a sane web-based rich-text editor. We have
>> researched what a variety of text editors (Word, Powerpoint, Wordpad,
>> TextEdit) and browsers using contentEditable/DesignMode currently do when
>> you press different keys on the keyboard, in a number of rich text
>> situations, with a variety of text selections. From this data, we attempt to
>> identify recommendations that are OS-agnostic for editing behaviors inside a
>> contentEditable element.
> Interesting data, thanks! But is OS-agnostic behaviour actually the ideal?
> Obviously it makes writing a sane Web editor easier, but wouldn't users be
> best served by behaviour that matches their platform?

I agree that we should match the platform where possible. We tried, perhaps
unsuccessfully, to focus on behaviors that don't  have well-defined
platform-specific behavior, leaving the door open to standardize on a
cross-platform behavior.

The tab-key is a good example. In the collapsed selection case, there is a
good deal of inconsistency across applications but none of it seems to be
platform-specific. For example, what's the correct platform behavior on
Windows when Word and Wordpad disagree? Or, looking at the TextEdit behavior
of hitting tab with a collapsed selection in the last table-cell of a table,
that just seems like a bug.


> Rob
> --
> "He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
> the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are
> healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his
> own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." [Isaiah
> 53:5-6]
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