[whatwg] Ongoing work on an editing commands (execCommand()) specification

Aryeh Gregor Simetrical+w3c at gmail.com
Thu Apr 7 10:36:47 PDT 2011

On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 7:40 PM, Tim Down <timdown at gmail.com> wrote:
> Is there an overwhelming reason why execCommand() should be restricted
> to contentEditable/designMode elements, as the spec seems to suggest?

IIRC from testing, that's how all browsers but IE9 behave.  I guess
the reason is that if you have a typical WYSIWYG editor, which has
non-editable stuff surrounding it, and the user has selected some
non-editable stuff on the page and clicks the "bold" button, you don't
want the non-editable stuff to be bolded -- the button should only
affect the editable area.

Also, in a typical case, you're letting the user edit so that the
markup will be saved or submitted to a server, and the markup that
you'll save or submit is probably only the editable stuff.  So if you
do something like push down styles from outside the editable area,
that change will not only unexpectedly affect the appearance of the
non-editable part of the page, the change might not get saved.

Of course, this makes it less convenient to use the commands for
non-editing purposes, but they're mostly not very useful for that
anyway.  Do you have particular use-cases for using execCommand()
outside of contentEditable/designMode?  I'll probably put off tackling
details like this until a much later date, once I've specified the
algorithms themselves to a satisfactory extent.

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