Ian Bicking: the old part of his blog

Re: Evaluating wysiwyg editors comment 000

It's actually somewhat surprising to me just how well most WYSIWYG editors respect CSS styles, with no special work to do it. I guess a testament to the underlying browsers' editing. Usually you have to pass a stylesheet in (so it can be loaded in the iframe that most editors use), but once you do that it's all just magic.

They still usually included non-semantic controls. But you can just take those controls out; again, adjusting the toolbar in most of these is easy. If you took those bad controls out (e.g., color, font), wouldn't you have something very much like wysiwym?

Comment on Evaluating wysiwyg editors comment 000
by Ian Bicking

Comments:

No, I don't think so. The idea of WYM is that you have something broken away from a context of the presentation. Instead you have something embedded in the structure of the very ideas. I think the practicality of it requires some formating elements to be displayed in the WYM-editor, i.e. bolding, italicizing, unordered lists, etc. But in the distant ideal those would just be highlighted and marked as such, rather than actually displayed as such.

In TinyMCE, at least, I can remove the controls from the toolbar, but someone could just paste something from word to circumvent my restrictions (especially annoying). Although, admittedly, I haven't looked for many fixes for that.

I think the idea of WYM could be expanded beyond just web-publishing. I imagine a collaborative screen-writing application. I should just go ahead and patent that right now, anyone have any capital for a startup?

# Brantley Harris

WYM can't keep people from pasting HTML. It can try to clean that HTML (though it's rather tricky to do this, and given its age I suspect it doesn't). Several of the other editors have special code to try to clean up code pasted from Word; they also include different kind of cleaners, some which are applied on save and some which can be applied on paste.

However, I hate opinionated editors. Legacy HTML is important. HTML with differing opinions is important. If you are doing green-field content development I guess WYM could work, but I'm more interested in content development that builds on the content we already have. The words matter more than the form.

# Ian Bicking