Native Rich-Textarea, what do you think?

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Gerrit Addiks, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. Hello people,

    In the current HTML-standard there is just the textarea without any rich
    text editing. Most sites want rich text editing and are using one of the
    WYSIWYG javascript scripts out there. This has a few downsites i see:


    1. By using javascript WYSIWYG scripts, each site defines on its own
    how that tool(s) looks like.

    I think that it is not the responsibility of the web-application to
    define how the tools given to the user should be designed.
    It is the responsibility of the overlaying software, toolkit or even the
    operating-system to do so.

    The same goes for Java, GTK, QT, WinAPI and Cocoa defining the look of
    widgets for programs using these API's/toolkits.


    2. Users have to learn how the editor works on nearly every site they
    visit. Maybe the web-designers are not noticing this, but beginners that
    are "not that much into cumputers" will take a while longer to figure
    out how these tools work when they all look different.

    With at least the rich-text-editors looking (nearly) all the same on not
    only all programs they use, but also on most websites they visit, the
    web would become more beginner-friendly.


    3. In javascript implemented and by (different!) browsers (and
    js-engines) interpreted WYSIWYG-scripts will always be huge hacks and
    workarounds for the missing of rich editing in normal textarea's.
    All of these editors i've seen by now are working by hiding the actual
    textarea and replacing it with a huge structure of HTML elements and CSS
    declarations to emulate a textarea. Just watch these scripts work in
    firebug or whatever you use and try to understand all the tricks used
    just to feel like a textarea.

    That is not only an extremely inefficient way of "just making a few
    words bold and colorful", it also is extremely buggy and incompatible
    because everything the textarea can do native has to be re-implemented
    in javascript: line-handling, char-spacing, etc...

    And these editors also often has bugs caused by ugly hacks. For example
    not bringing up the keyboard on iPad (cause theres no real textarea or
    textfield, just mocked by javascript) or missing
    screenreader-compatibility, just to name two. And i am sure there are
    more problems coming for these hacks with new devices and technologies
    coming in the future.

    Just imagine what happens if you write a huge custom javascript
    interacting with an external WYSIWYG-editor (with a site working like
    facebook or twitter or so) and the developers of that editor stops its
    work on it. The editor will get incompatible with new browsers after
    some time and you can throw all your work out of the window and begin
    from scratch, because the depencies are too huge.


    4. Javascript has to be on for them to work. And i see noscript (the
    firefox addon) on many systems. (That also means that you cannot block
    Ad's on sites using that editors)



    I also think that it would not be such a big deal to implement a native
    rich-editor-textarea as most people think because most big
    browser-vendors already have a rich-editor:

    - Mozilla has one in Thunderbird,
    - Google has Google-Docs
    - Microsoft has Word
    - Apple has its "Mail"

    They would just have to port their rich-editor into the browser and make
    it work with the textarea.
    After doing so there could also be a standard javascript-API to talk to
    these.

    Then it would be possible to have a rich-text-editor by only doing
    something like this:

    <textarea type="rich">...</textarea>

    (Please dont rely in this exactly syntax. Its just a hint to what it
    could look like.)


    So, what do you people think of that? Is it worth to make a
    feature-request to w3c (or whoever), have i missed something or is all
    this just bullshit?


    Sincerely,

    Gerrit Addiks



    PS: I'm refering to rich-text-editors as all text-editors supporting
    that functionality (e.g. Word) and WYSIWYG only the scripts in the web.
    Just for the case you got confused by me using the terms "rich-editor"
    and "WYSIWYG" seperate.


    PSS: This is my first time writing to a newsgroup, please tell me if i'm
    doing something wrong. :)
     
    Gerrit Addiks, Dec 30, 2011
    #1
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  2. "Gerrit Addiks" <> wrote in message
    news:jdkb5v$6un$...
    > Hello people,
    >
    > In the current HTML-standard there is just the textarea without any rich
    > text editing. Most sites want rich text editing and are using one of the
    > WYSIWYG javascript scripts out there. This has a few downsites i see:
    >
    >
    > 1. By using javascript WYSIWYG scripts, each site defines on its own
    > how that tool(s) looks like.
    >
    > I think that it is not the responsibility of the web-application to
    > define how the tools given to the user should be designed.
    > It is the responsibility of the overlaying software, toolkit or even the
    > operating-system to do so.
    >
    > The same goes for Java, GTK, QT, WinAPI and Cocoa defining the look of
    > widgets for programs using these API's/toolkits.
    >
    >
    > 2. Users have to learn how the editor works on nearly every site they
    > visit. Maybe the web-designers are not noticing this, but beginners that
    > are "not that much into cumputers" will take a while longer to figure
    > out how these tools work when they all look different.
    >
    > With at least the rich-text-editors looking (nearly) all the same on not
    > only all programs they use, but also on most websites they visit, the
    > web would become more beginner-friendly.
    >
    >
    > 3. In javascript implemented and by (different!) browsers (and
    > js-engines) interpreted WYSIWYG-scripts will always be huge hacks and
    > workarounds for the missing of rich editing in normal textarea's.
    > All of these editors i've seen by now are working by hiding the actual
    > textarea and replacing it with a huge structure of HTML elements and CSS
    > declarations to emulate a textarea. Just watch these scripts work in
    > firebug or whatever you use and try to understand all the tricks used
    > just to feel like a textarea.
    >
    > That is not only an extremely inefficient way of "just making a few
    > words bold and colorful", it also is extremely buggy and incompatible
    > because everything the textarea can do native has to be re-implemented
    > in javascript: line-handling, char-spacing, etc...
    >
    > And these editors also often has bugs caused by ugly hacks. For example
    > not bringing up the keyboard on iPad (cause theres no real textarea or
    > textfield, just mocked by javascript) or missing
    > screenreader-compatibility, just to name two. And i am sure there are
    > more problems coming for these hacks with new devices and technologies
    > coming in the future.
    >
    > Just imagine what happens if you write a huge custom javascript
    > interacting with an external WYSIWYG-editor (with a site working like
    > facebook or twitter or so) and the developers of that editor stops its
    > work on it. The editor will get incompatible with new browsers after
    > some time and you can throw all your work out of the window and begin
    > from scratch, because the depencies are too huge.
    >
    >
    > 4. Javascript has to be on for them to work. And i see noscript (the
    > firefox addon) on many systems. (That also means that you cannot block
    > Ad's on sites using that editors)
    >
    >
    >
    > I also think that it would not be such a big deal to implement a native
    > rich-editor-textarea as most people think because most big
    > browser-vendors already have a rich-editor:
    >
    > - Mozilla has one in Thunderbird,
    > - Google has Google-Docs
    > - Microsoft has Word
    > - Apple has its "Mail"
    >
    > They would just have to port their rich-editor into the browser and make
    > it work with the textarea.
    > After doing so there could also be a standard javascript-API to talk to
    > these.
    >
    > Then it would be possible to have a rich-text-editor by only doing
    > something like this:
    >
    > <textarea type="rich">...</textarea>
    >
    > (Please dont rely in this exactly syntax. Its just a hint to what it
    > could look like.)
    >
    >
    > So, what do you people think of that? Is it worth to make a
    > feature-request to w3c (or whoever), have i missed something or is all
    > this just bullshit?
    >
    >
    > Sincerely,
    >
    > Gerrit Addiks
    >
    >
    >
    > PS: I'm refering to rich-text-editors as all text-editors supporting
    > that functionality (e.g. Word) and WYSIWYG only the scripts in the web.
    > Just for the case you got confused by me using the terms "rich-editor"
    > and "WYSIWYG" seperate.
    >
    >
    > PSS: This is my first time writing to a newsgroup, please tell me if i'm
    > doing something wrong. :)


    A normal person without any deep internet slang knowledge would first like
    to know, what do you mean by WYSIWYG?

    Kristjan
     
    Kristjan Robam, Jan 5, 2012
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. "Jonathan N. Little" <> wrote in message
    news:je72jf$fut$...
    > Kristjan Robam wrote:
    >
    > > A normal person without any deep internet slang knowledge would first

    like
    > > to know, what do you mean by WYSIWYG?

    >
    > <http://www.google.com/search?q=WYSIWYG>
    >
    > Although on one could argue there is no such thing, but more like
    > WYSISWYG What You See Is Sometimes What You Get or WYSIRWYG What You See
    > Is Rarely What You Get
    >
    > --
    > Take care,
    >
    > Jonathan
    > -------------------
    > LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
    > http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com


    Thanks for the translation.

    Kristjan
     
    Kristjan Robam, Jan 5, 2012
    #3
  4. Kristjan Robam wrote:

    > A normal person without any deep internet slang knowledge would first like
    > to know, what do you mean by WYSIWYG?


    <http://www.google.com/search?q=WYSIWYG>

    Although on one could argue there is no such thing, but more like
    WYSISWYG What You See Is Sometimes What You Get or WYSIRWYG What You See
    Is Rarely What You Get

    --
    Take care,

    Jonathan
    -------------------
    LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
    http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
     
    Jonathan N. Little, Jan 6, 2012
    #4
  5. On Dec 30 2011, 12:35 pm, Gerrit Addiks <> wrote:
    >   2. Users have to learn how the editor works on nearly every site they
    > visit. Maybe the web-designers are not noticing this, but beginners that
    > are "not that much into cumputers" will take a while longer to figure
    > out how these tools work when they all look different.
    >
    > With at least the rich-text-editors looking (nearly) all the same on not
    > only all programs they use, but also on most websites they visit, the
    > web would become more beginner-friendly.


    M$'s editor would be based on their ribbon technology. Chrome's on
    their Google Docs one, Opera on their own one, and so on.

    You would still have as many different editor styles as there are
    browsers.
     
    Captain Paralytic, Jan 9, 2012
    #5
    1. Advertising

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