Forum OpenACS Improvement Proposals (TIPs): TIP#109 (implemented): Add support for TinyMCE

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This TIP is a proposa to add rich textarea suport for TinyMCE in addition to Xinha.

TinyMCE resolves some issues that Xinha has, especially unexpected behavior with the back button.

Some folks also think TinyMCE is easier to read the code, and create plugins.

This proposal is to add support to allow choice of Xinha or TinyMCE as the rich text editor in OpenACS. This proposal also would deprecate and remove support for RTE and HTMLArea.

I have code working that supports Xinha and TinyMCE.

The one remaining issue is the file-storage plugin for Xinha which does not have support for TinyMCE. There are two options here 1) keep file-storage plugin only for Xinha 2) update file-storage plugin to work with TinyMCE in addition to Xinha.

There is also a simplified file upload plugin that is supported by Xinha and TinyMCE.

This code will be added to OpenACS HEAD.

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2: Approve (response to 1)
Posted by Don Baccus on
Rather than "deprecate and remove" I think you simply mean "remove", as we discussed at the OCT (just so no one expects the code to still be there decorated with "deprecated" comments).

Also I think you mean the code is easier to read? :)

With those caveats, I approve!

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Posted by Gustaf Neumann on
i approve and opt for option (2) for the file storage plugin.

btw, the "unexpected behavior with the back button" is fixed in CVS head (by the xinha team). What are the other issues?

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Posted by Dave Bauer on
Gustaf,

THanks for your comments.

There were two back buttons issues

1) If you are viewing a page with xinha editor and click the back button you have to click the back button twice. Annoying.
2) If you are on a page with xinha editor and you navigate away from that page, then click the back button, the content within the editor is lost. This is much more upsetting to the user.

I would be very pleased if both of these are fixed.

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Posted by Gustaf Neumann on
I have never noticed (1), it seems, i don't use back so often as you people seem to do (is this maybe a hidden usability issue in some application?).

(1) and (2) work fine AFICT, but you should check yourself (update from cvs head).

The problems, i reported earlier with new xinha versions are gone as well. It looks like they were fixed without altering xinha: most likely, there were a few bugs in early ff 2.0 versions for mac os x.

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Posted by Rocael Hernández Rizzardini on
Approve, option 2 is better.
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Posted by Jim Lynch on
Hi,

I'd just like to ask why you're removing the htmlarea and rte options... the only way I could fathom this is if disk space is really low and/or they do not work? I tried xinha about a week or two ago and I didn't like it as much as the original; I don't recall exactly right now but it did things I didn't like... I can be more specific if you like, but I'd prefer it if I had more options rather than fewer.

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Posted by Jim Lynch on
Heya Gustaf,

Just so you know, I like the back button and I also like the fact that historically, this entire project has taken great pains to make -absolutely- sure that the functionality of the back button is never broken in any way, and this goes back to before openacs was even considered to suplement and/or replace the original ACS (which then stood for ArsDigita Community System).

The back button is in our blood, and I personally like it that way :) Please don't break it.

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Posted by Dave Bauer on
Jim,

Gustaf said that Xinha has resolved the back button issues. I haven't tested it yet.

The reason to remove HTMLarea is that development has stopped on HTMLarea years ago. Xinha is a fork that took the HTMLarea code.

RTE is even older and also unmaintained. It has not been tested in newer browsers either.

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Posted by Jim Lynch on
Dave,

Oh, OK... I didn't realize that they weren't created and maintained by openacs. Is it possible to have these editors in separate packages?

I'd still like the option to have them while the bugs are ironed out of the newer editors.

Gustaf,

You might consider starting to use the back button so you would be able to tell if it's not working... who knows, you might even like it after awhile. (think of it this way: why put a back button on a browser unless it's going to be used by people? there's one on every browser, and there are people who expect it to work)

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Posted by Don Baccus on
Jim, please ... it's not Gustaf's code, OK?

Xinha is an open source project of its own.

The broken "back button" behavior was a BUG. And that project has FIXED that bug. Gustaf is just reporting that with the latest sources the back button bugs appear to have been fixed.

Please, don't shoot the messenger like this!

TinyMCE is a simpler WYSIWIG plug-in that many people like, so you should try it when Dave's done if you don't like Xinha.

HTMLarea's no longer supported. RTE sucks.

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Posted by Carl Robert Blesius on
Some reasons we have gotten behind TinyMCE

1. The code base is cleaner

2. After significant testing we have found the results of cut and paste from Word to be better in TinyMCE (compared with Xinha). This is important b/c most of our users cut and paste from Word (on Windows), which introduces a markup nightmare (save as html in MSWord to get a feel for it). Moving to TinyMCE is a first step in improving this issue. We hope to work on server side cleanup next, which might also help with the "attribute/tag not allowed" error messages that cause our users undue stress.

3. The demos (partially) support Safari, although we haven't gotten that to work yet

4. There is a company that is intimately familiar with the code it that offers support if we are in dire straits (the same company that released it under the LGPL)

5. The resizable window is cool

6. It does pretty much everything Xinha does...

7. and it scores better in accessibility tests

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Posted by Avni Khatri on
I also want to voice support for TinyMCE. We have been testing on Xinha and TinyMCE both at CTRL (UCLA) over the last month or so, internally and with clients and we prefer TinyMCE (for the reasons stated above by Carl).
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Posted by Gustaf Neumann on
Jim,

i have no idea, what you read out of my above message, but it was certainly not what i intended to communicate. just to make things clear:

a) i did not break the back button.

b) the back button issues of older versions of xinha as reported by dave were: if someone opens the rich text editor, types in some text, presses back (without saving the text) - and presses forward again to reach the editor page again - looses the previously typed in text.

c) these issues were fixed by the xinha team and are fixed in the openacs cvs head version as well. maybe, i should commit these to the oacs-5-3 branch as well if other oct members think it should be done.

d) i was testing the back button (yes, i know how to use it). In all versions the back button did roughly what it is meant to do (going to the previously page). There was apparently a second bug (necessary to hit back twice) but this was most probably fixed earlier). Both bugs are resolved in the current xinha versions under firefox (linux, mac os x, windows).

e) The "disappearing typed-in text" bug is NOT fixed when xinha is used with the IE.

f) The "disappearing typed-in text" bug exists as well in TinyMCE when used with the IE (at least, what i see from the demo pages from TinyMCE). Since still most users use IE (more than 54% at our site), the whole issue is not resolved for most users, no matter whether xinha or tinymce is used.

g) Since i was not sure, what the exact test conditions of dave were, i asked him to check again with the newer version.

jim, please don't post flames on issues, you are not familiar with. There are good reasons to use xinha (e.g. various plugins developed by the xinha community (such as stylist) or by xinha users (e.g. us)). There are as well good reasons for using tinymce (e.g. a company which supports it, or its opera support). Therefore, there are good reason to include both rich-text editors in openacs.

Btw, both editors can be configured with a minimal toolbar.

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Posted by Don Baccus on
I don't think we want a new version of xinha on the oacs-5-3 branch, we're trying to keep changes there to a minimum, and to get the release out ASAP (perhaps this weekend?)

With a 5.4 over summer.

Jim, it is never appropriate to flame in a TIP thread.

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Posted by Malte Sussdorff on
Approved with option 2)
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Posted by Malte Sussdorff on
Has the code already been committed to HEAD and if yes, how can I turn on TinyMCE instead of XinHA (is it as easy as saying tinymce instead of XinHA in acs-templating)?