July 11, 2006
Feature Requests /
Wiki Wysiwyg

It's probably one of the oldest request and one of the hardest to implement. This page is created for discussing issues to prepare implementation, either (1) in Javascript or (2) as a Java Applet. Both ways have pros and cons, sample implementations exist - some for years - without being entirely satisfying.

Direct technical problems:

  • Javascript often works only on certain browsers ("use FireFox 1.5")
  • Javascript is limited by the abilities of the browser "rich text" input field.
  • Java Applets tend to become large, therefore they need a long time to load
Indirect problems:
  • the large implementation effort slows other developments
  • layout extensions become much 10x more expensive, when they are to be supported by the WYSIWYG interface.
Arguments for WYSIWYG:
  • users just expect it
Arguments against WYSIWYG:
  • users that really work with wiki can cope with the markup easily
  • WYSIWYG is bug-ridden, slow and clumpsy, usually not worth the effort, power users tend to turn it OFF.

Feature detail

  • edit mode switching: there should be a button or combo-box to switch available editing modes (perhaps: "wiki markup", "JavaScript toolbar", "Java wysiwyg", ...) and a preferred selection in "Preferences" or "user data".


ThomasKalka: Having both would be a interesting solution. For the me as heavy wiki worker I did not find a way, which works better than to edit plain text.

Mass-editing is like programming, so something which helps, but dont get into my way, would be supportive. The problem with all "hidden information editors" is, that you dont have direct access to every information, which is stored, if the raw code is not accessible to you. Having raw-code of html available in the editor does not help much, since html is not human friendly.

The best solution would be: to have the rich text editor available simultaniously togehter with a raw editor for the wiki text.

To achieve this, one has to build an converter html <-> wikitext in javascript. I would love to see pointers to such efforts.

But maybee this is not the right place to discuss wiki feature evolution. Should at least be interlinked to an appropriate place in the english speaking wiki-community.

HelmutLeitner: Thomas, by side-by-side you mean that one can switch between classical wiki markup text editing and WYSIWYG-editing? I think that most sites must do it that way, if only to have a fall-back to something that is really working on all browsers (or to not frustrate power-users). -- HelmutLeitner July 11, 2006 10:20 CET