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GUI Editor


version 27 (2011-05-07 20:33:40 by MikeJohnson)
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version 28 (2011-05-08 01:43:41 by TomGarberson)
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Branch is named wikis-gui.

Some thoughts

The first phase will be a GUI editor with wiki-markup conversion for those who still want to use wiki markup. Then, at some point, I imagine we'll ditch the wiki markup. Hell, I'd love to ditch it now.

Doing this in two phases gives us a bit of time to do things like diffs, etc properly. And when we remove the wiki syntax people will likely, on the whole, be comfortable with the new editor.

Phase 1

Phase 2


Simplify editor interface. Skin it. Import native wiki CSS.

Emphasis of the tools should be on linking pages. Linking should be easy (which it will be automatically), but also visible. Larger icon/more noticeable. Wikis are hypertext documents — they are alive. It's not the same as editing something like an MS word document.


We're gonna try out using the XHTML -> Wiki markup approach. It's easier for us to get our feet wet, even if it's not the best solution from a purity perspective. We can always make it better later on. This choice is solidified by the fact it will be years until we can abandon textarea-based editing, due to lagging browser support, upgrade issues, and accessibility concerns.

General plan

We're aiming for a working GUI editor as soon as possible. The idea is that while it may not provide every piece of functionality we want it to immediately, we will improve it drastically once it's in place. The editor will make certain things much easier (linking, basic layout, adding images to a page), but other things will remain somewhat mysterious (macros).

The biggest challenge is making the interaction with the image macro work well. We want people to be able to thumbnail images, float them left/right, caption them, etc. The "native" image interaction provided by FCKeditor is not in line with what we do. We can take certain things (height/width given to image by editor) and translate those into macro arguments, though. Captions and alignment is a bit more tricky,

We also want to clean up the editor, remove all excess functionality and streamline its interface. We should also probably remove as much extra javascript as possible to reduce load times.



Sep 27


Basically nothing works, everything is ugly, but basic text functionality is okay. Well, not exactly. Formatting gets destroyed, weird indentation issues, etc. Goal is to get all functions in place (images, macros), then slash through the formatting issues which seem to be often caused by the translation process.

Oct 5


Been trying to get links to work. Dynamic interwiki links work, along with usual URLs. Need to get link status for wiki links (automatically dotted when they don't exist).

Oct 17


Links work for the most part. External / others with icons, and the icon isn't funky in the editor. Noticing more and more crazy stuff (e.g. nothing works).

Nov. 8

Working on moving over to the latest version of FCKeditor — many issues come with the switchover. The new version handles spacing much more consistently and brings many more general fixes.

Nov. 20

The version switchover brought a bunch of weird undocumented API changes (read: pain in the ass that took forever), but they're mostly worked out now. Spacing is way more consistent now. Tested briefly in IE and noticed some issues with the link code & fixed.

On the plus side, the issues made me get used to using the [WWW]venkman javascript debugger.

Jan. 22


Back to work after some delays. Fixed text encoding issues. Got the image uploading code integrated into the image button. Ugly as sin and nearly unfunctional right now. Got image properties to 'stick.'

Next up is thumbnailing based on image resizing and figuring out what that means..

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