The Word is WYSI

It’s official now, the excellent TinyMCE has been integrated into WordPress 1.6. The real test after the search was if I could use it on a day to day basis, even though I normally can’t stand WYSIWYG-type things. With this integration I’ve actually found it more enjoyable to use and the code it produces is top-notch. Of course if you don’t like it, there’s a new checkbox to disable it under Options > Writing.

56 thoughts on “The Word is WYSI

  1. Great! Dare I ask… anyone know the release date for 1.6? Can we just use the development files? Are they stable? Tips?

  2. In a few months. I would not recommend using development files as your blog will probably explode into a million bits scattered across the interweb.

  3. Any way to disable target=”_self” for ther insert link thing? It’d save me some validation issues, even though it’s such a minor thing. 🙂

    Awesome inclusion though, I have to say.

  4. Their Javascript could be a lot faster. I submitted a patch once but they never used it. The HTML it produces looks neat, but I prefer FCKEditor with some filtering, because FCKEditor has a faster. better UI.

  5. That’s the editor that Mambo uses. It’s pretty good, though it’s still easier for me to either hand code or use Textile or Markdown.

  6. I was wondering when this was going to go public.
    Works well in tests so far. In spite of how cool it is/will be, I am glad that there is a way to disable it.

  7. I ran my SVN update on my test blog this morning, and my first reaction was “Why the hell is it adding all of those files?!?” I’ve seen the light.

  8. I still like using a third party tool for publishing article and photos on my WP site… Blogjet for the PC and Mars Edit for the Mac. But it’s great to hear that 1.6 is coming and you keep improving WP.. I never was sorry I ever used WP on any of my sites. Thank you Matt!

  9. So forgive me for being ignorant, but there is no way to implement this fuctionality in WP 1.5? What about with a plug-in? I really would like a WYSIWYG editor for WP. I’m not a big fan of ChenPress.

  10. Haven’t used Blogjet yet, but w.bloggar is also a pretty cool tool. Though after seeing TinyMCE, I’m eagerly anticipating WP 1.6. 🙂

  11. Josh: I don’t think Opera supports contentEditable.

    None of the JavaScript WYSIWYGs have support for Opera, and I don’t think implementing WYSIWYG support is on the top of Opera’s TODO list.

    As a sidenote, Safari recently implemented support for this, and most of the editors are trying to get it to work with their product right now..

  12. I’m seeing some issues with encoded spaces, <br /> inside the end of a paragraph, and a few other oddities, but I trust we’ll get them ironed out.

  13. Oh god… that was seriously my worst fear about 1.6…

    Especially TinyMCE, it’s so damn slow, it’s markup is… nasty, plus it doesn’t work that well cross-browser (even Firefox/Mac has some issues, tho not too many). Plus it’s rather ugly.

    Oh well. I trust it will be an option in the options panel? Because else I’m going ot have to end up stripping it all out of the admin panel chanting “the power of good taste complels you!”…

  14. I should pay more attention when I wake up…. of course there’s an option…

    However will turning it off re-instate the quicktags? because that’s what I’d prefer to use anyhow (I really loathe the code from TinyMCE, I’d spend just as much time tweaking it as writing it…).

  15. I too thought that the tinyMCE site is very nicely designed.

    And I was really happy to see that Arabic support is built-in. Knowing that there could be a built-in ability for right-to-left languages is a major plus.

  16. Gregory, in my testing TinyMCE has been as fast or faster than others, has impeccable markup, and works in IE, moz/firefox, and Safari. That’s as good as I’ve found from anybody. Turning off rich editing in your options does put the quicktags back.

  17. the first question anyone asks me of a new WP install is ‘how do I upload an image?’ Will this version of TinyMCE offer one button to upload images?

    A lot of office-type people also want to upload documents, which is clunky in WP currently, and in the plugin version of TinyMCE.

  18. Actually using a span class is for more “impeccable markup” then using b and em. Neither B or EM or XHTML 1 acceptable, thus making it “worse”. A strong tag or span class is the way to do it to be cross compatible.

  19. I’m inclined to say it should be using appropiate elements instead of spans, I’ll look into it. Everything is still a work in progress!

  20. Since this occurs to me, and here seems to be a good place as any to note it: instead of popups, it’d be nice it could do dropdowns for insert link, etc. And for the html view, instead of a popup, it should just switch the whole textarea like widgEditor does.

  21. Interesting you found it faster, and cross browser. I found it around the same speed as FCKEditor (both of which aren’t that fast, in fact I’d say both are annoying slow to load). The mark-up, as mentioned by others, is far from impecable. Barely competant at best. That is, of course, something that can be improved on. However without maintaining a special “TinyMCE – WP edition” I can’t see the logic in including it in WP.

    Of a time this would have been the EXACT thing you would have said “thats behavior best left to a plugin..” I know that is what I think of it.

    widgEditor is great, but has problems with images in FF/Mac. It chokes horribly on them. Then again that is a problem many WYSIWYG editors seem to have (but work fine usually in IE, and sometimes, rarely, correctly in Safari but only Safari 2).

    Overall WYSIWYG on the web is broken horribly, and just really doesn’t work that well. I’m surprised that it’s being included in WP, because it reeks of a shiny bell and whistle that doesn’t actually make the core product any better, and for some it will make it much worse (myself included). In fact, while I know there is core work being done, there are a lot of shiny bells and whistles in 1.6 that just don’t seem to add as much as I think they’ll end up being praised (because everyone loves shiny stuff).

    I just worry for a product I care about.

  22. Matt D: sorry, I meant “strong” not “b”. But they’re still preferable to spans, aren’t they?

    PhotoMatt: cool, I’m sure it would be pretty easy to sort out. One other thing came to mind — will you be able to turn off the WYSIWYG controls on a per-user basis? I don’t think I’d use it, but other authors might like to.

  23. When we get per-user options going, it’ll be one.

    Gregory, that’s really harsh and I don’t think everything you’re saying is backed up. TinyMCE has a compression script which can combine the multiple files into two HTTP requests and cache them.

    We’ll make the changes to TinyMCE we need to bring it up to standards (it’s the closest of them all), but I’m in contact with their developers so improvements will benefit the entire open source community.

    I think the act of writing and editing is core to what WordPress is about, and it’s our duty to make that experience as elegant and streamlined as possible. For the majority of our audience, including myself, dealing with HTML can really impede the writing process. The first PHP code I ever wrote for b2/cafelog was to eliminate having to type out HTML entities all the time (Texturize), so streamlining writing and editing was actually the reason WordPress exists today.

    To the extent to which our hundreds of thousands of users make WYSIWYG on the web better in a non-propietary way, the web as a whole will benefit greatly. We shouldn’t expect people to use third-party (ofter commercial) editors if they want a rich writing experience.

    Finally I would like to point out there was a 30+ post thread on WP-hackers about this almost two months ago. If you want to be a part of WordPress development that’s the place and if you follow that list this shouldn’t be a surprise at all.

  24. Matt: Excellent, thanks.

    Matt D: the main problem is that the spans aren’t assigned classes, but they are given inline styles. That can make it hard to change themes in future.

  25. Matt: I agree that what the team behind TinyMCE has done is an excellent piece of software developement. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t claim to have a better solution hiding in my pocket. However compressed it is (and it IS compressed, I agree with you there) it is still slow to load (not to download, important difference I think). Or at least, I can only speak in my experience testing WYSIWYG editors here at my work. None are that fast however.

    I think its great that WP will be helping to improve TinyMCE, and you are right that it will benefit the wider community (probably not the whole OS comm, but certainly a wider comm). I also agree that writing and editing is thecore of WP, I just question if it will actually make writing easier. Perhaps it will for some people, I know it won’t for me. Mostly that is because of the current limits/bugs of the software though, not because of a failure of the concept. Again, the fact WP is helping development in this area will help remove these issues.

    I do read WP-Hackers, though not quite as avidly as I used to, mostly because real-life has got in the way. I was aware of the discussion about WYSIWYG editors, but was under the impression that it was more a question of which software had the least bugs.. and was on hold. I guess I missed the finishing of that thread.

    Again, I have no problem with WYSIWYG as a concept on the web, I just question if it is ready for prime time. For my use it isn’t: it is more of a useful gimmick. Eventually I know it will be, and perhaps this is a good reason for biting the bullet now, for a greater benefit in the long term.

    I realised that my “bells and whistles” comment could be construed as rather harsh, I apologise for that. It was merely an impression I have of the improvments in the software right now, and could be unfounded. I accept that. Thanks for the comprehensive answer though, I didn’t mean to put you on the defensive.

    WP has done an awful lot to help make writing easier on the web, that’s why I use it. That’s why I code for it, that’s why I promote it. I think my recent experience (and real frustration) with WYSIWIG culminated a few days before this post… so I guess I came out a bit OTT. I’ll still be turning TinyMCE off, initially anyhow, but I’ll be happily waiting for the time I can use it without shouting 😉

  26. I like this idea of TinyMCE, but as I currently use Markdown, would there be a conflict? Or, if I chose to use tmce, and turn off markdown, how would my existing posts be corrected for?

  27. There is an annoying pop-up announcing that js support is alpha on every page you load if you are using Safari. Turning off the wysiwyg editor fixes it. That is not right man, not right at all.

  28. 🙂 Thanks Matt. I LOVE what was just done to the admin panel. It rocks. Who did that?

    And I’m curious to know what will happen to texturize with this new wysiwyg thing. Will just adding ‘s be removed or what? I’m just wondering.

  29. TinyMCE did not work on WinXP + Firefox last I tried.

    Comment by Denis de Bernardy “” Friday August 5, 2005 @ 11:08 am

    Worked fine for me.

    Interesting path you’re taking this Matt. We’ll see where this ends up…

  30. Hi, im one of the developers of TinyMCE. We are very pleased to hear you have implemented TinyMCE in WordPress, ive toyed around myself with WordPress and its a great product.

    We like to recieve input from the communities that use TinyMCE and reading these comments is very valuable to us, to see what ppl like or don’t like.

    Safari support is highly experimental, we have been following the development off Safari, and we are talking directly to the developers to help solve some issues. I would not recommend to use TinyMCE with Safari in production environment, they have made some updates and it fixes some issues but they usually end up breaking something else.

    Regarding Opera or other browsers not supported. We are currently supporting all browsers that have implemented some form of the Midas specification for WYSIWYG. Opera does not have this, ive read around their forums some, and they might be implementing something soon.

    Slow loading? As far as I know, even without the compression, TinyMCE is one of the fastest WYSIWYG editors out there in terms of loading the scripts.

    The MCImageManager and MCFileManager plugins are commercial products, sure there are free ones out there but our users have been very pleased with our plugins so far.

    Keep up the great work with WordPress Matt, and I hope you all will have a good time editing with TinyMCE.

  31. Afraithe,

    Good to hear from you, and while I appreciate the situation with Safari, a js popup on every single page is not a very good answer. I am not sure if this is from you, or the way that Matt implemented it, but needless to say it is bad usability.

    Before I could turn off TinyMCE I had to banish that popup 3 times. That is unacceptable in my book.

  32. There is a configuration option in TinyMCE to completly remove the editor for Safari only. Matt should probably remove the Safari support for the time beeing. We do not currently accept bug reports for Safari, its just to unstabe to make a proper implementation yet. In the last update of Safari, I think they fixed 1 of the around 50 things we mentioned.

    As far as I know Konqueror and Safari uses the same core, but Apple have implemented their own stuff in Safari, and I think one of the extra things is just the implementation of the Midas specification.

    We already support Firefox on Mac, and Safari as soon as they fix the problems, I think 2 browsers should be enough. Firefox/Mozilla on Linux is also supported, and I believe thats what 99% uses (atleast thats what our web stats show).

  33. At the risk of being a whiney Mac user, I think given the weak Safari support at the moment that TinyMCE should NOT be included in WP until the issues are resolved. WP has a very big presence in the Mac community, and I think this would seem a bit of a slap in the face.

    It’s bad enough that even the current quicktags are turned off by default for Safari, even though they clearly do work once enabled. WP doing something else excluding Safari users is bad.

  34. It’s not really a TinyMCE problem, its a Apple Safari problem, their browser simply does not have proper support for WYSIWYG editing.

    When they do implement proper WYSIWYG editing capabilities to the browser, TinyMCE will support Safari.

  35. Matt, it seems to be using the correct em and strong tags now.

    But I have a concern about using <!–more–> — it doesn’t show up in the WYSIWYG pane when you go back to edit the post. It’s there when you preview the HTML, but that shouldn’t be necessary if you just want to see where the cut belongs.

  36. Hi there,

    Any chance we can get a 1.5.x release with TinyMCE included? Or a TinyMCE plugin?

    I’m in desperate need of a WYSIWYG editor in wordpress and I don’t want to go the HTMLArea route

    Great work


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