This is an archived discussion page for the WYSIWYG page.

Stands for What You See Is What You Get, and is the typical way of editing documents.

Well, in fact this wasn't always the case. In the Bad Old Days, when word processing (for example), people used a non-wysiwyg editor, and if they were lucky they could create a "preview" of what it actually looked like.

Then came the Not So Bad Old Days, when people could see and edit their document in its true presentation (although because the software wasn't always great, the structure of the document wasn't all that great).

Wiki - let the world contribute... in techie markup?#

Along comes Wiki... and the bizarre expectation that non-technical end users are going to want to fiddle around with square brackets and double underscores and more. All because the software developers can't come up with a decent WYSIWYG editor. The Wiki software developers around the world are imposing what is almost a programming language - to be exact, a markup language - on Joe Schmo.

Let's take steps forwards, not backwards. #

  • Wiki content is simple enough to allow a wysiwyg editor.
  • The whole point about Wiki is to enourage community editing. Why make it exclusive to techies?
  • You don't have to exclusively offer wysiwyg OR source editing. Why not offer both in parallel? Macromedia Dreamweaver, for example (which by the way has many annoying user interface aspects) does in fact have great parallel source/wysiwyg editing.

(If you can't go the whole wysiwyg hog, you can implement partial wysiwyg - such as a live preview)

Why Wysiwyg can work for Wiki#

It's only when you support totally arbitrary styles and layouts that wysiwyg gets difficult. For example, this wiki has 3 styles of header: small, medium and large. MS Word, on the other hand, allows you to place text in boxes anywhere on the page with different colour letters and superscript double-underlined commented STUFF etc. Hence Wiki sites have a clean consistent style across all pages (good), and MS Word documents have messy and impenetrable formatting structures (bad). Because Wiki markup limits what you can do with text formatting, implementing a wysiwyg editor that (a) doesn't mess things up and (b) doesn't get in the way of the techies should be relatively easy.

Flabbergasted #

I'm flabbergasted there are no decent wysiwyg implementations in any of the Wiki engines out there. If I had the time I'd write one myself - although I don't think it's the easiest thing in the world to do well. But not the hardest, either - has no one thought of a Java applet for cross-platform in-browser editing? Or even just a bunch of "insert link" and "insert picture" buttons for assisting with creating source markup.

-- SteveS

take a look at the WikiWizard applet.

--Christoph Sauer

Many commercial wikis already have WYSIWYG editing. In fact, someone is already writing one for JSPWiki...

-- JanneJalkanen

I'm sure this is the wrong place to comment about this, but I found the AdvancedEditingShowcase page very busy (seems to be a problem with many wiki pages everywhere) and couldn't find a working WYSIWYG editor anywhere. Perhaps it's because I'm using Safari on the mac? I didn't want to complicate the page any further, so am rambling here. I did find a field allowing the editing of HTML source; not quite what I was looking for. --SteveS

Yes, it's a bit busy, but that's because someone is just working on it: it's not a part of JSPWiki yet. But I would be *very* pleased to include a WYSIWYG editor in JSPWiki. If you can help, please do so!

-- JanneJalkanen

Perhaps I'll get some time after I've finished figuring out how to set up JSPWiki with email notification. Somewhat rusty with Linux and Tomcat in general, so it might be a while...
My comment about the page being busy was a general comment about many Wiki pages I've seen where so many people have contributed to the page that it has become virtually unreadable - the contributions have been "sprinkled" all over the place and the main theme of the page is lost - "You can't see the wood for the trees".
I think this is what the RefactorMe page link is for. However, for my own Wiki I plan to encourage a page structure where I request comments and discussions to go in a section at the bottom (like how I've structured this page) and only genuine edits to the article go in the main section. Perhaps encouraging a defined page structure in this way will reduce the need for RefactorMe in future? -- SteveS

Hey, we welcome all WikiGardener's here :-). Feel free to rewrite AdvancedEditingShowcase; or mark it as "RefactorMe", or do whatever. I agree that WikiPages in general do become unreadable, if people don't bother to maintain them.

The other possibility is to make a Discussion-page, separate from the actual article page.

-- JanneJalkanen


What is the date on this discussion? I see the AdvancedEditingShowcase has a demo of this feature, and there is a page HowToManuallyIntegrateFCKEditor about how to manually put something into an existing package. Is this integrated? If not, then when?


It's been integrated, but not tested very well. Check out the latest CVS, install FCK to "scripts/fck", and set "jspwiki.editor=FCK".

-- JanneJalkanen

You may want to see my page on integrating TinyMCE. It's very simple to install and configure, and appears to work very well.

--David Uctaa, 09-Jun-2006

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« This page (revision-1) was last changed on 20-Apr-2007 04:47 by David Au