WYSIWYM Editors – Time to bid adieu to WYSIWYG Editors

WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors have been booming up in the market lately. Often people get confused,as to use which one. Quite frequently, they end up using expensive third party editors, with cool features and UI. Fair enough to fool your clients.

One important thing that we miss out here is the content of the editors that go to the back end. While giving the user, full control over the html and allowing them to play around with the markup can create serious problem, especially when you plan to migrate your CMS (Content Management System) styling or theme. The markups generated by these editors are not semantically correct and you can expect a hectic schedule ahead fixing UI issues on published contents.

One of the best ones I’ve seen so far is the open source alternative, TinyMCE by Moxiecode. It is solely based on JavaScript, which means that it doesn’t require any plug-ins or extra programs to run (the way it should be, in my opinion).

Another alternative is XStandard, which uses a plug-in for advanced control over the editing. Unfortunately, it only works on PCs.

WYSIWYG Hell problem had been there in this world wide web for a long time. But now most of the CMS Administrators have caught up this issue. This problem paved its way to WYSIWYM (What You See Is What You Mean) editors.

WYSIWYM Editors are still WYSIWYG Editors, but the one’s capable of generating a semantic markup. Thereby giving the user the flexibility of designing whatever they like and the CMS Administrators to sit back and relax, not worrying much about the markups. A WYSIWYM editor won’t solve the problem of people using their tools the wrong way, but I believe it will give people a better understanding of semantics.

One such WYSIWYM Editor is the WYMEditor.

There are a few limitations, of course. This is an early version, after all. Some of the issue’s are:

  • Table accessibility. There is no way to add elements and attributes (th, caption, scope, etc) needed for accessibility to data tables.
  • Table resizing. It is possible to size tables by dragging handles. Doing so is reflected in the markup. That needs to be filtered out at some stage before saving the page to the database.
  • Incorrect nesting of lists. When you create nested lists, the current list element is closed before the next level ul or ol is inserted.

Aside from those issues, which are very minor compared to the nightmarish markup most WYSIWYG editors spew out, WYMeditor is looking great. I really hope this editor catches on.

Looks like its time we buckle up and migrate the WYSIWYG Editors to WYSIWYM one’s.

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