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Re: What are we trying to solve with document.designMode?

From: Nathan <nathan@webr3.org>
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2011 16:20:25 +0100
Message-ID: <4DB6E2B9.6010605@webr3.org>
To: Simon Pieters <simonp@opera.com>
CC: public-html-comments@w3.org, benjamin.poulain@nokia.com
Simon Pieters wrote:
> Note: Personal comment, not a WG response.
> 
> On Tue, 26 Apr 2011 07:59:50 +0200, <benjamin.poulain@nokia.com> wrote:
> 
>> Hello,
>>
>> I was looking at behavior differences between browsers and the spec 
>> regarding document.designMode.
>>
>> The way the attribute is defined in the spec makes it just another way 
>> to formulate contentEditable for the document. With such a definition, 
>> it seems overkill to have it since there are already 2 more generic 
>> ways to express the same thing: contentEditable and CSS's user-modify.
>>
>> The implementation differs from the specification in the sense that 
>> you cannot override the designMode by a child with contentEditable. See:
>> -https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=22036
>> -https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=462735
>>
>> According to its documentation, the way designMode works on Internet 
>> Explorer is yet another behavior: 
>> http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms533720%28VS.85%29.aspx
>>
>> With my current understanding of the problem, I think this should be 
>> removed from the specification or explicitly deprecated. The 
>> differences between released browser make the attribute unreliable for 
>> web authors. I could not find in the archives why designMode was added 
>> to the spec, I would be interested to the rationale behind this feature.
> 
> designMode is needed for Web compat. If the spec doesn't match browsers, 
> please file spec bugs.

.. and on this topic, I was thinking last night that if the browsers 
were to implement or make available a way for end users to turn design 
mode on (say a context menu option, or a small button), then this 
feature may naturally become far more used and spur on quite a bit of 
innovation on the content editing front.

additionally, it would be nice if there was a clear way to mark parts of 
a document as potentially editable, such that when that designMode was 
entered in to, only certain parts of the document became editable - this 
I feel would be a *really* useful feature.

background: I've been using contentEditable & designMode on HTML and 
text documents for a while, in particular I cooked up 6 or 7 
bookmarklets which turn design mode on, and also do basic webdav 
operations to create new files, put/save/update, delete and so forth, 
hooked them up to a webdav enabled endpoint over https with client cert 
authentication, and have found it a huge time saver and incredibly nice 
to use.

Best,

Nathan
Received on Tuesday, 26 April 2011 15:21:58 GMT

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