W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > June 2011

[whatwg] Handling of collapsed whitespace in contenteditable

From: Ehsan Akhgari <ehsan@mozilla.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2011 18:13:35 -0400
Message-ID: <4DFFC60F.8050707@mozilla.com>
On 11-06-20 6:00 PM, Aryeh Gregor wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 5:32 PM, Ehsan Akhgari<ehsan at mozilla.com>  wrote:
>> There's a very good reason why existing browser engines have to resort to
>> &nbsp; hacks.  It's the only practical way to make sure that "foo__bar"
>> (s/_/ /) entered into an editable element would appear the intended way when
>> the innerHTML of the editable area is submitted to a server and later
>> displayed in another documents.
>
> Is that really such a problem?  At worst, there will be annoying
> mismatches between the same content when it's editable and not
> editable.  Usually these won't really mess up the document, but if the
> author notices and compares in a debugger, they'll easily be able to
> figure out that the different white-space value is what's causing the
> problem, and be able to fix it.

I think so, yes.  There are lots of people who use the space key to 
format the output to match what they want it to look like, and using 
preformatted whitespace means that what they would get is not what they 
would see on the screen.

 > WebKit already handles&nbsp;
> differently in contenteditable and not -- have they received any
> complaints from authors about it?  Granted, that discrepancy isn't as
> drastic as white-space: normal vs. pre-wrap.

I'm not talking about handling non-breaking spaces differently in 
editable sections (I do believe that's a problem, but it's not relevant 
to my point).  I'm talking about using ASCII space characters and 
relying on preformatted whitespace to format stuff correctly in editable 
areas.  Since preformatted whitespace is not the default, the generated 
HTML fragment would render completely differently in non-editable mode.

> I'd have thought the bigger problem would be making hand-authored HTML
> contenteditable.  pre-wrap would seriously mangle it if it uses any
> indentation, and there might be lots of that out on the web.

That is also a valid concern.

> On Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 5:47 PM, Smylers<Smylers at stripey.com>  wrote:
>> Can you detect when an author has set white-space: pre-wrap, and specify
>> that browsers have the sane behaviour in that case?
>
> That's effectively how it already works, except in IE.

True, but I agree with Smylers in that we need to specify that behavior.

Cheers,
Ehsan
Received on Monday, 20 June 2011 15:13:35 UTC

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