[Bug 13808] New: Let users make whitespace visible


           Summary: Let users make whitespace visible
           Product: WebAppsWG
           Version: unspecified
          Platform: All
        OS/Version: All
            Status: NEW
          Severity: enhancement
          Priority: P2
         Component: HTML Editing APIs
        AssignedTo: ayg@aryeh.name
        ReportedBy: ayg@aryeh.name
         QAContact: sideshowbarker+html-editing-api@gmail.com
                CC: mike@w3.org, public-webapps@w3.org

Suggested by Alfonso Martínez de Lizarrondo:
Related to CSS, one feature that people request and that from my POV should
be done with CSS is the ability to see the "formating blocks", that's easy
to do with most of the elements by using a little background image in the
stylesheet and some border, but Opera used to be the only one able to format
<br>, and that's what people are requesting, to see a glyph where a line
ends like they can do in MS-Word. But I'm not sure that this relates to the
Editing APIs doc.

This is not something that should actually be in the HTML Editing APIs spec --
it belongs in CSS.  Perhaps something like whitespace-visibility: { visible |
invisible }, then maybe a pseudo-element like ::visible-whitespace that lets
authors control the color of the glyphs.  This would be fairly nontrivial to
define and implement, but it's worth thinking about as a feature for future

Actually, this is at least as useful for plaintext editing as for rich-text
editing.  It can be very useful for source code to be able to tell the
difference between tabs and spaces, say.  On Windows I used to use Notepad++
for code editing, and it had a nice option where all whitespace would have a
faint glyph on top of it: a centered dot for spaces, a little triangle or
something for tab, and a paragraph symbol for line breaks.  So this would
definitely be good to support for <textarea> too.  Of course, if white-space is
not pre or pre-wrap, it doesn't make sense to mark spaces/tabs/source newlines
specially, and you'd probably want to just mark <br>'s and the ends of blocks.

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Received on Wednesday, 17 August 2011 15:31:51 UTC