Jump to content
You're invited! Join our 4.6 Live Event on ZOOM 6/24 ×

Community

CKEditor 4 end of life - alternative editor consideration


Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

CKEditor 4 is reaching the end of life (source). Instead of jumping onto the CKEditor 5 bandwagon, I propose Invision consider an alternative editor. There are many well-established modern editors such as, for example, TinyMCE, Froala, Quill, and Redactor, to name a few. Any of these would make satisfactory alternatives.

 

CKEditor may be 'old school,' but it has become bloated, larger in file size and load time.  Most of the issues it encounters often have to do with responsive layouts on a mobile device and excessive load time. As mobile continues to dominate the landscape, I feel it may be prudent to focus on an editor development that has kept up successfully with the times with the least issues.

 

Changing the editor should not be expected in the next release. But a roadmap should be considered for a future transition.  Thank you for your time and consideration. 😀

Edited by Linux-Is-Best
clarity
Link to comment
Share on other sites

CKEditor 5 was made from scratch, and from what i've seen, it works really well. I don't see the point in moving to a different editor.

What we need is Invision to finally decide to migrate to the new version, but because it was made from scratch, t's not a simple upgrade, but rather its a migration and it will give them a lot of work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Myr said:

I'm good with anything that just works and where you aren't blocking the use of Grammarly... a service I pay for to assist with my um... ongoing typo issues.

Just want to say I would not use/trust that service. Think about what it does. Everything you type is keylogged. That may very well include your passwords, banking information, and more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

 

It's not easy to switch to CKEditor 5. 

Quote

When compared to its predecessor, CKEditor 5 should be considered a totally new editor. Every single aspect of it was redesigned — from installation, to integration, to features, to its data model, and finally to its API.

The trickiest migration challenge to be faced may be related to custom plugins you have developed for CKEditor 4. Although their concept may stay the same, their implementation will certainly be different and will require rewriting them from scratch.

The same may apply for third-party plugins which may not have been ported to CKEditor 5 yet.

Source: Migration from CKEditor 4

Edited by SeNioR-
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Back in the day (long ago), nearly every project and development I know about used CKEditor. In its heyday (gold age), WYSIWYG editors were still a relatively new concept (I feel old. ), and CKEditor was considered top of the line. Times have changed.

Ideally, you want your editor not to be the focus of your development. By that, I mean to say the editor should blend effortlessly in the background as something you do not notice (an afterthought). So many developments no longer use CKEditor because the editor itself often gets in the way.  I cannot count the many times when I have heard or experienced why something was not functioning right because of the editor.  Or why something could not be developed or extended because of the editor. The editor (CKEditor) is not the afterthought it should be.  Even here on Invision, the editor and its limited functionality has proven problematic by the sheer request to work around it https://invisioncommunity.com/search/?q=editor&quick=1&type=forums_topic&nodes=499

Speaking personally, I love where Invision is going. I admire their creativity in where they are taking the development. I enjoy many of the features and am looking forward to the new features they have suggested they have planned. But I dislike the editor. It is my 'pet peeve' for Invision. I know of only two developments that still use CKEditor (the other is not a forum, and they use CKEditor 5). In both of them, I dislike the editor (v4 and 5). Why? Because in both of them, nearly all the issues I encounter, all the bugs I stumble upon, and all lack of functionality and adaptability surround CKEditor.  Besides Invision, only vBulletin, whose market share is shrinking and development has become stagnant, concerning forum software, still uses CKEditor.   

I do not expect Invision to change editors overnight. As SeNioR- pointed out, it is not easy to change editors, not even to CKEditor 5.  So regardless of the discission (whether we stay with CKEditor or change editors), we are still looking at a large transition. We have two (2) years to think this through and explore our options before CKEditor 4 reaches the end of life. Plenty of time to think this over.

You'll note I did not specify any particular editor (besides a few examples I gave). My request is not to promote any specific one, only that an exploratory investigation be conducted and that Invision considers their options.

 

Edited by Linux-Is-Best
clarity
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't pretend to know much about the different types of editors, but I actually like CKEditor. There's been no issues, that I've personally experienced with it.

IPS should base their decision on a mix of things, not what's now trendy or fashionable.

I'm not suggesting anyone feels this way, but I do know CKEditor isn't something that will disappear over night. It's also well supported, has useful add-ons. If, other editors are stable, user friendly, responsive and isn't going to fall off the face of the earth then fair enough.

But I don't feel a change is needed for the sake of it, it's got to be balanced and we'll thought out.

Requiring to change again in the near future can put people off, I don't think members care about this function - provided it's simply, easy to use and does its job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Joey_M said:

I can't pretend to know much about the different types of editors, but I actually like CKEditor. There's been no issues, that I've personally experienced with it.

IPS should base their decision on a mix of things, not what's now trendy or fashionable.

I'm not suggesting anyone feels this way, but I do know CKEditor isn't something that will disappear over night. It's also well supported, has useful add-ons. If, other editors are stable, user friendly, responsive and isn't going to fall off the face of the earth then fair enough.

But I don't feel a change is needed for the sake of it, it's got to be balanced and we'll thought out.

Requiring to change again in the near future can put people off, I don't think members care about this function - provided it's simply, easy to use and does its job.

To clarify:

  • TinyMCE - since 2004 (17 years)
  • Froala - The parent company (Idera, Inc.) since 2000 (21 years), the editor since 2013 (8 years)
  • Quill - since 2013 (8 years)
  • Redactor - since 2009 (12 years)

Nothing I have suggested is a short-term 'fly-by-night' type of company. They are it for the long run. 😉 

Edited by Linux-Is-Best
clarity
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Management

We're very much aware of CKEditor 5.

As mentioned above, the migration to v5 isn't a simple case of dropping in the new files. We'd need to re-code all of our custom plugins that handle many things including embedding, drag and drop uploading and much more.

CKEditor 4 is supported until 2023. While CKEditor 5 brings many useful new things, it's not urgent enough for us to "down tools" and focus a 6-12 week block on it.

It's on our roadmap along with other javascript improvements that we want to develop and deploy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I honestly don't give a sh*t about what editor is used as long the user experience is satisfactory, and I think it is at the moment.

Of course if migrating to V5 requires as much work as migrating to another editor IPS should definitely benchmark all options and I have no reason to believe they won't. But it is really their problem in the end.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

For me, it is not important which editor to use, but how exactly it will be customized by IPS.

The main thing I hope for is that IPS won't carry over all the same bugs that they added to the current editor and haven't been fixing for years. Such as the complete inability to delete mentions in mobile Chrome, for example:


As well as get rid of additional overcomplications, such as replacing existing editor functions. For example, fast and easy URL embedding on clumsy and slow:

👍 image.png.64b8e263498b9f56fa7ddc4674940e60.png  


👎 image.thumb.png.fa1d3a68383653d764d67326bd355229.png

Edited by Mr 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Matt said:

We're very much aware of CKEditor 5.

As mentioned above, the migration to v5 isn't a simple case of dropping in the new files. We'd need to re-code all of our custom plugins that handle many things including embedding, drag and drop uploading and much more.

CKEditor 4 is supported until 2023. While CKEditor 5 brings many useful new things, it's not urgent enough for us to "down tools" and focus a 6-12 week block on it.

It's on our roadmap along with other javascript improvements that we want to develop and deploy.

Hello @Matt

Thank you for following up with my requested inquiry (and feature request to change the editor in the future).  I understand we have two (2) years to consider this, plenty of time for the development team to explore their options. In fact, that is why I made the request now, as opposed to later. I understood changing an editor would be an in-depth process and not a decision that could be made hastily. So it made perfect sense to make my inquiry now, as opposed to making this inquiry moments before CKEditor becomes the end of life.

I am currently using CKEditor 5 in another development. I have not been amused anymore than I am with CKEditor 4.  Most notably, the issues I experience have to do with how CKEditor works with mobile designs and layouts.  As I previously said, ideally, you want your editor not to be the focus of your development. By that, I mean to say the editor should blend effortlessly in the background as something you do not notice (an afterthought). So many developments no longer use CKEditor because the editor itself often gets in the way. I cannot count how many times when I have heard or experienced why something was not functioning right because of the editor. Or why something could not be developed or extended because of the editor. The editor (CKEditor) is not the afterthought it should be. Even here on Invision, the editor and its limited functionality has proven problematic by the sheer request to work around it https://invisioncommunity.com/search/?q=editor&quick=1&type=forums_topic&nodes=499

I want the good folks within Invision to know that I and many here respect where you have been taking your development. I like all the many features you have incorporated, and I am excited to see where Invision may be going in the future.  But the editor (CKEditor) is indeed something of an annoyance. I currently have no doubt when Invision decided to use CKEditor; at the time, it was the best option available. Times change.

I do not expect Invision to change editors overnight. As previously pointed out, it is not easy to change editors or upgrade editors. I do not expect an editor change in the next release.  My request was for the far-off future, perhaps Invision Community 5.0 (whenever that happens). Again, we have a whole two (2) years before CKEditor reaches the end of life. Plenty of time for the Invision team to explore their options available.

I hope (and request) that Invision explores their options during that time and hopefully decides on a different editor in the future.

 

Edited by Linux-Is-Best
why does autocorrect keep wanting to change the word understand to under? lol
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, jesuralem said:

I honestly don't give a sh*t about what editor is used as long the user experience is satisfactory, and I think it is at the moment.

Of course if migrating to V5 requires as much work as migrating to another editor IPS should definitely benchmark all options and I have no reason to believe they won't. But it is really their problem in the end.

Yes.

I invite everyone to check out the suggested demo I linked in my OP post.  Please, do, test the page load times, responsiveness, and mobile usage of the editors.  For those of you who are more skilled and who are able, I also invite you to check out the underlined code.  Do compare and see for yourself (absolutely).

These, of course, are only a small handful of possibilities.  There are many other alternative editors available, and if anyone would like to suggest something else, please do.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Mr 13 said:

It took me a while to realize that the whole page was the demo and that you could change anything on the page.  Usually, when I see an editor demo, they confine it into a box somewhere on the page, not the whole page.  I am not complaining. I am only pointing out that fact, so others who visit your suggestion are not confused about where the demo is located.  😉

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

@Mr 13 bring up a good topic and that is if IPS should focus on just an editor, or something that can also work for content creation.

Having a good way to write text is of course very important, it is the basis of a community after all, but it does not work very well for content creation. There is a reason why you have a ton of page builders as plugins for Wordpress and there is a good reason why Wordpress dropped the text editor in favor of Gutenberg as the standard for content creation. That is because text will not cut it anymore.

If IPS want to push Pages further I think a very important step for that is to add a Page Builder. While we have the ability to create blocks to create pretty much anything we want, the majority of users don't know how to do that or want to build blocks that way. I think that is holding Pages back a lot to be honest and I think adding such features would do wonders for the growth of sales for Pages.

Not a lot of people use Pages however, or work a lot with content creation, but it might be good to keep in mind that Pages, with some improvements to reduce the initial step in the learning curve, blow Wordpress out of the water any day of the week in terms of functionality and power out of the box. It is to me a very big segment that IPS currently are not dipping their toes very much into, but they should 🙂

Moving towards adding a page builder will mean some challenges, because some areas will benefit greatly from page builders (blog posts, pages, descriptions in Downloads/Gallery and so on), while other areas will see a negative aspect (comments, forums, PM's). A Balance has to be set, which can either be to have both a text editor and a page builder, which has its own set of complications (what should be added where, should users be allowed to switch, maintaining updates for two products...), or to have a page builder with different sets of features based on where it is being used.

Overall I hope IPS are exploring options beyond just a text editor for the future of IPS and I think now is an excellent time to do so.

Edited by Jimi Wikman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I think there are two different use cases:

  • Editor for user-generated content. Should be simple, not too many options, clear and foolproof. I think that the actual IPS editor fulfills the requirement.
  • Editor for articles wrote by admin. Should be powerful, have many options (text positioning, blocks, columns, grids, custom code pieces, custom styles, extendable with SEO and other plugins, have additional extensions via Marketplace etc.) For this case, the actual IPS editor is not enough. 
Edited by Sonya*
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 5/13/2021 at 5:54 AM, Sonya* said:

I think there are two different use cases:

  • Editor for user-generated content. Should be simple, not too many options, clear and foolproof. I think that the actual IPS editor fulfills the requirement.
  • Editor for articles wrote by admin. Should be powerful, have many options (text positioning, blocks, columns, grids, custom code pieces, custom styles, extendable with SEO and other plugins, have additional extensions via Marketplace etc.) For this case, the actual IPS editor is not enough. 

 

I use CKEditor 5 already on another development (outside of Invision). As an editor for user-generated content, it sometimes gets in the way and often in more ways than its competitors. I accept that no editor (or software in general) will be perfect. Issues happen. It is, as they say, 'an imperfect world.' But I have discovered through experience just how much more imperfect CKEditor can be.  

 

I am not going to tell you it is the worse editor on the market. But it is also not the greatest either, and I believe that opinion has gone well beyond just a personal preference. I continuously receive comments and issues from users about the editor, notably how it will render vastly differently between mobile browsers and browser versions excessively. This wouldn't be so bad if we did not have to wait months for updates. Experiencing issues that can last months on the internet is painful. On average, 2-4 months between patch fixes. https://github.com/ckeditor/ckeditor5/releases and https://ckeditor.com/cke4/release-notes Add in the fact that a development like Invision needs to test these patch fixes before releasing them. And you have another 1-2 months on top of your wait (for an average of a 3-6 month turnaround).

 

When you compare CKEditor's release cycle to Redactor, for example, which releases a patch between 1-2 months (sometimes every few weeks), you begin to understand that a more active and modern development will experience less of a turnaround. Even when incorporating the time used by a development like Invision to test things out on their end. https://imperavi.com/redactor/log/

 

I absolutely agree. When looking for an editor for articles written by admin, we can do better. But I also believe when looking for an editor for user-generated content, we can also do better than CKEditor. An editor should go largely unnoticed and be simple and easy to use, as you have said. I agree. On the surface, one would assume that should be true for CKEditor. But from experience, it (CKEditor) is what often gets in the way, and the resolves are few and far between.

 

 

Edited by Linux-Is-Best
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is one option that could be considered and I am here to... firmly... attempt to discourage it.

It is possible to roll your own editor from scratch. SMF did it back in the day for 2.0 though it was realised how much pain it would be to maintain and it will be dropped in 2.1 (and the bbcode-based editor they moved to has many of the 'standard' WYSIWYG editor issues that most contentEditable based editors have). The LMS Moodle rolled its own a few years ago to get away from TinyMCE but it's not without its pain, and even now it does some strange things - which is awkward given that it is implemented throughout the platform everywhere for basically any non-trivial text entry. Some very strange bugs manifested.

IPS has the technical skills in house to roll their own editor... please don't.

Would I suggest CKEditor 5? I don't know. Having done extensive stuff in CKEditor 4 in the past, I know I have huge reservations using CKEditor again in a project - but I have similar ones for using TinyMCE as well for much the same reason - they're pretty massive and bring their own maintenance nightmares.

Gutenberg on the other hand I'd firmly discourage for a general purpose editing experience; it's viable for admin level content creation. IPS Pages for example potentially might leverage something on that scale - but for general posting? Probably not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, Arantor said:

There is one option that could be considered and I am here to... firmly... attempt to discourage it.

It is possible to roll your own editor from scratch. SMF did it back in the day for 2.0 though it was realised how much pain it would be to maintain and it will be dropped in 2.1 (and the bbcode-based editor they moved to has many of the 'standard' WYSIWYG editor issues that most contentEditable based editors have). The LMS Moodle rolled its own a few years ago to get away from TinyMCE but it's not without its pain, and even now it does some strange things - which is awkward given that it is implemented throughout the platform everywhere for basically any non-trivial text entry. Some very strange bugs manifested.

IPS has the technical skills in house to roll their own editor... please don't.

Would I suggest CKEditor 5? I don't know. Having done extensive stuff in CKEditor 4 in the past, I know I have huge reservations using CKEditor again in a project - but I have similar ones for using TinyMCE as well for much the same reason - they're pretty massive and bring their own maintenance nightmares.

Gutenberg on the other hand I'd firmly discourage for a general purpose editing experience; it's viable for admin level content creation. IPS Pages for example potentially might leverage something on that scale - but for general posting? Probably not.

Thank you for bringing this up. I completely agree. 💡

The ordeal from that particular development (Simple Machines Forums) was a nightmare. It is still a nightmare, and the development has been working on v2.1 for over a decade with no release in sight.  I agree. Their efforts in trying to take on their own editor have more or less killed that development. I do not think anyone here has suggested that Invision try to do the same (nor should they).

The suggestion was that Invision looks into deploying a different editor and has nothing remotely associated with asking them to develop their own. I don't think anyone would wish for that (I certainly would not).

As you pointed out, CKEditor has, throughout the years, left a lot to be desired. I suggested that another editor be considered because I also have huge reservations about using CKEditor again in a project. When I started using CKEditor 5, I was hopeful. I bought into the hype that it was a redesigned editor built from the ground up. But that hope has dwindled and is long gone. Many of the issues I had with CKEditor, including its development phase and cycle, carried on. Because at the end of the day, it is still the same development by overall the same company with the same developers, making some of the same mistakes.

Thank you for adding your thoughts on the matter. I am very grateful you brought that up. 👍

Edited by Linux-Is-Best
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/16/2021 at 10:01 PM, Linux-Is-Best said:

Their efforts in trying to take on their own editor have more or less killed that development. I do not think anyone here has suggested that Invision try to do the same (nor should they).

That wasn't what killed SMF 2.1 - but that's a debate for somewhere else (perhaps we can continue this on TAZ?)

I know no-one suggested it. I was getting in ahead of the otherwise-inevitable suggestion because no doubt someone was going to suggest it with crystalised examples of 'why you shouldn't'.

Even CKEditor has written articles explaining the rationale for dropping aspects of the browser 'helping' before reimplementing the functionality on its own because browser support for this is frankly awful.

On 5/16/2021 at 10:01 PM, Linux-Is-Best said:

As you pointed out, CKEditor has, throughout the years, left a lot to be desired.

I would actually suggest that the entire concept of trying to do it is somewhat a fool's errand. Google Docs is actually moving away from using HTML to render docs going forward because as far as they're concerned, they've reached the limit of what can be done and that ripping it out and doing something different is actually viable.

 

What it ultimately comes down to is which audience you're actually trying to target. The majority of commenters in threads don't really need particularly rich editing. You need the basics, sure, and some richer elements like quote handling, as well as some functionality for embedding media with *some* choices to make formatting. But the vast majority of *replies* do not need to be delightfully rich in content because the general nature is that commenters in threads are doing a different kind of content creation to topic creators.

Now, topic creators - and by extension with things like IP Pages, IP Blogs, and related 'opening posts' where you expect and want richer media options - and where CKEditor isn't actually a poor fit. Neither is Gutenberg, incidentally. They all have their foibles, and you're picking the least worst choice for your situation.

All of the suggestions on the table are reasonable alternatives for some subset of the target market - the question is whether you care most about the creators and giving them all the options, or the commenters on content.

I also think this is a complex case because the people who are responding in this thread are going to be predominantly the content creator types, who will obviously want richer and more interesting content creation tools - rather than being the much-larger segment of people who will simply interact on the forum.

I find it interesting that after decades, we're still looking at the core posting experience and going 'Hmm... that's not quite right'.

Tell you what I'd do at this point: I'd make it pluggable and let users decide what they want to use, since they all interchange raw HTML at this point, why not just let the site admins pick which one(s) they want to use - allow for CKEditor 5 for admins, and I dunno, QuillJS for regular users? (Quill has the advantage that it's deliberately set up to have a limited surface area and focus on what it offers rather than trying to be rich and detailed)

The only pain points then become interoperability with existing tools and things like drag and drop. But it's an idea to throw out there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm flabbergasted. From a user perspective, I've been on many forums using different editors (eg. Redactor) and frankly speaking I see no significant difference! I've encountered various bugs/inconveniences on all of them and no editor stood up for me. So I vote to keep CKEditor but upgrade it to version 5 in later IPS build.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We use technologies, such as cookies, to customise content and advertising, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic to the site. We also share information about your use of our site with our trusted social media, advertising and analytics partners. See more about cookies and our Privacy Policy