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IP.Board 3.2.0: New Text Editor

Nearly ten years ago, IP.Board shipped with a pretty advanced functional editor that allowed you to quickly format your text in a rough "WYSIWYG" format. This was an exciting technology. As the main browsers started adding better support for this functionality we updated our own code to keep up.

The internet is a constantly evolving space and web browsers and technology rise and fall and keeping up with these changes gets harder and harder. This is why we've added a new editor to 3.2.0 that is developed by a dedicated team outside of Invision Power Services.

IP.Board 3.2.0 will come with the excellent CKEditor as standard. It's a well developed and well tested editor that is very extensible. It's constantly updated which means that we simply have to update the version that comes with IP.Board to get all the latest fixes.

In general use, the new editor is much better at "WYSIWYG" (rich text editing) than our own current implementation and we've extended it further.

Please keep in mind that the screenshots and videos below are using a very early development copy of IP.Board 3.2.0 and the editor will likely be skinned in a little more to match IP.Board before we release.

All the usual IP.Board tools are present
We've written a lot of plug-ins so that no functionality is lost. You can still create custom BBcodes and add buttons to the editor easily via the Admin CP and you can still use your own smilies.




Switching between modes
We love the new editor and as it supports nearly all major browsers, it's the first choice for replying and adding new topics. However, there are times when you want to edit the BBCode directly and with that in mind, you can switch between rich text editing mode and simple text mode without a page reload.



Auto Saving Text
A new and really handy feature we've added is auto save. As you type, the editor checks to see if there's any new content and if there is, it'll ping off via Ajax to save what you've written. If anything happens to your page, upon reloading you'll see it's stored your content and you can quickly restore it. You won't lose another post to a browser crash or server time out.


IP.Board saves as you go.


A refresh without posting allows you to view and optionally restore any content that has been auto saved.

We hope that you enjoy the new editor in IP.Board 3.2.0 and the extra functionality we've added. We're excited to use it ourselves!
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Awesome news! :)

One thing though that i noticed, it would be cool that when you switch from rich text editing mode to simple text mode, that you still have buttons that you can click. Pretty much the way current editor works, if you are in simple text mode, you can select some word, click bold button and then see your word being wrapped in:

[b][/b]

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[quote name='theGaVrA' timestamp='1297183739']
Awesome news! :)One thing though that i noticed, it would be cool that when you switch from rich text editing mode to simple text mode, that you still have buttons that you can click. Pretty much the way current editor works, if you are in simple text mode, you can select some word, click bold button and then see your word being wrapped in:


I really don't think it's worth it to be honest. My hope is that you'll just use the RTE now it's more stable and accurate. I can't imagine anyone that would rather work with pseudo-code. The plain editing mode is only really there for manual clean up or fiddly edits.

[b][/b]

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Excellent ... well done on firstly, accepting the need for a change, and secondly, changing to something that is flexible yet extensible so it can be given the IPS "twist"!!!

So ... when can we start using it ... lol :thumbsup:

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Awesome, simply awesome!

One question reminds, will it be used throughout all of the apps such as IP. Content asap as well?

Really, this is excellent news! :)

Thank you guys, looking forward to 3.2 now even more excited!

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[quote name='Gaffney' timestamp='1297184036']
It looks good but the default look, looks a bit cluttered. Can it still be edited ?


CKEditor is infinitely editable. You can even create your own skin - or you can edit the "ips_config.js" to remove or add buttons. It really is a great text editor.

[quote name='CycleChat' timestamp='1297184168']
Excellent ... well done on firstly, accepting the need for a change, and secondly, changing to something that is flexible yet extensible so it can be given the IPS "twist"!!!So ... when can we start using it ... lol :thumbsup:


Thanks Shaun. We're pretty excited about this. We made no secret that trying to keep our editor going was hard work due to the constant changes in the web-o-sphere. "Outsourcing" to a well maintained product is the best option for us.

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Looks very good - But I do think that the one thing that could do with a bit of changing is keeping the buttons on the simple text mode so that the functionality is there quickly for using when viewing in simple text mode.

Other than that, Looks good. Glad you made the decision to outsource :)

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Eh, I absolutely hate WYSIWYG editors - I despise the MS Word type formatting they all use, and generally uselessness. Will the switch between RTE and BBCode remember your choice?

One other thing: If 'complex' codes are all parsed inline in the editor, then we're talking. If not, then this really IS going to cause confusion for users - they'll wonder why they are seeing code when it shouldn't be there since everything else is in caps.

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Will developers need to change anything in our custom applications to support this, or will all of the old methods we use map to the way this new editor handles text?

Any chance we can finally make certain bbcode buttons appear only in those sections where they are allowed to function? So if we say you can only use the bold bbcode in posts, the button won't show up in any other editor?

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[quote name='Michael' timestamp='1297186291']
Will developers need to change anything in our custom applications to support this, or will all of the old methods we use map to the way this new editor handles text?Any chance we can finally make certain bbcode buttons appear only in those sections where they are allowed to function? So if we say you can only use the bold bbcode in posts, the button won't show up in any other editor?


Matt said he's going to post a separate blog entry for developer specific stuff. They have made changes to make editor integration easier in third-party apps.

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[quote name='Black-Elmo' timestamp='1297186501']
What about mobile users. When trying the demo of the editor on the developers page using my iPhone it said that the browser was incompatible


We do not currently support our wysiwyg editor on the mobile and probably won't with this new editor either. Mobile is best kept as light and simple as possible.

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[quote name='Black-Elmo' timestamp='1297186501']
What about mobile users. When trying the demo of the editor on the developers page using my iPhone it said that the browser was incompatible




http://cksource.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=16676&start=10

Not sure how much it's true.

CKEditor will not work on your crappy iphone until Apple implement the ECMA script spec properly in mobile Safari. That will likely never happen and less so if you do not do something about it and hassle Apple customer support by email about it.

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Mobile users and non compatible browsers will get a plain text area so they can still make a post. As Charles said, I plan on writing up a developer blog with integration details.

I have disabled raw HTML editing as I felt it would confuse most users. You can add it back in by ediing a single config file.

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[quote name='Matt' timestamp='1297188533']
Mobile users and non compatible browsers will get a plain text area so they can still make a post. As Charles said, I plan on writing up a developer blog with integration details.


Great :)


[quote name='Matt' timestamp='1297188533']
I have disabled raw HTML editing as I felt it would confuse most users. You can add it back in by ediing a single config file.


Okay - so does that mean that third party apps that allow raw html will now require a config file change - or will this be switchable from the ACP.

Reason I ask is that we use Michael's app with Raw HTML and that would mean that his app would no longer be edit free.

Hopefully it will be switchable (as it is now - so not sure how it is confusing to most users, as users do not see it unless enabled by the admin unsure.gif )



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