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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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  • Management

CKEditor handles raw HTML editing a little different. It adds a source button so you can switch between wysiwyg and source modes. Otherwise raw HTML is sanitised as expected.

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Nothing wrong with the current one really, users like simplicity but there looks like more options in this one. The old editor was spread out nicely at the top, all the options look squeezed together on this one.

Are the smilies actually popping up? Going by the picture they look like they are, I like how they appear at the side with the current editor.

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Is there a chance we could make the custom controls on the BBCode more robust? For example I'd like to be able to create a custom bbcode that presents the user with a dropdown to select the custom bbcode item to insert. I think it would be nice to be able to configure the custom bbcode entry method much like you can configure the datatype entry on an IPContent database.

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  • Management

[quote name='marklcfc' timestamp='1297190332']
Nothing wrong with the current one really, users like simplicity but there looks like more options in this one. The old editor was spread out nicely at the top, all the options look squeezed together on this one.Are the smilies actually popping up? Going by the picture they look like they are, I like how they appear at the side with the current editor.



As Matt said, the look of it will be skinned as we get close to final to tidy it up.

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I love the idea of saving your text too - I've lost count of the number of times I've accidentally gone "back" and lost post/comment/PM text.

I assume you will put 3.2.0 in the beta forum when the time comes? :wink:

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[quote name='Matt' timestamp='1297183976']
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.

That may be true in general, but doesn't really work out if you have custom BBCodes to allow users to make tables and such advanced things, unless you guys have already mapped support for that [which I don't see any sign of].


What made you choose CKEditor over other alternatives [TinyMCE]?

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Will the current parser be altered or upgraded to account for this? I've written a custom BBCode plugin and have had to wrangle with some of the changes made automatically to text (exclamation marks are HTML-escaped? copyright symbol automatically substituted?) and wonder if the parser has changed significantly. (Also, adding your own custom BBCode currently requires regex instead of using the built-in parser functions.)

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[quote name='Ryan H.' timestamp='1297205604']]That may be true in general, but doesn't really work out if you have custom BBCodes to allow users to make tables and such advanced things, unless you guys have already mapped support for that [which I don't see any sign of].What made you choose CKEditor over other alternatives [TinyMCE]?


Custom BBCode is already supported and you can still add buttons onto the toolbar. CKEditor also has inbuilt tools to add tables, etc. It would make sense to adjust your code to make use of these native features rather than ask IP.Board to wrangle a custom method.

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[quote name='Matt' timestamp='1297183976']
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.

you're wrong, plenty of people will like the opportunity to stick with pseudo-code

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Seriously, about damn time. Been saying this should be used for a infinite amount of time. I've used CKEditor for a long time now and it really is great. It creates semantic xhtml valid xhtml and doesn't do anything screwy. It even does a great job at handling the crap word throws at you. I've created a load of plugins it too and its really quite easy to do if you have knowledge of JS. Now tell me your using the jQuery adapter and moving to jQuery and I'll be in heaven :D. <br><br><br>

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TinyMCE too + very flexible formatting options.

How you will use <table> if HTML is disabled in ACP?

In the ACP will be any special settings? (toolbars, buttons, presets, etc.)

Example (this is my hook "TinyMCE for IP.Board (tinyipb)"):
tinymceforipboard.th.png

CKEditor also has inbuilt tools to add tables, etc ...

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I don't like how the B italic Underline etc options all disappear when switching to the other editor. I rarely ever type but use the above options.

Why the need to remove those options? You could just have a slimmed down version like the editor is on the blog editor I'm typing in now?

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