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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: sharing microsoft experience
Date Tue, 27 Nov 2001 19:27:24 GMT
Andre Ulrich wrote:
> Hi all,
> I just want to mention that OEone develop some kind of Abiword Plugin
> for Mozilla. At least there is a screenshot:
> Abiword itself is in active development and is nearly plattform
> independent. It is possible to import and export all kinds of format
> such as XHTML, rtf, tex etc..

Probably I didn't make myself clear enough on my previous postings.

I find an inline WYSIWYG XHTML editor almost useless: yeah, it would be
an advancement over frontpage for many people since they don't have to
fire up another application, but this is not the point.

The absolutely brilliant concept behind IE 5.5+ "contentEditable" is
that editing can now be *granular*!

I can selectively allow users to edit parts of the page. And *ONLY*
those parts.

So, for example, depending on your role (determined after a login,
IP-matching, client-side certificate, crypto javacard, whatever), I can
selectively allow you to edit parts of the page (for example, the
article title, subtitle and text) without you to edit the rest of the
page (the day of submission, the navigation bar, the banner stuff)

With a free-form tool, you are not helping the user: you are probably
confusing him more than you'd do with a simple textarea.

Usability is *NOT* matter of how many features you have, but how much
you can empower the user. In this case, an editor, somebody who is used
to paper or M$ Word, but is normally bugged by the free-form-ness of
word even if they never used anything more structured that guides them.

In fact, a form-based editor (something we would ultimately consider a
technological crap) is probably more useful than a fully free-form
editing tool.

contentEditable brings the two worlds together: you have immediate
visual feedback on what you type (unlike forms) but you can't do many
mistakes since the editor forces you to edit only those parts that you
are allowed to (unlike free-form editing solutions).

If mozilla clones this feature (hopefully in an interoperable way
between IE) it's likely to become *the* cross-platform editing
technology of choice for almost all useful content management systems.

Unfortunately, for what I could observe from the mozilla source code,
there is no such thing in place and I have a very hard time estimating
how much effort would it be required in order to enable it.


Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<>                             Friedrich Nietzsche

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