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I found interesting tool for shared web page editing, dotEdit, at http://comet.it.bond.edu.au/dotedit/.

Try basic editing demo. You can just click on (specially marked) paragraph, it changes to updatable text window, and you can update it right there! I am researching how it is done (using JavaScript and DHTML), but it's totaly cool.

... Later: It's evil ASP technology. See Installation help IE only. frown Still. sooo cooool.

-- PeterMasiar - 24 May 2002

DotEdit yielded some interesting pages on other shared editing projects. Some of them are very exciting indeed, excepting their reliance on Internet Explorer. : ( I've collected some of the more interesting links here.

Implementing Responsive Lightweight In-page Editing, 2000-June-17 - A good paper which provides a lot of background. I didn't realize that projects like Twiki are really trying to regain features which already existed at the birth of the World Wide Web. For example "the earliest web browsers allowed users to edit and save a new version of any page they were reading" and "the first versions of Mosaic did include facilities to add personal annotations to each page (stored on the user's own machine) and group annotations (annotations stored on a server and available to a group of users)."

The author's implmentation, Pardalote,is IE specific, however he describes some very good usablity approaches which I hope can be made browser agnostic and implementable in Twiki. The author says "because no client-side executable components are used, it will be perfectly possible to extend the JavaScript files to work with Netscape Navigator". However in the two years since that paper was written it hasn't been ported to Netscape. ((this is the research project which spawned DotEdit))

I especially like the idea os switching to edit mode without a roundtrip to the server.

The Universal Canvas, 2001-June-08, an article which sums up why projects like Twiki exist and provide a couple of example projects which use the IE DHTML model.

The Universal Canvas Revisited, 2001-August-06 - Mostly reader feedback to the previous article clarifying DHTML vs MSHTML (DHTML is IE4-5 and MSHTML is IE5.5+) and providing some mouth watering examples like this:

"By simply marking any HTML component, such as a DIV (or even a SPAN) with "contenteditable=true", you will find that it becomes editable. Standard Word shortcuts such as ctrl-b, ctrl-i etc. allow you to bold and italicize text."

Interestingly, another reader noted that:

"After 8 months of production use of our CMS, we are finding that more and more people, though they liked WYSIWYG initially, are getting tired of having to format their own content."

which mirrors my experiences: For initial buy in, to get many people to even try something like Twiki, it needs to be smooth, clear, gui-fied and WYSIWYG. However once the user is engaged the gooey stuff often gets in the way.

LAPIS 2002-April-18 - a programmable web browser and text editor, implemented in Java. I haven't investigated it, it just looks interesting enough to make a note of.

IE Editor for Zope - "IE 5 and above has a good DHTML Editing Control. This helps you to edit your documents in a WYSIWYG mode and is fully copy-paste aware."

Most of this should really be in a different topic since only some of it is really about DotEdit. But I couldn't find a likely candidate so here it is

-- MattWilkie - 24 May 2002

Related Topics: TWikiVsOtherProducts, AppletBasedEditor, JavascriptBasedEditor, JavascriptBasedEditorEnhancements , UseHtmlEditorOfChoice

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Topic revision: r3 - 2006-03-09 - CrawfordCurrie
 
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