Ian Bicking: the old part of his blog

Javascript plaintext editing

Does anyone know of a good Javascript implementation of plaintext editing? I.e., exactly what textarea does, but less sucky. Find, find-and-replace, change textarea size, maybe a few other useful features; nothing too fancy. WYSIWYG is nice, but programmers live in a plain text world, and the application I'm writing at the moment is for programmers to use. I don't know how possible it is to fix textarea's suckiness (the most popular text editor ever, and yet such an exceptionally lame text editor), but I'd like to see what people have tried.

Created 02 Dec '05


Take a look at these:

http://www.fckeditor.net/ http://www.wikiwyg.net/

Both are open source projects.


# sean

But those are WYSIWYG editors, exactly what I wasn't looking for.

# Ian Bicking

Yes, it does help to read the entire entry before posting ;)

# sean

For doing local twiki work, I've pushed folks towards mozex:


Lets them run their own editor to edit data in a textarea field.

# Gary Godfrey

dont forget the ability to be able to use the TAB key, very annoying

# guyon

What about syntax highlighting, which is not possible in textarea?

I know I'd appreciate it.

# Marko Samastur

I've been meaning to write some javascript to at least allow tabs in textarea boxes - a superficial google brings up this IE example which can probably be extended.


That would make using ReST or Markdown a little more tolerable in a text area.

In the end if I have to do a lot of editing, I really want to use a real editor, ideally my editor of choice. I used to use mozex on older versions of Firefox; your post inspired me to go looking for a working solution. Someone has updated mozex to run on newer versions of Firefox: https://nic-nac-project.de/~kaosmos/mozex107-en.html

here's the original parameter docs: http://mozex.mozdev.org/arguments.html

In Extensions, Preferences, set up vim:

/usr/X11R6/bin/urxvtc -e /usr/local/bin/vim %t

(sub whatever you use as a terminal for the first chunk of the command line)

or gvim:

/usr/local/bin/gvim %t

Click on the text area field when you've saved and closed the temp file et voila. Hey, I'm soaking in it right now!

<ESC>:wq'ingly yours...

# Mike Watkins

A couple minor points

# Bill Seitz

Try this one:


# aboutedit

Here's another one that uses some of TinyMCE's code: http://cdolivet.net/editarea/test.html

# Kevin Dangoor