With cross-platform inline HTML editors all the rage these days, I
though it appropriate to share my experiences with a couple of them
this evening.  I use soEditor and HTMLArea
extensively in my professional work, and like them both.  Neither
is perfect by any measure, but they get the job done, though soEditor's
IE-only stance is becoming more and more cumbersome.  However, I
went a totally different track from the known and into the
unknown.  My requirements were very minimal.  Has to work in
IE and FireFox (on Windows, OSX, and Linux).  It needs to easily
allow for custom link and image dialogs.  It needs to load hella
fast, and turning off pretty much everything on the toolbar needs to be
simple too.

First stop was FCKEditor
It's gotten a lot of time on CF-Talk of late, so I thought I'd give it
a whirl.  It's definitely a full-featured editor with all kinds of
features and customizability.  However, I was unable to get it to
do anything except load it's initial blank document in the
IFRAME.  Since I had no issues running the demos on the FCKEditor
site, I suspect that the problem arose from running on BlueDragon's
internal web server.  Unfortunately, until New Atlanta gets around
to releasing an Apache 2 connector for OSX, that makes the issue a deal
breaker for FCKEditor.

The next one I tried was TinyMCE,
which seems to be a lightweight version of a more elaborate editor that
Moxiecode sells.  I'd run across it in the past and was impressed,
particuarly with how lightweight it was, because that's exactly what I
needed.  Threw the directory in my web root, and it fired right
up.  Firefox refused to use the stylesheets because BD was serving
them up with the wrong MIME type, but other than that, it worked like a
charm.  Customization was straightforward, and in less than two
hours, I'd gone from Google to fully implemented, with custom dialogs
and everything.

I would have liked to have played with FCKEditor a little more, as it
seems really slick (though rather slow to load), and mostly gets
glowing reviews, but unfortunately that didn't pan out.  However,
I did find a new editor that is very well suited to lightweight editing
tasks.  It's fast and simple from both user and developer
perspectives, and it looks like it can be scaled up pretty effectively
to meet pretty in-depth editing needs.  It doesn't come with all
the bells and whistles that FCKEditor or HTMLArea come with, but if you
don't need all the extras (or are going to build your own), it's
definitely a good choice.

3 responses to “TinyMCE”

  1. Bill

    You may want to try out the editor at: http://www.kevinroth.com/rte/demo.htm – its called RTE (rich text editor) and works across pretty much every modern browser. It is very lightweight and loads "hella fast"

    Plus, Kevin Roth is pretty good about incorporating any bug fixes people send in (i know from experience).

    I have been using it on an internal project for about 6 months now and it has been great.

    You may want to give it a whirl.

  2. Bill

    sorry for the double post – but if you email me I will send you a simple cfm template I use to incorporate his editor.

  3. barneyb

    RTE definitely qualifies as lightweight and fast. However, it would require building "real" dialogs for link and image insertion from scratch, along with potentially the framework for supporting them, so it's not quite what I was looking for on this project. However, definitely something I'll keep in mind for future projects.