Structured text editor component for the web
August 18, 2015 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Structured text editor component for the web
In a deplorable lapse of judgement, I decided that I would be the person to fix the sorry state of online content writing, where sites currently either use crude HTML or Markdown input fields, or infuriating WYSIWYG components. Seven months later, there is ProseMirror, an alpha-stage piece of software that might just grow into the editor I want the web to use. It even does collaborative editing because some problems are just hard to resist.

So now I have written all this code, based on a have a vague sense that other people might also be interested in it. Ideally, for maximum exposure, it should be open source. But there are kids to feed, rent to pay, etc, so I'm trying to crowd-fund the open release, with moderate success so far.

More background and demos. The code is also on gibhub.
Role: programmer
posted by marijn (6 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

I am actually very excited about this since I've had to implement Redactor (a very impressive looking but incredibly buggy text editor). Gonna try to see if i can get our company to donate, or barring that throw in a few bucks myself.

Any idea about when this would hit beta? And how well it would be able to handle pasting from word (doesn't seem to go a great job now).

PS: your pages don't have internal links (I can't get from demo back to home).
posted by pyro979 at 1:20 PM on August 18, 2015

The code is already quite clean and solid. If the funding succeeds, I'll immediately continue work on this, and will probably get enough people to try to use it to get a lot of free testing/bug reporting. Then I think I'd be calling this beta in a few months, after I make some final decisions on the interface and write some docs.

Good point about the back link (it's currently only two html files, but a back link is still nice to have). I've made the logo and title on the demo page a link.
posted by marijn at 1:33 PM on August 18, 2015

Wow. That looks killer. And Babelify is pretty solid, it looks like.

One bit of marketing advice: Might be worth putting the code from the simple example front-and-center so people get an idea of how it's not that big a deal to use this component.
posted by ignignokt at 10:24 AM on August 19, 2015

Indeed, Babel is wonderful for writing pleasant JavaScript. It generates pretty noisy-looking code sometimes, but so far I haven't run into any performance issues caused by that.

Do you feel that a library having an easy/straightforward interface is something people wouldn't expect?

My marketing in general fell a little flat this time. Previous projects would quickly rise to prominent spots on Hacker News and /r/programming, but this time I've only managed some 14k visitors on the crowd-funding page. I'll spend some energy tomorrow trying to tighten the narrative on the project page.
posted by marijn at 12:03 PM on August 19, 2015

Do you feel that a library having an easy/straightforward interface is something people wouldn't expect?

Unless it's proven to me, I generally do not trust libraries to do things sensibly. As libraries represent large chunks of code that are not reviewed by me or my team, I have no choice but to treat them suspiciously before accepting (or even considering) new dependencies. Examples and extensive documentation are a great way to rope me in.

This looks awesome though.
posted by phlyingpenguin at 12:34 PM on August 19, 2015

Yeah, I'm a little bit of an outlier in that I don't use things that have an implementation I can't understand. I avoid magic frameworks.

However, I also don't use things that don't make it obvious how to get started, and I think I'm not unique in that form of laziness. Because this was on Projects, I read a little more than I would have otherwise and got down to the examples. Compare to something like medium-editor's README which just gets down to it.
posted by ignignokt at 1:41 PM on August 19, 2015

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