Re: WWWWW Notes

Bob Stayton (
Fri, 13 Aug 93 10:13:40 PDT

> From: Steve Heaney <>
> What is it about the nature of HTML which makes WYSIWYG
> impossible?
> Maybe I misunderstand what you expect of a WYSIWYG editor,
> but there are several commercial SGML editing packages
> which would claim to be (and are to my way of thinking)

In the WWWWW discussion, one goal that emerged for WYSIWYG
editors was to help naive users author in HTML. It was
also assumed that naive users would expect such an editor
to work much like their graphical word processor. There were
some fine points of user interface design such as:

- If I have tag display turned off (i.e., WYSIWYG), and I
place the insertion cursor at the junction between two
elements, where am I? I could be at the end of the first
element, between them, or at the beginning of the second.
The visual display has to inform the author.

- What happens if I drag-select across tag boundaries, from
the middle of one element to the middle of the next? What
do I get when I paste that?

- How do I sometimes select a complete element
and other times just select the text content of an
element (say for replacement) without selecting the element

I don't doubt that there are solutions to these (and
other) interface problems. But the solutions require
providing more information to the author, and the
author understanding what that information means.
Structured editing takes some getting used to.