Blog » Herbert Poul's Personal Blog » Web Content: Modifying Markup vs. WYSIWYG
I recently got very disappointed by any markup language i was using for my django forum, wiki and blog - basically because BBCode and Markdown are all easy to write but very limiting, while (X)HTML is powerful, but hard to write by hand. (Actually I found it easier to write HTML than to work around bbcode limitations for another part of my blog (which is still not finished, but not due to html :) ))

So when someone on the SCT forum started to ask why I was using markdown in the wiki I sparked a small discussion about the pros/cons of WYSIWYG vs. editing markup by hand. I even carried it over to another thread.

So what are the pros and cons of WYSIWYG?

  • +: Very userfriendly (if done right)
  • +: Very powerful (you can add custom features, like wiki links, inserting attachments as images, resizing/alt texts of images, etc.)
  • +: You don't need to learn a new markup language for every forum, wiki or blog
  • -: Security might be a problem - you need to validate (X)HTML very carefully to avoid XSS
  • -: Some might want to edit pages offline, or manage them in a text based version control system.
  • -: Diffs are not that straight forward
  • -: Hard to do "right" (WYSIWYG is not that simple and might require extra work for every browser - and you need extensions for your forum/wiki/blog features)

So - does anyone have other pros/cons for wysiwyg vs. markup editing? any experiences? :)
Hey, we have Signatures !!! Great, isn't it ? ;)

Posted by Herbert Poul

Assigned Tags: wysiwyg, sct, markup, markdown

my way on generating PDF on this page is currently to convert markdown to XHTML and use a XSLT to generate PDF. :)
so if you use a subset of XHTML in your WYSIWYG editor (which you obviously would in any sane environment), you can still safely generate PDF in my opinion.
Hey, we have Signatures !!! Great, isn't it ? ;)
i guess my conclusion would be similar to yours
i would definitly use wysiwyg
+ there are a lot of customizeable js editors

i wonder, do you have experience with any js editors? as far as i can tell TinyMCE seems to be the most active with a reasonable simple API. although it looks a bit like a very chaotic code base at times. (and as far as i understand it load times aren't that great because it always requires multiple HTTP requests for scripts, css, plugins, etc.)
Hey, we have Signatures !!! Great, isn't it ? ;)

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