I’ve been hard at work on a number of fixes and improvements for the Rich Text Editor (RTE) for WordPress and I think you’re going to like them. Here is a rundown of some recent changes to WordPress 2.0.
First and most notably, inline uploading no longer depends upon a browser’s drag-and-drop capabilities. It is still mouse-oriented but it doesn’t fail in Microsoft Internet Explorer due to that browser’s limited clipboard support. Now there is a “Send to Editor” button that inserts the chosen image or link into the editor. To use it:
- Place the caret where you want the item in the editor
- Click the image or link you want to use in the browser
- Set the options for that item (thumbnail/original, what to link to)
- Click “Send to Editor”
The RTE (TinyMCE) will show the result of the HTML inserted. The Quicktags editor (plain text with buttons for inserting HTML tags) will show the actual code, which should be valid XHTML. Users of the Safari web browser for the Mac, which doesn’t support TinyMCE or Quicktags, will be happy to see the actual code pasted into the editor.
Drag-and-drop is still supported in browsers that handle it nicely (especially Firefox) but this new feature delivers a more uniform process for inserting images and other attachments. Mousing is still required, but work is under way to make the entire attachment process keyboard-accessible.
The RTE is now a little bit more intelligent regarding browsers. If you have Rich Editing enabled (an option in the Users page) but you decide to use Opera for example, a wonderful web browser that doesn’t yet support all of the scripting required to run TinyMCE, Quicktags will kick in. It used to fall back to a plain editor with no buttons, so this is a nice improvement for people who use an array of browsers.
Users of the full WordPress package have complained that the RTE removed valid XHTML from their posts. It was never our intention to limit what you can do with your own site, but we do want you to be safe from potentially harmful code from untrusted sources. We now honor the “unfiltered_html” capability that is granted to certain users of your blog, especially the admin. The different sets of allowed tags/attributes still need tweaking and filter hooks, but this is coming along nicely.
Another feature that has been added but won’t be noticed by most English-speaking bloggers is RTL support–the ability of the system to handle languages that are read from right to left. There are developers all over the world working hard to make WordPress more accessible by translating all of the language in the interface and releasing language packs. Core developers do their best to make the translation job easy and this upgrade is another step toward making WordPress the preferred blogging application everywhere.
Thanks to all the WordPress users who have fed the development process with ideas, complaints, compliments and code, it is a great pleasure to work on this software. I hope you enjoy using it.