Monday, June 25, 2012

Evaluation Criteria for Choosing an Editor to Customize

Regarding the challenges proposed in the previous post, we have been working on a list of questions to ask of each editor. Here is what we have devised. Feedback always welcome.

Evaluating the editors:

Questions to answer when looking at documentation, code, API’s, and when using the editor as an end user would.

  • Is there support for XHTML5 documents?
  • Does the editor support all the fairly modern browsers?
  • How is the table support? Below are some tables to try (HTML not HTML5)
  • What is the support for undo and redo?
  • What community exists around the editor?
  • How well does the editor support cut and paste from Word/LibreOffice/Google Docs
    • Fidelty of the pasted code
    • Cleanliness of the pasted code
  • Does the editor have support for linking things (browse to select, url handling)?
  • Does the editor have native support for adding and embedding media?
  • Is there any existing support for collaborative editing? What kind of support? For example, proper provides hooks for restricting what can be edited, which can then be used to lock small portions of documents while they are being edited.
  • Will collaboration be supportable. (nice to have, can be phased in, but needs to be possible eventually).
  • What language and back end support is needed for the editors. For instance Mercury needs Ruby on Rails.
  • What support is there for third-party javascript.
    • Can you use third-party javascript in the editor.
    • Does the editor use iframes that can make it impossible to save data that a third-party javascript library creates? Can the iframing be made optional?
    • On the other hand, will third-party javascript that the editor relies on conflict with the same libraries that the site using the editor uses? For instance, if both use jquery, then both must use the same jquery version which could be problematic.

Questions to answer by implementing the challenges

  • Which of the challenges are
    • possible
    • easy
    • hard
  • How easy is it to extend the editor and add plugins?
  • How fun is it to work with -- recruitment issue?
  • How well is validation supported?
  • How easy would it be to make specialized versions of the editor for different author audiences?

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