Timothy Appnel follows up on Flash editors

More on Macromedia and editing widgets from Timothy Appnel:

“…At a meeting with Macromedia I made the same suggestion as Jake — develop a markup editor widget for the communities use. I was told that Macromedia would leave such an effort to its partners or the flash developer community at large. After several messages to the folks at illogicz I received a broadcast message thanking me for my interest and stating their intent to package the editor into a product that they would offer for sale shortly. I believe some of Macromedia’s partners also have plans along these lines.

“I don’t think this really is going to help if there is a price tag involved. I’m not a flaming Richard Stallman FSF type. I just think that a simple and extensible markup editor is too integral to web applications that it has to be ubiquitous and without constraints…”

I completely agree with Timothy that an editing tool like this has to be ubiquitous and free. The web needs this probably more than 99% of web users know. People see the browser primarily as a reading environment because writing in the browser just plain sucks.

Here’s another idea: If Macromedia won’t give us an editor, perhaps it’s time for Bare Bones and Helios Software to get together, find the browser plugin API specs, and dig in a bit to give us the editor we so desperately need.

No need for HTTP PUT or WebDav support: We have desktop tools already that talk with servers beautifully on that level.

No need to edit tables or generate CSS: 99% of people writing for the web don’t need to and they don’t care — they just want to do some simple formatting without having to type the damned HTML tags.

An editor that generates fragments of validating HTML 4 with simple formatting options and hyperlinks is more than enough. Go low-tech, and give us a tool that works, not some dot-com dream of the end-all and be-all of HTML editors. We already know that doesn’t work. Time to let the dead horse rot.

If I had the time and the background I’d do it myself.

Oh, and by the way: According to Timothy apparently the illogicz editor is read-only, and communication between Flash and the DOM (JavaScript running in the browser) is “dicey”.