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The CKEditor - with Domino -- will be better than rolling your own!

By Andrew Pollack on 03/16/2010 at 03:53 PM EDT

If you don't know the CKEditor, you soon will. Maureen (and others) have recently gone public with the announcement that starting in near term release of 8.5.x, that fantastic rich text editor will be shipped built in with the Domino server and will be integrated for easy use for XPages.

One thing that's hard to do at present with the CKEditor when you integrate with Domino, is handle the built in browsing/uploading/embedding for file attachments, images, flash, and so on. There are plug-ins for ftp and perl, and some others, but of course not for Domino. I wrote my own for my integration and includes a full file system simulation so users can create folders and so on and store files in what seems like a traditional file system but is in fact a Domino database that replicates across the cluster. I may sell it or give it away at some point -- I haven't decided.

There's good news on that front for all of us, however! Maureen demonstrated at the "Developer Camp" in Germany last week that the integration with Domino includes the ability to upload directly into the rich text field associated with the editor on the Domino back end. While it's not the same solution I came up with and there are some limitations to the idea of storing the files with the document rather than in a distinct library, I think the way IBM is doing things makes sense for the general use product set they're making -- and the way CKEditor works, there's no reason you can't switch to your own method (or mine) on a per implementation basis with just a very tiny bit of javascript.

Even better, just because there's no checkbox (not that has been announced as yet anyway) for regular forms to use that editor, doesn't mean you can't do it. Once that editor is shipping on the server, you should be able to standardize your code for how you use it in your own applications. Since it will be there, and be in the same place on every server, you can build your apps to take advantage of it.

I've standardized on CKEditor for my own web applications and actually find it better for many things than a traditional editor would be. I'll be doing some experimenting along those lines and see about suggesting a way to standardize on it a bit.


There are  - loading -  comments....

re: The CKEditor - with Domino -- will be better than rolling your own!By Erik Brooks on 03/16/2010 at 09:59 PM EDT
Attaching to an RT field is way, way awesome and has many benefits over storage
in a distinct library.

I'd be shocked if they don't include a checkbox for CKEditor on regular Forms,
albeit with the caveat that file uploads wouldn't work (or at least would
probably work as generic V2 web attachments.)
well...By Andrew Pollack on 03/16/2010 at 10:17 PM EDT
...I'll say this -- There are times and cases where you'd absolutely want the
image or attachment to be stored on the document as part of the rich text
field. If IBM hadn't done it that way, it would remain nearly impossible to
do reasonably in your own CKEditor plug in (the upload control in Domino is a
pain in the ass). Since they HAVE done it that way, we have the choice. We
can use it like they put it there, or we can override that and use whatever
other alternative we want.

I think that's another good argument for doing it the way they did.
re: well...By Erik Brooks on 03/16/2010 at 10:40 PM EDT
Absolutely... working with attachments is a PITA in-general, and doing
*anything* with RT even more so.

For them to have tackled it at all is awesome -- assuming they did it right and
we don't find out all sorts of caveats later. The RAD implications are huge.
re: well...By Andrew Pollack on 03/16/2010 at 11:23 PM EDT
Kind of. Remember, xpages render html and javascript -- both in the client and
the browser. CKEditor just writes out html to a "textarea" tag. It's fairly
easy to integrate that back to a Notes form. The trick would be converting it
and storing it as Native rich text -- though I hardly see the point of that any
more for a web app.
re: well...By Erik Brooks on 03/17/2010 at 05:05 AM EDT
Absolutely. The magic is the attachment, though. :-)
have you noticed that you can drag and drop imagesBy Sean Cull on 03/17/2010 at 03:47 PM EDT
have you noticed that you can drag and drop images into the rich text control
on an xpage and the emage appears in the notes client when viewed in a
traditional form ?

I got very excited until I realised that the image is not uploaded just a
pointer to that image on your local machine - shame - it would have been a
fantastic feature
re: The CKEditor - with Domino -- will be better than rolling your own!By Leif Bjorking on 03/22/2010 at 04:50 AM EDT
I am using the Editor in CMS applications and have implemented Image and File
upload functions (storing the files in separate notes documents).

What my users often asks for is a way to do multi-uploads, like move a
directory structure of files into the CMS-storage.

Andrew: It would be very interesting to have a look at your "file
system"-solution.
re: The CKEditor - with Domino -- will be better than rolling your own!By Marc Vanderstraeten on 05/18/2010 at 03:44 AM EDT
Dear,

We are a non-profit organisation that lobbies brussels institutions.

You wrote "I wrote my own for my integration and includes a full file system
simulation so users can create folders and so on and store files in what seems
like a traditional file system but is in fact a Domino database that replicates
across the cluster. I may sell it or give it away at some point -- I haven't
decided."

I am looking for such a solution. Can you help?

Marc


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