Genii Weblog

Who's wagging whom?

Tue 11 Apr 2006, 12:09 AM

by Ben Langhinrichs
As more customers use CoexEdit, we are starting to see an odd second wave of issues.  These are not issues where CoexEdit is unable to recognize some HTML or CSS construct, nor even where CoexEdit was unable to generate a recognizable and usable HTML or CSS construct, which were the hallmarks of the first wave of issues.  This second wave comes from issues where the web editors may display the HTML or CSS correctly, but cannot adjust appropriately to it.  An example if the issue of centering an image or text inside a table cell.  This can be coded a great number of ways, but the most efficient and clean seems to be:

<td width='345' align='center'>This is centered</td>

and since the engine behind CoexEdit was built to be efficient and sparse in its HTML, that is what we generate.  But FCKeditor, which is the open source editor of choice for CoexEdit, doesn't really understand that.  It displays the value centered, but if you click on the text and then use the left align icon, you get the following result:

<td width='345' align='center'><p align='left'>This is centered</p></td>

which continues to show as centered.  Once you save, CoexEdit uses its logic to change this to:

<td width='345' align='left'>This is centered</td>

which displays properly, so you get the weird effect of trying to left justify and having it not work, then saving and opening and having it work.  Sigh!

So, I tried using a property which can be set to force paragraph usage.  Then, the result from CoexEdit, which prefers <div> tags to <p> tags by default for spacing reasons, was

<td width='345'><div style="text-align: center">This is centered</div></td>

Again, FCKeditor renders this properly, but when you go to left justify it, it returns:

<td width='345'><div style="text-align: center" align='left'>This is centered</div></td>

which is not exactly very nice, even though it does look like it works.  It just varies by browser in how it displays, and it confuses CoexEdit, which assumes that styles override HTML constructs.  So, I have had to add a new setting to force alignment to show up using the HTML construct rather than CSS, contrary to normal standards.

Which works, but leaves me wondering which is the tail and which is the dog.

Copyright 2006 Genii Software Ltd.

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