What appeals to you about updating the editor from TinyMCE 4 to TinyMCE 5?

I’m pleasantly surprised by the amount of interest this specific project [the upgrade from TinyMCE v4 to v5] has received in a short time. Honestly, I didn’t expect this to be a big deal for people, but clearly it is - we even have a couple of folks “coming out of retirement” to help out with this.

That suggests to me that there’s something I’m missing about what people want to see in ClassicPress.

So, I think it might help us move forward more effectively if everyone on this thread could share a bit about why this particular project appeals to you so much.

5 Likes

That’s a great question, @james! For me, there’s several appeal factors which are mostly dev-related. Here’s my top five:

  1. the current Tiny installation is very old and no longer receiving any developer/security love, and
  2. the interface looks a bit more modern without becoming unfamiliar and overwhelming, and
  3. the documentation for v5 is 1000x better than that for v4, and
  4. we (as well as 3rd party devs) will probably have an easier time getting help at SO for v5, and
  5. WP people have wanted this forever; it may prompt some to at least investigate CP further, if not totally switch if we can nail this down.

…oh, one more…

  1. updating to v5 will fully solidify (in the people’s minds) that ClassicPress is dead-set on preserving the traditional editing experience.
10 Likes

Hi @james - You may want to split this into a new topic.

Answering to your question. Well, WordPress is a great piece of software. Even though it can be easily hated because of its codebase, one must understand where it comes from and not just criticize it with modern eyes. A lot of people have put huge amounts of effort to make it happen. It has evolved with technology and has always made a strong effort to not leave past versions behind.

What I dislike about WP, and has nothing to do with this codebase thing, is how it now isn’t really democratic. Gutenberg is amazing, but pushing it into core has been a decision made almost against the community.

Also… I don’t like the way Automattic is constantly orbiting around WP with all this Jetpack fuss and yeah, what goes on with their company and the WordPress brand in general.

I see it this way:

I will keep using WP for “fast food” websites. Just install some theme and woocommerce and yeah, have some simple thing up and running, especially to sell basic ready to use ecommerce sites.

But I will use CP for serious projects with custom themes and plugins.

What I see in ClassicPress, is an opportunity to take out the ugly past that WP has kept on carrying for a while and keep it pure. WP 4.9 was excellent. No need to keep adding irrelevant stuff to it. Better to clean, fix and optmize it.

I still have some doubts because of the intention to keep things 100% back-compat. I understand the idea of back-compat for v1 (to attract users). Pretty reasonable. Just breaking WP to make something new would lead to an empty community.

But I also see a great potential in letting go of some limits that are there just because of back-compat.

I wonder now, if it would make sense to simultaneously keep ClassicPress v1 and ClassicPress v2+ (parallel instead of linear).

Just keep v1 there (with all the back-compat changes made to v2+) and simultaneosly work on v2+ for a more disruptive version of this CMS that may have enough freedom to evolve according to the democratically voted vision of the community as a whole.

This would allow to have a pure compatible version for people who want to switch from WP without big surprises (v1), and another version for those who want to experiment with new things and don’t mind breaking compat (v2+).

Some people just don’t want to use public plugins, or very specific ones. Giving them the chance of a “cooler” CP seems legit to me. And it will attract developers who ran away from WP but like the WP way of doing things :slight_smile:

Also, this approach would make things easier, and I am not talking about extreme changes. But about things like implementing TinyMCE 5 and others…

Just as an example, the current TinyMCE update started by @Code_Potent would require loads of additional energy just to work on compatibility. Breaking compatibility (move this change into CP 2+) would allow users to throw more new fresh energy and enthusiasm into making changes without having to carry the backcompat burden)

But yeah, I am really starting to feel some appreciation for CP and I will stay around and help.

6 Likes

100%. I just commented something similar on the editor’s repo.

3 Likes

Yes, this is exactly the plan:

ClassicPress Version 1.x is a long-term support (LTS) version. If you choose to, you can stay on this version for years to come.
[…]
Version 2 may begin to introduce changes that may break compatibility with plugins and themes that only support WordPress 4.9.x. […] An upgrade from Version 1 to Version 2 will be by opt-in, so users won’t have to worry about being automatically updated to a version they aren’t yet ready to adopt.
ClassicPress Roadmap | Planned Improvements to ClassicPress

Upgrading TinyMCE isn’t something that we had planned for version 2, but if the work can get finished and people want to see this in core, then it’s definitely an option.

4 Likes

This will be a bit dramatic, but hey, I’m not a developer… :grinning:

In response to @james question:

CP has major advantages over WP, yes, like decreased size and increased speed, but the main reason I switched from WordPress to ClassicPress is the block editor.

The editor is very personal to the blogger. We use it to pour out our heart and soul into words. Everything about it must be familiar, so that that creative process flows as freely as possible. You mess with that… and you’ll have millions of angry people.

Now, using ClassicPress instead of WordPress means a return to the previous editing experience… but updating the editor to version 5 means a very strong guarantee for the future. We will be confident that we are building (our ideas, our dreams, our hopes) on a more solid ground of newer technology, and we will be assured that something like the block editor will never happen again to cause us grief. As Code_Potent said, it is a very tangible evidence that ClassicPress is indeed determined to preserve WYSIWYG post creation for its users.

And also, we can all stop thinking that we rebelled and went back… and start dreaming that we are now indeed charting our own course… :smile:

7 Likes

TinyMCE 4 appears to be out of support and we should be moving to a version which is supported.

3 Likes

Thanks to everyone who has been testing and submitting issues! I think 20 rolled in yesterday and a few were already resolved this morning. :slight_smile:

Not a bad idea. I gave up forum moderation permissions, but, I think @viktor can split the thread.

Thanks for splitting the topic, but I think the title is wrong, since @james actually meant the ClassicPress project in general (not just the TinyMCE deal).

And there is so much more than the editor that can make CP amazing :slight_smile:

No, I spoke with James prior to his post (and that’s what prompted it) … the title is correct.

So, I think it might help us move forward more effectively if everyone on this thread could share a bit about why this particular project appeals to you so much.

Emphasis added.

The intent (of this question) is to determine why this (TinyMCE) project got people excited. Most ideas haven’t garnered this much activity/effort in such a short time. So, if we can figure out what it was that got people moving, then perhaps that same method/idea can be used to get people interested in other projects in ClassicPress.

3 Likes

There are clearly a large number of users who want to type pages and posts in something resembling the standard, familiar word editor. It has developed over decades so that everyone now just “understands” it and can immediately use it and get to work. Hence the backlash against Gutenberg.

But, people also expect a few more features than are available in TinyMCE4. To me, that is just too basic. It’s like using Wordpad… you expect some common feature and then get annoyed when it isn’t there. Moving to version 5 will give people the extra features they have come to expect, and will also show them we are serious about looking after those who want to write this way.

Not sure is this refers to me, but I came out of retirement when we started addressing the WP4.9/WP5+ updating issue. Happy to be back!

6 Likes

I will try to help if needed and I will have the time. The most interesting feature for me is collaborative editting, something in which ckeditor seems to be ahead, but switching to it is probably just too much work. Even without that feature, just making sure tiny get updated to support modern browsers with whatever quirks they have should be a good enough reason. Rethinking what elements should be in the UI is a bonus.

4 Likes

Replying to @james 's query:

  1. This would be a major change to the platform that is both (a) not backported from WP and (b) clearly visible to any user. This makes it symbolically important as a means of showing that the project is both looking forwards and capable of standing on its own.

  2. TinyMCE 4 looks tired and out of date. Version 5, on the other hand, looks fit to compete with Froala, which has been (in my view) the gold standard for WYSIWYG editors on the web for a while.

  3. As @Code_Potent pointed out, the documentation for v5 is several orders of magnitude better. While I typically disable Tiny v4 in the admin (partly because of the way it looks but also because its ability to output truly semantic HTML is limited), I frequently make use of it on the front-end. This is not hard to do using wp_editor(), but trying to customize it is a bit of a nightmare and requires a ton of trial and error, because there is no documentation. V5, on the other hand, has a ton of documentation.

  4. Tiny v5 offers a lot of plugins that can be used to upgrade the editor if someone wants to do that. Yes, these are paid plugins, but those who are likely to need them are also likely to be organizations that expect to pay. These raise the editor to a level v4 cannot possibly reach (and neither can any other web WYSIWYG editor that I know of).

What I don’t know (but am looking forward to finding out when I try out what @Code_Potent has managed to achieve) is how easy it is to make v5 is capable of producing the highly semantic HTML that I often need.

7 Likes

Take a look at this issue:

and this one:

It looks like Editor V5 is much more concerned about modern HTML standard than Editor V4.

And since Code Potent is serious about breaking backward compatibility, it’s likely that you’ll get what you want in an editor. Which is also what I want :slight_smile:

This is a bit of a mischaracterization. :wink:

I don’t mind if backward compatibility is built in; it’s just that I don’t want to spend my own time on it because I think it’s the wrong path forward.

Anyway, let’s not drag the thread into the weeds… the topic at hand is what appeals to people about moving from v4 to v5. :slight_smile:

5 Likes

4 posts were split to a new topic: TinyMCE v5 upgrade and backwards compatibility

Having at last had a chance to try this out, it looks extremely impressive, @Code_Potent. But it seems that Tiny has it that adding a custom button, menu (or indeed, anything) requires access to the tinymce.init({ function (so as to add the relevant configuration information). How are we going to make that possible?

1 Like

Thanks for checking it out, Tim. You can access the Tiny config before the settings are printed using the tiny_mce_before_init filter.

2 Likes

Oh, wow, I didn’t realize you had already made the integration deep enough to use current WP/CP filters! Now I’m going to see if I can make a plugin!

2 Likes

The hooks I use for adding menus are mce_external_plugins and mce_buttons.

3 Likes