pageoneresults - 5:36 pm on Jun 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
All you folks better stop dissin' WYSIWYG Editors! ;)
Do you use a WYSIWYG, manually code or both?
I started with VTI which was then purchased by Microsoft and renamed FrontPage. I've progressed through all versions and now use EWD (Expression Web Design).
The program is only as good as the user. You can use the out of the box settings and produce less than satisfactory markup or you can modify those settings and micromanage each element which I learned to do way back in the beginning.
The number one challenge with WYSIWYG is the user and how they perform actions in the editing environment. I mean, you can either push the right buttons or the wrong buttons, it's that simple. If the user doesn't understand what they are doing in their WYSIWYG editing environment, they will be prone to producing markup that resembles puke, it's a given.
The same holds true with many CMS. The editors within those environments are being misused by the users. When you have a client who wraps an entire paragraph in <em> because they think it looks fast, there are challenges. Or, the same client wraps an entire paragraph in <strong> because they just wanted it to jump off the page. Therein lies the major challenge with WYSIWYG, the user!
Most Editors these days provide normal and code views, I use both. I even have a split view in EWD that is real time. I typically work with the reveal tags shown. I can see the start and end tag for each element. I know exactly where to position my cursor when performing various functions like copy, cut or paste. This is what bites a lot of users, not knowing where their cursor is resting at the time of an action. FrontPage was notorious for this as I'm sure many other editors are too. But, it comes down to the user, again.
I'd say most WYSIWYG Editors on the market today are capable of producing fully valid code if they are configured properly and the user understands their editing environment. I've not seen an editor yet that can produce 100% valid semantic markup 100% of the time without human intervention. We make it a practice to validate each document after any changes are made. We also run ongoing bulk validation routines to keep things in check. All of those routines include the extracting of semantic outlines to verify document integrity and structure. Without valid markup, you can't extract semantics for the most part, it becomes a guessing game for the UA.
To you folks dissin' WYSIWYG, are you up for a challenge? Do you think you can handle the truth? ;)