Editor 2.7

Revision as of 05:50, 20 November 2013 by Damyon Wiese (talk | contribs) (Considerations)

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Text Editor Revamp
Project state In Development
Tracker issue
Discussion https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=243197
Assignee Jason & Damyon @ Moodle HQ

Moodle 2.7

Project goals

The purpose of this document is to plan how to update the default text editor in Moodle.

The aim of this change is to improve accessibility and usability, while replacing TinyMCE 3.5, which is now unsupported.

TinyMCE 3.5 will be kept in place for the next few releases, but will be disabled by default.

Along with the replacement of the Editor, plugins for TinyMCE 3.5.8, that are included as part of the Moodle release, will need to be made compatible with the new editor.


  • Usability of the editor - is it easy to create content with?
  • Accessibility of the editor - is it at or easy to get it to follow the WCAG AA standard?
  • Accessibility of the code produced by the editor - will it produce content that is up to the WCAG AA standard?
  • Maintainability of the links between the editor and Moodle - how much work will we need to do every time we upgrade?
  • Appearance of the editor - can its interface be modified to look like the other toolbars currently in Moodle?
  • Do the dialogues look the same and have the same accessibility features we expect from Moodle dialogues? Do the dialogues scale/re-flow on small screens?
  • Strong feature set - does it support the things our users have come to expect already?
  • String support - how difficult will it be to allow strings to change when the Moodle language changes?
  • Mobile support - how well does it scale on small screens and touchscreens?
  • Plugin support - can our community write plugins easily?
  • Browser support - does it support all the browsers Moodle does?
  • Loading speed - how quick is it to load the editor ready for use?
  • Upstream support - will it be supported for the lifetime we want (3 years+?)
  • RTL support - does it include RTL support for the content, user interface and included dialogues?
  • Given we need to redo the dragmath support - is dragmath the best choice for an equation editor?
    • Cons of dragmath
      • Java applet
      • Requires tex filter to be enabled globally
      • Complaints about tex filter
      • Open GPL issue: MDL-32450
    • Alternative
      • MathJax filter + equation editor plugin

Out there suggestions

  • Add a picture editor to Moodle. (Paintweb - previous GSOC project: Paint_tool_integration )
  • Add a "html_tiny" text format with a super cut down editor that supports it (e.g. - no toolbar at all - but still html with bold, italics, cut/paste etc)
  • Drag and drop handling of media


  • CKEditor4
  • Atto
  • TinyMCE 4
  •  ??? Are there other alternatives?
.. CKEditor 4 Atto TinyMCE 4
Usable Editor
  • Still minor room for improvement
  • Could do with a lot of improvement for visual feedback of the state of the text under the cursor/caret
  • Still minor room for improvement
Accessible Editor
  • Still minor room for improvement
  • Still minor room for improvement
  • Lots of warnings on the Chrome Accessibility Audit
Accessible Content
  • Unknown
  • Fairly good
  • Fairly good
  • Decorative images need empty alt tag
Maintainable with Moodle
  • Unknown
  • Needs documentation and acceptance tests
  • Unknown
Editor Appearance
  • Can be themed to look like existing toolbars
  • Already looks like existing toolbars
  • Can be themed to look like existing toolbars
  • Menus stand out
  • Can the menu visibility be toggled?
Feature set
  • Almost 100% matching what we have already
  • Still many features left to implement
  • Almost 100% matching what we have already
String Support
  • May need some work to get it working
  • Built with string support in mind
  • Will need some work to get it working
Mobile Support
  • Editor works well, the the dialogues don't
  • Editor works well, as do the dialogues it launches
  • Editor works well, the the dialogues don't
Plugin Support
  • Plugins are easy to write
  • Plenty of 3rd party plugins already out there
  • Plugins support YUI
  • Plugins are easy to write
  • Moodle is the only source of plugins
  • Plugins are easy to write
  • Plenty of 3rd party plugins already out there
Loading Speed
  • Stock editor loads fairly quickly
  • Integrated editor loads fairly quickly
  • Stock editor loads slowly compared to CKEditor
  • Loads much quicker with the menus disabled

CKEditor 4


  • Huge community of developers
  • Plenty of plugins
  • Good existing documentation
  • Inline HTML Source editor - no need to open a dialogue to edit the source
  • Ability to replace file browser with Moodle's filepicker
  • baseFloatZIndex - allows the zIndex to be set in a more strict manner


  • Unfamiliar to Moodle developers



  • Excellent accessibility
  • Excellent integration for Moodle strings
  • Inline HTML Source editor - no need to open a dialogue to edit the source


  • Maintenance will rely on Moodle developers
  • No table/grid support
  • No Dragmath/ Tex Support
  • We need to document it ourselves
  • No external community to lean on

TinyMCE 4



  • Swapping from WYSIWYG mode to Source mode launches a dialogue
  • Uses Jake for LESS compilation
  • Uses fonts for icons - icoMoon font service

Sub Tasks

  1. Assess different editors
  2. Prototype alternatives
  3. Ask some users
  4. Decide on an editor
  5. Implement editor
    1. Getting the new editor to render without altering the existing DOM - prevents changes needed to maintain third party plugins.
    2. Getting AMOS strings working within Editor.
    3. Getting Filepicker working within Editor Dialogues.
    4. Add file management plugin (Marinas or other)
  6. Disable TinyMCE


Related Tracker Issues