Talk:HTML editor/Comments

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This page contains my comments on the Criticism section of the HTML editor article and the original article with hyperlinks to my comments in bracketed superscript.Altarbo 21:53, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Criticisms of WYSIWYG editors[edit]

WYSIWYG editors facilitate the generation of web pages by people with little experience or knowledge of HTML. Experienced hand coders are prone to criticize the editing technology for the neglectful editing habits of the person editing, analogous to faulting automobile technology for reckless driving.[ NPOV ] Because WYSIWYG editors make it easy to build web pages, the editing technology is often faulted for the inexperience of the person editing, analogous to faulting digital cameras for amateur photography.[ NPOV ] Because WYSIWYG editors make complex visual layouts easier to create, the editing technology is often faulted for problems due to complexity of the layout. [ NPOV ]

WYSIWYG editors are sometimes criticized for the following reasons:

  • Depending on the version, WYSIWYG may not automatically generate the most efficient HTML and CSS code. However the code can be edited or generated by hand in WYSIWYG editors. Although third-party optimizers offer solutions to problems from automatically generated code, many of them simply remove extra spaces, rather than looking into the code to remove unneeded structures like compilers do. Unless the optimizer operates as a plug-in for the editor, it cannot take the web author's optimal preferences into account when content is created, resulting in mis-optimized code.[ This section is fine. ]
  • WYSIWYG editors make it easier to create layouts with HTML tables as an alternative to or combined with CSS.[ misrepresentation ] This is not a criticism of WYSIWYG editors as much as it is a criticism of HTML tables. Table based layouts are considered less efficient to download than CSS. Tables add complexity and obfuscates the documents' structures, resulting in code that is more difficult to maintain in text editing modes than CSS. WYSIWYG editors allow for table-free layouts and CSS as well as text editors allow for HTML tables. [ Bullet three ]
  • Users may be disappointed that the same page is rendered differently in different browsers, on various screen sizes, and on varying monitor settings. This criticism is also misplaced. With the exception of Microsoft FrontPage, WYSIWYG editors mainly use W3C standard code.[ irrelevant ] There are many factors outside of the page designer's control that can affect this—the CSS specification and modern browsers even allow users to override a page author's settings. The inconsistent browser display problem is due to inconsistent web browser technology, not WYSIWYG editing technology. [ misleading ]see Difficulties in achieving WYSIWYG below.
  • Documents edited visually without regard to semantic structure can be incomprehensible to search engines, audio and text-only browsers. This is also a criticism of editing habits, not WYSIWYG editing technology. Search engines and browser technology may adapt to the habits of people as well as people will adapt to machines. Artificial intelligence may eventually enable machines to recognize and correct even the rarest problems in both editing and browsing.[ OR ] [ Bullet Three ] [1]



These analogies are very NPOV.


WYSIWYG:Text::Digital Camera:Flash Photography?

These metaphors either ignore the existance of Text Editors or casually deride them. Digital photography and automobiles offer significant advantages over previous technologies. A WYSIWYG editor offers almost no advantage to a user capable of writing their own HTML. It also comes with tons of disadvantages.Altarbo 21:54, 4 May 2007 (UTC)


WYSIWYG editors give the user the impression that what they see is what their visitors will get. This is especially untrue with tables and gives users the impression that they can use tables for visual/layout purposes, when in reality, tables are displayed differently across browsers and relying on tables (instead of CSS) will create a document that looks radically different to different visitors.Altarbo 21:54, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Bullet three[edit]

The problems in the fourth and second bullet are simply facets of the problem from the third.Altarbo 21:54, 4 May 2007 (UTC)


The web was designed to be viewable on many different devices. The minimum requirments that Tim Berners Lee included with his original paper on the World Wide Web included a 30x80 pixel black and white display. W3C standards have nothing to do with a page displaying a static constant image. They involve the opposite.Altarbo 21:54, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Edit: It was 24x80.[1]Altarbo 23:49, 4 May 2007 (UTC)


This is a misleading statement. Consistent web browser technology is not going to happen any time soon. A black and white PDA, a cell phone, a standard desktop computer, and a laptop are very different platforms. Cell phones have a portrait oriented small screen, a PDA can have a black and white screen , no audio, and a landscape oriented screen; and a desktop computer can output pure audio.Altarbo 21:54, 4 May 2007 (UTC)


This goes beyond OR. This is not cited and it is unfounded speculation.Altarbo 21:54, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ Tim Berners-Lee (March 1989, May 1990). "Information Management Proposal".  Check date values in: |date= (help)