Talk:WYSIWYG/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Constant vandalism

Alright, I'm not really curious here: this page is on my watchlist since I did some minor copyediting a couple of weeks ago. Since then, it seems I've reverted some sort of vandalism at least once per day, and other users have done dozens of reverts in between. Now I'm really wondering what makes WYSIWYG such a tempting target for trolls and a way, I can understand why the article on Adolf Hitler, for example, is constantly vandalized, but with this article, I have to admit I just don't get it... -- Ferkelparade π 00:55, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

LOL! I think it's because of one of the external pages that links here has immature audience. --Menchi 17:29, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

My edits explained

  • Added example, because it's the most important application of WYSIWYG.
  • Removed the 'unable to fine-tune' line becuase it's not true in most programs.
  • Added a much quoted benefit of WYSIWYG.
  • Removed reference to Office, partially because a general computer science term shouldn't have such direct references to programs, partially because the main layout program (Word) does have a true WYSIWYG mode.

Shinobu 16:37, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Its good that you removed the Offic refernece, but Page View in Word isn't true WYSIWYG. User:ccool2ax 7:19, 4 Nov 2005 (CST) If you turn off the grid, and display fields in the "results" mode rather than in the "field codes" mode, it should be as close to WYSIWYG as realistically achievable considering the different resolutions, and the possibility of a printer only being able to output B&W. If significant differences are visible you've either stumbled upon a bug in Word, or should update your printer driver (much more likely). I've had some experience using various versions of Word on various computers and never noticed deviations. Shinobu 09:16, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

WYSIWYG vanished?

I removed the statement that "true WYSIWYG vanished" because it lacked justification. If "true WYSIWYG" is meant a pixel-per-pixel identity, "true WYSIWYG" never existed in the first place. If WYSIWYG is allowed to be achieved when there are resolution differences, then it doesn't matter much what the scaling factors are (the locations on screen can be determined with an accuracy of one pixel, or even better if one allows for the increased use of anti-aliasing). In fact some programs in use today do quite a wonderful job in presenting the page on screen as it will look when printed without giving the user wrong ideas about the appearance of the final result. Shinobu 23:18, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I more or less agree with you. However, I don't know how to pin this down in an NPOV way, but there has been a decline in the degree of WYSIWYG-ness in PC (and Mac!) software over the last few years—much as there has been a decline in usability. A good example of this would be the leading Mac tax-preparation software packages. In 1985 MacInTax was released, and it was strictly WYSIWYG--or at least as much so as the screen resolution permitted. At all times you were working on a facsimile copy of the final printed form. MacInTax went through a chain of at least two company acquisitions and became TurboTax.
Both TurboTax and TaxCut are not WYSIWYG at all. What you see on screen is not at all a facsimile of the printed form. It has roughly the same layout, but only roughly. Many page details, such as inline microinstructions, are omitted. The form itself is interrupted by "miniworksheets" and the like within the form. Boxes are shaded, typography is different, etc. etc. What you have now is a fancy specialized spreadsheet with only a rough approximation to the final form. The only way to view the actual layout is with the Mac's built-in print preview functions.
And the more or less pure WYSIWYG word processors have been largely displaced by Word, which has three or four different view modes, only one of which, "page view," even attempts to be WYSIWYG. The others are necessary because of various minor unsolved usability problems with page view. Dpbsmith (talk) 09:59, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments! I'll give you my ideas on this on an item-by-item basis.

TurboTax - I have unfortunately no experience with this program, but I suppose it is something like the belastingdiskette. The primary goal of such a program is not to layout and format a document, but to generate a tax-return form based upon user input. WYSIWYG doesn't add much to such an application.

Word - Word indeed has four different view modes. The normal view is provided for nostalgia, I think. The web view is meant to preview how a document will look in a non-paged context (like a webbrowser). The page view is almost WYSIWYG, except that things don't appear in grayscale or patterned if you've got a black-and-white printer, like I do. The structure view is designed to make the document structure visible, show headings, move them around and such. Since the document will not be printed with collapsed paragraphs, such a mode is necessarily non-WYSIWYG.

Programs often are WYSIWYG, except when it's not practical, in which case they usually have a print-preview mode. In my personal experience it is a lot easier to write an "almost WYSIWYG" program than a program that is not WYSIWYG at all, since it saves you the trouble of writing the drawing code again for the printer. Although to get things absolutely right you might still need to fiddle around a bit.

In any case, I don't think that the programs mentioned above are WYSIWYG or non-WYSIWYG because hardware resolutions have changed, like the article suggested. I think usability is the primary reason, since word processors, DTP applications, drawing programs etc. often are WYSIWYG.

I don't think making observations, like you do, or like I do, is being POV by the way.

Bye! I'd appreciate your comments. Shinobu 17:00, 6 Apr 2005

Although MS Word offers various modes, none of them provide full explicit access to the format control codes. WordPerfect originally used explicit format codes, and later provided access to both (format or WYSIWYG) modes. 17:57, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Gosparty's edits

I reverted Gosparty's edits. I think most of the added information doesn't belong in this article. You can use the history feature to add the information to another article if you feel the urge to do so. However, I recommend wikifaction and style improvement before doing so. Shinobu 21:36, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I concur. That content consisted of a description of the HTML editing features available in the "Composer" component of Netscape and in Mozilla. Although these are sometimes described as WYSIWYG HTML editors, they are not of any particular importance in describing either the WYSIWYG concept or its history. They are also not terribly pure examples of WYSIWYG since they do not implement all of HTML and must always be checked by viewing the finished result in an actual browser. Finally, it can be argued that a "WYSIWYG HTML editor" is a contradiction in terms because HTML defines only a general intention, not a specific appearance. That is, HTML is intended to, and does have a different appearance depending on your browser, screen size, settings.
Since Gosparty appears to be new to Wikipedia, I would note that the deleted material has NOT been lost. To recover it for use e.g. in another article, go to WYSIWYG, click on History, and click on the link "16:10, 22 Apr 2005" You will see the article as it was before your material was removed. You can recover it by clicking on Edit This Page and copying your Wiki text out of the edit box and into Notepad or some other text editor. DO NOT press the Save Page button! Click the Cancel link or the Main page link or just close that browser tab or window. Dpbsmith (talk) 11:39, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Really useful?

While I appreciate critical views of everything, I appreciate them even more if no non-facts are presented as facts in the process.

@WYSIWYG, is becoming increasingly difficult to realise: this is not true. If you can print it, you can make it appear on screen just the same way, and vice versa. Resolution problems, black and white problems, etc. don't count as deviating from WYSIWYG. The point is to get when editing a view of a document that is as true as possible to what it will look like in the final version. In a lot of operating systems it is possible to use the same drawing code for the screen and the printer. The only thing that usually needs to be done to make a program WYSIWYG is to set up the coordinate system.

After that the section makes even more claims, some of which don't have anything to do with WYSIWYG. I've put up a Disputed-notice. Shinobu 10:16, 28 May 2005 (UTC)


I agree that some comments need to be justified and have done so. Is the clarificatoin and justification sufficient to remove the disputed header? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rgardler (talkcontribs) 14:41, 7 July 2005

I think the article's accurate as it currently stands. JulesH 11:07, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Difficulties of implementation

Does anybody think a section on the difficulties of implementing true WYSIWYG would be useful? This would cover the problem currently mentioned in passing of using different font metrics for display and print, what problems it causes, the solution currently employed by MS Word and others (using a scaled down version of the printer's metrics) and its disadvantage (that layout can change when you select a new printer), and the solution employed by PDF (using standardised font metrics and ignoring the printer's own ideas about them). JulesH 11:07, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

  Yes, I believe this would be useful rgardler 11:49, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Do these problems still exist?

For example, when designing a poster intended for billboard hoardings, a seemingly insignificant half pixel rounding error can become a noticeable artifact in the final output format. Similarly, an incorrect colour balance on a standard advertising flyer can make a significant difference to the final product.

I think the first was solved when the zoom function was invented, and the second has been solved now we can save colour-space information with documents. Shinobu 06:51, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

What's the problem with WYGS ?

WYGS means "What You Get Sucks". Yes, it can be regarded as stupid / lame but well, there are a bunch of similar more or less humorous acronyms on this page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:10, 16 September 2005

Failures at it

Two programs that're rather bad with this are Netscape Composer/Navigator and the old Corel WordPerfect 3.5e for Macintosh.

You'd think that a web browser and HTML editor that come together, from the same company, would display the same HTML exactly the same. Nope! Copmoser displays many HTML elements very differently than the same version of Navigator. I can't think of any good reasons why Netscape could not make them display identically. They _should_ have the same display engine but apparently there are differences.

WordPerfect 3.5e can _create_ HTML and it looks pretty good. What it cannot do is properly load and display the file that was just created and saved. If the file is saved again, without any editing, it saves the screwed up mess so it'll display that way in browsers. So unless you get your HTML right the first time in this program, you're stuck. I didn't try loading an HTML document created with a different program so I don't know how badly it interprets other programs' code. It does a bad enough job on its own code! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:28, 15 December 2005


I dont have a username, I'm just passing through... I have removed what I thought was some kind of spam from the end of the "related acronyms" section. It appeared to be just HTML put into the body of the text, as code was showing all the way through. Does this happen often? Wikipedia's a pretty tight ship so I've never seen it before. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 12:58, 3 June 2006

Obvious vandalism like the incident you described is usually reverted quickly. In this case, the text managed to stay for 15 minutes which is pretty good for an article like this. More subtle vandalism and mis-information usually takes longer to be corrected; I've seen vandalism stay in an article for nearly 5 months. Thanks for the revert. Graham talk 13:16, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

wetpaint looks like a WYSIWYG and is a Wiki.

I am in no way endorsing this wiki.

Competes with the Much more poplar


An I natural like MediaWiki So much better because I can re edit my comments and i know the formatting so well.--E-Bod 02:47, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure I get your point. I don't think we should be listing WYSIWYG software here, as there is so much of it, most of which isn't even approximately notable. We rely on a few important examples (e.g. MS Word and Adobe Acrobat) to illustrate the points the article makes. I'm dubious about the need for any links to WYSIWYG software from this article. JulesH 22:23, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

The related acronyms

I've just deleted a load of them. I've kept the ones that seemed important -- the ones that discussed important concepts related to WYSIWYG, for instance, plus those that contain links to other wikipedia articles. I've deleted a number that seemed to just be jibes at problems with WYSIWYG software, or which were basically arbitrary distinctions (e.g. the separate term for WYSIWYG Wikis... totally pointless, just call them a WYSIWYG Wiki), or weren't related to WYSIWYG (e.g. 'WYSIWYN', which apparently simply means 'not WYSIWYG' in the context of web editors... a totally pointless term that is probably only used for marketing purposes).

I just don't think this is the kind of thing that should be in an encyclopedia. JulesH 22:44, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I noticed the acronym "YAFIYGI" is not included, although the entry for YAFIYGI redirects to this page and heading. I would argue that it's origin (as far as I can remember) came from the classic essay "Real Programmers Dont Use PASCAL" and I always felt it has become part of the lexicon much more than many of these related acronyms. A Google search turns up quite a few references, and again, more than most of these other related acronyms. Its been a favorite reference of mine for 20 years so I'm a little biased to keeping it in here (I assume it was removed as part of cleanup). A decent write-up of it here RenderSeven —Preceding undated comment was added at 20:44, 8 December 2008 (UTC).

Reasonable enough. It isn't a term I've come across before, and when I removed it there was only an unreferenced expansion of the acronym without any explanation of what it meant in this context. A little research shows that it is a valid and relevant addition to the article. I'll add a brief description now. JulesH (talk) 21:14, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

First useage/history

Actually, the first use of the phrase "What you see is what you get." dates from the late 60s, and was one of the best known phrases used by the comedian Flip Wilson. The magazine in the 70s obviously adapted it.

There should be a small section under history about him as well, since the phrase is also commonly assiciated with him. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Plekto (talkcontribs) 04:54, 16 June 2006

That's already mentioned under the third bullet point of the "historical notes" section. It could be made more obvious though. Graham talk 05:26, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

vBulletin Reply Box a Good Example?

I don't think I would call a bulletin board reply box a What You See Is What You Get editor, because you have to use BBCode. Sure, you don't have to use line/paragraph breaks, but still [b]Hello[/b] [i]Joe[/i], [color=red]hello[/red] is fairly different than Hello Joe, Hello. I think Word or Framemaker or something would be a better example of a WYSIWYG editor. I put this on the talk page for the image as well. Carpenoctem(talk)

I agree, and have been thinking about switching to something else. Apart from anything else, web editors are never really WYSIWYG anyway, as what you get varies depending on where you look at it, so I've generally shied away from any references to them. JulesH 20:38, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
That depends on your definition of WYSIWYG. In the strict sense, html-editors can't be WYSIWYG because of different target browsers, different user settings, screen sizes etc. etc. etc. But in a more relaxed sense they can do a reasonable job at being as WYSIWYG as possible, or "you will get something very much like this" if you will. Since one of the major benefits of WYSIWYG is the visual editing, that might be enough. They are WYSIWYG in the sense that "what I see is a heading, what I'll get is a heading" instead of "what I see is a H1, etc.".
Side note: when you fully specify your stylesheet and the user agent fully complies with the standards and paper-size is known, you can, in theory, have WYSIWYG HTML-editing, although admittedly, this would not have the web as it's primary target.
What we also could do is create an image of a hypothetical WYSIWYG word processor. That way we can show the concept without advertising. If we go for a screenshot, I'd recommend a screenshot from OpenOffice rather than Word, due to licensing issues. Another idea: Show the difference by having three pictures: 1) some kind of text code with markup (HTML? Tex? PS?) 2) a WYSIWYG window with virtual paper 3) the resulting (in both cases the same) paper. Although the last will still be virtual, due to it being on screen in the article... Shinobu 14:37, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Maybe we should just show the difference between the two by showing the original input. Showing the result of a WYSIWYG editor would get a bit messy (you would have to print it out and take a picture to show the actual result), unless you just want to take a screenshot of OpenOffice (I agree with that bit as well) and use it as the result. For the HTML result, you would just have to preview it in a browser, take a screen shot, and use that as a result, so that wouldn't be a problem. Carpenoctem(talk)
I'm pretty sure using Word would be acceptable due to fair use which allows "screenshots from software products for critical commentary." There is critical commentary about MS Word in this article. JulesH 08:01, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I think just 2 shots would be enough to show the example: one with a markup language of some kind (probably document-oriented, so either TeX/LaTeX or DocBook would be good) and one with a WYSIWYG gui. While I don't see using Word as the GUI as a problem, I'm in favour of OpenOffice anyway, if only because I'm an OO user. Ideally, the documents should show the same text with a variety of formatting options. Perhaps using LaTeX with \section{a section title}, \subsection{a subsection title} and \emph{emphasised text} and some equivalents in the WYSIWYG display. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JulesH (talkcontribs) 09:08, 21 June 2006
I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but I took a few screenshots. WYSIWYG one is here. Non WYSIWYG one is here. Hopefully those are OK; I just wanted to clear them to make sure I haven't totally missed the point. Carpenoctem(talk)
I'm going on vacation for a while, so do as you will. Carpenoctem(talk)
Actually, I don't like the examples, but for a reason that has nothing to do with WYSIWYG... you see, the examples contain direct formatting, something which one should be careful not to promote. Shinobu 05:38, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
As for a Word screenshot being fair use... Fair use images can only be used on the English Wikipedia, and unnecessary fair use images only hamper article translation. We should use truly free images everytime we have the opportunity. Shinobu 05:49, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
That's one of the reasons I suggested LaTeX for the non-WYSIWYG example: it emphasis structural markup more than most HTML documents do. Plus you don't generally use HTML for print formatting, whereas word processors are usually used for print. JulesH 08:51, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Lorem Ipsum - WYSIWYG en Latex - tekst als paden.svg
Okay, how's this? A mockup of a hypothetical WYSIWYG editor and a hypothetical text editor (showing Latex code). If you like the principle of the image, we can always improve the quality (it's an SVG-image, you can edit it using Inkscape).
P.S. I have to disagree with you on HTML being less structured than Latex. Latex has "\section{}", HTML has "<h1></h1>". The main difference between HTML and Latex from a grammatical point of view is that HTML has much less special characters, and better support for new stuff. The first is the reason I like HTML better conceptually*, the second is the reason I like it better from a practical perspective. If I have to give someone Latex, I nowadays generally click the "Give me Latex" button in my HTML-editor.
* It's one of the main reasons Latex has such a steep learning curve. Even after Latexing several documents the compiler never ceased to amaze (read: irritate) me by interpreting innocuous punctuation etc. as something special and thereby screwing everything up. Shinobu 04:33, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Looks great to me. JulesH 10:12, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Okay, in that case I'll include it. If you can think of any improvements to the picture, or the caption, well... it's a wiki. Should we include bold/italics? Or is that a bit too much? Shinobu 10:19, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Probably not necessary. I think this says everything that needs to be said. I'd suggest making the image slightly larger: it's a little confusing at the size it's currently at, plus the caption looks way too tall in comparison with it. JulesH 12:29, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

What does "WYSIWIG" mean?

I've seen "WYSIWIG" used before, and WYSIWIG redirects here; what does it mean? I assume it stands for "what you see is what I get", but I don't understand what that would mean in the context of a computer program; could someone give an example? This isn't mentioned in the article. -- Creidieki 22:41, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, it is simply a common misspelling of WYSIWYG. JulesH 07:56, 21 June 2006 (UTC)


Latest change puts the pronunciation guide like this:

WYSIWYG' (IPA Pronunciation [wɪziwɪg] or [wiziwɪg])

If my IPA's up to scratch, I read the latter as "wheezy-wig". Does anybody actually pronounce it like that? I know "whizzy-wig" as the first one reads isn't exactly universal (I pronounce it whissy-wig, for example), but it seemed a common enough pronounciation. But "wheezy-wig"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by JulesH (talkcontribs)

Oddly enough, I've always thought it was "weiss-y-wig" but I guess that's just me! Ddddan 05:41, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

I didn't find the second pronunction ([wiziwɪg]) in the compact OED, so I removed it from the article. If someone double checks the big OED, though, feel free to put it back. (Though preferable with a better citation - last one read just "OED"!) - (talk) 13:23, 16 December 2008 (UTC)


I've removed this section

==Tradeoffs== {{Unreferenced|date=January 2007}} Even from a purely user point of view, pure WYSIWYG editing is not always a superior approach. It tends to be much easier for beginners to understand and use, but is not usually as controllable or efficient in many cases, for experienced users, as being able to access and manipulate the underlying format codes. The ideal would be to have access to multiple modes -- for example, to use a WYSIWYG HTML editor, that also provides very easy integrated access to viewing and editing the HTML source code directly.

While I happen to personally agree with this position, I looked for academic sources that supported the conclusion, but failed to find any. If we can find some, it should go back in, IMO. Otherwise, it should stay out. JulesH 01:41, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, it is true. And it is both relevant and important. But whether anyone can prove it, or officially sanction it... remains to be seen. (Over 90% of existing total overall WP article content is similarly "unsourced". Fortunately, most of it goes relatively undisputed.) 17:00, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually, most everything, certainly technology, involves tradeoffs. Many WP articles would benefit from addressing these more forthrightly. Certainly WYSIWYG is a tech with tradeoffs. What they are, and how to describe them, would be a matter of opinion... WYSIWYG software was traditionally more complex, harder to write. Uses more resources. Tends to create less-compact, less-efficient output files. Easier for less-experienced people to use, with is both good and bad. But the most important UI-theory aspect is that WYSIWYG is inherently superficial, a view of what is being created that concentrates on appearance. Sometimes that works great. Sometimes working with the material in other, more abstract ways has advantages. Which would be why being limited to only WYSIWYG modes can be a disadvantage. 18:09, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

When reading this article I was struck by the fact that it lacked content similar to the one mentioned as removed above. Overall the article gives a too "WYSIWYG is good; mark-up is bad" impression. I strongly recommend that something is done in this area; in particular, as many people are naive and/or prejudiced against non-WYSIWYG editing, and this article _may_ worsen this problem.

I note that I have myself extensive experience with MS Word, OpenOffic, LaTeX, HTML, and some CMS/Wiki-markups, and from my POV (classic "power user") WYSIWYG causes more problems than it solves (in contrast, I love LaTeX). What I have seen among other users shows a clear confirmation of the "beginner" vs. "experienced user" divide in the above text. (talk) 19:21, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

misc comments

What does the heading TMI in the article mean? Is is an acronym for something? If no one can answer this, I'm going to change it to External Links. —Frecklefoot 18:12, 30 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I changed it; "TMI" is an acronym for "too much information." - Hephaestos 18:43, 30 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Dude, all I need to know is how to strike through a couple of words of text in my blog. ARGH! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 03:52, 13 July 2005

I changed the pronunciation back as I believe it is pronounced "whizzy-wig", not "wheezy-wig". Whizzy is a real word too. A google search for "whizzy-wig" returns 249 pages, whereas "wheezy-wig" produces just 2. Angela 18:29, 30 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I always say "wizzy-wig" but I'm not sure it's a major issue. - Hephaestos 18:43, 30 Jul 2003 (UTC)
My preference is "wissy-wig", with a hard 'S', and most people I know also pronounce it this way. I'll add it to the list, but feel free to revert if you think that's unusual. JulesH 11:07, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
I've only ever heard 'wheezy-wig' - maybe it's different in Australia. I'd prefer to change this entry to "It's pronounced phonetically". It bugs me when American (and Americanised) publications put plain-text pronunciations for words... that's how you end up with stupid things like 'herb' rhyming with 'bear' and 'love' rhyming with 'smurf'... My point is that Americans aren't the only English speakers out there, so it's meaningless to encylopdia-ise an American pronunciation of a globally relevant word. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Brentstrahan (talkcontribs) 00:15, 14 September 2005
Woah, don't blow a tandrum there. ;) I am an American. Unlike my family, I try to be more "unviersal". Anyways, I have always heard "Wuzzy-wig" myself. Though, some clustering came out with "Wizzy-wig". [1] [2] [3] [4] as the "better" term. ~Linuxerist L / T 03:17, 12 April 2006 (UTC)


for several years, there has been a professional software program that is actually named WYSIWYG. [5] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:50, 12 February 2007 (UTC).

What You See Is What You Get is also a minature wargaming term refering to having all of a model's upgrades and weapons clearly modeled on the figure, suggest disambiguation for that too. 1st scots

If there are articles about either of these subjects, we should create links to them from here. But there don't seem to be. I'd suggest creating WYSIWYG (lighting design software) and/or WYSIWYG (wargaming) and creating links to them from here, using the {{dablink}} template. JulesH 16:58, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

WYSIWYG and 1980s Microcomputer Enthusiasts

The word WYSIWYG seems to have reached the microcomputer enthusiast community around 1980, when affordable printers were rare. For example, the Radio Shack TRS-80 Level II microcomputer could be outfitted with a reasonably-priced printer which used rolls of aluminized paper (somewhat like cash register receipt paper). Instead of 80 columns, these printers had a max carriage width of 40 characters. They did not use true descenders: "g", "j", and "p" did not proceed below the baseline. To a microcomputer enthusiast, a printer should have true descenders and should print 80 columns wide instead of wrapping lines.

Jessemckay 06:57, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

According to an 18 Oct 2007 New York Times Bits blog by John Markoff WYSISYG was first coined by Chuck Thacker's wife Karen around 1974. Chuck was a hardware designer at Xerox PARC. [6] Tetzel42 02:13, 19 October 2007 (UTC)


What you get is what you're given and it's no good whining!

A saying of Archchancellor Ridcully from Discworld.

Feel free to delete if inappropriate - it sure doesn't fit with the main page, but it's funny :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:50, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Tidying up, and some issues with inaccuracy

I've abbreviated the first (summary) para and tried to make a clearer separation between different meanings of WYSIWYG.

  • The Historical notes section still seems "PC-centric" i.e. does not reference the features of pre-existing office systems such as Xerox 860 and Star, IBM 5520, OS/6 and Displaywriter, Wang OIS, AES/Wordplex etc. Editors fail to acknowledge that (for sound commercial reasons) the IBM PC was a very low-spec system compared with premium IBM office products and up-market personal computers such as the NEC APC, Apricot Xi etc.
  • There's a general failure to recognise the difference between applications that use printer font metrics to control the screen display, and those that use screen (or standardised) font metrics to control printed output. This has always been the biggest issue in WYSIWYG and should be made explicit in the article.
  • On this basis Problems of Implementation is historically misleading because it doesn't describe the challenge of rendering WP display lines using the current printer font metrics. This was a major performance hit on the Samna/Lotus Ami engine and AFAIK one of the reasons for the commercially disastrous delay in releasing the Windows version of WordPerfect in c.1989.

Bottom line: NPOV concern because younger editors don't realise that the rich world of WP and DTP pre-dates the IBM PC by 10 years! - Pointillist (talk) 01:58, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

This is a wiki. Don't just bitch about the flaws you see and then run off feeling all smug. Fix it yourself! DMahalko (talk) 02:12, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
  • DMahalko, I haven't "run off feeling all smug" - I am working on it right now. The problem is that the article is full of inaccurate assertions that don't cite their references. Bear in mind that it can take a vast amount of effort to get each valid reference for Wikipedia. Believe me, I have intimately detailed technical knowledge about DTP and WYSIWYG software development from the late 1970s through to early 1990s and it still takes me hours or days of effort to get independent evidence for each claim that I know to be true because I actually used the systems, wrote the software, have copies of the brochures, own slides showing the hardware that I have to dust-off and scan before uploading etc. You've been around on Wikipedia some time I think, so you know the rules. Talk pages are for raising doubts, everything on an article page must be 100% objective with external citations to back it up. We both care about the articles, so let's be friends, eh? - Pointillist (talk) 02:41, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:Wordperfect-5.1-dos.png

The image Image:Wordperfect-5.1-dos.png is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --07:23, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Tidying up

I dunno. I go away for a few months and all hell breaks loose.

Starting on tidying up the recent changes, particularly to the history section. Important changes:

  • Dropping the link to [7]. This is a collection of readers' letters to a magazine, and as such is not a reliable source, except where the people quoted are established experts on the subject (i.e., Charles Simonyi's letter is, but doesn't say anything useful).
  • "However, Bravo can't be considered a WYSIWYG program, as it did not normally attempt to reproduce the way a page would look in hardcopy." Unreferenced, and contradicted in several reliable sources. Deleting it, and adding a reference to a peer reviewed paper that states it not only can be considered WYSIWYG, but was the first program that could.
  • "The first WYSIWYG computer program, is MacPublisher. Bob Doyle developed MacPublisher, a Desktop Publishing program, in 1984, the year that Apple introduced the Macintosh computer." Unreferenced. Contradicts many published reliable sources that state that MacPublisher was preceded by Bravo, Star and LisaWrite. Deleting.
  • DTP stuff -- I don't think this is particularly relevant to the history of WYSIWYG, so I've deleted it.
  • Reorganizing everything to be in a more chronological order.

Hope I haven't pissed people off too much here. JulesH (talk) 21:13, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Tidying up External links

I've removed the following external links but I'm copying them here in case someone thinks they are useful (e.g. maybe for entries in the List of HTML editors. - Pointillist (talk) 15:40, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Blog entry by a non-notable author:

Looking at the site's "about" section, doesn't appear to be a blog to me, but rather a professionally-edited magazine site. I'm going to restore this latter link, as it's an interesting article and well within the scope of what we should include in external links. Agree about the rest, though. JulesH (talk) 08:18, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
OK, thanks for checking. I did a quick look to see whether Michael Tsai was notable, likewise for ATPM. Turns out the e-zine is quite widely cited, but as "About This Particular Macintosh" rather than the acronym. - Pointillist (talk) 10:26, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Public views about the term.....

-- (talk) 02:18, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Academic views about the term

-- (talk) 02:21, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 02:22, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 02:24, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

related problems

-- (talk) 02:40, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 02:44, 17 May 2010 (UTC)


I think the following should somehow be included in the article; it's based on my personal experience with WYSIWYG web publishing software, but I'm guessing these are widely observed and relevant criticisms: WYSIWYG HTML editors can generate superfluous tags, which can bloat the page and make it load more slowly, and the generated code isn't necessarily valid. (The latter point is addressed in the article section to which I linked.) And if there's an option to switch to a "code" view while editing, the HTML might reformat itself when switching views. Web-based editors especially seem to like to strip bits of code entirely; although this may actually be the intended behavior, perhaps to conform to security/spam concerns and possibly other limitations of the platform. B7T (talk) 05:46, 10 November 2010 (UTC)