[pmwiki-users] Question about the pmwiki editor and possibilities (advanced)

Michael P Nagy michaelpnagy at fastmail.fm
Tue Mar 28 21:52:29 CST 2006


First I'd like to say I really love PmWiki, its one of my favorite
program/scripts of all time.

I am considering helping a primary school set it up. The school has
basically no technical knowledge whatsoever, even knows they have a
computer networked up in each class room. I believe the school server
supports PHP (it runs Apache according the http response header), I am
awaiting more information from their department.

The main school website is several years old and was published using
microsoft front page! All school websites are hosted on an education
department server.

I feel pmwiki is not too advanced for older children to use when set up
specially. Its better than this "official" commercial software they have
been given to create web pages. The software even confused me, and I
usually either write html in hand for simple pages or use dreamweaver.

Now obviously in the pmwiki editor, we don't see the immediate effects
of changes we make to pages. We see groups of various symbols or markup,
such as [[Link/Link]]

I realize this is partially due to the fact that using certain features,
we need to be able to see and edit these symbols. However we don't
really need to see '''bold''' instead of just seeing the text bold. I
thought it was technically not possible to implement this in some sort
of form. That is to see dynamically changes to text, instead of groups
of markup symbols. 

For children it would be desirable to have simplified features, but for
them to actually be able to see the changes dynamically, such as it is
in a simple word processor, but allow them the option of trying a more
advanced option if they feel comfortable.

The other day however, I was looking at the schools otherwise awful web
page creation software for kids, which is entirely web based. It seem to
use only javascript, and html and is processed on the server (another
separate education department server) by php. Yet it enables the kids to
see the changes. Its has a GUI sort of similar to PmWiki, with all the
icons, yet when they change the text to bold, or change the text
size/font, it updates in the web browser in real time seamlessly.

I am familiar with html and can code PHP, but I have never bothered to
learn JavaScript. Can anybody tell me how it is possible to do this? Or
point me to more information. I'm really interested in this as an
option, because this is the only advantage the other option has over
pmwiki for helping the kids put content on web pages. I've never come
across articles about doing this. All software I have seen where the
user enters input via the web page, well they always use symbols. For
example all guestbooks I have seen insert smiley's as symbols before
displaying them later with the smiley graphics.

The GUI and icons provided by the schools web based software is just as
advanced as pmwiki, that is it has all the various icons pmwiki has for
inserting symbols (but does so dynamically) but it doesn't have the more
advanced features that pmwiki allows by typing in more complex markup
syntax. It would just be wonderful to have an add-on to allow a simple,
real time dynamic editing mode  that is suitable for kids. I just can't
find other web based software that does such a thing, so that I might
consider how it can be done. This is an issue currently beyond me, that
is why I feel compelled to investigate it fully!

I can't provide a link on here to the schools software, because it is
only accessible with an account. If somebody really wants to look at it,
this is something that can probably be arranged.

Any information about how this sort of technique can be implemented, and
how this can be done in a web browser would be very appreciated,

Michael Nagy

PS I am wondering if this is what the RichEdit add-on does? However the
site says the following: "A lot of users (see pmwiki-users maillist)
experience great difficulties after installing this RichEdit recipe.
They all complain of loosing all contents after using the RichEdit
script. None of these questions seems to be answered :-("

This scares me.

If it actually does what I am looking for I would have been willing to
try and actually debug it to the best of my ability, however its in
Perl, and I do not know perl more than in the most basic way.
  Michael P Nagy
  michaelpnagy at fastmail.fm
  michaelpnagy at linksthisway.com

http://www.fastmail.fm - The professional email service

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