Text editors

What is a "text editor"

 
 
Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
What is a "text editor"
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I'm sorry if this terminology problem has been already clarified.

If I understand right you call the TinyMCE editor a "text editor"? For example http://docs.moodle.org/en/Text_editor says, "The text editor (sometimes referred to as the 'HTML editor' or even 'TinyMCE') has many icons to assist the user in entering content."

I would call it a WYSIWYG editor (well, if not switched into the HTML mode). A text editor edits text files! See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texteditor, "There are important differences between plain text files created by a text editor, and document files created by word processors such as Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, or OpenOffice.org."
 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: What is a "text editor"
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Found it!
"(moved HTML editor to Text editor: easier to understand name)"
http://docs.moodle.org/24/en/index.php?title=Text_editor&action=historysubmit&diff=88419&oldid=85634

The hint was at the bottom of http://docs.moodle.org/24/en/Text_editor_FAQ#See_also which talks of a "HTML editor forum" (see screen shot below).

P.S. This is what TinyMCE thinks of itself: "TinyMCE is a platform independent web based Javascript HTML WYSIWYG editor ..."
http://www.tinymce.com/

@Mod, I should have posted in the "Moodle community sites" forum not in the "Text editor" forum. Could you pl. move it?

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: What is a "text editor"
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Hi Visvanath. Yes I take your point and I see what you mean about " a text editor edits text files". However, most of the teachers I have worked with would not/did not have a clue what WYSIWYG editor means and in 1.9 every time we came across "HTML" editor they thought it was "something complicated to do with web code " rather than the place you type your words into. To them , Moodle's TinyMCE editor IS a text editor, even though it might not be accurate according to the true definition of the word. 

 
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Picture of Alan Hess
Re: What is a "text editor"
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Hi Mary / Visavanath

Just to clarify for those who have little computer experience.

A 'text editor' is a program like "Programs/Accessories/Notepad" in Windows or 'TextEdit 'on the MAC. (ALthough on the MAC you have to switch off the automatic HTML recognition).

It writes a file containing ONLY the codes for the letters making up the text file and NOTHING else! Word or Open Office inserts formatting codes to control large, small, underlined etc text which is NOT required in a text editor.

WYSIWYG = "What you see is what you get" i.e. If you format the text to have colours and different size text, the screen will represent this and insert all the control codes automatically.

It's very confusing for beginners and often easy for us experienced users to forget.

If you are as old as me, you may know the daddy of text editors 'vi' on Linux (then UNIX) which was designed for use with 'Golf Ball' Line Printers which looked like typewriters. No problem if you can remember that! Some of my pupils don't even know what a typewriter was!

Hope that helps anyone who is not sure.

Alan

 

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: What is a "text editor"
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Alan

Either you are kidding or a pachyderm to throw line printers at moodle.org!

It was just today I got flogged for mentioning dated technology, ... from 2007: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=226144#p982067.

(Glad that we met. We better keep "golf balls" and other nostaligia to ourselves.)
 
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Picture of Alan Hess
Re: What is a "text editor"
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Hi Visvanath

Nice to talk to you again. Sorry, I think it's important for users (learners) to know about history. I often teach a lesson about Samuel Morse. If he hadn't developed his serial Morse Code, we'd never be where we are today. After all, USB, Thunderbolt and Firewire are all just better versions of his original idea! ASCII also originated with those 'ticker tape' machines you see in old 40's US films.

Maybe I'm a grumpy old man, but I find it's useful to know about the past.

However, point taken! clown

Regards

Alan

BTW: We have ordered Rasberry Pie and Arduinos at school since I talked to you in Zürich recently!

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: What is a "text editor"
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Hi Mary

You wrote:
> Yes I take your point and

Wasn't it Helen who renamed "HTML editor" to "Text editors"? Anyways.

> I see what you mean about " a text editor edits text files".

That phrase could be mine, but the original idea is not my invention. This is the first line
of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Text_editor "A text editor is a type of program used for editing plain text files."

> However, most of the teachers I have worked with would not/did not have a clue what WYSIWYG editor means

Of course WYSIWYG is jargon. I said "I would call it a WYSIWYG editor" in the first post and TinyMCE calls itself a WYSIWYG editor by citing their website in the second. But that term is not involved in the renaming. The original term in moodle.org was "HTML editor" which was (partly) renamed to "Text editor".

> and in 1.9 every time we came across "HTML" editor they thought it was "something complicated to do with web code " rather than the place you type your words into.

Then you need to invent a term. Some possibilities are "Moodle word processor", "(Moodle) built-in editor", "Authoring tool in Moodle", "the Moodle editor", "editing tool (in Moodle)", ... I'm not saying that all these are right - a makeshift is never right. But you can't "reuse" an established term which is still in use!

> To them , Moodle's TinyMCE editor IS a text editor, even though it might not be accurate according to the true definition of the word.

They are teachers, right? They call pen a pencil because some of their pupils don't know what a pen is?

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: What is a "text editor"
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Note that there is no requirement for a Moodle Text editor plugin to be WYSIWYG. Indeed, of the two editors you get as standard with Moodle, only one is.

We have TinyMCE as a WYSIWYG editor, and 'textarea' for people who have chosen to use markdown as there preferred input format in their profile.

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: What is a "text editor"
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Hi Tim

You wrote:
> Note that there is no requirement for a Moodle Text editor plugin to be WYSIWYG. Indeed, of the two editors you get as standard with Moodle, only one is.

Now the question is, what "text editor" is meant by http://docs.moodle.org/en/Text_editor ? It says, "The text editor (sometimes referred to as the 'HTML editor' or even 'TinyMCE') has many icons to assist the user in entering content" which could only mean TinyMCE.

> We have TinyMCE as a WYSIWYG editor, and 'textarea' for people who have chosen to use markdown as there preferred input format in their profile.

So the WYSIWYG editor TinyMCE is called "text editor" in the docs, and the text editor "textarea" is omitted?
 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: What is a "text editor"
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Well, there are two separate concepts here:

  1. The text area plugin type. This is mostly of interest to developers. It is the mechanism you use if you want to add a different type of editor to Moodle. See http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Editors, not that it is very informative.
  2. The standard text editor that most people use when they edit some (rich) text. As we geeks know, that it TinyMCE, but users don't need to know that. It is fine if uses think of that as 'The text editor', so it is fine for the user docs to talk about it that way.
 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: What is a "text editor"
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In that case, there are three concepts:
3. The HTML <textarea> itself, without a plugin. This is what you get if the profile field "When editing text" is set to "Use standard webforms". Yes, this one could be called a text editor.

BTW, moodle.org calls the what the docs call "text editor" (the TinyMCD) a "HTML editor". Check the field "When editing text" in your profile.
 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: What is a "text editor"
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Apparently the new editor Atto is a HTML editor. Watch
 
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C'est Moi....
Re: What is a "text editor"
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A meeting worth checking out as ATTO will be discussed.
Tuesday 7/22 9:00am EST. (13:00 UTC)

Check in early and watch the count-down... (-:
Bring popcorn.




 
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