Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

One program to read, another to write

Author:Avram Grumer
Posted:6/23/1999; 9:51:31 AM
Topic:Hidden failure of Win2k
Msg #:7716 (In response to 7696)
Prev/Next:7715 / 7717

Dave wrote:
> Look at how ridiculous the situation is. Who would ever use
> two programs, one to read and one to write? Why isn't the
> web browser a writing environment *and* a reading
> environment? Because none of the engineers on MSIE at
> Microsoft use Hotmail for email. I can only infer that,
> because if they did, it would be usable as a writing
> environment, even in a rudimentary way.

I'm gonna play devil's advocate here and question some of Dave's assumptions.

First: Why is it so unusual to expect someone to use a different environment to read and to write? Do you use your television set to make television programs? Do you use a book to write books?

I know that I expect different things of my web browser and my text editor. When I slap some markup tags around a word, I want my editor to show me the tags without applying them, and my browser to apply them without showing them. These are different tasks, and I don't expect one program to be able to do both of them well.

What I do a lot is cut-and-paste between my browser's textareas and my text editing app (BBEdit). What would be really nice is something like the link Frontier has with BBEdit -- I'd like to be able to hit a key combo to bring the content of the current textarea up in a BBEdit window, edit it there with BBEdit's powerful tools (much better than anything I'd expect Microsoft to come up with), and then have that window save back into the browser's text area.

What I'd like even better than that is for both apps to support inter-application scripting and (in the browser's case) a powerful and consistent document object model to a degree where I'd be able to cobble together something like what I described above without either the browser's programmers or BBEdit's programmers having thought of it ahead of time. If I could write a script that says the equivalent of "Look at the page in the frontmost browser window and see if there's a textarea with the cursor in it; if so, get the text from that textarea..." I'd have a pretty powerful tool.

There are responses to this message:

This page was archived on 6/13/2001; 4:51:00 PM.

© Copyright 1998-2001 UserLand Software, Inc.