Long, long ago, one of the dreams of the manager of the Editor's Team at Netscape, Beth Epperson aka beppe, was a dual Source+Wysiwyg view, with Source and Wysiwyg kept in sync. And to do that, a few on the team (beppe, cmanskey and myself) were hoping to use the following:

  • in full theory, the CSS Object Model was made to allow different Views on each document. That's the reason why we have a getDefaultView() when we query a computed style... Unfortunately, rendering engines never really allowed that.
  • we hoped to use that mechanism to create a Stylesheet that would precisely and exactly render the source of a document. We missed a few things, of course: a value for the content property serializing the start tag of an element with all its attributes, another one for the end tag, possibly a property to control entity output and we had of course a problem with all the stuff a CSS rule cannot select (comments, PIs, prolog, cdata sections)

It never worked that way, unfortunately. We tried and had to declare failure. We also briefly tried another approach, classic, of keeping in sync a real source view and a real Wysiwyg view. Unfortunately, Gecko was rather slow on slow computers at that time and the performance hit was too high. But modern engines with super-fast JS and much better CPUs changed all of that.

I'm then glad to report a Gecko-based Wysiwyg editor finally has a sync'd Dual View: BlueGriffon. It will ship with forthcoming version 2.3.

Dual View