WordPress and TinyMCE 4.x

Finally, a new TinyMCE version has been released upon the world.  This release includes many upgrades to the older 3.x interface.  A better UI, an Inline Editing mode,  a more stable core structure, a slightly more friendly API, and the ability to add HTML5 elements.  It certainly does look exciting!

tinymce_4Will WordPress be updating core files to include the new TinyMCE version; and what does this mean to plugin and theme developers?

The short answer is “Probably”.  As the author of the popular Ultimate TinyMCE plugin, I immediately worked myself into a frenzy when I noticed the new TinyMCE API.  The new interface is somewhat different from the older version, and the hook names are now different.  For example, instead of the ever-popular “theme_advanced_buttons”; we will now be using “toolbar1”.

So, is WordPress really going to risk having every plugin and theme required to re-write their code to remain compatible with the new version of TinyMCE.  Well… it’s looking that way.  Here is a POST from WordPress core, which has gained some traction in the past few days.  In it, a few of the WP core developers are kicking around the dust on this topic.

However, what does this mean to WordPress plugins and themes which have built their code around the older TinyMCE 3.x API?  We will have to keep our eyes and ears open; listening to what they say at the WordPress IRC meetings.  I have learned it is much better to me proactive, rather than reactive.  If WordPress plans on implementing the new version of TinyMCE; I’d like to make sure my plugin is compatible BEFORE the release.

What are some initial concerns/ideas?

  • There doesn’t appear to be a “tinymce_popup.js” file anymore.  This means any plugins/themes which included an html file for the popup window, will need to be re-written to use an inline jquery popup instead.
  • Developers will need to decide whether to include a button in one of the tinymce toolbars, or a menu item; or both.

Is there any Hope?

Actually, yes.  It appears the TinyMCE version 4.x supports a “Classic Style” which will attempt to replicate the older TinyMCE version 3.x.  Perhaps the WordPress ‘powers that be’ will consider this alternative, and find it easier to implement into WP with regards to plugins/themes.

Please leave your comments on what you think about the new TinyMCE version, and/or it’s expected impact on WordPress plugins and themes!

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