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[personal profile] starseerdrgn
(Reminder: Thoughtstreams are posts where I write what's on my mind, whether or not that results in anything resembling a sane flow of information.)

So, I'm sitting at my desk tonight, listening to modtracker music (💖 crystald.s3m 💖), using an older XULRunner application called KompoZer to do some writing. Yes, I'm well aware of BlueGriffon, and that it recently updated, but I still prefer the older KompoZer project simply because I don't need a lot of the bells and whistles provided by BlueGriffon. HTML 4.01 Strict works well enough for simple documents.

Yes, that's right. I'm actually using KompoZer as a word processor, so to speak. The WYSIWYG environment is perfect for simple things like inserting italic and bold text, and more complicated things like CSS are handled quite well by the built-in CSS editor. It literally does everything I would expect of a word processor, and still lets me hand-edit it without breaking the entire file.

That led to a thought while I was trying to work out a few things in my head. There's Firetext for B2GOS/FirefoxOS, but there's not really an HTML-centric Word Processor for the desktop, or other mobile platforms for that matter. Everything centers around Microsoft's Office OpenXML specification (DOCX), or on the OASIS OpenDocument specification (ODT). Even Google has their web-centric files under their own proprietary file formats.

Now that HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are capable of doing pretty much anything found in those specs, what's really stopping anyone from making such a project?

Well, giving a shit is probably one of the top reasons no one's done it. Most developers don't care about really care about making something easy for users unless it scratches their own itch (or makes them a lot of money), and most users probably won't move over to such a project anyway due to DOCX and ODT being the absolute de facto standards for word processing files. That's not something that would encourage proper devs to work on something like this.

The thing is, we already have plenty of ways to start. For desktop, there's WebKit as a rendering engine, or possibly PaleMoon's Goanna fork of Gecko (which supports XULRunner), while mobile apps would take advantage of the built-in webview engines on their respective platforms. There's also Electron for the desktop, allowing the app to be made entirely in HTML+CSS+JS. However, native apps might be better in some situations.

It's just a thought, though. I'd love to see a proper web-centric word processor made at some point. Who knows? I might even be the one to make it.

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