Across all departments at Ephox, there’s one special trait you’ll find present in every Ephoxian: inquisitiveness.
There are millions upon millions of people who interact with TinyMCE every day- be it end users, integrating developers or product managers. They all contribute to a fascinatingly diverse landscape of TinyMCE use-cases and we’re always interested to keep learning more about what people are doing with the world’s most used rich-text editor.
Last month, I gave a special presentation at the Joomla Users Group Meetup in Brisbane that focused specifically on the History of Ephox and TinyMCE. It was an awesome opportunity for the Joomla community to learn about both the history of Ephox and the upcoming features coming to TinyMCE.
For Ephox, it was a great opportunity to learn more about how we can better serve the Joomla community and learn things such as:
- How do Joomla contributors (or volunteers) integrate TinyMCE and what are their trials and tribulations?
- What are the experiences of those who install, maintain and extend Joomla instances?
- How do end users operate Joomla to create fantastic websites and content-applications?
A little backstory
Ephox has been the host of the Brisbane WordPress Meetup for some years now, so we’re no stranger to meetups! While WordPress and Joomla certainly have their differences, members of both meetups share a lot of similarities: developers want a CMS that’s easy to install, upgrade and customize. Content creators want a simple and effective interface for creating great content for their audience.
People often don’t associate the word “Ephox” with components of their CMS (and to a lesser extent, people don’t associate the brand “TinyMCE” with the bold, italic and underline buttons they see in their application). Speaking at this meetup was the perfect opportunity to help both the Joomla community and Ephox share, learn, and engage.
Going beyond the Bold button
I arrived at the event and met with a wonderful group of diverse individuals with unique Joomla experiences. They ranged from people who run a single Joomla instance for their own simple website to those who run tens, if not hundreds of customised client solutions.
The meetup location was less than a city block from the Ephox Brisbane office. I was sure to let the Joomla community know that there are a bunch of talented people just down the road who are super interested in knowing more about Joomla and all of those who interact with it. It’s always great to learn more about applications that incorporate TinyMCE.
Much like many of the communities we work closely with, we want to empower Joomla and the best way to make that happen is to understand:
- Who are the types of people that interact with the application (end-users, developers, integrators, designers).
- What are the goals of these diverse Joomla stakeholders?
- Where do they succeed and where do they struggle?
- How can Ephox help to improve their lives?
Software exists to fulfill a need – and TinyMCE and Joomla are no different.
Here are my slides from the Joomla Users Group meetup
What I learned
Integrations of TinyMCE are always interesting – whether it’s out-of-the-box capability or customized functionality that developers create to enhance the end-user experience. It was eye-opening to see how developers were using the extensibility of TinyMCE to further the content creation experience in Joomla.
I was provided with great praise in that the editor did what an editor should do best – bold, italic, underline, lists and tables, in addition to working great on all browsers. However, I could sense the community wanting more in terms of functionalities out-of-the-box.
One simple example here revolved around the current hyperlink insertion behavior. Currently, a hyperlink to another page in the Joomla site requires navigating to that page in a different browser tab, copying the URL, returning to TinyMCE and pasting in the link. Our discussions about this process highlighted that desire to be able to search for pages within the insert link dialog itself. Some liked the idea of a tree-like navigation structure. Others preferred a simple search textfield. The desire to save time by enabling simpler link checking capabilities is clear and we’ve got a fantastic feedback on how we could allow users to do just that. It was the kind of discussion we live for at Ephox.
Overall, it was empowering to see how TinyMCE was helping introduce this type of enhanced functionality to Joomla as a platform.
At Ephox, we truly do want to improve people’s lives and help them create great things. Talking with TinyMCE users of all skills and walks of life help us to continue to create editing experiences that easily integratable, maintainable and easy to use.
We’d love to hear about your TinyMCE experiences, no matter the use case. Please share your thoughts in our Community forum.
There are exciting opportunities ahead for us here at Ephox to continue making Joomla an excellent platform for content creation with TinyMCE, and I look forward to continue connecting with the community.