Whilst the best solution would be to delve into the NicEdit code, and change the parts that present problems, I have found workarounds that mean I can get by without this for now.
In fact, I am not certain if this is truly a NicEdit issue, or the way WordPress builds it’s comments forms. I’ll leave the strict coding debate until I’ve fully investigated why it works in FireFox but not in MicroSoft Internet Explorer (MSIE).
In my first investigation I explained how wrapping elements in HTML Paragraph tags will break NicEdit under MSIE. The symptom is a small disabled NicEdit toolbar that renders it useless. I explained in that article about modifying the comments.php to remove the paragraph tags (or change them to DIV tags) re-enabled NicEdit. However, WordPress 3 has changed the way the comments form is built.
The good news is that there is no need to hack the WordPress core that serves the form. All that is needed is a simple change to the way the comments form is called in your theme.
Restore NicEdit As Your MSIE WordPress WYSIWYG Editor
If you are using a pre-WordPress 3 theme, your comments form is built directly in comments.php. Current themes replace many lines of code with a simple call to a new function – comment_form().
This is much tidier, but the default settings are very NicEdit unfriendly. Not only does it retain the MSIE-breaking paragraph tags, but default width settings do not get passed to MSIE at the toolbar rendering stage.
Additionally, the default form displays the allowed HTML tags. This is something very dear to my heart in a normal comments textarea. Visitors should be told which tags are allowed to save those frustrating times when you type a long and interesting comment, only to see it posted as garbled rubbish because the pre or code tags are not allowed. With NicEdit, such vital information is unnecessary, as the tags are all processed before the code is saved, and you can even configure which buttons are available.
So how do we get the comments form to display NicEdit properly?
The call to comment_form() is near the end of comments.php in the theme editor area. If you are not happy with editing themes, get in touch with the theme author and ask them to add comment form parameters in the theme options. Or if the theme is not supported, then let me know, and I’ll produce a NicEdit enabled version of it.
If you cannot find comment_form() then chances are that you have an older theme, in which case search for the textarea line, and adapt the following.
The comment_form() function allows most aspects of the comment form to be changed by passing an array of parameters. More details are in the WordPress codex, but all you need to do is paste the following between the brackets() of the comment_form function:
array('comment_field'=>'<div class="comment-form-comment"><label for="comment">' . _x( 'Comment', 'noun' ) . '</label><textarea id="comment" name="comment" style="width:350px" rows="8" aria-required="true"></textarea></div>','comment_notes_after' => 'Thank you.')
This simply changes 2 settings, comment_field and comment_notes_after by slightly changing the default WordPress code. I’ve cheated a little by including an inline style statement – my site is about getting things done quickly, and then we can argue with the purists to find more elegantly coded solutions. The important thing is that the following 3 NicEdit defeating issues are overcome:
- p is replaced with div to prevent MSIE “Unknown runtime error Line: 8 Char: 721”
- cols=”45″ is replaced with a width setting. Alternatively, you could probably set this in the style sheet, but I have not tested this.
- The allowed tags are replaced with a simple ‘Thank you’ message. You could change this to something else, or just the quotes to remove it entirely.
Change Defaults To Make NicEdit Your Best WordPress WYSIWYG Editor
In my previous article I explained the quick way to enable NicEdit to be your editor for WordPress comments or Question2Answer questions, answers and comments. Posting the default code certainly works, but you are at risk of losing the editor if the NicEdit site is unavailable.
The first thing you should do is copy NicEdit to your own server, and amend the first NicEdit line in your header.php to:
If you like to keep images in a separate folder from js files, you will also need to change the NicEdit defaults. You will probably need to do this anyway to change the default buttons and add extra features. So, amend the second NicEdit line to:
In this instance we are only changing the iconsPath, but any nicEdit parameters can be amended in a comma separated list.
If you’ve implemented these improvements and still have unresolved issues, please let me know below. As I mentioned earlier, I will soon publish complete step-by-step guides for NicEdit enabling Question2Answer and WordPress, combined and in isolation. I’d appreciate your help in making it as complete as possible by clarifying any issues you may still have.