One of my predictions for 2007 is a new editor for the web with ‘edit in place’ functionality. I love the idea of edit in place… rather than logging in through a totally separate administration, a user can simply start typing and build their HTML the way that they wish to.
Here are some comprehensive blog entries on Edit in Place from Joseph Scott. If you’re not a programmer and you’re wondering what I’m talking about, here’s an example page. Joseph is kind enough to make all of his work available for download.
I look forward to someone designing an entirely new editor unlike the plain ‘ol Microsoft Word editor that seems to be popping up everywhere on the web. It looks as though even Microsoft is bailing on that one with Office 2007 with the new ‘Ribbon’ interface. It’s bad enough in the current Office (can anyone get bullets to work right?), now we have to see it all over the web? Even Google Docs uses a similar editor (and bullets don’t work there, either).
We need a new paradigm for editing documents, presentations, html, email etc. Edit in Place could be the start of this paradigm. I read a great quote in Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win this weekend from ING Direct’s Arkidi Kuhlmann:
If you do things the way everybody else does them, why do you think you’re going to do any better?
For most companies, sites, blogs, etc. and their email communications, there is already a defined style to the format of their work. Imagine the application where a company’s brand manager can simply paste their style sheet into an application and “edit in place” does the rest?! Wouldn’t that be a dream come true?
Editing would really be down to text and images… the number of buttons and menus could be totally limited. For some, perhaps it’s just plain text that folks are allowed to enter and nothing else!
Who’s ready to build it?