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  1. Product idea
  2. IDEA-5

Tiny MCE6 as default HTML content editor

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      Introduction

      This work is being tracked for development in https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-75071. Andrew has provided additional context, background, and considerations on that issue.

      The first stage of this work will be released with Moodle LMS 4.1 LTS. Also please see the "Transitioning" section below for information on the individual pieces of work.

      Background

      Editing is at the core of building content in Moodle. Text remains one of the key communication tools used across the entire application – from course content to forum posts. This text is interwoven with other media – images, video, and dynamic content – but it is the text editor which is used to author all this content.

      Moodle's default text editor, Atto, is an in-house developed editor, started many years ago due to challenges with off-the-shelf offerings, particularly in relation to accessibility. Moodle does include support for alternative text editors, and out of the box includes a (very outdated) version of TinyMCE as an option.

      Atto has served Moodle well, but it has struggled to keep pace with the expectations users have of editing on the modern web. It is clear that building a solid text-editing experience could occupy all of Moodle HQ's development capabilities – and indeed, there are companies such as TinyMCE and CKEditor built around building only text editor components.

      To speed our development, modernise our editing experience, and set Moodle up for success and new capabilities well into the future, we are therefore undertaking to deprecate Atto and replace it with an off-the-shelf option.

      The replacement: TinyMCE

      After exhaustive research and experimentation, we have settled on TinyMCE as our replacement editor. Moodle HQ's Principal Architect explored alternatives including QuillJS, CKEditor, Prism Editor, Gutenberg, and more besides.

      TinyMCE was chosen for numerous reasons, including the ease with which plugins can be authored, its license and open source nature, and its maturity and capability.

      Considerations

      Atto plugins

      Atto has a vast library of plugins that the community has built and upon which the community relies. As we transition, we will need to engage with plugin authors to migrate or build alternatives.

      Transitioning

      • DONE: Add TinyMCE, with Atto as the default. It is likely that not all plugins or capabilities will be available. MDL-75071
      • Moodle 4.2: Retain Atto, but make TinyMCE the default. MDL-75926 and MDL-75915
      • Moodle 4.5: Deprecate Atto, moving it out of the standard installation to become an optional plugin.

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              matt.porritt@moodle.com Matt Porritt
              barry.vanoudtshoorn@moodle.com Barry van Oudtshoorn
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                Clockify

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