Facebook’s draft.js is the browser-based editor we’ve been waiting for
1 min read

Facebook’s draft.js is the browser-based editor we’ve been waiting for

It’s 2016. You’re an engineer tasked with building a fully-featured, rich text “WYSIWIG” editor for Acme Corp. in a month. WTF do you do? Until recently, either you argue the requirements down to something provided by an off-the-shelf editor, convince your company to use Markdown, or look for a new job.

Since the dawn of HTML, it’s been incredibly difficult and time-consuming to build a word processor in the browser. It’s ironic too because browser’s have had native technology to allow people to input rich text into a “content editable” element for a just as long. Alas, its behavior has been wildly inconsistent across platforms, making it difficult to write a consistent experience.

Draft.js is Facebook’s answer to this problem. And most importantly, it’s open-source, the community is actively growing, and it’s built one of the fastest growing open-sourced projects ever: React.js.

Since then, there weren’t any great out-of-the-box solutions to the complexity of building a great editor in the browser. There have been several open-sourced projects[1] to address this. And even Google open-sourced their field editor years back as part of their Closure project, internally referred to as TrogEdit. In fact, Medium’s world-class editor is built on top of this technology partially by ex-Google engineers.

I’m excited that today there’s a new hotness in town. And having ditched my own hand-rolled editor and now working with Draft.js since version 0.1.0, I believe that it will accelerate the world of browser editing forward and continue to build momentum over the next couple of years.

[1] http://jakiestfu.github.io/Medium.js/docs/, http://quilljs.com/

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