By Damien Fitzpatrick, Senior Director of Products @Ephox
In the twelve months since Ephox and Moxiecode merged we’ve been very focused on bringing new value to TinyMCE. We have added a variety of new capabilities to the open source version of TinyMCE, including image editing tools in 4.2, media embeds and code snippets in 4.3, and the new, minimalist “Medium-style” InLite theme in our latest update, 4.4.
We know that features aren’t everything, and the overall quality is paramount in making our users productive, so it has been a key focus. TinyMCE has hundreds of millions of users, working with the editor in thousands of applications, and we want to ensure that the work that we’re doing makes their lives easier.
The Ephox team has invested a lot of time recently in reviewing the bug backlog of TinyMCE. We’ve found that over the course of TinyMCE 4 development – from 4.0 through to the latest, 4.4 – there were over 500 bugs that we could close as we could not reproduce them.
Given TinyMCE’s ubiquity, the impact of bugs can be profound. For example, if bugs in the editor cause each of the 500 million TinyMCE users just 1 minute of lost productivity a year makes for around 950 years of working hours lost, never to be seen again. It’s mind-boggling when you think about it.
That’s why over the last few months we’ve been putting a lot of effort on improving the quality of TinyMCE. In the software game, it’s often too easy to let the bright lights of features distract from the importance of quality. However, quality is something that we plan on never losing sight of, and a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes recently, especially on testing.
There are a variety of things that have been happening on improving QA tests for TinyMCE:
- We added behavioural and property based testing to TinyMCE’s automated test suite
- We’re developing new testing frameworks, so we can better emulate typing (an important thing for a WYSIWYG editor)
- We’re starting to get a handle on the bug backlog
Between the browser vendors improving contentEditable (a little) and overall TinyMCE development, we’ve seen a substantial increase in quality over the past 12-months. It also leaves the community with a much more manageable bug list and focuses our efforts on those things that are still issues for our users.
We thank the TinyMCE community for your commitment to and support of the project. I’m sure we all want the same thing, which is the growth and continuous improvement of the best rich-text editor. Now we just need to work out how we can spend those newly-spare 950 years of work. Or maybe we should take some more vacations?