Inline Edit: Blanks -- initial, embedded, and trailing

Eli Cochran eli at
Tue Jul 22 20:23:06 UTC 2008

I'm with Paul, that trimming of whitespace should be configurable for  
the inline editor, or maybe there is a call back that allows the  
developer to insert their own validation and/or manipulation "on blur".

Most data in web app benefits from have leading and trailing spaces  
removed. It's a rare case when you want to keep it.

- Eli

On Jul 22, 2008, at 10:27 AM, Paul Zablosky wrote:

> It's interesting that a lot of the tricky issues with Inline Edit  
> are associated with "whitespace" -- blanks, tabs, newlines, and  
> "emptiness".  Here it's a case of the user having to deal with the  
> internal value of the string (which may contain repeated spaces)  
> while editing, and later seeing the display value which has been  
> filtered through HTML.  If the user is used to doing markup-language  
> text editing, they probably understand what is going on. If they're  
> used to WYSIWYG, they probably don't.
> Paul
> Anastasia Cheetham wrote:
>> On 21-Jul-08, at 8:05 PM, Paul Zablosky wrote:
>>> A couple of questions:
>>>     • Is the trimming and compressing of blanks part of the  
>>> intended behaviour of the component?
>> The compression of blanks is a side effect of the way HTML works -  
>> if you put a string of spaces into HTML markup, they are displayed  
>> as a single space. If you want what is called a 'non-breaking  
>> space,' you have to use the special character ' ' instead of a  
>> regular space character.
>> It's a question for the designers as to what would be the ideal  
>> behaviour when a user enters a string of spaces into the edit field.
>>>     • Shouldn't the width of the edit box be the same as the  
>>> editable text width?
>> This is a good question - another one for the designers, I  
>> suspect :-)
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Eli Cochran
user interaction developer
ETS, UC Berkeley

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