Do you write right-to-left? Help us test the code editor!

kdangoor

1

In the current Firefox Aurora, we have a better text editor for writing code (JavaScript and CSS are two good examples). We have adapted the Eclipse Orion editor for use in Firefox. Unfortunately, in the process of bringing Orion in, we discovered what appears to be some deficiencies in how it handles non-English text.

There are always tradeoffs when it comes to software, right? This new code editor is much more pleasant to use for writing JavaScript in the Scratchpad. It also performs much better on files with many lines. Add to these the fact that code is not the same as natural languages and Scratchpad is specifically for editing code and that leaves us with a choice:

  • Do we turn on the editor now to get the benefits for writing JavaScript and just put up with the internationalization problems for the time being? Or,
  • Do we wait until we fix the editor before we turn it on for everyone by default?

Internationalization and accessibility are two things that are actually quite difficult to get right. A great deal of effort has already gone into the editors in the major browsers to get the behavior correct. Unfortunately, the features you want from a rich text editor are not the same as the ones you want from a code editor. The ideal case, and the one we’re ultimately shooting for, is better APIs from the browser that will help JavaScript programmers make whatever custom editor behavior they wish while still maintaining support for people using any of the world’s natural languages and people with accessibility needs.

How you can help

We’re looking for input specifically from people who use non-English words in their JavaScript or CSS files. The testing we’re doing right now is with the Scratchpad feature, which focuses on JavaScript.

If you have Firefox Nightly, just open up the Scratchpad from the “Web Developer” menu and you’ll see the new editor.

If you have Firefox Aurora, you’ll need to change a setting before you’ll see the new editor. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Go to about:config in the location bar (you may get a warning about this… it’s okay, we’re professionals ;)
  2. Filter on devtools.editor
  3. Right-click on devtools.editor.component and select “Modify” from the menu
  4. Set the value to orion
  5. Restart your browser

Now, open the Scratchpad from the “Web Developer” menu. You’ll know that you’ve got the new editor when you see line numbers in the gutter on the left side of the window.

Here are some hints to help us test:

  1. Type in JavaScript code as you normally would (comments and all)
  2. Use the normal cursor navigation controls that you generally do
  3. Try selecting blocks of text
  4. Copy and paste code into or out of the editor

If you haven’t tried Scratchpad before, you might want to check out the Introducing Scratchpad blog post to learn more about the feature.

Let us know what you think!

After you’ve given Scratchpad a try using the instructions above, please fill out a really quick, painless survey to let us know how it went.

Your answers to that survey will help us gauge the real world impact of this new feature.

How to reset your editor

If you found that the new editor was problematic for you, you can change the editor back to a textarea, even on Nightly. Here’s how:

  1. Go to about:config in the location bar (you may get a warning about this… it’s okay, we’re professionals ;)
  2. Filter on devtools.editor
  3. Right-click on devtools.editor.component and select “Modify” from the menu
  4. Set the value to textarea
  5. Restart your browser

Thanks!

Early testing and feedback from people like you makes Firefox better for everyone.

One response

  1. Pingback from ویرایشگر جاوا اسکریپت Orion در فایرفاکس ۸- آزادراه on ::

    [...] موزیلا فایرفاکس ۸ در کنار ویرایشگر فعلی Scratchpad که برای آزمایش و دیباگ کردن کدهای جاوا اسکریپت استفاده می‌شود، ویرایشگر جدید Orion را معرفی کرده است. این ویرایشگر جدید بطور پیش‌فرض در فایرفاکس Aurora و نسخه‌های nightly این مرورگر فعال است. Orion از جاوا اسکریپت و CSS پشتیبانی می‌کند، که در فایرفاکس ۶  برای Scratchpad معرفی شد، و امکاناتی بیشتری نظیر syntax highlighting را نیز اضافه کرده است. در حال حاظر تنها زبان انگلیسی، بدلیل بروز چند مشکل هنگام بررسی زبان‌های غیر انگلیسی، پشتیبانی می‌شود. [...]