We are sure that if you had asked the old team - and we are sure some of you did - you would have gotten a long explanation about data consistancy, structure, design which would end up with it being better the way it is (was).
The basis for the HTML field is the memo introduced in 7.x which the avid reader of this site will now know is the basis for a lot of the new and exciting functionality in DE8.
When we first implemented the HTMLField we looked at several different editors. Our first Implementation was CKEdit but found it too cumbersome and outdated, we then tried TinyMCF but that was to rudimentary and equally outdated.
Then we came accross a very nifty little editor called Redactor which was both modern, small and fast and this was the choice we fell down on.
As it turns out Redactor is just too rudimentary and in the meantime CKEditor has come out with a completely new and modern editor which do everything we ever wanted our HTMLField to do.
Just have a look at the feature list:
Basic & advanced styling
Apply basic styles like bold and italic with ease, as well as more complex styling and semantic rules defined by the website developer. Rich styles, under control.
Plain text may be boring. Its sometimes nice to distinguish or highlight text with color or give tables more personality. With the color selector this job is a few clicks away.
Other than creating usual web links with ease, CKEditor makes it possible to build advanced links that can open popups, links to anchors, e-mails or any kind of web resource.
Creating e-mail links with CKEditor is as simple as inserting the desired e-mail address. Even the message subject and text can be set, so e-mails will be pre-compiled.
Advanced paste from Word
Most content is written in Microsoft Word and web browsers use HTML. CKEditor's powerful and unique Paste from Word feature makes it easy to convert text.
Properly quote text using the correct and semantics-aware <blockquote> tag. Other editors simply focus on the visuals, adding margins to standard paragraphs (that's so 90s).
Users with a bit of technical skills are able to precisely control the structure of their texts with our powerful Element Selector. It shows the hierarchy of HTML tags around the current cursor position, making it easy to manage them.
Find and replace
Finding words in the text is simple and effective with CKEditor. Even words with multiple styles (bold and italic) are properly caught. Replacing words is just as easy, including massive replacement operations.
For those who want to have full control over the structure of their text, the "Show Blocks" feature comes to help. It's a visual tool which outlines every single block of text, making it easy to control the semantics and the quality of the edited content.
Visual link anchors
Insert page "anchors" so other pages (or even the same page) can link to them, positioning the reader in the right place. These anchors are visible while editing, making their management easy and intuitive.
Pictures and photos bring life to articles. With CKEditor it's easy to insert and configure images in content. Having an integrated file manager like CKFinder uploading new images only takes a few clicks
There is no better way to explain and demonstrate data than using tables. With CKEditor users can create accessibility-compliant tables, as well as design them to better present their contents.
With CKEditor you'll be able to precisely control the printing break points of your content, assuring that prints will look as good as you wanted them to be
Form creation tools
Imagine if your end users could define web forms that could be used for e-learning tests, polls, research, etc. Well, you can! CKEditor brings all the necessary tools to properly create and manage forms and fields in your pages.
Authors dealing with advanced websites have to deal with Adobe Flash content in their pages. Nothing could be simpler. CKEditor allows easy control of Flash video preferences.
CKEditor may be used inside community websites, like forums or blogs, where people desire to express their feelings in text. The editor comes with a set of exclusively designed smiley graphics that can easily accomplish that.
With the "Insert Template" feature your web designer can create pieces of HTML that can be reused throughout the site, ensuring a common design quality in your pages.
Safe undo function
The best way to learn and understand an application and its features is by using them. With CKEditor you don't need to be worried, because every single action can be safely reverted, guaranteeing that you'll never break things or lose your texts.
Spell check as you type
CKEditor includes a zero installation spell check as you type (SCAYT) solution. No server integration required. The application is based on the quality spell checking services provided byWebSpellChecker.net.