Write Area: It's Alive

Finally, after waiting for almost three months since the release of version 0.7 , the extension has been approved in AMO and you can install it in Firefox without the need to be registered!!!.

Wow, I didn't thought that it would take that long since I created the first prototype at the end of 2007. The code itself didn't take too long, there were only a few problems due to the restrictions of being in chrome and a few differences (one problem that still remains is the fact that no tooltip is shown in the toolbar icons, I still haven't tried to find out if it's just a bug or there is some workaround that doesn't means rewritting the toolbar with XUL.

One interesting fact about running inside chrome (besides the fact that the clipboard buttons work without the need of any other special setting) is that images from the clipboard can be pasted inside the content.

Yes, that means that if you have a document with some images inside and try to paste it inside Write Area, those images will be shown while you are editing (trying to do it in any other site won't show anything because it's using a path to your computer). But when you press the save button the images will remain in your Hard Disk, and they won't be shown in the final web.

But let's think about it: Write Area is running as an extension, it has the ability to read local files, so that means that when the Save button is pushed, I can check if there's any image in the content that it's pointing to the local disk, and send it to a web server, get the proper path to use that image and replace the original reference with this one.


It needs a little coding and a way to know where to send the pasted files.

Wouldn't it be really nice? You just write your content, prepare any screenshot and paste directly there, and when you press Save everything is uploaded (or maybe even after pasting, the file is automatically uploaded while you keep on writing)

Ok, let's not digress any longer and install Write Area right now!


Anonymous said...

The extension is very nice and works well in Fx 3. Thanks

Do you suppose you could update it to work with with the Firefox 3.1 Trunk builds? Right now all it does is crash Firefox.

I realize it is early and Firefox 3.1 is still in alpha, but it would be nice if it did work.

I'm using Firefox 3.1 because there are some impending performance patches I'm hoping I can benefit from.


Alfonso said...

Thanks for the warning.

I've filed https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=451880 about it, let's hope that they can fix it soon.

Arouca.biz said...

you should put the magic WYSIWYG word in mozilla extension listing page, so we could fint your extension better.
Keep up the good work.

Marcos Krucken Pereira said...


I was using Imacro and selenium to test my site. But neither work with fck. Theres is someway I could use your Write Area to make selenium or Imacro write in fckeditor?


Alfonso said...

@arouca: sorry, I didn't understand what you meant. I've updated the description, I hope it's better now (although I can see only the old description in the public site).

@marcos: I don't think so. For the moment this extension doesn't cooperate too much with existing FCKeditor installations (except for the spellchecker if you use that plugin), anyway, you can try to test it.

splatter666 said...

Great plugin! ...But now that I've installed FF 3.03, it's not working.

I no longer get an editing window of any kind, though I get a "WriteArea" tab on the Windows toolbar; which would normally indicate a new window is open but nothing happens when clicking (right or left) on it. It will highlight when the mouse goes over it, though.

The only way to close this WriteArea tab is to completely close FF, then close the tab using Task Manager.

Yours is the best editor I've found for FF, so I'm looking forward to using it again. Thanks!

Alfonso said...

Are you sure that you are using 3.0.3?

it works fine for me, but fails in the 3.1b due to https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=458898

splatter666 said...

Hey Alphonso.

Yep... in "About Mozilla Firefox...", my version number is 3.0.3

splatter666 said...


I've reinstalled 3.0.3 and it still didn't work. Then I reverted back to FF 3.0.1 and it's not working here either - but it had in the past.

Then I uninstalled and reinstalled WriteArea, and no joy either.

So now I'm wondering what else would have changed.

BTW, thanks for referring me to that Bugzilla notice, because that is the issue happening - but ONLY with WriteArea - I haven't had this problem with any other new windows opening.

I've also checked my Java settings and I have "open new windows" allowed.

Tis a mystery...

Alfonso said...

Uninstalling Firefox usually leaves your profile around (with all your preferences and settings).

You can try to create a new profile (store the current one because it might help later to understand the problem) and install there just the extension and check if it works. Then it would be a matter (if it works in the new profile) to find out what's different, some extension or some preference.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Alfonso, but how it works? I've installed the add on, but I don't know where is it or how can I use...!

If you can write me in Spanish...better!

Alfonso said...

Ve a una página que tenga un área de texto, como en esta para añadir comentarios.

En ese área, pulsa con el botón derecho y en las opciones aparecerá: Editar mediante WriteArea

La elijes y escribes lo que quieras. Luego le das a grabar y si el área realmente permitía el HTML que has escrito entonces se mostrará correctamente. (Aquí no es posible escribir por ejemplo los P, así que rechaza el mensaje)

vratner said...

Awesome plugin! No problems with installation, and using it whatsoever. A few comments: It would be really nice to see tool tips on icons, and also, is it possible to add the ability to attach local files? Thanks, and keep up the good work!!!

Alfonso said...

The missing tooltips are due to some bug in Firefox, they do exist, but I don't know why they aren't shown.

I'll look at it someday, but I would rather see it working in Firefox 3.1, that's a bigger issue.

Attaching local files means providing some configuration to upload it to some host, I might do it, but it might take longer.

Alfonso said...

I've uploaded a new version: http://alfonsoml.blogspot.com/2008/12/write-area-075-available-as.html remember that you must login to AMO in order to download it until it's approved (I'll request it tomorrow unless something goes wrong, but it can take a long time to get the review)