Item8860: Add inlinemarkup setting to TablePlugin so we can still be able to paste topic into emails incl inline HTML table formatting

Priority: Enhancement
Current State: Closed
Released In: 1.1.0
Target Release: minor
Applies To: Extension
Component: TablePlugin
Reported By: KennethLavrsen
Waiting For:
Last Change By: KennethLavrsen
I have installed the trunk version of TablePlugin here at Motorola because it fixed an issue with sorting that the current Release branch TablePlugin cannot handle.

Now I get a new problem. The project managers complain because the tables now look really bad when you copy the table into HTML emails.

Borders are wrong. Headers are wrong. And there are no grids and no alternate colours in the table lines.

I think the issue is that the plugin has changed from inline style to stylesheet embedded in the head of the html. That may be the sexy way for web developers but it creates a heck of a problem for the users.

When you copy from IE or FF to Outlook in an HTML mail it copies the HTML OK. But you have no style sheets or styles from the head of the HTML page from the browser so all become default naked HTML.

I have 3 different managers that have complained about the same thing now and they have not even talked to each other. And I also noticed that their hot line emails look like crap now.

In principle we have style issues with the entire page but it is in practical the tables that create the largest problem.

We need to find a solution how people can copy paste content incl tables into emails. No matter how much as may dislike emailing this is part of normal business life and Foswiki has so far been a great tool to semi-auto generate hotlines. It is one of the killer apps here.

An alternative could be to create a plugin that can create a HTML version of a Foswiki topic which converts the style sheet to plain HTML.

-- KennethLavrsen - 07 Apr 2010

I don't think this is urgent as a whole (I am sure it is for you). But after looking around I think the easiest solution is to bring back the html formatting from before version 1.000 and only use it when a parameter is set, for instance inlinestyles="on".

-- ArthurClemens - 08 Apr 2010

It is indeed urgent for me. I am loosing my management support for Foswiki. And I hope us top contributors continue to give each others problems priority as we have always done.

If the solution of doing inline formatting can be turned off by an attribute inlinestyles="on" that would be a fine solution for me.

But other ideas how to get rich style content into emails may be even better and more generic and not only cover TablePlugin.

-- KennethLavrsen - 14 Apr 2010

It is hard to say without knowing their requirements. For instance, do they use IE8 so they can use web slices instead of copy-pasting? Or would copy-pasting an image of the table work for them?

Web Slice Test

Cat Owner
Mew-to Kimberley
Sonny Jason

-- ArthurClemens - 14 Apr 2010

Hmm, I see that web slices also do not include the styles.

-- ArthurClemens - 14 Apr 2010

If they use Firefox: a nice addon is ScrapBook that allows to drag and drop pieces of a page to the ScrapBook manager, and those can be exported as a stand alone web page, including images, javascript and styles.

-- ArthurClemens - 14 Apr 2010

I am not sure how this scrapbook thing is supposed to work.

I installed it and tried to copy paste content from a scrapbook page to Outlook

It does not copy any styles. Same problem as copying from a webpage

-- KennethLavrsen - 15 Apr 2010

I tried it on Firefox on my windows pc. Open de Scrapbook sidebar. Select table text and drag into the sidebar: scrap is created. Right click and select export.

-- ArthurClemens - 15 Apr 2010

The exported HTML does not look good when viewed and when you paste the table from the exported HTML into outlook, you get the exact same naked table with no grid and no styles as when you copy from the browser and paste into Outlook.

You have to try with Outlook. Nearly all corporations use Outlook at the one and only email client.

The problem with the exported HTML is still that the styles are defined in the head section and not inside the table. When you copy from browser to email, you only get the body html copy/pasted.

It is not essential that the table looks exactly as the screen. The issue is that it has no styles at all and no grid so you cannot see where the rows and columns. It is all a big mess to look at.

-- KennethLavrsen - 20 Apr 2010

Shall we do the inlinestyles attribute then?

-- ArthurClemens - 20 Apr 2010

Yes please.

This is the single most common complaint I have from my manager colleagues. The problem with copy paste into email is gigantic for them.

It is not just an Outlook problem. It is the same if you paste into Thunderbird.

I really need this fixed. Please help me. If nothing else then with hint so I am apply the needed fix.

If there a problem with simply reapplying the HTML inline styles?

The major problems with the styles are missing grids, missing padding, allignments, and missing column widths.

This item did not show up in release blockers because the Component field was not set to TablePlugin. But it is a severe release blocker. I need to have this fixed soon. I get critique about this weekly now. It is serious for me. I use the trunk version of the plugin because I also needed some sorting issues fixed.

Good news is that besides this issue the trunk version of the plugin is rock stable. Also in 1.0.9.

-- KennethLavrsen - 22 Jul 2010

I emailed with Arthur and he promissed to give a hand with this one.

I hope I can participate. In principle I could do this one but I fear I will mess up the idea that Arthur built so I prefer that he at least starts.

The agreement is to reapply the inline HTML but with an inlinestyles attribute so people can choose if they want it or not and set the default table attributes to include it or not.

This would be in addition to the CSS. The CSS is not harming anything. It is the lack of inline HTML that gives the copy/paste problem because the CSS is not copied. Only the HTML inside the text you copy.

-- KennethLavrsen - 27 Jul 2010

A nice UX bump on this would be an optional "Share" button that could float up to the corner of a table ( share = "on" ). That way your PM's don't even have to highlight - just click the button, and copy the inline-styled version to the clipboard.

Granted, clipboard access via javascript isn't on by default in Firefox, but it would be a nice timesaver. I like the idea of macros having the option to de-contextualize themselves a bit more, so it's not just all about topics.

Clicking the "Share" button could give you the option to copy, email, or direct-link a block of content. Kind of like all those silly social sharing buttons, but actually useful smile

I realize this comment has turned into a feature suggestion, but I thought it was worth putting down before I forgot.

-- AaronFuleki - 30 Jul 2010

I've started working on this.

-- ArthurClemens - 30 Jul 2010

And done. Please check if this works.

-- ArthurClemens - 31 Jul 2010

Thank you so much for addressing this.

We are nearly there.

It works with inlinemarkup in TABLE tag.

But if I add it in configure or I set it in TABLEPLUGIN_TABLEATTRIBUTES it is ignorred. Any setting we have should be possible to define in configure or in TABLEPLUGIN_TABLEATTRIBUTES

I intend to turn this on globally. People copy from websites to emails all the time so I never see any need to not having this turned on. Maybe some skins will not like it. But with PatternSkin there is no difference to be seen. The CSS wins over the inline anyway. It is only when you copy to emails that the inline is actually used.

-- KennethLavrsen - 31 Jul 2010

Of course. I have fixed this now.

-- ArthurClemens - 31 Jul 2010

It works absolutely great now.

I noticed that with 3 digit colours mixed with 6 digits some programs like IE 8 and Thunderbird thinks the 3 digit is black.

Changing them all to 6 digit works around this. Not a bug in Foswiki but in some of the programs we use with Foswiki.

I changed the default settings to same colours but all 6 digit.

I am going to install this on Monday at work. Many people are thankful to you for this fix.

Arthur: heartheartheartheartheart

I will add a little note to release note and set this to Waiting For Release.

-- KennethLavrsen - 31 Jul 2010

ItemTemplate edit

Summary Add inlinemarkup setting to TablePlugin so we can still be able to paste topic into emails incl inline HTML table formatting
ReportedBy KennethLavrsen
Codebase trunk
SVN Range
AppliesTo Extension
Component TablePlugin
Priority Enhancement
CurrentState Closed
Checkins distro:171c210800dd distro:0d205c0ea412 distro:ad3421541e85 distro:c863e8862805
TargetRelease minor
ReleasedIn 1.1.0
Topic revision: r25 - 04 Oct 2010, KennethLavrsen
The copyright of the content on this website is held by the contributing authors, except where stated elsewhere. See Copyright Statement. Creative Commons License    Legal Imprint    Privacy Policy