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EditTablePlugin no longer makes its text area as specified.

%EDITTABLE{format="|textarea, 8x40|text, 40|"}%

should give two columns which are 8 characters high and 4 wide on the left and a 40 character single line on the right.

But in reality they only become 35 (test area) and 38 (text)

This feature worked correctly in Cairo.

See testcase below. Press edit button to see the problem.

Head1 Head2
Height is ok
This is supposed to be 40 wide but it is only 35 in edit mode.

Compatibility problem with existing TWiki apps (mine fails) and therefore urgent.


When I click edit table above, and look at the page source, I see this:

<textarea rows="8" cols="40" name="etcell2x1">Height is ... color="#ffffff">
<input type="text" name="etcell2x2" size="40" value="B"/>
I don't see anything wrong with that; it's exactly as advertised.

Are you having a skin problem?


Maybe it is a skin problem then. But did you look at the test case above? Did you count the number of characters? And did you do it with IE? It works on Cairo and not on Dakar.

I have reopened the bug because it is not solved. And it is a bug. I have changed it from Edit Table to Pattern Skin.

I will try and investigate a little more why it is shown wrong tonight. Maybe Arthur has an explanation.


The table has a padding. This increases readability.

If EditTablePlugin throws out specific class for the cell in which it puts a textarea or input field, I can make an exception in my style.css.


Firefox on Windows does The Right Thing, even with cell padding. IE/Win gives you less characters, Safari and Firefox on Mac give you more.

With IE/Win I get a vertical scrollbar in the cell that eats up space. The number of characters also depends somewhat (1 char more or less) on the font size of the browser.


AC and I had a good discussion about this one.

  • The technical issue is that Pattern Skin now shows the edit text as natural non-fixed pitch fonts. This makes syntax such as | textarea, <rows>x<columns>, <initial value> | make no sense with respect to width. For example 8X40 gives room for 35 number in IE and 39 numbers in FF. You can have less Ms and quite many "i"s.

The dilemma

  • Having an MMI that describes a feature where you setup an area which is x is confusing if what you want is a specific width for a specific purpose.
  • Having only fixed pitch font is bad because with normal text you can write more within the same space.
  • Having only natural fonts breaks backwards compatibility with twiki apps written in Beijing and Cairo which used fixed pitch. And especially number fields become too small.

AC and I agreed

  • Have EditTablePlugin show fixed pitch by default.
  • Add a style setting feature to EditTable linked to a CSS style so the TWiki App writer can choose to set the cells as using non-fixed pitch.

The first should IMHO be done before release.

The latter is a very nice feature and I will for sure make tables (and change existing) with natural fonts. But the style feature would be an enhancement that can wait. And since this is a plugin feature an updated plugin can be released at any time.

So I would implement fixed pitch right away and change this bug from urgent to enhancement and continue from there.

Now how to implement the enhancement part? Some proposals

  1. Make a TWiki Variable in the plugin. TEXTSTYLE = fixed or = natural - default is fixed. This will have site effect. You can set it differently in a topic when you want something else. All it does it affect which style class the plugin sets in the table HTML code
  2. Add a style parameter to EDITTABLE. It works on all cells within a table. style="fixed" is default even when not defined to maintain backwards compatibility with Cairo. style="natural" would be the other choice. It only affects text and textarea fields and only when editing.
  3. Add an additional parameter to the cell definitions. Like | textarea, <rows>x<columns>, <initial value>, fixed or natural |

  1. is a bit rudimentary and crude
  2. is easy to understand for all
  3. most flexible but also a bit stange. And it has to be last to not break backwards compatibility

I would think 2 would be a good compromize. And 1 could be chosen if 2 cost too much performance in speed. Edit Table Plugin is not the fastest.


I've added 3 css styles to the plugin (SVN 7826). In pattern's style.css I've set the input and textarea to monospace.


Excellent. Works great in IE. FF shows a few characters extra until you add more lines than the field height. Then it adds the scroll bar and the field width fits. This seems to be the way FF works.

So in my view the urgent part of this one is closed.

Now to the enhancement part. If there is a css way to change alter the text to natural font maybe the low or no risk way of dealing with the requirement for people to be able to change the style to natural non-fix-pitch font is to add a small section in PatternSkinCssCookbook which describes how to add a few hidden css lines in the topic itself which alters the style.

I would say if you could do that Arthur we could completely close this bug without further changing the plugin or css.


SVN 7829. See PatternSkinCssCookbookEditTableStyle.


Summary EditTablePlugin text and text area width is not correct.
ReportedBy KennethLavrsen

SVN Range Sun, 04 Dec 2005 build 7760
AppliesTo Extension
Component PatternSkin
Priority Enhancement
CurrentState Closed

Checkins 7826 7829 7830 7831
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Topic revision: r10 - 2005-12-10 - ArthurClemens
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