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TinyMCE issues with Japanese input (especially IME)

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Problems' started by Dominion, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    I set up my forums on the internet a week or so ago and got our staff registered so they could help troubleshoot the translation. Within a day they started reporting problems with the editor.

    While using the rich-text editor, some of them noticed that the most recent line of previously entered would disappear suddenly, much as described in this bug report. However, they also report that it doesn't always happen after a backspace: in a couple cases hitting Enter does it as well, and one person said it would occasionally happen for no apparent reason.

    I had them set their prefs to use the plain text editor by default, and that fixed the text problem of text disappearing. But then they noticed another problem that affects longer posts. When a post hits the 25th line or thereabouts, the text in the editor frame starts to "jitter" each time they type a new character. (One person said it happens much earlier, around the 12th line.) This isn't quite as big a problem as text disappearing, but it's still irritating enough that they fear people will be less interested in participating in the forums.

    The people affected by these problems are all using Windows (from XP to 7) and various versions of Microsoft's built-in Japanese language front-end processor, IME. I'm afraid I can't describe the issue in too much more detail, because they all live quite far away.

    We hadn't noticed the issues here, but we use OS X and ATOK, our FEP of choice, gets along fine with TinyMCE. I have noticed one small issue when trying to enter text with Kotoeri (Apple's built-in FEP), which is that every now and then the first character or two of a new unconverted line will get adopted by the editor while I'm still typing, which means that it can't be converted as a group with the rest of the line. It's a minor issue, but it's also irritating as it means the line needs to be typed over from the beginning.

    We don't have anyone using an Android or Linux system, so I can't speak for them. (These systems still aren't very widespread in Japan, and finding a solution that works for Windows users is going to be a priority in any case.)

    I don't know how easy it will be to get TinyMCE fixed or replaced with something else, but just now our entire staff is not thrilled with the idea of using XF for our forums. (I've had them try out the editor in IP.Board 3.2 on Invision's site, and they all report that it works without any issues; so it's pretty clearly an issue with TinyMCE and not IME.) The future's looking grim for Japanese XF. :(
  2. ENF

    ENF Well-Known Member


    I will have a look at this particular bug to see if I can reproduce it in a manner as described.

    Suggesting that TinyMCE be replaced because of this, that's a bit far-fetched. The Japanese forum market is already tiny as the majority of Japanese internet users prefer more simplex systems that can be more easily used on mobile devices. (That and and generally speaking, don't like registering for BBS type services, mixi is probably the winner of this circle right now....)

    We're mixing it up with a mixed language site for Japanese and English users, but translating XF into Japanese went off the table until (if ever) the regular Japanese user is more willing to use western style discussion forums. (catch 22, I know.... but time is money.)

    Anyway, being able to post in Japanese is of course important, so lets see what shakes lose.


    Panupat likes this.
  3. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    Mixi's fine for some, but cannot be used for commercial purposes. These days many small and medium businesses are looking for solutions that will allow them to provide a community for their customers. We're one of them. And our translation is done, at least on the front end; though there may be a couple phrases I've missed here and there.

    All of which is beside the point. If TinyMCE can't be fixed or replaced, then we can't use XenForo. Our staff are that worried about these issues. I went ahead and plunked down the cash for XenForo because I thought it would right for us; but when it comes to deciding what we actually use, I'm but one voice among many. (Well, a few, anyway.)
  4. Luke F

    Luke F Well-Known Member

    No problems with the Japanese IME on TinyMCE here using Windows 7 and Firefox 5 beta - typed several lines with no disappearing lines or 'jitter' or anything like that.

    Could it be browser related?

    Edit: Also appears to be fine on Internet Explorer 9 in compatibility mode.
    Dominion likes this.
  5. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    I'd have to check, but I think everyone who reported the problem was using IE8.

    I didn't see the disappearing text problem with IE8 on my own Windows 7 system, but the one staff member who also has Windows 7 says she didn't see it either. Everyone who saw it uses either XP or Vista. However, I'm told the jittering text problem happens on Windows 7 too. That's one thing I haven't checked yet on my system.

    (UPDATE: Sorry, I got confused. The Windows 7 user did see the disappearing text problem. It was the jittering text she didn't see. Please see my post #13 below for details.)
  6. Luke F

    Luke F Well-Known Member

    The only jittering I'm noticing is the text on the current line jumping up and down 1px as I type, and that's only in Internet Explorer.

    I don't use the Japanese IME much, but it doesn't seem like a major issue if that is what you mean.
    Dominion likes this.
  7. ENF

    ENF Well-Known Member

    Hmm... well, I've tried to replicate some type of error including the one shown in the bug report without success.

    According the local XF files, this TinyMCE is v3.4 (most current version is 3.4.3)

    I tried mostly from Win 7 machines and one Vista laptop. (Work laptop is Vista Enterprise in Japanese... and stuck with IE7)

    Going to poke around a little more, but nothing I've seen so far is cause to worry. In looking at the TinyMCE update/change logs, they kick out some decent results fairly often it seems.

    Edit: thanks for the detail on post #5 -- time to fire up the WinXP machine, knew this would come in handy for tests.
    Dominion likes this.
  8. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    Thanks for checking. I'll ask and see if that's what they're referring to.
    I appreciate your taking the time to check. If there's a fix that'll keep the staff happy, I'm for it.
  9. James

    James Well-Known Member

    Dominion likes this.
  10. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    Good idea, James ... I'll point them there and see what happens.
  11. Panupat

    Panupat Well-Known Member

    How was your testing?
  12. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    Still in progress. The staff are helping out admidst more important (paying) jobs, so we move at their convenience.
  13. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    Okay, all the reports are in, and I can give a more accurate account of what's going on. (It seems I got a bit confused about who was seeing which problem along the way, so I'll correct those here as well.)

    Disappearing Text Issue

    All four of our staff members noticed this problem when trying to post on our site. I was also able to duplicate the problem on my own Windows 7 setup. Previously entered text disappears in a variety of circumstances:
    • Hitting the Enter key after entering converted text
    • Typing new text after entering converted text
    • Hitting the delete key to delete an unconverted character
    • Hitting the delete key with the cursor at the start of a line of converted text
    Those are just a few variations that we've noticed. I was able to see all of these during just a few minutes of testing.

    We all tried the demo at the moxiecode site linked by James, and nobody saw any text disappear. This would seem to rule out the possibility that it's a browser issue. The remaining possibilities are as follows:
    1. It's an issue that has been fixed between 3.4 and 3.4.3.
    2. It's something to do with how TinyMCE is implemented in XF.
    3. There's something odd about my XF installation (no idea what that might be).
    Jittering Issue

    Only two of my four staff members noticed this problem when using the editor in plain text mode. One is using Vista; the other, Windows XP. The staff member with Windows 7 hasn't seen it, and neither have I.

    The remaining staff member, who also uses Windows XP, does not see this issue. That person is using the 2007 version of IME, whereas the other XP user who does see it is using the 2003 version. It seems either a very old IME or a very new one (in Windows 7) is proof against the jitters.

    As for how bad the problem is: it's not a matter of text moving a pixel. Rather, then entire content of the editor box drops down a line every few keystrokes (it looks like it's happening every time the user tries to convert the text being entered), so that the line of text currently being edited drops below the frame and can't be seen. If you can't see the text, you can't check whether it's being converted correctly. They're right, this is very frustrating.

    One staff member kindly captured the phenomenon, in case you'd care to see it. Here's a zipped WMV file:

    Attached Files:

    James likes this.
  14. Panupat

    Panupat Well-Known Member

    can you reproduce it on the official forum? I tried typed out bunch of JP sentences, can't seem to get it.
  15. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    Yes, I just confirmed that the disappearing text issue happens on this board as well. (In fact, I had to enter the previous sentence twice because the language switched to Japanese after I entered it the first time, and I deleted it with a single press of the Backspace key.)

    Panupat, are you using a Japanese version of Windows? Or another version plus the Japanese language pack?

    That may have something to do with it.
  16. Luke F

    Luke F Well-Known Member

    Since the plain text editor is just a textarea, it must be a conflict with the automatic resizing.

    See if it still happens with the Elastic class removed on the editor textarea
    Dominion likes this.
  17. Panupat

    Panupat Well-Known Member

    I'm using the microsoft IME that comes with windows 7 ultimate. I don't think it has any language pack. I typed about 5 lines of random words and pasted a bunch random japanese sentences.
  18. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    Good call, DI. I tried commenting out the "max-height" attribute in the "textarea.textCtrl.Elastic" class of form.css, and both staff members reported that whereas the jittering previously started at line 21, it now starts at line 31. This makes me think it might be possible to get even better results if I remove the class from all the affected templates, as you suggest. (However the person who provided the capture has also mentioned previously that it doesn't always start at line 21, so it's possible there's something else at work.)

    This may be a good workaround for the workaround, but it doesn't get us any closer to using the rich text editor. That's an ability I'd really like to have, as I think our website's audience would prefer the buttons to manual BBcode editing.
    I've never bought a non-Japanese version of Windows, and wasn't aware that the Japanese IME shipped with other versions as well. (But I did have to install an English language pack to get my Windows 7 Ultimate installation to display an English UI. I was assuming the Japanese IME would be installed with the Japanese language pack.)

    I don't know why you're not seeing this issue, but that doesn't change the fact that we are. Those affected by the issue have only one thing in common: we're all using Japanese versions of Windows. So if the problem doesn't happen with non-Japanese versions of Windows, I'd venture to guess that this has something to do with it.

    I'm going to put XF development on the back burner for now, and spend some time working on other parts of my site. (While the XF installation I have isn't ready for the general public, it will allow my staff to communicate as we get our WordPress site up and running.) In the meantime I'll keep an eye on this thread, in case there are any developments.
  19. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    I will look at updating TinyMCE, though it can be a slightly painful process.
  20. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    Thank you! I'd certainly like to see whether that eliminates the disappearing text issue.

    If it doesn't, then I'm not sure what the next step would be.

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