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An outsider’s Tiny peek at Product Week 2019

Marty Friedel

June 3rd, 2019

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Marty Friedel
Marty Friedel

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Trends & Inspiration

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I can’t lie … it was a really inspiring experience to visit Tiny’s 2019 Product Week in Brisbane, Australia – and no, not just as an excuse to wear shorts and enjoy Brisbane’s subtropical climate.

So, who am I? My name is Marty, a web developer from Melbourne, Australia, and a (very) long term user of Tiny’s best-in-class content editor, TinyMCE. With the release of TinyMCE 5.0 (and some changes to the way we, as developers, need to develop for and interact with the editor), I wrote a few blog posts to help other developers get up and running with the changes of Tiny 5 especially around Dialogs and Plugin development – and you may have seen these be shared in some Tiny monthly emails – hopefully they’ve helped you out too!

Product Week gave the Tiny team the opportunity to work together on a project based around TinyMCE – but outside of their normal day-to-day business. On Monday morning of Product Week, the Tiny crew came from around the world to Tiny’s office in Brisbane for five days of team building – and opportunities to be creative with team-based outside-the-box development projects. Divided in to six teams, their goal was simple: develop something innovative and cool that could provide additional value for TinyMCE 5.

Fast forward 20 hours of coding time, and I arrived in the office on Thursday morning, and met an office full of talented developers, designers, authors and managers – so many faces and so many names – all of who were making insane progress on their team’s project. Lucky for me, I had a sneak peek the week before of just what everyone was working on – and was really excited to see what could be whipped together in just a week.

Throughout Thursday, I had some one on one time with some of the Tiny team, and the opportunity to talk about my experiences (and challenges and wish-list) as a developer and provide first-hand feedback from my clients, the end users, of the TinyMCE product. And in return, I learnt so much about the history and evolution of the product, some hints at the future releases, and even a really cool feature with so much practical potential (have you read my blog post about the Autocomplete feature yet?)

On Friday, after only 30 odd hours of development time, each project team had the chance to present their project. The range of project subjects was so diverse – I got to see Tiny MCE included in a standalone Electron app for a desktop-level word processor, real-time collaborative editing by multiple authors, a streamlined and simpler “get started” guide for new developers, an insanely powerful Tiny build with markdown support built in, and also image features like an image search (with plenty of cat gifs, of course) and gallery builder.

But which was my pick of the bunch? To be honest, I can’t pick just one. Every single team delivered a working model of something really useful that has potential to help different audiences.

Some content authors may want an easy way to search and insert images without leaving the editor – and just think about how this could become an incredibly easy and intuitive task for authors who may not have any idea about uploads and img tags.

Some authors may want to write their content via a desktop app, including local file saving and streamlined thought process workflows – and even more exciting that it is able to publish directly to WordPress too – the potential to plug in to any online system gives this idea so much room to blossom and become a solid yet light-weight distraction-free authoring tool.

Other authors may be more technical and want to write in markdown – but still have syntactically correct HTML generated from it in real time. As a developer, quality HTML markup gets me more excited than it should – and as always, is a key requirement of the Tiny team too.

One of the most exciting projects was to watch real time collaborative editing take place by multiple users (and block level locking to prevent overriding each other’s changes). This level of collaboration could make multiple authors work together with a really streamlined and unobtrusive approach.

And all of this built with TinyMCE 5, and all in a week. Version 5 of TinyMCE is such a revolutionary upgrade of a classic rich text editor and is the start of an incredible framework that has so much growth ahead of it – and it has been so rewarding to see these different project ideas show off TinyMCE’s versatility.

While all of these projects really showed off the insane talent of the developers, designers, managers and engineers that Tiny has in-house, they don’t necessarily represent the next features to come – but did show off what could be made possible. Maybe you’ve got a brilliant idea of how TinyMCE can be used to create an incredible authoring experience too – they’re such a friendly bunch so would love to hear from you. I know for sure I’ll be sticking my head in their office next time I’m in Brisbane.

Product Week 2019 echoes Tiny’s commitment to creating the best possible authoring experience – while also staying flexible to be integrated with the workflows, systems and needs of different content authors’ and the way they work.

—Marty

Editor’s note: Marty has not only been a long-time TinyMCE user, but has also contributed significantly to the community, especially around the TinyMCE 5 release. We’re happy to share links to show a little love in return:

Mity Digital | Marty’s website & blog | Marty’s TinyMCE posts | Github Repo for TinyMCE Plugins

Guest
Marty Friedel
byMarty Friedel

Marty is a web developer, landscape photographer and group fitness instructor. He's also a (very) long-time user of TinyMCE and writes about JavaScript on his blog. https://www.martyfriedel.com/

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