Typos and Comments

Pavel Panchekha

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Web Browser Engineering is a book about the web, on the web, and of the web. Less flippantly, I want the book to be strengthened by the capabilities of the web. I’m starting with reader feedback.

Like any writer, I edit repeatedly; good writing is rewriting. But typos slip through, and hunting them down is too hard: my attention wavers and I stop focusing. But readers notice.

Now readers can let me know. Open a chapter of Web Browser Engineering and press Ctrl+E. After entering your name, hover over any text, and you will see options to suggest changes or add comments.

The code is quite simple: when you select “Typo”, that paragraph is marked contenteditable, an HTML feature that turns on rich text editing on the client side. Then, when focus leaves the paragraph you are editing, I bundle up the old and new text contentDealing with HTML content and formatted text is too complex and not too important for a book. and ship it to a server, which saves the results.

Submitting a typo doesn’t change the book for anyone else.In fact, the book is statically compiled with Pandoc and then uploaded to the server. Only I make changes. But I can review all the changes, and fix any typos I find. The server uses Python’s difflib package, to show a word-level diff,I have different modes for code and for text, since whitespace is relevant in one but not the other. so the typos are easy to find and assess. Since I ask for your name before enabling feedback, I can thank you in the final version of the book.