At present by changing the editor Options > CSS > Typography from ‘Default’ to ‘Custom’ you affectively disable the editor ‘Auto Style-sheet Parser’ in favour of using your own custom Stylesheet. However, if you haven’t written any Object, Block and Inline styles in your custom stylesheet it’s going to look empty like yours presently does.
We are doing a lot to improve how the editor works with styles and if you do a ‘fresh install’ of versions 1.8.4 you will see that the 4th icon column isn’t used anymore in the style list! This has been streamline down to 3 columns and was done to remove Joomla's icon set to prevent any possible bootstrap 2 conflict with 3rd party templates.
Where are we going with this?
The ‘Auto Style-sheet Parser’ is a ground breaking tool because it actually looks at what styles are being used in your template rather than just reading from a stylesheet directly. Without it on you can end up with something that looks different because it is not reading from the same stylesheet that is being used on the frontend of your site. A classic example of this is with Joomla’s own Bootstrap. If the editor is to read from this directly then it will come with the stock Bootstrap styling however, most templates nowadays are using their own Bootstrap with its own custom theme added to it. This can result in a button looking different in the editors editing area from how it is seen on the front end template.
To overcome this and the complexity of modern templates we now need to look at what’s being rendered in the template first rather than pulling in a bunch of CSS stylesheets. This is to say that the ‘Auto Style-sheet Parser’ will be on all the time. You still will be able to add your own custom stylesheet for the editor but it will work as an addition not a replacement. Our aim is to set a new benchmark in moving forward because modern templates are becoming very complex.
We are also going to clear up the editor ‘Style list’ and remove any template framework from being used such as Bootstrap 2, 3, 4 and UiKit so the ‘style list’ is going to become more optimised and clearer to use.
Also the editors own ‘Default Stylesheet’ is going to be much lighter in version 2.0 and only reserved for formatting (like H headers) and element styling. Essentials day to day stuff will stay like floating images, modal lightbox styles but that’s it!
The editor styles such as: alerts, wells, labels, callouts, icons etc… will be decoupled in version 2.0 and packaged as a separate plugin on our repository. Also the template plugin will follow suit and again be found on the repository.
All this means that the editor will work much faster!
However, these changes are making way for something new.
With the release of v2.0 we will be launching a new product call Ark Widget. The Ark Widget is a powerful content templating system which allows users to insert and use Bootstrap elements whether that is: tabs, galleries, accordions, buttons, and alerts directly into their content. Along with this users will have the ability of creating their own custom library of HTML and CSS widgets for their projects. You will also be able to automatically load in content template based on their category and custom HTML modules. This is also designed the be modular so you will be able to install UiKit addon and other frameworks.
But where it gets really interesting is how all this stuff can work with inline editing! Please see a short clip ‘Bringing Bootstrap alive with inline editing’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwgRwbL9pW8. So for instance if you look at the carousel you will find that it can be updated and edited inline.
I think this is a really interesting place to head because then we could start replacing some of the functionality you would expect to find in a standard module with a Ark Widget such as a carousel! This would be updatable and manageable inline! As we can already support media playback inline (please see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3KbqbPv8Rg) this set to be pioneering and interesting road to travel down.
We could end up with a completely inline editable template. Galleries, tabs, accordions the lot and with Frontend Menu Editing this doesn’t appear to be that far way.