nodebb-plugin-composer-quill: WYSIWYG alternative to redactor

  • No problemo @Kosiak , do check back on this plugin after October.
    If you are looking for WYSIWYG then I believe this could be the solution for you, since Redactor unfortunately may be on its way out.
    Take care and good luck with your forum!
    btw: i started few months ago as none-coder like you (and yeah I still suck...), so be careful you might get addicted and convert 😉

  • Hi @PitaJ .

    I am trying to debug nodebb-plugin-emoji and make it work with quill.

    I cloned your depository, and compiled, however I can't see the sourcemaps of emoji-dialog.ts.

    I tried changing tsconfig.json to include: "inlineSourceMap": true, "inlineSources": true, but still no sourcemap. Interestingly, emoji-setup.js does have a sourcemap.

    Any idea what I am doing wrong?
    Thank you!

  • Hi @PitaJ

    Its difficult without a debugger, but I am quite confident the issue stem from showDeferred function - see init in emoji-dialog.js and look for getBoundingClientRect.
    Either tabContent[0] or elem (from callback) are undefined.

    The above code gets executed upon clicking the emoji icon in quill, that is, as a result of the dispatcher:

    formatting.addButtonDispatch('emoji-add-emoji', function (textarea) {
                    new Promise(function (resolve_4, reject_4) { require(['emoji-dialog'], resolve_4, reject_4); }).then(function (_a) {
                        var toggleForInsert = _a.toggleForInsert;
                        return toggleForInsert(textarea);

    Console output:

    Failed to initialize emoji dialog TypeError: Cannot read property 'getBoundingClientRect' of undefined
        at n (emoji-dialog.js?v=q79j5o5953s:1)
        at emoji-dialog.js?v=q79j5o5953s:1

    I wonder if this gives you any clue with regards to a potential fix.

  • Global Moderator Plugin & Theme Dev

    @JJSagan I'll look into it and see if I can find a solution in the coming days.

  • Hi @julian and @PitaJ

    While reviewing the composer redactor code, I noted you are using a special set of emojis, rather than nodebb-plugin-emoji.

    To that end, I took another look at rendering the quill-emoji plugin (, that is, without using a deadbeat quill editor. See an earlier post how to install.

    The solution was to write a customized rendering code using converter.renderCustomWith(). See my suggested changes to library.js:

    plugin.parseRaw = function (raw, callback) {
            //Convert delta strings
    	if((raw != null) && (raw.hasOwnProperty("ops"))) {
    		raw = JSON.stringify(raw);
    	try {
    		var unescaped = raw.replace(/"/g, '"');
    		var content = JSON.parse(unescaped);
    		var converter = new QuillDeltaToHtmlConverter(content.ops, {});
    		converter.renderCustomWith(function(customOp, contextOp){
    			if (customOp.insert.type === 'emoji') {
    				return `<span class="${customOp.attributes.class}" src="${customOp.insert.value}"><span contenteditable="false"></span></span>`;
    			} else {
    				return 'Unmanaged custom blot!';
    		raw = converter.convert();
    	} catch (e) {
    		// Do nothing
    		winston.warn('[composer-quill] Input not in expected format, skipping. - ', raw);
    	callback(null, raw);

    I'll play with it some more, but so far it looks solid.
    Perhaps its better to use quill-emoji (over nodebb-plugin-emoji), to insure long term compatibility with quill.


  • GNU/Linux Admin

    There's no reason you can't use quill's emoji, although as emoji plugin is bundled with NodeBB, it would definitely be better to use our own emoji plugin 😄

  • Hi @julian

    One disadvantage to quill-emoji is that they are using data-uri. Rendering the pack upon refresh is slow. The png file is huge and re-downloaded for some reason on each refresh. Offloading the png to S3 also proves to be very difficult (its currently under /public).

    It should be possible to integrate nodebb's plugin. I tried but its difficult to work without a debugger (for some reason I can't access the source map due to webpack config - see post above). Nevertheless I pinpointed the problematic code and asked @PitaJ for some help. Wish I had the source map available...


  • GNU/Linux Admin

    @JJSagan All things will be completed in time 😄 Just need to find the time is all 😓

  • Hi @PitaJ

    My apology, I can't figure out how to create source map in nodebb-plugin-emoji, specifically for emoji-dialog.js. Can you please help? I'd like to work-around the issue we are having with quill, so that @julian won't have to spend his time on this.

    A bit of guidance and i'll be on my way, scouts-honor! ✌ (no three finger emoji...).

    Thank you in advance!

  • Global Moderator Plugin & Theme Dev

    @JJSagan I never really needed the sourcemap file on the client side since the compiled unminified js code is essentially the same as the typescript source. Are .map files not being generated in the build directory alongside the compiled js files?

  • Hi @PitaJ ,

    The issue with source map was my bad: emoji-dialog.js is compiled as module and I was working in dev mode, so the code got minified by nodebb engine. Switched to prod, and able to work.

    Now for the goodies, in emoji-dialog.js kindly consider adding the following code in line 174:

    //if Quill
                opener = (<HTMLScriptElement[]><any>document.querySelectorAll('button.ql-emoji-add-emoji'))[0];

    In a nutshell, opener is undefined when Quill is used, specifically because the emoji icon is placed on a different bar belonging to quill. The above code checks if Quill emoji selector exists, and if so properly assigns opener.

    nodebb-plugin-emoji is without a set, so I installed nodebb-plugin-emoji-one, and... we have emojis displayed in the modal. Next I need to figure out how to insert them into quill.

    Stay tuned.

  • Hi @julian , @PitaJ

    Finally got nodebb-plugin-emoji working on Quill.
    As an added bonus, the emojis can be used inside the post AND in the title bar.

    In emoji-dialog.js make the following changes, allowing quill to work side by side with composer.

    1. Top of file, add import:
    import { active as activeComposer } from 'composer';
    1. In toggle, update opener if quill is available:
    export function toggle(
        opener: HTMLElement,
        onClick: (e: JQuery.Event, name: string, dialog: JQuery) => void,
    ) {
        function after(dialog: JQuery) {
            if (dialog.hasClass('open')) {
  'click').on('click', '.emoji-link', (e) => {
                const name = (e.currentTarget as HTMLAnchorElement).name;
                onClick(e, name, dialog);
            //If Quill
            if($('[data-uuid="' + activeComposer + '"] .ql-container.ql-snow'))
                opener = (<HTMLScriptElement[]><any>document.querySelectorAll('button.ql-emoji-add-emoji'))[0];
    1. Update toggleForInsert as follows. Note the changes allowing emojis in title bar:
    export function toggleForInsert(textarea: HTMLTextAreaElement) {
        toggle($('[data-format="emoji-add-emoji"]').filter(':visible')[0], (e, name) => {
            var quill = $('[data-uuid="' + activeComposer + '"] .ql-container.ql-snow').data("quill");
            if(quill) {
                var range = quill.getSelection();
                if (range) {
                    if (range.length == 0) {
                        //User cursor is at index
                    } else {
                        //User has highlighted text - deleting and replacing with emoji
                        quill.deleteText(range.index, range.length);
                    quill.clipboard.dangerouslyPasteHTML(range.index, (<HTMLElement>(<HTMLInputElement>e.currentTarget).children[0]).outerHTML);
                //User cursor is not in editor (range is null) -> change focus to the title's textarea
                textarea = <HTMLTextAreaElement>(<any>(<HTMLScriptElement>document.querySelectorAll('.composer.resizable[data-uuid="' + activeComposer + '"] input.title.form-control')[0]));
                var text = <string>(<any>(<HTMLInputElement>e.currentTarget).children[0]).alt;
                var selectionStart = <number>(<any>(<HTMLScriptElement>document.querySelectorAll('.composer.resizable[data-uuid="' + activeComposer + '"] input.title.form-control')[0])).selectionStart;
                var selectionEnd   = <number>(<any>(<HTMLScriptElement>document.querySelectorAll('.composer.resizable[data-uuid="' + activeComposer + '"] input.title.form-control')[0])).selectionStart;
            } else {
                var text = `:${name}: `;
                var {selectionStart, selectionEnd} = textarea;
            var end   = selectionEnd + text.length;
            var start = selectionStart === selectionEnd ? end : selectionStart;
            insertIntoTextarea(textarea, text);
            updateTextareaSelection(textarea, start, end);

    Note I am using dangerouslyPasteHTML that slightly changes the link/img html of the emoji element (for example, removes emoji classes). We can use the quill converter from quill-delta-to-html, perhaps it will make a slightly better job, or hardcode ourselves, that is, if these classes means anything...

    As for dangerouslyPaste, using the converter above will not make it any safer. We have to sanitize the delta in the server. Any attempts to sanitize in the client are futile, as someone can just take over the client code and push whatever he wants to the server...


  • Global Moderator Plugin & Theme Dev

    @JJSagan is there any specific reason you aren't implementing the same composer API which the redactor and default composers implement?

    Congrats on getting it to work, though.

  • Hi @PitaJ,

    Unfortunately Quill does not use textarea to store html code representing the edited text, but has its own JSON-like format. On the negative side, the default composer implementation will not work. On the positive side, this is a big plus for security, as someone can't just paste HTML and have that break the server. That does not mean we should not implement code-sanitize on the server side, as someone can post evil code that will be converted to html when other users view posts.

    Note that I edited my post above to include my final emoji-dialog code. It will now insert the emojis into the proper place, and also allow emojis in the post tile as an added bonus.

    Have a good weekend!

  • Global Moderator Plugin & Theme Dev

    @JJSagan does redactor have a textarea doing that? I didn't think it did. The purpose of the composer API is so that these manual implementations don't have to be done. If there are changes we need to make to the API for it to work with quils model, we can do that.

  • Global Moderator Plugin & Theme Dev

    Let me expand on that. The textarea parameter doesn't have to be an HTML textarea. Really, all it is in the context of the API is an object on which the various helper functions in composer/controls operate. Realistically, you can either ignore it or provide a mock object emulating some of its behavior (like the selectionStart and selectionEnd properties).

    Edit: another thing. Right now it looks like you're just pushing in the parsed HTML of the emoji. I'm sure this works and has the advantage of showing up in the preview. However, this isn't ideal because parsed emojis link directly to the emoji images. If the forum switches emoji packs, these will all break since they are not parsed server-side when a post is requested, but rather stored as pre-parsed HTML.

  • Hi @PitaJ

    In Composer and Redactor, you have one lumped textarea. The plugin can insert anything to it, as html. The text area is saved in the db, as-is.

    So for example, in Composer/Redactor, the phrase: "Gandalf the Grey" would be saved as is, or maybe as "<p>Gandalf the Grey</p>" however with Quill, you'd get:

    delta = {
      "ops": [
          "insert": "Gandalf the Grey\n"

    Read about delta here:

    As you can see, with quill, the notion of pushing "textarea" around (for example, in composer handlers) simply does not work. Perhaps for a unified architecture, consider pushing just the "" (uuid, source of events) and the changes.

    As such, a unified composer would receive changes from the plugins, in the form of (, index, len, data), and translate these changes to the editors (whether in html or delta format), without user intervention or knowledge.

    A good place to start is reviewing the quill's APIs, They may perhaps provide an idea how composer APIs can be enhanced.


  • @PitaJ ,
    That's possible. Perhaps that's the way to go. Note I ignored textarea to make the emoji work, exactly like you described.

  • Hi @PitaJ ,

    I can look into changing the store format.
    May I assume you would like to see emojis stored as follows: :${name}: - for example: "🙂 "

    Can you please let me know what function i can call to render the emoji? is the function accepting ":${name}: " returns html link?

    Rendering the emojis in posts should be possible (i'll have to write a small blot).
    However, displaying the emojis inside quill editor may prove challenging as I'll have to write a plugin for quill.

    One Q/D solution is to use the store a link (as I do now), but just before the post is sent out for storage, to replace the link with :${name}:. However, long term you may want to capture text such as 😏 and automatically replace with emoji, so a quill plugin may make more sense.

    Looking forward for your response,

  • Global Moderator Plugin & Theme Dev

    @JJSagan said in nodebb-plugin-composer-quill: WYSIWYG alternative to redactor:

    Can you please let me know what function i can call to render the emoji?

    The function you're looking for is buildEmoji:

    You have to pass in the emoji object, which you get from the table. Both are exported from the emoji requirejs module.

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