Issues and Pitfalls

This article addresses some known issues with the Draft editor framework, as well as some common pitfalls that we have encountered while using the framework at Facebook.

Common Pitfalls #

Delayed state updates #

A common pattern for unidirectional data management is to batch or otherwise delay updates to data stores, using a setTimeout or another mechanism. Stores are updated, then emit changes to the relevant React components to propagate re-rendering.

When delays are introduced to a React application with a Draft editor, however, it is possible to cause significant interaction problems. This is because the editor expects immediate updates and renders that stay in sync with the user's typing behavior. Delays can prevent updates from being propagated through the editor component tree, which can cause a disconnect between keystrokes and updates.

To avoid this while still using a delaying or batching mechanism, you should separate the delay behavior from your Editor state propagation. That is, you must always allow your EditorState to propagate to your Editor component without delay, and independently perform batched updates that do not affect the state of your Editor component.

Missing Draft.css #

The Draft framework includes a handful of CSS resources intended for use with the editor, available in a single file via the build, Draft.css.

This CSS should be included when rendering the editor, as these styles set defaults for text alignment, spacing, and other important features. Without it, you may encounter issues with block positioning, alignment, and cursor behavior.

If you choose to write your own CSS independent of Draft.css, you will most likely need to replicate much of the default styling.

Known Issues #

Custom OSX Keybindings #

Because the browser has no access to OS-level custom keybindings, it is not possible to intercept edit intent behaviors that do not map to default system key bindings.

The result of this is that users who use custom keybindings may encounter issues with Draft editors, since their key commands may not behave as expected.

Browser plugins/extensions #

As with any React application, browser plugins and extensions that modify the DOM can cause Draft editors to break.

Grammar checkers, for instance, may modify the DOM within contentEditable elements, adding styles like underlines and backgrounds. Since React cannot reconcile the DOM if the browser does not match its expectations, the editor state may fail to remain in sync with the DOM.

Certain old ad blockers are also known to break the native DOM Selection API -- a bad idea no matter what! -- and since Draft depends on this API to maintain controlled selection state, this can cause trouble for editor interaction.

IME and Internet Explorer #

As of IE11, Internet Explorer demonstrates notable issues with certain international input methods, most significantly Korean input.

Polyfills #

Some of Draft's code and that of its dependencies make use of ES2015 language features. Syntax features like class are compiled away via Babel when Draft is built, but it does not include polyfills for APIs now included in many modern browsers (for instance: String.prototype.startsWith). We expect your browser supports these APIs natively or with the assistance of a polyfill. One such polyfill is es6-shim, which we use in many examples but you are free to use babel-polyfill if that's more your scene.

When using either polyfill/shim, you should include it as early as possibly in your application's entrypoint (at the very minimum, before you import Draft). For instance, using create-react-app and targeting ie11, src/index.js is probably a good spot to import your polyfill:

src/index.js

import 'babel-polyfill';
// or
import 'es6-shim';

import React from 'react';
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';
import App from './App';
import './index.css';

ReactDOM.render(
  <App />,
  document.getElementById('root')
);

Mobile Not Yet Supported #

Draft.js is moving towards full mobile support, but does not officially support mobile browsers at this point. There are some known issues affecting Android and iOS - see issues tagged 'android' or 'ios' for the current status.