EW3 - Editor Wars v.3 EDITOR WARS

Comparative HTML Editor Reviews, v.3


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  Text-based Editors.    



In a nutshell: grotesquely overblown ASCII editors.


Text-based editors are, essentially, ASCII editors with in-built support for HTML. These can be limited to helpful dialogs for entering the right parameters to the current tag or go as far as to offer a drop-down box inside the main window which gives the user all the tags allowed in the current part of the HTML document.

In a time of WYSIWYG editors, why would anyone want to edit his or her HTML code by hand? The reason is simple: WYSIWYG editors, in spite of their name, only give an approximation to the end result in the browser. Also, they don't allow the user full control of the code, hence limiting page design options.

The best text-based HTML editors don't just offer the user full control over his or her code, but also an IDE for all HTML development needs (JavaScript, Perl, Python) and complete site management functionality (link checker, validator, graphical site overview).

Pros and Cons

In the worst case, these amount to little more than NotePad enhancements, providing a bit of syntax highlighting and tag editing help.

In the best case, these are fully-fledged IDEs to create web pages.



  Editors Reviewed.    



Current Reviews

  • none at the moment (arrrgh)

Archived Reviews



  Terms used.    



File Tabs - folder-like tabs which indicate the current file name or view.

IDE (Integrated Development Environment) - An application which combines numerous functions/features under a common "roof", i.e. the user doesn't have to switch applications to execute different tasks which are part of the development cycle.

Link Checker - An application, either integrated or external, which tests all links on a page, both external links (to other sites) and internal ones (to other pages on the same site).

MDI (Multiple Document Interface) - An interface style where several documents are contained inside a common main window. Alt-Tab or Ctrl-F6 switches between windows.

Site Management - Initially, when a home page only encompasses a single HTML document or half-a-dozen pages, it is easy to manage the links and images contained therein. Once you reach critical mass, which starts with a dozen pages, every time you add or move a page, the links on the other pages must usually be updated. Site management functionality assists the user in updating the pages by checking links, providing a visual map of the files contained in a site and changing references when a file is moved.

Validation - Checking whether the HTML code written is fully compliant, i.e. whether it contains any structural errors. Erroneous code can cause browsers to crash or display pages incorrectly. Usually, errors are returned in a log file. Both online and offline HTML validators are available.



  Related Materials.    



Other text-based editor reviews




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