EW3 - Editor Wars v.3 EDITOR WARS

Comparative HTML Editor Reviews, v.3


[ Main Page ]  [ about ]   Version 3.00.02, last updated on 2000/01/02


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Category: Text-based Editors
Manufacturer: Allaire Corporation, www.allaire.com
Download: 10 MB, trial version no longer available

  What it does.    



Apparently, HomeSite 2.5 was too good to be shareware because early last year, Allaire (the makers of dynamic database application Cold Fusion) went and hired Nick Bradbury, the author and bought the application for incorporation into Allaire's product line.

For a while, people fretted that this might bode ill for the continued development of the application, but quite the opposite happened: After a prolongued silence, HomeSite is back with a vengeance.

The version reviewed here is HomeSite 3.0.1, which has since been superseded by HomeSite 4.0.1.



  The Light Side.    



HomeSite, while remaining a text-based editor, offers almost everything one could wish for in a HTML editor, including a handful of handy options to speed up tedious tasks that come with writing code by hand:

  • Tag Completion means that HomeSite will automatic complete certain tags, meaning that if you start typing something like <TD> , HomeSite will automatically add </TD> , thus completing the tag syntax.

  • Tag Insight signifies that if you type in something like <P ALIGN> , HomeSite will drop down a multiple choice box inside the text entry field where you can select the full ALIGN="" tag by pressing return. Next you will be given the option to choose one of the alignment options allowed by HTML (up to 4.0) with another drop-down box.

  • Tag Tips are like Windows' ToolTips, only that they appear while your cursor is over a HTML tag inside the text.

All of these helpers can be fine-tuned or even deactivated.

HomeSite also includes a HTML tag checker (CSE 3310 HTML Validator) which is fully integrated into the application, a FTP upload wizard and a multitude of other useful feature such as an Special Characters Picker, a 216 color palette, link validation, project management, an integrated MSIE browser pane and a comprehensive HTML online reference manual (HTMLib).



  The Dark Side.    



HomeSite Version 3.0 had some rather nasty buglets which didn't really destroy any work, but annoy the user greatly. Version 3.0.1, out since March 1998, fixes most issues -- upgrading is free.

While you can define your own code snippets to be entered with a single mouse click, you cannot assign a keyboard shortcut to that snippet. Speaking of keyboard shortcuts, you are stuck with HomeSite's key assignments here, so better get used to the fact that Ctrl-Shift-Z does a redo and not Ctrl-Y (as seen in other Windows applications).

Given that all online help is offered in HTML format, it is anything but context sensitive. At leat it is searchable -- much better than Dreamweaver's kludgy online manual.






HomeSite succeeds where other text-based HTML editors often fail, in aiding the web developer instead of distracting him/her. There is a learning curve, but it is a slight slope rather than a steep hill.

The tag helpers are quite convenient and they keep the user from entering tags with syntax or spelling errors (no more <P ALGIN> and such horrors). They are also expandable, meaning that you can define your own tag assistants and tags.

The in-built validator "keeps you honest", diligently noting your every tag error. A double-click into the validator's output makes the editor jump exactly into the line in question -- very nice.

Both Fusion 3 and Dreamweaver 1 bundle HomeSite free of additional charges.

Available for Windows 95/98/NT for 69 US-Dollars






No comparisons since this product is no longer being sold and since it is at present the only text-based editor on this site (I'm so ashamed).



  Related Materials.    



Web Resources

  • none (product is no longer being manufactured/sold)



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