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Thread: HTML Editors

  1. #1
    Graham Petrie
    Guest

    Default HTML Editors

    Hi,

    A recent comment by Rod J in the "your own website" thread has prompted me to start this thread (in order to prevent hijacking the original) to discuss the role of the HTML editor in writing HTML.

    I have used notepad and found it to be acceptable - although a lot of help off websites was required to learn HTML.

    Rod J recommended I try a HTML editor called Aracnophilia.

    My partner has used Selida, and I know people that have used 1st page.

    My question is, do you veteran HTML'ers recommend using a HTML editor?

    If yes, why (over notepad etc) and which one? Why that one?

    Do you use an HTML validator?

    Which and why?

    Also a couple of other saml queries.

    Which character set do you use? (eg UTF-8 etc)
    Which version of HTML? (eg 4.01) Why?
    When a validator tells you that an apostrophe or inverted commas are invalid characters, do you bother changing them to their HTML ascii values? (eg &#34 and &#39)

    Thanks alot for your time.

    Oh, and a breif line about the length of your experience (eg years) would be helpful.

    Cheers

    G P

  2. #2
    -=JM=-
    Guest

    Default Re: HTML Editors

    Notepad is perfectly fine. The only point in going to something else (hand coding) is so that the HTML coding is coloured. Which makes it a lot easier to determine from the text for the site.

    If you've got Office 2000/XP (not sure on others) there is Microsoft Script Editor which does the job quite well. Also has a WYSIWYG interface if you're into that kind of thing.

    More benefits of other things above Notepad. The ability to preview what is happening. Which avoids the big [pre][alt][f][s] [alt]+[tab] [F5][/pre] kind of thing that happens with the 98se notepad anyway. At least the 2K one lets you use CTRL+S

  3. #3
    Graham Petrie
    Guest

    Default Re: HTML Editors

    LOL :-) I must press that key combo a thousand times a day. The other one is ALT + F -> S, ALT + TAB, TRANS (FTP CLIENT), ALT +TAB -> TAB, CTRL + F5.

    G P

  4. #4
    Mike
    Guest

    Default Re: HTML Editors

    > If you've got Office 2000/XP (not sure on others)
    > there is Microsoft Script Editor which does the job
    > quite well. Also has a WYSIWYG interface if you're
    > into that kind of thing.

    I also use the Microsoft Script Editor from Office 2000/XP. Although I did find that the XP version didn't like opening saved HTML files, but that could have just been my old setup, so I'll try it again one day soon.

    If I could afford it I'd buy Dreamweaver MX, as this would have to be the best HTML program I've used, but I'd probably still go back into MSE to remove some of the added code that most of the big HTML programs add in.

    Colour coding for different parts of the code is essential - if not only because it helps spot where you might have made an error (no close tag etc.)

    I do also use a validator, TidyGUI from www.w3.org (I think that's the URL), really to make sure that most of my HTML etc. will display on various browsers, and also sometimes it cleans it up and removes unneeded stuff, which could make the HTML file smaller overall (small is always good).

    I also test using IE & Netscape, and at different resolutions (easy to do when using two screens). Oh, two screens also make it good for previewing, as you can see what it looks like on one screen, and do the editing on the other.

    I have occasionally used Frontpage XP, which is nice and easy to use - good for beginners I guess - but it adds a LOT of unneeded MS code which is not good, especially if you want to view the page in a non-MS browser. MS Word is even worse for this! I made a nice easy page once in Word, saved it as a webpage and had a 44k page. Cleaned it up (using MSE) and got it down to a massive 5k , so I really recommend against using Microsoft Word to make web pages.

    I think I had something else I wanted to say in here, but I forget what it was now

    Mike.

  5. #5
    Mike
    Guest

    Default Re: HTML Editors

    > Rod J recommended I try a HTML editor called
    > Aracnophilia.
    >
    > My partner has used Selida, and I know people that
    > have used 1st page.
    >
    > My question is, do you veteran HTML'ers recommend
    > using a HTML editor?

    I've recommended in my other post, but I have to say that 1stPage2000 would have to be one of the best free HTML editors I've ever used.

    > Which character set do you use? (eg UTF-8 etc)

    I don't

    > Which version of HTML? (eg 4.01) Why?

    Generally the latest (if that's 4.01 then that's it), as I want to be able to do as much as possible, and I don't want that to restrict me. If people haven't updated their browser to handle it, then its their problem, not mine.

    > When a validator tells you that an apostrophe or
    > inverted commas are invalid characters, do you bother
    > changing them to their HTML ascii values? (eg "
    > and ')

    Not usually. Occasionally I've used the code values for other characters, just to be sure they're displayed, but common ones like " or ' etc. should just be typed in as such. The validator I use has never brought those to my attention.

    > Oh, and a breif line about the length of your
    > experience (eg years) would be helpful.

    about 3 or so years now I guess?

    Mike.

  6. #6
    Susan B
    Guest

    Default Re: HTML Editors

    I started learning HTML a couple of years ago and used notepad exclusively until I learnt the basics then decided to try an editor after finding some free ones.

    FrontPage Express was the first, but I found that too frustrating so I tried Arachnophilia until I heard of 1stPage 2000, which became my preferred one. I've also got HTML-Kit but I keep coming back to 1stPage.

    Notepad is fine for quick and dirty jobs, including touch-ups and check-ups but for spending quite a bit of time on a job the HTML editors come into their own.

    Like JM said, the code is coloured and helps it to stand out. Another thing that beats notepad hands down is search and replace. I often copy and paste the first page and make a template of it. Using search and replace makes it so easy to change the text that needs altering. Prior to the editors I used to copy and paste into Word, do the alterations then copy and paste it back again. It had hassle stamped all over it.

    What else do they do?

    - Drag and drop graphics - just drag your graphic file into the document and it sets up the img src code for you, including the file's name, size and space for the alt text. Very quick.

    - The colour picker is marvellous - choose a colour and the tag is done for you.

    - Tags are a click away, no more repetitive typing or copying and pasting tags.

    - Creating tables is a breeze - just choose how many columns and rows you want then start filling them in.

    - If I forget which tags to use, eg for list definitions or whatever, 1stPage has a dictionery to consult for advice.

    - Like JM says, the preview is very handy for instant inspection.

    That's just a very small handful of the advantages. I wouldn't be without my editor/s now, they make everything much quicker than using notepad. I do use the validator but sometimes find it a bit too enthusiastic so I normally run it, have a look at what errors it finds and correct them myself if I don't want to change all the "errors" it finds.

  7. #7
    Mike
    Guest

    Default Re: HTML Editors

    > I do use the validator but sometimes find it a bit too
    > enthusiastic so I normally run it, have a look at
    > what errors it finds and correct them myself if I
    > don't want to change all the "errors" it
    > finds.

    That's the thing, isn't it. The validators often find things that aren't errors, and if you just let it do its thing, often a lot of needed code is taken out because the validator doesn't like it. If using a validator, just read its suggestions and fix the bits you need to fix, and leave what shouldn't need changing.

    Mike.

  8. #8
    Susan B
    Guest

    Default Re: HTML Editors

    Mike, that's exactly what I was trying to say.

    You'd make a far better teacher than I would. :-)

  9. #9
    Greg S
    Guest

    Default Re: HTML Editors

    This is such an incredibly useful post. The questions themselves are an inspiration to a newbie html do-it-yourselfer. I do a lot of site creation, and the most useful functions I found are Ctrl C - Ctrl V - I am so damn busy with life that I simply cannot find the time to actually learn to write in code myself.

    Having said that, I have to rave about NoteTab Lite - it's ability to strip html from text copied from an html page is a true gift to humanity. It wins over Notepad in it's ability to save files with Unix line breaks, useful for stuff such as http authentication. Why this is, I dunno, but it works for me.

    My Dream Ultra D4 has a validator, which self-reports my stuff-ups (what a good boy it is!), so I seldom go to another checker.

    Experience - ok, I'm definitely not a vet.

  10. #10
    antmannz
    Guest

    Default Re: HTML Editors

    My fave has to be 1st Page 2000. After using HotDog, FrontPage Express, Frontpage, InterDev (ughh!) and Dreamweaver, I ended up using Notepad for ages until I found 1st Page.

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