Notepad is a simple text editor for Microsoft Windows and a basic text-editing program which enables computer users to create documents. One can use it to write HTML documents but won't have any tools or info on it. Unlike Microsoft Notepad, the built-in Windows text editor, it supports tabbed editing, which allows working with multiple open files in a single window. The project's name comes from the C increment operator. Adobe Dreamweaver CC is a web design and development application that combines a visual design surface known as Live View and a code editor with standard features such as syntax highlighting, code completion, and code collapsing as well as more sophisticated features such as real-time syntax checking and code introspection for generating code hints to assist the user in writing code. Combined with an array of site management tools, Dreamweaver lets its users design, code and manage websites as well as mobile content.
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Once upon a time, visual HTML editors were all the rage. You would open a browser-like program and just type your pages, without thinking too much about the source code, the scripts, or even the looks.
The magic happened somewhere behind the scenes. Then, slowly but surely, online CMS started showing up, and eventually became the modern norm.
But what if you still want to write Web stuff offline? It does sound a bit like a paradox - after all, you WILL be uploading your material one day. Still, being able to write in an offline manner has its perks and convenience.
Having a nice frontend helps you focus on what you want people to read, not necessarily what machines ought to be interpretting and displaying. The question is, how difficult is this to achieve in the year ?
Once upon a time, there were dozens of WYSIWYG editors, all offering their own wonders, as well as their own range of inconsistencies, garbage code and functionality. I came across the old Nvu back in , upgraded to Kompozer when this one came about, and kept on using it ever since in some form or another, as it offers the simplicity of writing stuff without having to worry about code, plus some serious usability benefits that no other program seems to offer.
But then, Kompozer hasn't seen any updates in a long while, and some refresh is needed. What do we have on the table? This program has been around for a long while. In fact, it's no different than any text editor in this sense. The best it will do is just launch an external browser for you. Seems decent, but ultimately, Bluefish feels clunky slash nerdy and not what we really require for simple writing.
Moreover, I encountered various problems while using it. Modern, slick, and maybe somewhat overwhelming, the best way to descibe Brackets. It is a utility that tries to span the classical world of writing with the new metadata-rich world of code writing. It is also designed for more skilled users, not newbies. Brackets has a live preview function, but it does not really show you what your pages look like when you write them.
So in essence, it's not exactly what we're looking for. This is a successor to the old Nvu editor - which was also forked into Kompozer, now long discontinued, although still perfectly usable, at least in its Windows form. In Linux, you will need to use old libraries, and this can be a pain. Bluegriffon looks the part and it handles HTML5 just fine.
While it mostly does what it should, and new users will probably be oblivous to any issues that exist on the code level, I encountered various issues that made me wonder if there's really any future for offline HTML editors.
Bluegriffon has some glaring usability problems. If you are adding images or linking to other documents, they are marked as absolute paths - and not relative - by default, which makes for a tedious extra click everywhere, or broken pages if you forget to do so.
If you're wondering what I meant, say you want to link to a page named dedoimedo. You need to manually tick the box. Every time. Bluegriffon also does not use shortcuts as much as Kompozer - you have none for inserting links, images or invoking the spellchecker. Middle click doesn't do anything useful, while in Kompozer it opens and closes tabs documents , as any modern browser really should.
Lastly, Bluegriffon also changes the code, but more about that later. Among those currently actively developed and supported, and those that I got to test, there happen to be TWO , except, they are very, VERY tightly related.
The Jack-o'-All-Trades SeaMonkey suite also comes with Composer distinguish this from Kompozer , and it offers a similar functionality if slightly different looks to Bluegriffon. Essentially the same advantages and pitfalls are there, including HTML5 support and issues with images.
Here, the problem manifests in a different way. On some pages, it would not link any new images. You actually need to manually edit the URL and strip out the non-relative portion before you can actually make it all work. This is slow and tedious. And even though SeaMonkey does have a button that says it will preserve original source formatting, it does not really do that. More about code changes later. In general, there were some rather surprisingly clunky options, which I find quite odd as they were resolved in Kompozer a long time ago.
The setup on Linux also requires a handful of bit libraries, otherwise you may hit the following error:. For me, the full set of needed libraries which auto-resolve dependencies included the following - tested in various guises and forms on bit versions of openSUSE KDE, Kubuntu and Ubuntu.
The old and trusted workhorse. On the other hand, it has by far the most streamlined workflow, with shortcuts, relative links, and a few other quickies that all other programs miss. The latest release dates back to , but there's a beta version from As it happens, I also wrote about this topic , back in , almost a decade back.
The choices were many and plenty. In , things are a little different. The original Tidy sort of died, but then it was resurrected recently , with the focus on making it HTML5 compliant. But it's not all smooth sailing to Cape Good Code. I wanted to see how well this new Tidy works. In Linux, I already had the old Tidy installed, and I had to force uninstall it and its associated libraries before the new one would install.
At least everything comes from the repo, so you do not need to sweat it. In Windows, the standalone and the DLL work all right. To get the new one, you must first update the text editor to the latest version and then use its plugin manager to install Tidy2 , which is based on tidy-html5.
You can also use the standalone version on demand through Kompozer. It does sound weird, but Kompozer has its own extensions, one such being HandCoder, which can invoke the Tidy executable on demand.
Technically, you can set its path to any which version of Tidy, including the latest builds Nov in my tests , and it will run them just fine against old and modern HTML pages.
In fact, the Kompozer and its long-outdated HandCoder extension can summon Tidy versions from all the way to Overall, the program seems to work well. I was particularly impressed with Tidy2, which seems to offer a much wider range of flags and options. The online reference is a decent time killer, and you can spend a good few hours trying to figure out how everything works. Focusing mostly on Tidy2, first, it uses spaces to indent code - not tabs.
This is wasteful for large documents, as you end up with more characters, and eventually larger files.
It will also replace special characters like quotation marks or ampersand, which could break scripts and their URLs. You have three configurations, and you can tweak them individually. I learned, through many hours of trial and error, that if you wish to keep your code as pristine as possible, both in looks AND functionality, then you should set the following variables:. At the very least, the following five lines will ensure that your URLs and script vars remain unchanged.
But Tidy2 and Tidy itself of course will still edit and change things like forms and ins blocks, even if you do not ask them, making its use alongside third-party code snippets virtually impossible. For example, this won't ever work:.
This brings me to several key points - why does Tidy not allow skipping certain parts of the code. And why is it not possible to markup the code nicely without any manipulation. Tidy should tidy - not validate code - or at least, this should be optional. When it comes to pretty looks, I have implemented something similar in my own little program called recursive LDD , which is a recursive implementation of the LDD program. Whenever it outputs code on the screen, it calculates how many tabulations are required to indent the printed text based on separator tab x number of entries into the recursive function.
Here, we encounter other problems. Worst yet, there does not seem to be a standard on what the output should look like. Having worked with Tidy for the past years more or less, I've seen at least three or four different ways it manipulates code.
For instance, the version formats paragraphs in the following manner:. Old Tidy would use the next-line drop and then indent for ALL elements. The new Tidy only does this for certain elements like divs , but not paragraphs and lists.
Then, there's the matter of code incapsulation. The Tidy did not change scripts in any way - although it still mangles forms and ins. The latest Tidy seemingly behaves like the version, except it adds an almost random number of indent spaces, pushing scripts deep into the code blocks, in no way related to the 'tidied' hierarchy output.
As you can imagine, this presents a big problem, especially if you have tons of files, and you do not wish to have to manually validate the output of a program that is supposed to make the changes for you. Bluegriffon also does its own thing. If it encounters the old syntax of open paragraph bracket, new line, text, new line, close paragraph bracket, it will then inline the code thus:. It will actually ADD two spaces to the beginning and end of the block. Worst of all, these do not display on the screen, so I am wondering what goes on behind the scenes, and why this weird convention.
It will also add these spaces between other elements, like images and closing divs and such. Bluegriffon also has its own markup function - I tried it - and it changed some of the code, but each time showing a different number of lines. Once edited, the marked-up pages were horribly mangled.
Jump to navigation. Not all that many years ago, pretty much every webpage on the Internet was, at some level, designed painstakingly by hand. It was tough, and before CSS really took hold and became well supported across most common browsers, it often involved hacking a layout together by using HTML tables in a way they were never really envisioned to support. Among the more successful was Macromedia later Adobe Dreamweaver, which was among my personal favorites for many years. These web authoring tools weren't just about WYSIWYG editing; even for those who were comfortable with direct authoring of markup language, these tools offered advantages with template control, file management, and simply reducing the time it takes to create functional code. But just as these helpful editors were expanding access to webpage creation, something else was happening too. Content management systems like Drupal and WordPress and many, many others before them displaced the need for the average content producer to need to edit raw HTML at all.