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"Help Answers" compiled from Ringmasters-l mail list

Web Ring Help


HTML EDITORS - Discussion Pro/Con

FRONT PAGE
Front Page often changes good code into not-so-good code. This kind of thing was the main reason I stopped using Frontpage, and started using HomeSite. I would take a working page, open it up with FrontPage, and have it start correcting errors without asking me or telling me, and suddenly my code was screwed up.
HomeSite lets me preview the page, and do stuff like highlight a block of text, then tell it to center it (ie put a <center> before the text and a </center> afterwards) but it lets me put in any valid html code (Frontpage didn't like anything it didn't recognize, and would take it out) or even code it doesn't know about. I liked being able to drag and drop objects in FrontPage, but I'd definitely recommend HomeSite to anyone who doesn't need that
-- Eric Stokien

I use a shareware program called DiDa, which takes all of 260k on my hard disk, and has a built-in viewer, which switches from code to Preview mode with a click. Simple, fast and easy, and totally obedient!
Some guy with Frontpage took some code I had done with DiDa, and edited it with FP, and wrecked it, and I couldn't fix it because I couldn't see what he (or rather FrontPage) had done with it.
Actually I use my word processor a lot too (it's an Ascii one). It does things like search and replace for consistent changes. Then I just call the code into DidA for a final check.
I've edited the code for the Ring Boxes like this - I didn't realize that --id-- needed to have "id=" in front of it, but a quick search and replace fixed that on every page where it occurred.
-- Steve Hayes

Like, apparently, a number of others, I, too, use 'Notepad' for editing raw code. However, I came across, some time ago, a substitute for the standard Windows notepad as supplied with Win95.
It's called 'Rogsoft' and is available from http://www.xs4all.nl/~theroge/ as freeware. You install it, delete the original notepad.exe, and rename the supplied exe file to notepad.exe, so all associations etc. still work. It has lots of *very* useful enhancements, and I would thoroughly recommend it.
Try it - you'll like it immensely over the standard notepad. (No, I am not associated with it at all, other than being a very satisfied user!)
-- Bob Hayes

AOL Personal Publisher
As an AOL user, I've learned a bunch of things about Personal Publisher.
First it stinks and those who use it should really learn HTML (it's very easy). Second it really screws up cut and pasted items as well as javascripts, etc.
What PP actually does is add tags at the end of lines, usually . What the PP user should do is open the HTML file in notebook (or similar) and delete those added extra tags in the Webring fragment.
That will solve most problems with the editor!
FRAN :)

Since the topic has come up again, I thought I'd let anyone know who's new and hasn't heard it from me, that my own favorite editor is HomeSite put out by Allaire (another company put it out originally, but Allaire bought them, and the latest version is since the buyout).
It's an HTML editor designed like a programming language editor. It puts commonly used tags on a Toolbar, which is totally customizable, as well as providing space for completely custom tag combinations.
It has a validator built in, but what I mostly use it for is working on multiple web pages (I can just click on tabs to move between them), doing quick previews of the pages while I work, and doing tags like table, anchor and center tabs where I can click and it puts in both the start and end tag and puts my cursor between them (or if you highlight, it puts the tag around the highlighted area) and when I do image tags, and if I browse for the image it will automatically calculate height and width number for you (though I do have to modify the src on those because I don't edit the files on my server.)
Mostly it helps me work a little quicker, and more accurately, but doesn't tell me how to write my own code.
If anyone wants to check it out, there is a free trial version at
Allaire.Com
which unlike Front Page, doesn't take up that much space on your drive, or in your memory, or attempt to reshape your computer in its own image ;->
Costs a bit less too, if you purchase it. Oh, some people might like the built in Javascripts, and support for some other tag languages.
WARNING! This is not recommended for those who don't know HTML and don't want to learn it, it is an aid in writing HTML, not a substitute for it.
-- Eric Stokien

I use a great freeware program called Web-O-Rama.
It does all basic HTML (tables, forms, etc but no javascript, java...), most with just a single click.
It automatically does things like height and width tags for images and 'target' tags for links. It also allows for a good amount of customization.
I heartily suggest it for anyone who wants a decent HTML editor without having to pay a thing.
You can download it for free from:
http://people.delphi.com/krgunn/weborama.htm
-- Allison Brannen

I write my pages in notepad as I hate WYSIWYG, but notepad has no spell checker and im sure and attempt to spell check would wreak havic on the html tags. I tried to copy the text into word to spell check it but it wont paste, what can I do about this?

Website Garage
http://www.websitegarage.com
has a spell checker as part of its free utilities. The service is free.
-- Virginia Blalock

There is a nice little editor called Textpad
http:www.textpad.com
it is a shareware and it has a downloadable spellchecker, I have been doing all my pages with this program for the past 18 months.
I think you will like the program if you give it a try. The shareware doesn't timeout and registation was only $10, even if you don't register all you get is a nag screen every once in a while.
-- Gene Gunderson

I use Textpad (a big brother to Notepad) which has a builtin spell checker.
You can get it at http://www.textpad.com and it has a 30 day trail period for you to decide if you want to keep it.
I also have a large list html text based editors that you can browse and see what would be of interest to you
http://uaolwr.simplnet.com/software/software02.htm
-- Bob Marion

There's another nice and better replacement for NotePad, called EditPad. You can find it at:
http://www.ping.be/jg/editpad.shtml
-- Bill Wilson

EditPad (above) is a SUPER program!
-- Morgan Smith

Personally, I used to use Notepad, then I moved up to something called Super Note Tab. (which is nice because 1. it's free, 2. It has a list of HTML tags that you can click on to put them in at the cursor).
Then I got a true HTML Editor (the CoffeeCup editor) which I liked a lot, but it was kind of weak.
Then I moved to a server that supports FrontPage, and now I use that (I like WYSIWIG and the ability to look at the raw html with one click)
-- Eric Abrams

My favorite HTML Editor for the PC is HomeSite from Allaire and my favorite for the Mac is BBEdit from Bare Bones.
-- Angelea Kelly

I like SiteAid for the PC and I'd take BBEdit for the Mac, although I don't work on a Mac that much.
SiteAid is available at:
http://www.siteaid.com
-- John Meyer

As those who have been on this list a long time know, my favorite webpage editor is Allaire's Homesite. I have recommended it many people on this list, and some have even tried it and liked it.

So anyway, HomeSite 4 is out, and I downloaded the 30 day free trial version yesterday. I thought I'd give a report to this list, and specifically to those people who have started using HomeSite because of my suggestions a quick rundown of what new features I have seen so far.
The biggest new feature is design view. Previous versions of HomeSite had a little magnifying glass that let you switch to an internal browser view of your document, a preview before you saved. Now this is replaced with three tabs, edit for your code, browse for your view (which now has an option to let you see it in 600x480 and 800x600 mode, so you can see how your page would look in those graphic modes, and a design view which is essentially a wysiwyg mode. This lets you move things around on your page, build and resize tables, and then either keep or discard your changes. As one reviewer pointed out, you don't have to use it if you don't want to, but it is there if you do.
In listing the web documents in a directory it also lists the title of each document. You can click a button to view a thumbnail of every graphic in a directory.
There are now 2 spell check buttons, one to go through the document, ala Word 6, and one to mark misspelled words in the document, ala Word 7.
Rather than having you pick a default external browser, you choose from a list of the ones on your system (in my case Netscape, Internet Explorer and Opera) though not the versions (I didn't get a choice of my Netscape 3 and Netscape 4.5). And the code seems to make greater use of the <DIV> tag than previously, the center button is now a <div align=center> for example. There seems to be some options for creating Style Sheets and there is supposed to be support for SMIL, but I haven't explored enough to give any specifics on these things.
Suffice it to say that there are more features, and if you are interested in evaluating it, you can get the 30 day download at www.allaire.com.
-- Eric Stokien

What is WYSIWYG?

"WYSIWYG": What You See Is What You Get. It's pronounced "Wizzy Wig".
As opposed to an html editor, where what you see is text code which will magically transform into pretty pictures and things when posted on the web, wysiwyg editors let you play with pictures and text by easy to use icons and things, and dragging pictures to where you want them instead of writing the code yourself.
-- Deborah L Hall


HTML validation and Link Checking

Here is a collection of sites that you can test your page and links
http://www.netmechanic.com/
Validates HTML and links. Great site for checking your page
http://www.websitegarage.com
Similar to netmechanic, but gives you more reporting and will allow you to resize large graphics.
http://www.greenpac.com/
Check up to 800 links on your page
Hope this helps.
-- Vince Matal

Just thought I'd let you know about a very useful tool (in case you didn't already know) available on the WWW for checking your HTML coding.
I've run it over a number of random URL's that have come up on this list, and none have validated correctly so far (my own pages included!!)
Once you have corrected any errors, and the page passes, you are entitled to put a nice little logo on the page, and have the satisfaction of knowing that your page will OK in the majority of browsers, because it is *fully* compliant.
To use it, just go to
http://validator.w3.org/check?url=(the FULL URL of the page to be checked)
-- Bob Hayes

An easy way to see how your pages work in other browsers is to use Devhead.com's web tools. It'll check your HTML for errors, how fast your images load, bad links, and if it'll work in Netscape or MSIE.
And you can set it up to choose HTML 1, 2, 3, or 4.
Visit devhead.com. It's free!
-- OneBadDJ

I wish I could use Lynx (text browser) to check my pages, it seems to be the pickiest of the browsers.

You can "use Lynx" to check your pages.
There is a html checker called Bobby
Bobby | Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST)
http://www.cast.org/bobby/
that runs pages through text browsers.
Look also for Lynx Me.
It is another checker of this type.
-- Virginia Blalock

I will say here that from what I have experienced, it is hard to make your pages perfectly accessible for text browsers. However, simple things like what you put in your ALT tags on images help a great deal.
For instance, on your lines(bars,dividers) using ------------------------------------- as the ALT tag makes it look more like you entend it on graphical browsers.
-- VIRGINIA BLALOCK

Two other validators (there are a lot) found on the 'net:
Doctor HTML v5
http://www2.imagiware.com/RxHTML/
A Kinder, Gentler HTML Validator
http://ugweb.cs.ualberta.ca/~gerald/validate/
-- /pc

Actually, a shell account (which is very useful, anyway) is not neccessary - you can download DOSLynx, which is Lynx for DOS.
It's 260K, and runs on an 8086 with 512K of RAM.
Happy graphics-free surfing... :)
-- James East

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