Forum Topic - New Simple Page Building Systems

Discussion Lead: Dave Edsall

I've downloaded and briefly tested four HTML editors that are freely available and could be appropriate for new Coordinators who have all other qualifications but no Web authoring or HTML experience. I discuss them each in turn.


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Nvu was by far the best and most feature rich of the editors. It is built upon the Mozilla HTML composer engine (see Seamonkey below) and includes extensions over those found in Mozilla and Netscape. Most intuitive to understand. It has a nice layout of elements when using the tag view and it provides easy application and editing of styles via the right click of the mouse on a tag. Table layout is very easy using the drag of a mouse to choose the number of cells to allocate and anchors that could be dragged to resize the table. It also includes HTML Tidy, a package designed to clean up and fix problems with your HTML code and a built-in FTP tool for easily publishing your pages to the IAGenWeb server.

Seamonkey Composer

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Seamonkey is the next generation of the Mozilla browser, which developed from the Netscape Communicator package. Downloading Seamonkey gets you another browser but also gets you the Composer HTML editor as part of the Suite. As mentioned above, Nvu is an extension of the Seamonkey/Mozilla Composer. Composer contains many but not all of the features found in Nvu.


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Amaya was good and contained the ability to see tags, apply and edit styles but is more oriented towards a programmer who understood document structure and layout. Tables could be created via a form window where you enter the number of rows and columns but Nvu's drag function spoiled me.


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The free versopm of PageBreeze is available for non-commercial use (such as those of us who work for the not-for-profit IAGenWeb) and can do basic HTML. But attempts to open style files or add styles was very unimpressive. Still, it's free and if you aren't planning to use styles or do anything really fancy, this does the trick.

Microsoft Expression

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Microsoft has abandoned its FrontPage HTML editor in favor of pushing its corporate customers towards its Sharepoint portal/group collaboration suite. For everyone else it has provided its Expression package (which costs about $100). I did not test this but Rich Lowe did purchase a copy and has said it works well. They have even improved in the ability to detect when a page or an image is moved to another folder and update the HTML appropriately.