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Mark Leighton Fisher (4252)

Mark Leighton Fisher
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I am a Systems Engineer at Regenstrief Institute []. I also own Fisher's Creek Consulting [].
Wednesday July 21, 2004
04:39 PM

HTML-Kit: HTML Editing Your Way

[ #19983 ]

When I got this computer (a Compaq 2596US laptop) in February, I tried to load up the latest version of HoTMetaL for HTML editing. HoTMetaL was no longer to be found, as it was replaced by XMetal at the (more expensive?) price of $495.00. Since I'm trying to start my consulting business inexpensively, I thought I would look into Open Source HTML editors. HTML-Kit was one of several Open Source HTML editors I tried, but HTML-Kit is what has remained on my hard disk and in my Start menu.

HTML-Kit not only allows you to write plug-ins in several languages including Perl, PHP, C#, Java, and Python, but it has now been around long enough that many plug-ins are already available. Particular favorite plug-ins of mine are the CSS plug-ins, the spelling checker, and the thesaurus. I hope to write a Dublin Core metadata plug-in someday, as I use Dublin Core metadata on all my pages. I have written standalone programs at least 3 times for Dublin Core metadata it would nice to have it integrated into the editor for a change.

The preview feature works pretty well, though I still need to figure out how to force it to move to the corresponding place in the other view Editor to Preview and Preview to Editor. The combination of preview, validation with HTML Tidy, and preservation of whitespace is unbeatable for my taste, as I can create valid HTML that looks correct when rendered yet is formatted the way I want in source form. I find it annoying that validating editors so often insist on reformatting your code (a bad habit of HoTMetaL). Code reformatting ("prettyprinting") should be a separate function from validation, as validation can be done by computer without any code reformatting.

HTML-Kit also supports XML editing and several different methods of starting new pages, although I haven't tested those out yet. There are a whole host of other features that I haven't even mentioned yet.

HTML-Kit is not another FrontPage or Mozilla Composer, as you spend a lot of time looking at the HTML source. If you are comfortable looking at HTML source or prefer looking at HTML source like me HTML-Kit is very nice environment for HTML editing. I am eating my own dog food here, as this weblog entry was created in HTML-Kit. Well worth a look.

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