HTML tools for linux
mdeggers at earthlink.net
Sun Aug 8 19:18:03 UTC 2004
There are several tools available for creating web pages. Here are some
(in no particular order). These are ones that I've tried, and the notes
reflect my opinions.
1. OpenOffice HTML Writer - http://www.openoffice.org
This creates HTML 4.0 transitional code with all upper-case tags. There
are wizards that help you along. I didn't see any facility for creating
divisions (layout is based on tables), and the CSS information appears
to be embedded. I don't know how difficult it would be to extract the
CSS and save it as a separate file.
I didn't find the program very intuitive for web building even though I
use OpenOffice almost exclusively for my office suite.
2. Nvu - http://www.nvu.com
This is a freely available web authoring environment that claims to
(eventually) take on Dreamweaver and FrontPage. Right now it's at
version 0.3. It's based on the Mozilla engine.
Nvu seems to have a nice set of bells and whistles. It creates HTML
4.01 transitional code. It has a separate CSS editor, so it should be
possible to extract inline styles and create a separate stylesheet. It
also has a site manager, but I've not used that.
My major issue with Nvu is how it handles divisions. I do not
understand how to place multiple divisions on a a page, see all of them,
and create the page layout I want. As with all other WYSIWYG editors,
the resulting divisions are pixel-based and do not help you create web
pages that display gracefully at different screen resolutions.
3. Mozilla Composer - http://www.mozilla.org
This is basically the same as Nvu without some of the eye candy. I
didn't see a way to use WYSIWYG to create divisions, which is something
that Nvu attempts to provide.
The above three programs allow you to create web pages in a more or less
WYSIWYG environment. There are disadvantages to this, including
ugly-looking HTML, lack of liquid or plastic designs (see
http://www.alistapart.com), and transitional DTDs which will trip the
quirks mode in browsers. The quirks mode can make life very difficult
when trying to build cross-browser web sites.
The programs below are NOT WYSIWYG. I feel that they all offer a
greater degree of control than the WYSIWYG programs.
Emacs is a powerful kitchen-sink type of editor. If it can be edited, I
think Emacs has a mode for it. There is an html-helper-mode
(http://www.santafe.edu/~nelson/tools/) and a css-mode
(http://www.garshol.priv.no/download/software/css-mode/) that both work
reasonably well. Coupled with HTML Tidy (http://tidy.sourceforge.net/),
it is possible to write clean, well-formed, maintainable web pages.
Please note that emacs may take a bit of getting used to. I personally
live in Emacs except when editing small files (then it's vi), so I have
no problem with this environment.
5. Bluefish - http://bluefish.openoffice.nl/
I think that there is an rpm for this as well. This is a very flexible
editor that understands not only HTML and CSS, but php, jsp, xml,
python, perl, and a host of other formats. It has lots of menus for
code assists, has the concept of projects, and allows you to do fun
things like open multiple files recursively based on regular
I like this editor a lot, and only have a few nits to pick. Probably
the most annoying one is that even though you tell the editor to use
spaces instead of tabs, the page appears to be saved with tabs.
However, since you can use HTML Tidy from within the program, you can
clean up the code.
6. Quanta Plus - Part of KDE
Quanta looks to be very powerful, with a template engine, concept of
projects, a source view and a WYSIWYG view. However, I'm able to crash
Quanta repeatedly, and I can never get the cursor placed where I want it
to be. I may have to remove and re-install Quanta in order for it to
That being said, the WYSIWYG portion does not seem to support
divisions. However, there are a lot of menu choices for code assists,
and the templates plus snippets capability streamlines web page
1. Learn HTML
2. Learn CSS
3. Get a cross-platform web development environment.
4. Get HTML Tidy
5. View your page in multiple browers
just my two cents . . . .
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