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Poll: Do you use a separate HTML editor?

Justin James is growing impatient with poor HTML editors and is considering using a separate editor. Let us know what you use to edit HTML.

I have worked in a number of systems that let you write HTML code, but the editors were not terribly great at it. Historically, Visual Studio's HTML editing capability has not been good, though those tools have improved over time. I know some developers who will put up with it for the sake of dealing with fewer tools, while others will gladly work in a different tool specialized for HTML and make them all cooperate. I have been leaning more and more toward using a separate tool, as my patience with poor tools wears thinner. What about you?

J.Ja

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

26 comments
Arkanayan
Arkanayan

I mainly use Aptana studio and sometimes Netbeans...

richard.s
richard.s

Been using Arachnophilia 4 and 5 for years. Arachnophilia 5 runs on JAVA, so works on most O/S types. For my websites, the content is much more important, and takes longer to prepare, than the presentation.

edwinyzh
edwinyzh

The poll result shows that the vast majority are using a separate editor for editing html. That gives me much confidence for my 'new text editor for editing html lively' project called LIVEditor. Thanks!

technews
technews

For markup of text extracts into various web pages, an editor that will handle selected blocks competently is essential. With simple keyboard shortcuts to add the surrounding tags, or selectively strip existing surrounding tags to replace them. And a simple keystroke to 'repeat last command' which could have been a macro... HomeSite was king of such editing in my humble experience, and since Adobe canned it I have wondered what people used instead. WordPress? (sigh) the future - doesn't even care about paragraph tags. What have I missed?

davidibaldwin
davidibaldwin

I've been using HTML-Kit for at least 10 years and now they have HTML-Kit Tools which is a more sophisticated editor. But they're set up so you can go between them for the different features. They're both 'colorized' and support HTML, Javascript and several other languages. HTML-Kit is a free download but I liked it so much I paid for it and HTML-Kit Tools. PSPad supports a lot of programming formats and languages too in it's colorized formatting. On Linux, I've been using Bluefish. I found a page on my computer recently that I had written years using NetScape Composer... IDE? What does that mean? ;-)

Duke E Love
Duke E Love

I use Eclipse as my main IDE so I really don't need a separate HTML Editor. Aptana/PHPEclipse covers all of my HTML related chores. If there is a lot of JS/jQuery I will use Dream Weaver for the code complete and inline help. But for quick edits Notepad++ works great.

ian
ian

does all I need it to do and has a great "Find in Files" search option.

sysop-dr
sysop-dr

Number 1 criteria, does it work with our revision control! For the php stuff, eclipse. For the portal the eclipse based ide that comes with the portal. For the real-time 3d stuff, it's all written by the server software on the fly. Because there is no set layout of what the resulting page will look like the layout of the page is created in our display builder which then gets rendered by the display engine into either a 2d display by Java or a 3d display by JavaScript, and the JavaScript is written by the java server-side. The java is all written in Eclipse.

Ndiaz.fuentes
Ndiaz.fuentes

At work, I use Komodo for my HTML work. It's not perfect, but it gets the job done. At home, I sometimes use Visual Studio, but (as someone said before) only the text editor and not the designer. When I want something that simply allows me to write and gets out of the way, I use CofeeCup's HTML Editor.

adimauro
adimauro

For quick changes, I just use Notepad++, but for more heavy duty work, it's JetBrains WebStorm all the way. I work mainly in Windows and Linux, but it doesn't even matter what system I'm on, as WebStorm works on Windows, Mac and Linux. I've used others in the past, but after discovering WebStorm, I haven't looked back. Although, more recently, I have started to take notice of Sublime Text, which seems really nice, and also works across all three platforms. We'll see...

jnativ47
jnativ47

Notepad++ is doing the job ... however, BlueGriffon is useful to automate the indentation but would KILL your staff with the 'Markup cleaner'

RudHud
RudHud

I wrote my own database that writes data into well-formed static HTML (which is all I am using right now, on the theory that simpler is better). It's surprisingly easy -- just wrap divs and spans around table elements as appropriate, make sure they all have nice ids and classes, and then let CSS do its magic. I write the CSS in a text editor and tweak it in Firefox using Web Developer.

hometoy
hometoy

I usually use Notepad++/Bluefish or gPHPEdit and type in the HTML portion. In Windows I use Visual Studio but not the Designer. I use the text portion with auto-complete and intellisense. When fooling around with CSS I use a split screen view so I can easily see the changes and their effect. If I use an external CSS file, then I open that in a second pane so I can still see the effects of the changes very easily. When working with PHP pages, I usually use Notepadd++ (Window) or gPHPEdit or Bluefish (Linux). I'll use gEdit if I have to, but I don't find it as good as Notepad++. For my wife, who is more visual, when she was editing some of her web pages I had her use BlueGriffon. Ultimately I like having more understanding and control, which is why I prefer using text editors for coding though syntax highlighting and intellisense are pretty nice features to have. I used to use FrontPage by visually laying everything out and then flip over to the text side for tweaking, cleaning and coding the rest of it. Kompozer, KDevelop, Aptana and Quanta Plus I have tried at various times but they all seem a bit clunky to me lately. I'm also having to use Vi at work. That is taking a bit to get used to...

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

gedit at times if BlueFish is not on the machine I'm using at the time.

apotheon
apotheon

After Macromedia acquired HomeSite's vendor (Allaire), it started destroying the application. When Adobe acquired Macromedia, that process was accelerated. After making it steadily worse for a while, putting it out of its misery was the best thing Adobe ever did for it. HomeSite was only ever any good before the first Macromedia release of it. As for what I use . . . I use nvi or vim, and I write code (usually in Ruby) that generates my HTML. I actually have a command line utility I wrote that generates HTML from Markdown, for instance, which I used for formatting articles when I wrote for TechRepublic, and I have written simple content management systems of my own from scratch that do something similar on the fly. I sure as heck don't use WordPress these days; it's crap.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

build a web page via the drag and drop process and let the software do it ALL for them, while others will use a word processing program and save it as a html doc loaded with a hundred times the format coding it needs. While still others, like me, prefer to use simpler processes and hand code it ourselves to ensure it's how WE want it and not someone else's idea of how it should be done via their software.

apotheon
apotheon

I think that used to be called HTMLkit (or maybe the K was capitalized, but there I'm pretty sure there was originally no hyphen in the name). It wasn't bad for what it was, when I used it, and it was a badly needed tool at the time I started using it thanks to the ugly demise of HomeSite in the hands of Macromedia and eventually Adobe. Once I found vi-like editors, though, I haven't had to look back -- nor have I wanted to. Bluefish might be okay, but I stumbled across it only after getting used to vi, and Bluefish can't hold a candle to it. I'm not familiar with PSPad at all, and I was not impressed by Netscape Composer.

apotheon
apotheon

If all I had was Eclipse, I'd consider that the best reason to get a separate HTML (and everything else) editor.

apotheon
apotheon

QUOTE: I'm also having to use Vi at work. That is taking a bit to get used to... It's worth it.

apotheon
apotheon

I use my "IDE", Unix, with nvi or vim as my text editing window in that IDE, for HTML just as for English, Ruby, C, and so on.

technews
technews

As web page HTML is more and more generated by higher-level tools (in DB's, Ruby, CMS's...) are we saying we can get away with lighter-weight clean-up editors like Notepad++ ? We no longer need ye olde monstrous institutionals (Emacs, Vi, Aptana...) ? Some coders seem to adopt modern smart editors like WebStorm - Smart editors typically feature predictive code completion; tell you when you are entering an invalid link; all while watching your CSS and javascript etc. etc. They are smart at editing actual code, but - slow and clunky at marking-up text to HTML ! Someone somewhere has to markup (or Markdown et al) the raw text content for web pages - Word, Open Office (Libre-office?) and optical character recognition tools make hideous tag soup of files saved as HTML. "It depends" on your situation too: If you are a pro with direct server access (can run perl tools easily) you might enjoy receiving your content text markup performed by data entry staff trained in Markdown et al. You might do HTML touch-up. If you are a part-time coder working solo for non-profits with server access restricted by your hosts, I suggest you still need an all-round capable HTML (M as in content Markup) editor. You will do HTML everything. The latter suffers from a dearth of content mark-up tools, notably since HomeSite's demise. This coder rejects using Markdown et al as a backward or at least sideways distraction. NoteTab claims to do efficient content markup. It will be interesting to discover the content-handling capabilities of new tools like Brackets code editor. Thx for the informative discussion.

apotheon
apotheon

QUOTE: We no longer need ye olde monstrous institutionals (Emacs, Vi, Aptana...) ? I use vi when I need to write HTML or clean up HTML that was generated automatically. I tend to write my own generators, though, or use very carefully selected generators that I'm sure will do an excellent job -- either by offering fine-grained control or just being really good at doing it "right" -- so that the end result will not even need any clean-up work, and I use vi to write those generators in other languages like Ruby, too. I don't use generators that produce craptastic hairballs like MS Word or OpenOffice.org because I don't need that kind of aggravation. There isn't really anything particularly monstrous about the lightweight vi-like editors, anyway (though one might make a case for some monstrosity in Vim). QUOTE: If you are a part-time coder working solo for non-profits with server access restricted by your hosts, I suggest you still need an all-round capable HTML (M as in content Markup) editor. I'd still use nvi or Vim. Its significant benefits for basically *any* editing easily outweigh what minor benefits it misses relative to the HTML-specific tools, and anyway Vim can make use of extensions that provide more "smart" editor functionality. QUOTE: This coder rejects using Markdown et al as a backward or at least sideways distraction. Markdown (with a good implementation) is an excellent tool for some uses. It is not suitable to all uses. For relatively simple formatting, it works quite well and offers the considerable benefit of the source file being about as clear as actual plain text more so than other simplified markup languages, and thus far more clear and readable than HTML. In fact, if using Markdown syntax in plain text documentation files or emails (without any links), the end result is something that most readers who have not seen Markdown before would never recognize as being anything other than plain text in a common style of pseudo-formatting. Anyway, I wasn't saying that "we use HTML editors less often, but they're more important", but maybe that's the case in general.

apotheon
apotheon

I like that. |DE. I'll have to use that.

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