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Clean HTML Editor!

From: David Norris <kg9ae@geocities.com>
Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 19:45:48 -0500
To: "W3c-Wai-Ig@W3. Org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001bd851a$f7b1a3e0$2e4378cc@illusionary.dyn.ml.org>
I think that some of you may be interested in this.  I see many questions
about an easy to use HTML editor that actually produces quality code.  I
have not been able to mention this editor because of confidentiality
agreements.  But, I can now mention it since it is finally public.  I have
been beta testing an HTML editor, called Intranet Writer, that looks like
the best editor on the market to date.  1.0 final was just released to the
public yesterday.

First, it is a WYSIWYG editor of sorts.  It has its own HTML and CSS
viewer/editor (Called Normal View, as opposed to HTML code or CSS view).  It
does not use someone else's browser to show you how it will look.  It shows
you a reasonable approximation of how it should look given the browser's
compliance with the HTML 4 and CSS specs.  You literally cannot have any
coding errors beyond the obvious misuse or misunderstanding of how to use
HTML and style sheets together.  Nesting errors and the like are not
possible.  It will automatically generate page specific style rules and/or
link to an external sheet.  It has its own built-in style sheets, as well.
I will say that the code output is very clean and the style sheet
implementation is very familiar and intuitive.  The user interface appears
to be modeled in a Microsoft Word 97 fashion (MS Office 97-like UI).  At a
glance, you probably wouldn't notice much difference between MS Word's UI
and iWrite's UI.  It only supports HTML 4.0 and CSS.  I am not sure if it
supports CSS2 completely as I haven't had time to look at the final release
closely.  It does, at least, support easily creating positioning rules.  It
supports float, absolute, static, relative, X, Y, Z, Height, and Width on
its positioning toolbar.

It is capable of reading and writing FTP or filesystem without complex, or
any, instructions to the user.  You simply setup some basic login info
(server alias, address, user, pass) and it will seamlessly access either FTP
or the filesystem.

Xanthus is very consistent about including user suggestions as soon as
possible.  Nearly every feature requested was included in the 1.0 release.
Even last minute things were worked in.

This one is worth checking out.  I can't explain just how much of an
improvement this is over anything else.  I thought it was going to be just
another lame editor when I signed up for the beta.  But, I have been shocked
by the recent changes that have been made to the product.  It started out a
humble little HTML editor nearly a year ago and grew up to something really
well designed.

If anyone is interested you may find the website at http://www.xanthus.com/
There is a 30-day demo available.  They are marketing it toward Intranets,
but, it would apply to the web equally well.  I think that this could be a
cheap and effective solution to the problem of inaccessible code and
inexperienced folks being given web management tasks.  It includes
tutorials, examples, and a nice integrated help system.  I think that with a
little understanding of the issues anyone could do a reasonable job of
creating an accessible web site.

Man, I sound like an advertisement!  It really is this good, though.  I
haven't noticed any problems or annoyances with the program.  It does omit
quotation marks in attributes that do not have spaces in the values.  I
don't think this is a problem, but, I would rather see quotes around all
values.

,David Norris

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Received on Thursday, 21 May 1998 21:07:20 GMT

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