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RE: Using Netscape Composer to produce clean code

From: Eileen Bonfiglio <PinesNet@putergirl.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 02:00:12 -0500
To: "Bruce Bailey" <bbailey@clark.net>, "WAI Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <003d01be11f7$ebeface0$fe5a2499@default>
After reading this I just had to test Netscape Composer again, I had not in
a long time and I have to admit failure with the
ers:((  

Corel Webmaster is still the only application that makes it through with minimal (less than 10 minutes per page) "by hand rework" on the first pass.  

-Eileen

> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Bruce Bailey
> Sent: Monday, November 16, 1998 3:25 PM
> To: WAI Interest Group
> Subject: Using Netscape Composer to produce clean code
> 
> 
> My usual strategy of steadfast procrastination in the face of
> frustration has worked wonders for me once again!
> 
> Really, despite the many suggestions from this group, I had given up on
> this idea.  In practice, my job duties changed for a while and I was not
> able to do much html authoring at all, let alone teach anyone else!  I
> am optimistic that I'll be back to working our site at least half time
> after the new year.  In anticipation of this I revisited this idea.
> 
> I am pleased to report that Netscape Composer 4.05/4.06 (and presumably
> 4.5+ and latter too, I haven't tried) no longer has the unacceptable
> behavior I reported here some six months ago.  It is past time to give
> credit where credit is due.  The following has been true for some time
> now, but I have not seen it clearly stated here for the record:
> 
> Composer will produce html code that sails through both W3C and Bobby
> validation.
> 
> In May and June I sent a flurry of email to Netscape (and Microsoft
> regarding FrontPage) and cross posted to several mainstream user group
> lists.  I was never given a hint that the two misbehaviors I noted
> (missing DOCTYPE, &nbsp; after graphics) were legitimate complaints, let
> alone were being corrected!  It is only my huge ego that allows me to
> believe that these concerns were addressed because of me.  Thank you
> very much.  You are quite welcome.
> 
> Composer still coverts <EM> and <STRONG> to the the _vastly inferior_
> <I> and <B>.  Possibly more objectionably, it also coverts <CITE> (and
> who knows what else) to <I> as well.  Composer is still fond of
> superfluous &nbsp; but not so much as to cause Bobby errors.  Composer
> favors <BR> over <P> when you are writing in the editor, but it no
> longer automatically replaces all <P> with <BR> when you edit a
> preexisting html source.
> 
> Even though all of the above behavior is wrong headed, I can live with
> these idiosyncrasies.  This is because of the following advantages:
> 
> 1)	The software is very inexpensive.  Free is hard to beat.  
> Better yet,
> it's not Microsoft!
> 
> 2)	The html editor is very similar to the html browser.  This makes it
> user-friendly of course.  I prefer that a novice composes html with
> their browser rather than with the built-in html tools of their
> preferred word processor.  This avoids all sorts of potential problems
> (e.g., the mechanics of conversion and posting, documents formatted as a
> binary WordPerfect file when they LOOK like asci/html) and provides some
> degree of separation in the user's mind between word processing and html
> composition.
> 
> 3)	The actual mechanics of posting are very simple (click publish) and
> can be hidden from the novice without the person being given passwords. 
> The template pages I will supply folks will include links to the W3C and
> Bobby validators (pointing to their starter page).  This facilitates
> their checking of their page after they have posted it.
> 
> There are potential pitfalls with my (planned) approach.
> 
> 1)	The person might not learn html.
> 
> 2)	Security is somewhat compromised since we are using an ISP that (of
> course) provides only one password for our entire site.  If someone can
> post stuff regarding their program they can post stuff regarding the
> entire agency.  I am not worried about malicious behavior so much as I
> am accidents.  I will get around this problem by setting up directories
> on our s
ite.  If someone edits and publishes a page from a different
> department, they will end up with a (modified) copy in their directory
> that will not have any links to it.
>
> This whole discussion is only relevant to organizations that have a
> small number (but greater than one) of people producing modest amounts
> of html.  If anyone is in a similar situation (that is, having
> non-technical people write and publish clean accessible html) I would
> appreciate hearing from you!  Do you think using Netscape Communicator
> suite facilitates this?  It will still be some time before anyone is
> helping me with my html work.
>
> Thanks very much for your time on this.
>
> FYI, this thread died (on and off the list), so there was no new
> information for me to share with the group until now.
>
> Bruce Bailey
>
>
> > My many thanks to the several people who have responded privately to my
> > initial post.  I will endevor to ensure that the most salient points are
> > posted here.
> >
> > The consensus so far:
> > 1) FrontPage is quirky and you still have to know html to use it.
> > 2) It doesn't take much work to correct Communicator pages.
> > 3) Other packages MIGHT do the trick.
> >
> > I am still not satisfied.
> >
> > The beauty of Communicator is that, once it is set up, a neophyte can 1)
> > select "edit", 2) make changes, 3) select "publish" AND THEY ARE DONE!
> > The person doesn't have to know anything about ftp or html.  (For that
> > matter, they don't even need to know a password, but this only works
> > with one account/directory.)  When you add to this that the person is
> > using software (the browser) that they are already comfortable with, we
> > are talking about a NEAR ZERO learning curve.
> >
> > Even editing one line of code destroys the simplicity here.
> >
> > Does anyone know of a way to modify Communicator's behavior?  Would the
> > commercial versions address this need?
> >
> > How is it that no one at Netscape or Microsoft worries about producing
> > html 4.0 compliant code?
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Bruce Bailey
> >
> >
> >> From:  Bruce Bailey[SMTP:bbailey@clark.net]
> >> Sent:  Wednesday, May 13, 1998 1:50 PM
> >> To:  'Web Accessibility Initiative'
> >> Subject:  Using htlm editors to produce clean code?
> >>
> >> Has anybody had success using Microsoft FrontPage or Navigator Gold to
> >> generate html code that parses through Bobby or the W3C
> Validator without
> >> errors?
> >>
> >> I am confortable with html and text editors, but I need to
> find tools that
> >> our secretaries can use without learning html.
> >>
> >> Front Page generates way too much extraneous code and actually makes it
> >> difficult to put in good alt text.  It's really overkill for what I am
> >> looking for, since it is site-oriented instead of page oriented.  I
> >> envision giving responsibility for one-page-per-person for our site
> >> (eventually -- smile).  Communicator's editor is not too bad from this
> >> point.  You really can browse a site live, edit, publish -- all without
> >> knowing many details.  I hate that Communicator favors
> appearance tags vice
> >> logical ones (<B> and <I> instead of <STRONG> and <EM>), but
> only fails me
> >> on two points:
> >>         1)  It won't include the <!DOCTYPE... statement
> >>         2)  It puts nbsp; after graphics in table cells which
> causes a Bobby error
> >> since my tables now mix graphics and text.
> >>
> >> Does anyone know how to defeat either of the above two behaviors?
> >>
> >> Thanks very much for your time.
> >> Bruce Bailey
> >> www.dors.state.md.us
>
Received on Tuesday, 17 November 1998 02:01:32 GMT

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