HoTMetaL oops, HTML editors, general ranting

Subject: HoTMetaL oops, HTML editors, general ranting
From: "Laura Lemay, Killer of Trees" <lemay -at- LNE -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 1995 15:51:03 -0800

Ah, HTML. I could write volumes.

Someone asked, and Arlen suggested:
> Is there a free/shareware HTML editor available for the Mac? I'm

>Try Arachnid. or
>It's copyright by Univeristy of Iowa. I haven't used it much (yet) but it
>comes highly recommended.


I found Arachnid to be incredibly difficult to use. The interface is
nonintuitive at best and at worst seems to actively discourage being
able to get anything done without an anourmous amount of mouse clicking
and selecting and dragging and dropping. I also found it extremely
slow, even on my high-end Mac systems. I was very dissappointed with
this editor.

For the Mac, I like HTML Editor
and HTML Web Weaver
( For Windows,
I like HTML Assistant. All three have good simple interfaces and are
easy to use.

In general, I do find that most HTML editors don't do much for me because
they aren't good enough **editors**. Yes, they insert the tags for
you, but they're not really that easy to write in. Most of the time
I still use a plain old text editor and type in the commands myself.

Robert Crews wrote, about the write and test in Netscape cycle:
> 1. You'll be proofing your work with the same tools your
> readers will be using (No need to worry about a buggy
> HTML interpreter)

I am amused that you mention buggy HTML interpreters here, given that
Netscape has about the worst HTML interpreter out there. Netscape
is a very forgiving interpreter, meaning that it merrily skips over
gross errors in HTML code that can, in other browsers, cause links
to not work, whole sections of text to vanish or to even crash other
browsers. Netscape does this intentionally. They consider it a feature
that they can magically correct errors in the code they get.

Test for appearance in Netscape if you like, but the only way to make
sure you're writing **correct** HTML that will be accepted in other
browsers is to check it with an HTML checker such as the HTML
validation service at HAL ( or
weblint ( And yes, these programs
will skip over Netscape-specific extensions to HTML if you want them

And keep in mind that although Netscape and Mosaic make up the
majority of the browsers out there that even 5% of the Web can be
half a million people or more. And when the Microsoft Network goes
online....things could change very rapidly.

lemay -at- lne -dot- com

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