Simple web editing software?

Maybe stretching the definition of DIY, but I'm maintaining a small club web site where one person (expert) has defined the CSS and someone else is contributing some graphics pages built with Dreamweaver. I do very little web work but am comfortable with markup languages. I believe in editing the code directly but it is handy to have a WISYWIG view. Currently using Frontpage 2000 because I happened to have a copy, but it is a bit clunky. Can't justify anything like Dreamweaver but don't mind paying for a basic editor. Anyone recommend any freeware / shareware / low cost editor suitable for XHTML? No Java, Flash, or any interactive stuff.
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newshound wrote:

simply put if you want to do it the best way use two screens with a browser refreshing in one and the editor in the other.
I've never found a wysiwyg editor worth a dam for html, especially going across half a dozen target browsers.
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newshound wrote:

NVU is free and cross-platform, but no longer in development:-
http://net2.com/nvu/download.html
There's no support, though, apart from via other users.
Now replaced by Blue Griffon:-
http://bluegriffon.org/pages/Download
You can use it in WYSIWYG mode or text mode, and it will let you preview the results as they would appear in most of the common browsers from within the program.
I use Namo version 3, now up to version 9, which is $79.99 to download:-
http://www.namo.com/main/?skin=productdetail_webeditor9.html
--
Tciao for Now!

John.

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On 12/08/2012 15:25, John Williamson wrote:

I'll put another vote in for Blue Griffon as worthy of consideration and also free. You can run it almost WYSIWIG mode too with tags shown in much the same way as Hotmetal used to do before Corel discontinued it.

What advantages does that product offer over BG?
Regards, Martin Brown
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Martin Brown wrote:

I've no idea, but at this precise moment, Namo 3 has the advantage for me because I'm used to it. This may change with the next rewrite of my home page.
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Install and use a Wiki for most of it? It means you can use a simple markup language to write the pages and it's *designed* for maintaining on-line. (I'm using DokuWiki but there are lots of alternatives, for a sample of what a very basic one can do see http://zbmc.eu/public/wiki /)
... or install WordPress, that's what a huge number of people maintaining their own web sites do nowadays.
--
Chris Green

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On 12/08/2012 15:09 newshound wrote:

I've used html-kit for a long time now: http://www.htmlkit.com /
It's free (and there's a later paid-for 'html-kit tools') version that I've switched to).
--
F



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On 12/08/2012 15:41, F wrote:

Yes, that looks pretty slick and full-featured. I'll give this a try. Thanks to all for the suggestions.
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newshound wrote:

The problem with editing web pages that way is WYSWBDTWIS (what you see will be be different to what I see) due to varying browsers, versions of browsers, screen sizes, font settings, addons/plugins, etc.

I use Komodo Edit, it "understands" and syntax highlights html/css plus many other file types, you can have a preview tab open which shows you roughly how it'll look in most mozilla based browsers (saving files automatically refreshes preview), but it can spawn to any other external browser you've got to check for sure, it has a built in FTP client too for uploading to servers.
http://www.activestate.com/komodo-edit
Oh, it's free, the niggle for me is that it's a bit slow loading.
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On Sun, 12 Aug 2012 16:00:49 +0100, Andy Burns wrote:

Which is where http://browsershots.org/ comes in handy.
I used to use the WYSIWYG editor built into Mozilla that produced resonably compatible and compact code. 'Tis a long time ago now though I think it's now SeaMonkey. http://www.seamonkey-project.org /
--
Cheers
Dave.




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Just run away now.
Never get involved in web projects (unless it's day job turf and the hourly rate is good).
Never get involved in club web projects.
Don't touch Dreamweaver with a bargepole.
You can't "define CSS". You can't do this before the structure of the site is defined, and you can't do it with CSS alone. It can be done, it's a good way to work, but it needs a wireframe of the rough site first (maybe even crude HTML), then CSS and also copious notes about how the selector structure is going to work. Then it needs two developers to whom "wireframe" and "selector structure" are just second nature. This is rare.
Your editing tool is a very minor choice. You just need a good coder's text editor. You DO NOT WANT an editor that tries to take over the role of understanding HTML & CSS for you. Dreamweaver is neither an aid to the beginner, nor a means of developing a commercial site. This is because of the nature of such tools in general, not Dreamweaver particularly. I use Eclipse or jEdit, but Namo or NVU would no doubt work too.
IMHO, go back to the CSS expert and have them also develop the site wireframe and some example HTML pages. Then (i.e. afterwards, and not before) other developers can work on adding the additional pages, based on this example. This also proves out the CSS in combination with the HTML, because you can never do all of it successfully and completely pro forma.
As to wikis, then they're a great way for an editor community to develop content-focussed sites collaboratively. However it's also hard to turn a wiki into a usable site for average walk-up readers, who aren't familiar with wikis. Much as I love wikis, this is a tricky problem to solve.
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On 12/08/2012 16:58, Andy Dingley wrote:

I know, but not an option. You should have seen it *before* I got involved

Agree totally (but it is nice to have something which marks tags, shows comments, is friendly for formatting and printing). I think I have a copy of NVU somewhere, but it's a *long* time since I was writing code, so I am out of touch with what's available. I started on teletypes.

Not an option. This is a reasonably competent designer with no interest in the organisation, just doing it as a favour for a friend.

It's not really a wiki sort of problem, it's a bit of a showcase, a bit of a knowledge base, and a bit of social networking.
But, comments very much appreciated.
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newshound wrote:

I don't see how this expert *could* meaningfully develop CSS files in isolation from HTML files, how is the person creating the HTML files supposed to know how and where to use various id and class names?
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On 12/08/2012 19:37, Andy Burns wrote:

Sorry, I didn't explain it very well. One of the club members came up with a basic page layout, colour schemes, graphics for the banner, etc. The "web designer" tweaked a template from something they found on the web and produced some CSS and "unpopulated" HTML. I simplified the CSS a bit and put in the framework text, designed and built the menus, sorted out a directory structure and linked it all together. Now I'm trying to keep it up to date. The originator wants to generate pages with a lot more pictures so we are re-vamping the structure. It's not going to be a very big or complicated site, it's a volunteer organisation which runs on a shoestring. I'm trying to make it 1) slick and 2) maintainable: not easy when some of the input that I have to work with comes from WYSIWIG editors which throw formatting tags around like confetti, and no-one apart from me thinks about file naming conventions and appropriate character sets.
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newshound wrote:

My solution was to write some PHP that draws the framework, and a web based editor that takes simple textn a few commands and inserts a picture or two.
Adding an 'article' which is automatically indexed consist in filling in a form and attaching images.
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On 12/08/2012 21:15, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Looks interesting, but I had pretty much stopped coding before VB came out. There are just too many programming languages out there to start learning another one. Mind you I did start with Elliot Autocode.
Maybe I am out of RAM. A mate of mine has just gone bionic with a Parkinson's disruptor. I'm just waiting for when I can get an SDHC card slot fitted.
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wrote:

Isn`t that the basis of all the Content Mnangement Systems around now?
Joomla becoming more familiar with there`s also , Mambo , Dot Net Nuke , Wordpress etc
Takes the grief out of updating indexes and allows site wide templates to change the style.
Cheers Adam

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On 12/08/2012 21:15, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Yup that's a good approach for this sort of thing. There are a number of off the shelf content management systems out there that can also do a fair amount of the work for you in cases like this.
--
Cheers,

John.

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An old essay of mine on this topic: http://quercus.livejournal.com/157332.html

Easy. Unicode stored and served as UTF-8 (no BOM) throughout. Easy, does the job, works internationally.
As a tip, embed a copyright character somewhere on the page (blurb footers are good). Do this as a literal copyright character (typed in under Windows as Alt 0169) rather than a character entity. Now see if it's displayed correctly, and if the served page is delivered as UTF-8. If it is, then you're good, and you're probably good for embedded Norwegian and Urdu too.
Note that "Save as Unicode" in many Windows tools is actually "Save as UTF-16" - you need "Save as UTF-8 (No BOM)"
Host on Apache. Learn enough Apache config to understand serving as UTF-8, SSI and redirects. Don't host on Zeus.
Avoid PHP. You probably don't need this, and if you do need it, you should be using someone else's pre-written Wordpress, not writing your own PHP.

Embedded WYSIWYG is much less trouble than WYSIWYG page design. The only formatting you need to preserve for most tasks is inline formatting and para / header breaks. These are usually generated reasonably well by WYSIWYG and aren't hard to sanitise and embed. The tricky stuff is when WYSIWYG is trying to embed 2D page layout. That's not only likely broken, but you probably don't need it for your site, as you're writing your own container anyway.
If you go down the CMS route, then there's sadly little available as a FOSS CMS. Your best options are more likely to be a wiki (over- complex, but it'll do the job) - which best means MediaWiki, or else one of the more sophisticated blog engines like Wordpress. Not quite so good a CMS as something really intended as a CMS, but it will do the job.
Here's an example of MediaWiki used as a CMS, then stretched to try and make it publically navigable, without looking too much like a wiki. http://wyewaltz.org/wiki/Main_Page This one is also run as a single CMS on the "management" site, then published automatically to two other wikis, one for public and one for artistes.
I would suggest that you learn HTML and get on with it, using a coder's text editor.
HTML is easy. It's complicated by two factors: people telling you it's hard and the awful tutorial information out there - almost all of which is wrong.
Use HTML 4.01 Strict, not 3.2, not XHTML, not HTML 4 Transitional, not HTML 5.
Read the two "Head First" books, "Head First Web Design" and "Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML" Borrow these from the library, as they're both an excellent one-off tutorial read, but not ongoing references. Maybe get a copy of Lie & Bos' CSS book as a desk reference.
You now know HTML. You now know enough HTML to handle semantic markup for new embedded content, and enough HTML to do maintenance on an existing site design. You don't know enough to design a site or to design layout. You don't know any useful CSS either.
Read brainjar.com to learn how CSS positioning works. Particularly the half-dozen ways to do side-by side content, tables (not always using <table>) and how to do sidebars, columns or menus.
Lift your site design from bluerobot.com or glish.com who have some useful two- or three-column designs, with menus.
Glue the bits together, then have your CSS expert skin the site for its look and feel.
Use SSI to hold the complicated, fragile parts separate from the community-edited content chunks.
If editors change things, that's enough. If editors _create_ things, then you need more. Use either a blog engine or a wiki.
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On Aug 13, 11:03am, Andy Dingley wrote:

http://www.opensourcecms.com/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_content_management_systems#Open_source_software
suggests otherwise.
Admittedly once you remove WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, most appear to have very limited market share.
Owain
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