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For the Developer: HTML Editors


The most commonly spoken language in the world is said to be Mandarin Chinese, but I think it's HTML.  For a web developer, there is no tool more important than a good HTML editor.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) takes the text of a web page and adds "tags" that tell a web browser how to display it.  For instance, this word is bold.  To make that word stand out, I added the tag <em> before it, which means "Everything after this is in boldface", and after it put the tag </em>, which means "Stop boldface here." ("em" comes from "emphasis".)

It's possible to create web pages by manually typing tags into a file, but most people prefer to use a graphical editor that lets you see the formatting (like a word in boldface), instead of having to remember and interpret hundreds of different tags.  A good graphical HTML editor will display the page exactly the way it would look in a web browser.  Most also include additional features, like uploading to your web server when you are finished working.

CoffeeCup VisualSite Designer is a very good visual editor for web pages.  It's simple to position things on the screen and format everything the way you want it.  The included templates let you get started right away creating your own web pages.  An image editor is also included, so you don't need to buy any additional software to add pictures to your site.

MoreMotion Application Studio 's unique strength is its support for the new AJAX system.  AJAX lets you create interactive applications that run in a web browser.

WeBuilder is much more than an HTML layout program.  You can use it to create your page design in HTML, and also to add and edit scripts using VBScript, PHP, ASP, ASP.Net, SSI, Perl, Ruby, and WML.  There is also built-in support for SQL databases, allowing you to easily interface your page with business systems.  Anyone working on a site that uses scripting and/or databases should evaluate WeBulder.

There are dozens of other web site editors available in the WYSIWYG HTML Editor and Text-based HTML Editor categories.  I'm sure you can find the exact one that fits your needs.

John M. 

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