Macromedia HomeSite 5.0

HTML authoring tool

Visual Web editors are all very well, but there are times when you have to roll up your sleeves and hand-code your HTML (hypertext markup language). WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) is a rather loose term when applied to Web pages, given that HTML was never really designed as a layout language. What you see, invariably, is not necessarily what you get, and sometimes there's no alternative to going in and tweaking things by hand.

Of course, HTML is simply text, so any basic text editor will do. Even the sparse Windows Notepad can be used (and sometimes is). However, for any reasonably sized project it's simply too basic. What you need is an editor that understands HTML, understands Web page design and simplifies the task as much as possible, without interfering where it's not wanted.

HomeSite is one such product. What started as a shareware project by Nick Bradbury was later purchased by Allaire, and then taken on by Macromedia when it took over Allaire. Macromedia isn't new to HomeSite; as Dreamweaver users will know, a copy comes bundled with it.

HomeSite's first advantage is that it knows HTML (plus other Web languages) and any code you type is colour-coded. This makes it easier to see the layout and spot mistakes. As soon as you start typing a tag HomeSite recognises, the program offers possible options and will also add closing tags for you.

HomeSite has an extensive Help section, giving details on options for various tags. Automated tools like CodeSweeper and Link Verification make sure your pages are correct and up to date.

Macromedia HomeSite 5.0 ****

Although the changes to 5.0 aren't spectacular, if you're after a simple and intuitive HTML editor, HomeSite is an excellent choice. It doesn't do much automatically, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Price: $234.40; Upgrade $67.10.

Phone: 1300 654 754.

URL: www.macromedia.com.au.

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