NetObjects Fusion 5

Five versions later, and NetObjects is still adding new features. For example, while creating a site using the new Online Guide, developers can now be presented with strategic and practical information regarding all aspects of the site's development. These include mapping navigation strategies, guidelines for object arrangement on pages, font selection and content style, depending upon the site's purpose.

One of the biggest gripes about earlier versions was the inflexibility of the navigation controls Fusion created. In version 5, menu bars can be built that will link automatically to any nominated pages using either buttons supplied as parts of Fusion styles or images the developer has created.

For those who still want to add their own code, there is a new HTML Source View. You can add custom scripts or tags to the auto-generated HTML.

Cascading Style Sheets are fully supported and easily implemented for paragraph alignment, margin adjustment, borders or background images as well as font style consistency throughout a site. A major addition in Fusion 5 is the ability to copy and paste pages or entire sections in the site view. All the contents of the page are preserved when copied. In the past this required creating new pages manually and copying and pasting individual elements.

Other new features include an inline page preview, greatly expanded e-commerce support, a small business Web site wizard, and a new publishing feature that lets the developer continue working on the site while other sections are being sent to a server. Using third party components, it is possible to create database connectivity and to incorporate directly O'Reilly WebBoards or RealNetworks Audio and Video components. In addition, there is strong third-party growth for applet components - many of which are free.

NetObjects Fusion 5

Price: $569 (upgrades from previous versions $214.50)Distributor: FirmwarePhone: (02) 4725 8000URL: www.firmware.com.au

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David Hague

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