Hear Ye! Since 1998.
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May 99

HTML Editors vs Text Editors

I use FrontPage. So flame me.

There seems to be a view held by some that’s against WYSIWYG HTML editors, and that using text editors like notepad (sidenote: I actually prefer edit.com which auto-indents and recognises unix linebreaks) is the “l33t” way to write web sites. That said, people comment on the nice design of this page. They ask, “What did you do it in?” I reply, “FrontPage.” More often than not, the reaction is a disappointed “oh” or even a disgruntled “ugh”, followed by, “but do you know any HTML code then?” to which I reply, “Well I’ve been writing HTML since 1992 and I don’t think Wysiwyg HTML editors existed then. So, yes, I guess you could say that.” This shuts them up pretty much.

Still, there’s a stigma against these HTML editors, as if the people who used them lacked skill. Sure, you get the people who use Netscape Composer / FrontPage templates to rig a personal web page up in an hour. But really, what is the difference between me generating a page with FrontPage, and doing it with notepad? Only about 10 minutes. I know the <table> tags. Why go to the trouble of typing it out when I can just bung it in with FrontPage? Unless you’ve got a valid reason, like “FrontPage messes up the code and I can’t find anything when I go to hand edit it,” what’s the problem? (BTW FrontPage 2000 has source code preseravtoin… so no more excuses ;). Can someone tell me? Please note I’m talking about those notepad users who actively dislike wysiwygs.