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Evaluating XHTML Editors

You've learned your Web programming language well enough that using a plain vanilla text editor no longer instructs; it slows you down. In short, you're ready for an XHTML editor. Which one should you choose? Dan Wellman checks them out, and discovers you may not have to spend any money at all to get one that suits your needs just fine.

Author Info:
By: Dan Wellman
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 27
November 22, 2004
  1. · Evaluating XHTML Editors
  2. · HTML Gate 2005
  3. · Altova's XML Spy Home Edition
  4. · Hypertext builder, Web Scripting editor
  5. · HMTL Kit, Top Style Pro 3, and the rest

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Evaluating XHTML Editors
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Without doubt, one of the best ways to learn a new Web programming language is to create all your first documents using nothing but a simple text editor, like Notepad. By hand-coding your first generation of documents using a basic text editor, you can really get a feel for the syntax of the language and the core components that make it up.  It is proven that learning is maximized by writing down the subject that you are learning, so using an application to take care of all the fundamental aspects of your documents, such as structure and definition tags, kind of defeats the object. This is as true for XHTML as it is for PHP, JavaScript or any of the other myriad of Web programming languages and specifications available to the Web developer today.

But when youíre feeling a little more confident in your language of choice, you may begin to tire of typing out the same old tags, document after document after document. Youíll begin to find that using your plain old text editor is now boring you and slowing you down. Itís easy to lose interest in the task at hand when that task has become pure monotony, and losing interest in the site you are building can mean only failure or mediocrity at best, which is bad news for anyone planning on reeling in the surfers. Of course, some people never tire of the simplicity and power of the humble text editor, and this is fine, but for those of you that want to focus on content, you may find a dedicated "what you see is what you get" editor just the tool youíre looking for.

For experienced HTML coders, making the switch to XHTML will be a relatively easy step to take; include some basic XML declarations, adhere to a few basic rules, remember not to use certain tags and youíre pretty much there. Once youíve gotten out of the bad habits formed while using HTML, you may find that using an XHTML editor increases your output of valid, well-formed documents. If you do decide that this is the way forward for you, one of the following examples of this type of software may be exactly what you are looking for.

Unfortunately, there do not seem to be a great many stand-alone, dedicated XHTML editors around, which I can only attribute to the relative newness of the specification. This can be seen either as a good thing, because there are not that many to choose from, or a bad thing, because there are not that many to choose from! What I mean is that finding an editor you like won't be a particularly time consuming task. Hopefully, after reading this, it will be even easier!

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