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Last post Author Topic: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?  (Read 17772 times)

Jimdoria

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Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« on: July 27, 2007, 09:30:18 PM »
Hi everybody -

I used to use Allaire HomeSite as an HTML editor. I wasn't crazy about the bloated size, slow load times, or the annoyances that came with it, but it had a few features that made it super-valuable. The biggest were its handling of snippets and keyboard shortcuts.

A snippet was a custom text block or a pair of custom text blocks. Think HTML or BBCode tags as a start. For example, you could define a snippet to start with the (tr)(td) tags, and end with the (/td)(/tr) tags. Then whatever you had highlighted when you applied the snippet would be placed inside those tags, effectively making it into a table row.

This went hand-in-hand with ultra flexible keyboard shortcuts. There were intuitive defaults; Ctrl-B was mapped to the (b)(/b) tags, Ctrl-I was mapped to the (i)(/i) tags, etc. But I could also assign Ctrl-T to my table row snippet if I wanted. Any keyboard shortcut could be re-assigned this way, to either a program command or a text snippet. (My other faves were Ctrl-Space to insert the non-breaking space escape code and Ctrl-Quotes to insert the quotation mark escape code.)

Once set up, using the snippets and shortcuts made editing raw HTML almost as easy as regular word processing.

These days I use Notepad + + as my default HTML editor, and while I think it's mostly terrific, it doesn't have these two killer features (that I can see.) It has other stuff I consider essential, though, like color-coding of HTML code, flexible and capable search & replace, etc.

Does anyone here know of a text editor akin to Notepad + + that also has full keyboard customizability and text snippet support? I figured if anybody knew of such a beast, it would be someone here!

Thanks in advance!  :Thmbsup:
- Jimdoria ~@>@

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who divide everybody into two kinds of people, and those who don't.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 09:34:50 PM by Jimdoria »

lanux128

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2007, 03:20:31 AM »
how about PSPad or NoteTab? i have used both and NoteTab in particular has a feature called ClipBook with its own scripting language that can be used for quick text insertion, formatting and many other uses.. :)

http://www.pspad.com/en/
http://www.notetab.com/

iphigenie

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2007, 01:01:53 PM »
Free editors:
Context has macro and snippets, but i don't use it for HTML much. Not sure why. when i need free and html i tended to use pspad (which has templates which partly work as snippets). Neither are similar to homesite though, although pspad might be closer.

shareware:
for more html oriented work i tended to use shareware - coffee cup's editor is pretty good (link: http://www.coffeecup.com/html-editor/), and so is visisoft's aceHTML (link: http://software.visi.../en/products/acehtml), both are clearly inspired by homesite and worth a try since both are actively developed. The first has more wizards and help tools, the second is probably more customisable. One of my friends likes firstpage, which is very homesitey too (link: http://www.evrsoft.com/1stpage3.shtml) but i havent tried it since 2004

But in the end I often end up in topstyle pro, in spite of it not having much help to speed up typing of HTML, because i do a lot of CSS.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2007, 01:33:00 PM by iphigenie »

wreckedcarzz

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2007, 01:10:34 PM »
I don't get into HTML much (or BBCode at all) but you may want to try Nvu http://www.nvu.com/index.php I use it and it seems to have a lot of advanced features, I just don't get into them. Might have what you have been missing. :-\

rssapphire

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2007, 04:53:05 PM »
I used to use Allaire HomeSite as an HTML editor.

I still am. I keep trying other HTML editors (from freeware to every new version of Dreamweaver), but always end up going back to Homesite 5.5. It hasn't been updated in 4 years or so, but it is still has the feature set I need.
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Renegade

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2007, 05:38:11 PM »
...It hasn't been updated in 4 years or so, but it is still has the feature set I need.

I was talking with Nick Bradbury (the original author) about Homesite at SIC a couple weeks ago, and he said that Adobe is basically trying to kill it, but still offering it. He also mentioned that the support forums for it still have people asking for updates for it — which felt good to have people still liking and using the software even though the project isn't his anymore.

So, don't expect it to ever get updated. I can't see Adobe changing their minds on it. From their Homesite product page:

"Macromedia HomeSite+ is included with Macromedia Dreamweaver 8. Macromedia HomeSite+ is an application based on Macromedia HomeSite 5.5 but with additional functionality for application development. Learn more about Macromedia Dreamweaver 8.."

i.e. They want you to buy Dreamweaver...

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rssapphire

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2007, 08:33:56 PM »
i.e. They want you to buy Dreamweaver...

I'd buy Dreamweaver (reluctantly, given the price) if it would make me more productive than Homesite does. I like some things about Dreamweaver, like the CSS handling in CS3; but overall my productivity goes down with Dreamweaver. So I guess I'm stuck with Homesite until I can't make it run anymore or Nick Bradbury decides to add a bunch of Homesite's HTML-authoring features to Topstyle.
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Renegade

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2007, 09:27:54 PM »
I'm not sure when Nick is going to get back to TopStyle. He said that he's been away from it for a while but wants to get back to it as soon as he can.

At the moment I believe that he's been working on NewsGator primarily. You can drop by his blog at nick.typepad.com and see if he's mentioned anything about it.

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

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rssapphire

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2007, 09:53:48 PM »
I'm not sure when Nick is going to get back to TopStyle. He said that he's been away from it for a while but wants to get back to it as soon as he can.

His blog says he has started work on 3.5 (which will mainly be bug fixes and Vista updates) and that they are looking to hire someone to take over the program. I'm not getting my hopes up.
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iphigenie

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2007, 06:21:09 AM »
The problem with homesite 5.5 is that it doesnt know anything about the evolution of html, and when you work in xhtml+css homesite isnt that productive

Trying acehtml this week, will see if it is better than topstyle on the html side

Dirhael

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2007, 06:57:31 AM »
I would have to say that to me, it sounds like E would be a close to perfect fit. With its support for TextMate bundles, it makes developing (X)HTML (or any other language for that matter) a breeze. For instance, the CTRL+B for bold, CTRL+I for italic etc. are all there. It has a built-in bundle editor to create your own snippets and commands in seconds, so if the command you're looking for isn't there, it should be easy to add. For me personally, the command I use most frequently in xhtml when using E is to type the name of the tag, followed by ALT+< . To explain better, let's say that I typed div and then pressed [alt]+[<]. This would give me <div></div> with the cursor already placed between the opening and closing tag. It might not sound like much, but it is a real timesaver. Another really nice thing is that if you have selected some text, and press " (or <, >, ' etc.) it will wrap the text with that symbol instead of overwriting....and yet another thing is that most commands are context-sensitive. Let's say that you are working with a file containing both xhtml and PHP. In the html part of the file you then press [alt]+[enter] to get a <br />, but it you were in the PHP part it would instead give you a \n (line-break char).

There are of course many more nice things you can do (block selections in it is a real killer feature), but the ones listed above was just some of the things I didn't know I missed in previous editors until I tried it.
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justice

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2007, 07:26:13 AM »
I'm using Direct Access in combination with Topstyle. Topstyle has all the great html shortcuts and css handling, and any serverside languages I add in autotexts with Direct Access, i guess it's the closest to snippets.

Now with Topstyle being semi developed again... it looks good. I don't know why Nick can't commit to editors for some reason ;)

E does look good and there was another textmate inspired editor for windows, but can't remember the name. I just don't want to depend on unproven beta software at the moment.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2007, 07:28:50 AM by justice »

Dirhael

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2007, 07:39:27 AM »
I'm using Direct Access in combination with Topstyle. Topstyle has all the great html shortcuts and css handling, and any serverside languages I add in autotexts with Direct Access, i guess it's the closest to snippets.

Now with Topstyle being semi developed again... it looks good. I don't know why Nick can't commit to editors for some reason ;)

E does look good and there was another textmate inspired editor for windows, but can't remember the name. I just don't want to depend on unproven beta software at the moment.


I belive the editor you're thinking of is InType. Unfortunately, it isn't really much of an editor yet. It's alpha software, you can't add bundles yet, no tabbed interface and no project management. Right now it's not much more than a pretty face.

I'm interested in seeing if Nick actually starts taking care of Topstyle again, but I'm having my doubts about anything more than bugfixes. It's a shame though, as it really is a nice program. It's just that it has fallen behind much of the competition in some areas, and it's not flexible at all if you want to work in languages other than CSS & HTML.
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justice

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2007, 07:52:50 AM »
Quote
It's just that it has fallen behind much of the competition in some areas
Could you care to explain? Things like macro recording?

I'm confident all the good shortcuts can be recreated with DirectAccess and the developers are very responsive. It's juts a lot of work, although with the upcoming command pack sharing features it should become easier.

The various visual studio editions have the right features that I would be looking at, but I'm juts not sure how well they support the html /css.
Perhaps in combination with Topstyle all the bases are covered. We're looking to move towards that because we're moving from classic asp to asp.net here at work. I love the intellisense, and topstyle has that for html/css, but a lot of alternatives just have syntax coloring which is a real miss.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2007, 07:55:00 AM by justice »

nudone

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2007, 08:00:43 AM »
that 'e texteditor' looks pretty amazing - check out the main screencast on the home page if you are curious. i think i'll buy it and i'm not even much of a text editor type person.

Dirhael

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2007, 09:54:09 AM »
Quote
It's just that it has fallen behind much of the competition in some areas
Could you care to explain? Things like macro recording?

I'm confident all the good shortcuts can be recreated with DirectAccess and the developers are very responsive. It's juts a lot of work, although with the upcoming command pack sharing features it should become easier.

The various visual studio editions have the right features that I would be looking at, but I'm juts not sure how well they support the html /css.
Perhaps in combination with Topstyle all the bases are covered. We're looking to move towards that because we're moving from classic asp to asp.net here at work. I love the intellisense, and topstyle has that for html/css, but a lot of alternatives just have syntax coloring which is a real miss.

Well yes, macro recording would be one of the things it's missing. Other things include the fact that the project managment isn't all it could be, the editor itself is very inflexible when it comes to actually being able to customize it. It also really just supports HTML & CSS. Yes you can add your own keyword files, but they actually just offer you syntax colouring within html documents and not proper support for the languages by themselves.
Another important thing it needs is more advanced snippets/clips. If all you want is to paste predefined text, then the current implementation might be enough. After trying the more advanced options provided in editors like TextMate/E, Komodo and others it just isn't enough anymore. It would also be nice to see some support for version control, as it is very useful for larger projects and already present in several other editors. There are other smaller things I'd like to see improved as well, but you get the idea.

Anyway, is still is a great CSS editor but for the insane price I expect more. It may have been worth the price a few years back, but not today.
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Jimdoria

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2007, 03:13:06 PM »
Wow, thanks for the responses, everybody. I'll need a while to wade through all this.
- Jimdoria ~@>@

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who divide everybody into two kinds of people, and those who don't.

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2007, 08:57:09 PM »
I've tried just about all the editors in search of the "Grail"....I've found one that I wouldn't trade for anything now....the freeware version is limited somewhat, but very good for some basic html and css......You have to try this thing to believe it though. Don't take my word for it.  Its Drag-n-Drop for the most part, W3 compliant.DHE-Editor Freeware v.1.9
h**p://www.hexagora.com
« Last Edit: August 10, 2007, 04:27:32 AM by jtarin »

iphigenie

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2007, 04:05:33 AM »
My web designer here seems to swear by a shareware called Webuilder http://www.blumentals.net

Shades

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2007, 02:16:24 PM »
(X)HTML-kit seems to fit your bill as well. Besides shortcuts, snippets etc you can write even your own modules for it. And a lot of people already did!

Very useful freeware editor, http://www.chami.com

mitzevo

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2007, 02:29:05 PM »
I second HTML-kit, its very nice as well as it's free. Dreamweaver is very nice too but comes with a high price tag.

for code completion, snippets (when pressing tab after typing for example 'php' a php template appears..) that kind of stuff, you can try TextMate (MacOS) - which I think which made snippets/autocomplete quite popular, E and Intype are clones of TextMate for Windows, and they are both in very early development stages.. There is also Komodo Edit, a free lite version of Komodo IDE, you can get TextMate style snippet functionality quite easily :)

As for Nick returning to work back on Topstyle, that would be the day.. lol.
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2007, 02:31:49 PM by mitzevo »

iphigenie

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2007, 06:25:17 PM »
I have registered versions of homesite 1,2,3,4,5,5.5 then topstyle 2 and 3 (i missed 1 somehow) - i would be so happy if he did revisit it


Jimdoria

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2007, 06:10:54 PM »
Thanks again for all the input. I've seen many of these before, particularly HTML-Kit, as I've been searching for a HomeSite replacement for a few years now. In fact, I have a KeyNote file that I keep with my comments on free HTML builders/editors I've evaluated, as there have been too many of them to keep track of in my head.

Hmmm... looking over my file now, I can't see why I stopped using HTML-kit. I think it's that I just never quite climbed over the learning curve. It seemed like to do anything you had to install a healthy number of plugins. Plugins always trip me up. I can never decide whether to install them all at once (which lengthens the learning curve, sometimes to infinity) or install none of them and then spend time hunting around for one whenever I come up against something I can't do in the base package. This keeps the learning curve shorter, but extends the time it takes to install and configure the software, sometimes to infinity.  :P

Neither approach is really conducive to just installing the program and moving on to being productive with it. IMHO, the learning curve for a text editor, even a complex one, ought to be near zero, especially for someone like me who's been using them in one form or another for decades now.

My notes for the freeware version of DHE Editor say that it looked like a nice development tool, but it was too limited in it's support for HTML elements, and it lacked code (HTML) view! Also, it used a proprietary format for saving it's files and couldn't open HTML files directly.

I'm primarily interested in free / open source offerings not (just) because I'm cheap, but because the company I work for recently changed their policy about software on company-owned machines. No personally-owned licenses are allowed to be installed - only company-owned (or potentially company-ownable) licenses. So if it costs money, I'd have to put in a special request for purchase and installation by the company - which probably has about a 50% chance of being added as a line item to the 2010 budget, then with swift approvals and some luck, an expected installation date of December 2012. :-\ 

I'd almost chance it for E (it looks amazing!) except that I already have one such request in the works, and I don't want to be seen as a troublemaker... at least any more than I already am. :-[

Oh well. I'll take another look at HTML Kit. I know they're constantly working on it.

Thanks again... and extra thanks to Mouser (or whoever's responsible) for the front page post about this thread too!  :Thmbsup:
- Jimdoria ~@>@

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nbradbury

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2007, 08:00:46 AM »
Hi folks,

Just wanted to let everyone know that TopStyle 3.5 will be in public beta soon, and in addition to bug fixes, it includes a number of new features (such as this one).

Thanks,

Darwin

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Re: Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2007, 08:16:52 AM »
Welcome Nick! I haven't tried TopStyle, but I'm a big fan of Feeddemon  :Thmbsup:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin