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Homesite Future - What would you want changed?

Dec 1, 2006 3:27 PM

There have been threads debating whether HomeSite was orphaned or whether it would be upgraded or not. Since none of us know, those are mainly ways we've all been expressing our frustration.

Someone pointed out to me recently how useful HomeSite is even now "as it is" (which I knew of course), but he also enumerated some good arguments why there might not be much demand for HomeSite to be upgraded. If fact he has trouble sometimes convincing people to upgrade from HS 4.5, even when they already have HS 5.5+ on a DW CD. While I disagree on some of his arguments, he has a good point that putting development resources into doing an upgrade only makes sense for Adobe if there are compelling enough reasons for users to pay to buy the new version.

Anyway, I have no idea if this is how Adobe is thinking, or really what they are thinking at all, but I thought I'd start a thread to see what you all think on this question.

What updates, features or fixes to HomeSite would you be most interested in?
(to the point of being willing to pay for an upgrade, assuming cost is reasonable)


Or some more detailed rephrasings that might jog your mind:

- What things would you be willing to pay (a reasonable amt) to upgrade to get?

- Or what things would make you look elsewhere because they aren't in HomeSite?

- What bugs or things about HS drive you nuts?

- What do you need/want to do in HomeSite that can't be done using it's extensions?

So, anyone willing to put some thought into it? Please be honest, not just posting little gripes, or things that would be nice, but that you wouldn't be willing to shell out some $ for. (you can post those things too, but please note which are which.)

And let's keep the scope here on this, not on the broader arguments about whether Adobe will or should do patches or upgrades or whether their dogs have fleas. We can use other threads for that. ok? ;-)

thanks!!
jeff

p.s. No, this isn't Adobe's way of doing a user survey on the cheap, it's just me posting to see what you all care about.
If it gives them motivation to do something - great, but this is for us to talk together about what you think really *needs* improvement in HS.
 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 1, 2006 4:34 PM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    Not in any particular order.

    • Fully integrated CSS (2.1) with the equivalent of tag completion and the facility to have live ids and (multiple) classes entered into tag class and id attributes referencing linked or embedded stylesheets.

    • Split screen in edit view to be able to see two documents side-by-side.

    • In split edit/browse view, the browser should follow the position of the cursor in the edit window and update automatically with changes.

    • Two 'Browse' tag to allow embedding and internal viewing of IE and Mozilla simultaneously.

    • Difference/Comparison utility to be able to compare two files and display the differences side-by-side.

    • FTP site synchronisation - the ability to make the remote site duplicate the local project.

    • A report feature that lists all orphaned files in a project (any file in a project that isn't referenced by any other project file.

    • Fully updated 'insight' for all current language specs (HTML, XHTML, CSS, ECMAScript, PHP, CFML, ASP.NET, etc.

    • ECMAScript and PHP debugger.

    • CHMod support in FTP.

    • Improve and simplify the current FTP interface.

    • RegEx wizard to build REs inside Extended Search and Replace.

    • Facility to turn on/off Dreamweaver/Contribute lock in/lock out for compatibility with people who use those GUIs.

    Probably more to follow.
     
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    Dec 1, 2006 7:05 PM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    WOW Roy - great list!

    I will agree with everything plus - add that it used to creat a drop down list of used "a name" tags is a document having that back would be great. I am on version 5 - and should upgrade. And will if the program might be around awhile longer.

    My biggest wish is simply that it be kept alive and current with css validation elements, maintain the useablity and keep current as Roy said with standards and code requirements of new technology. I don't use WYSIWYG programs and I would not care if had no integration with them.

    This would seem to me to be a viable markket as the next best editor (Codewrite by Premia) is no longer supportted and there is not another feature filled real editor out there for people who actually write html, xhtml etc.

    Homesite is a wonderful program "as is" for a person wanting to learn how to write clean code - or someone who does and wants to keep it that way..



     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 2, 2006 2:49 AM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    quote:

    Originally posted by: JeffW
    Thanks Roy, great list. some of that looks familiar from Topstyle ;-)
    2 notes/questions


    Not surprising as HS and TS were both written by the same great man. Unfortunately development of TS seems to have stopped now that Nick is a fulltime NewsGator.

    quote:

    * built in diff is a good idea. FYI, for now there is a great script to call any external diff tool from homesite, even on remote files opened via HS ftp. See "File Compare Utility Call Script"
    http://www.wilk4.com/asp4hs/list5.htm#filecompare


    This one isn't a biggy for me but I do remember it being asked for on several occasions.

    quote:

    * You obviously use the built-in ftp more than I do. Would webDAV support be important on your list? It's been mentioned here before.

    I only use it occasionally, but would use it much more if it had some of the features that my normal FTP client (CuteFTP Pro) had. WebDAV wouldn't be needed here, but I'm sure that a lot of people would find it useful.

    And I meant to say Check in/Check out for DW compatibility. (You can tell how often I use it ;-) ).

    By the way Jeff, can you post via a newsreader. I haven't been able to for well over a year and I'm having to use the awful forum interface. If I don't my posts only show in a newsreader and not on the forum. Spartanicus had the same problem. We reported this to MM when it started but they said there wasn't a problem. I can post correctly to the DW forum via a newsreader (with exactly the same settings) so I don't think the problem is this end.
     
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    Dec 5, 2006 11:37 AM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    Nice list Roy.

    It is very similar to the list I sent to one of the senior developers at Macromedia a while back. I am disappointed that the list was either ignored or lost. I hope this thread will get some attention.
     
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    Dec 12, 2006 10:26 PM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    I use the FTP functionality A LOT! It would be nice for that to be more stable and support SFTP. Just improving the FTP would make me happy but I would certainly enjoy all of the other mentioned features.
     
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    Dec 13, 2006 4:43 AM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    UTF-8 support!
     
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    Dec 13, 2006 9:28 AM   in reply to Roy Reed
    Man would I love to see the codesweeper.log files disappear
    Also I would like to be able to preset different keyboard layouts. (The default CTRL-R for find & replace always bothered me; why not use the default CTRL-H? But then again, I might want to switch between keyboard layouts..)
     
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    Dec 13, 2006 9:55 AM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    Saveable layouts would be nice.
     
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    Dec 13, 2006 1:13 PM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    quote:

    Originally posted by: JeffW
    Do you mean layouts of the toolbars, etc, saved like Nick uses in TopStyle?

    It's not a big deal, but it would be a nice extra - nowhere near as important as UTF-8 or some of the other suggestions.

    Any ideas about why I can't post via NNTP?
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 21, 2006 6:35 AM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    Thanks for presenting this survey.

    I am very intently interested in an upgrade to Homesite, and have been waiting patiently, often wondering if Adobe is going to invest money in it, because there seems to be no other editor out there even today (I've done a wide search) that can do the mass editing that I can do quite nicely as Homesite.

    The reasons I'd like to upgrade instead of just using 5.5:

    It's difficult to deploy to multiple folders or network folders without using an FTP server, which sometimes doesn't exist.
    I need SFTP or WebDav.
    I need swifter adding and removing of files to projects, (e.g. I need the 'save as' dialogue box to synchronize with the current project folder, not just files1 or files2).
    I need syntax highlighting when I'm trying to figure out how many levels of parens or brackets in my PHP code I need or don't need. (highlighting the same level of paren or bracket).
    Not sure if it synchs with subversion 1.4 but if not, it would be nice.
    I need UTF-8 (already mentioned), Cyrillic and other character encodings
    would like to see more stability / less crashing or hanging.
    When doing a save as and crawling up a directory tree, it hangs on my main local web repository/directory (with all of my projects old & new -- at least 30 directories here).
    Better code-oriented layout-based editing. I never use it because it changes my code radically when I turn it on.

    There are PHP editors out there that cost much more, and do more, and have some nicer features. For example, Zend Studio, PHPed, etc., are good for PHP, but not as good for HTML.

    I'm looking for the holy grail of editors--something that does JS, PHP, HTML, CSS, UTF-8, etc., without having multiple programs popping up on the taskbar (clutter), or having to spend more money overall on multiple programs.

    Maybe you should have several versions, if that doesn't add to the confusion? If Adobe put out a PHP/HTML editor, a separate HTML editor for those that don't do PHP, and a light version then different people might like the different versions.

    A fully (and better) integrated HS / Dreamweaver combo would be nice too, instead of having a stripped down HS inside Dreamweaver.

    HS doesn't need to be changed particluarly too much for me to stick with it, but some major reworking might help, too.

    I'm willing to spend $40 - $80 on an upgrade, unless it was radically improved, and then I'd spend more.

    Hope this helps,

    Bryce
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 21, 2006 11:57 AM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    i love HS. I have tried many many editors and always come back to HS. Except 5.2 and 5.5 both have problems with the folder tree collapsing. That drives me nuts.

    Besides that I'd like to see some upgrades with the API. i have a nice long list of things i'd like to see, but i REALLY only want one thing.

    I want the ability to dynamically modify the tag/function insight through the HS API. Along with the abilty to run a plugin function when one of the options is selected. That's it.

    But, i doubt adobe is going to put much money into upgrading HS. So I'm not holding my breath. But if HS could do that, i'd make you all some outrageous plugins.
     
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    Dec 22, 2006 6:24 AM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    Always use homesite, it's open just as much as Photoshop for me.

    Based on the association with Topstyle, I was unaware of that - but a full integration of .css standards would be great - instead of the 'light', and not as a popup but as a sidebar/panel.

    This may be off the wall but I'll toss this in.
    Without creating redundancy/duplicating features from dreamweaver, why not build on a RIA control panel. What I like about Hs is that it's compact and I can get the job done. So add a new focus geared towards Ajaxian.

    Hs could be the base 'Editor' for Spry - complete with 'Spry' controls.

    I should also add Hs can be a 'middle-tier' editor for:
    - mxml /Flex (with Basic Flex Controls)
    - spry
    - xml
    - actionscript
    Just a thought.

    d
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 22, 2006 8:04 AM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    quote:

    Originally posted by: JeffW
    Thanks Roy, great list. some of that looks familiar from Topstyle ;-)
    2 notes/questions

    * built in diff is a good idea. FYI, for now there is a great script to call any external diff tool from homesite, even on remote files opened via HS ftp. See "File Compare Utility Call Script"
    http://www.wilk4.com/asp4hs/list5.htm#filecompare

    * You obviously use the built-in ftp more than I do. Would webDAV support be important on your list? It's been mentioned here before.



    This tool doesn't work for me with Beyond Compare, it just pulls up a file open dialog as mentioned but nothing is available from the pulldowns aside from the standard "new folder" or "New document". :(

    I'd pay a smooth 100.00 for someone to code a homesite style program that also did comparisons and kept all of Homesite's functionality (like extended search and replace!)
     
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    Dec 27, 2006 7:17 AM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    Jeff, adding dynamic insighting to the api would be a MAJOR boon for plugins.

    For example, it would be possible to make plugins that keep track of CF variables and do insighting on query columns. So for example:

    <cfquery name=getuser>
    select firstname, lastname
    from users
    where userid=#userid#
    </cfquery>

    So... if you type: #getuser. It could display a drop down of: firstname and lastname.

    This would be possible to make plugins like this for all types of variables, not just ColdFusion. It could extend to other languages like PHP or even CSS. Also not just simple variables, it could be built for CFC methods or Fusebox fuseactions etc.

    I imagine it would be methods like this:

    insighting.add([a regular expression?], [array of strings to add])
    insighting.delete([a regular expression?])

    The second thing i want is the ability to run a function when an item is selected from the list. Right now when you select an item from a list it just inserts that text. Which is great. But it could do SO much more if it just fired off a function when an item was selected.

    So... that [array of strings] in the add() method should have three values:

    1: text to display
    2: text to insert
    3: function to execute

    Add these two things to the API and i'll be hooked to homesite for life.

    Steve
     
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    Jan 2, 2007 9:47 AM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    The most important change for me would be the capability to use Unicode.
    Neither editor I use (HS and Topstyle) support Unicode. The first to do
    this will draw many users from the other. This lack of Unicode is a
    major stumbling block to me.

    JeffW wrote:
    > There have been threads debating whether HomeSite was orphaned or whether it
    > would be upgraded or not. Since none of us know, those are mainly ways we've
    > all been expressing our frustration.
    >
    > Someone pointed out to me recently how useful HomeSite is even now "as it is"
    > (which I knew of course), but he also enumerated some good arguments why there
    > might not be much demand for HomeSite to be upgraded. If fact he has trouble
    > sometimes convincing people to upgrade from HS 4.5, even when they already have
    > HS 5.5+ on a DW CD. While I disagree on some of his arguments, he has a good
    > point that putting development resources into doing an upgrade only makes
    > sense for Adobe if there are compelling enough reasons for users to pay to buy
    > the new version.

    >
    > Anyway, I have no idea if this is how Adobe is thinking, or really what they
    > are thinking at all, but I thought I'd start a thread to see what you all think
    > on this question.
    >
    > What updates, features or fixes to HomeSite would you be most interested
    > in?
    > (to the point of being willing to pay for an upgrade, assuming cost is
    > reasonable)

    >
    > Or some more detailed rephrasings that might jog your mind:
    >
    > - What things would you be willing to pay (a reasonable amt) to upgrade to
    > get?

    >
    > - Or what things would make you look elsewhere because they aren't in
    > HomeSite?

    >
    > - What bugs or things about HS drive you nuts?
    >
    > - What do you need/want to do in HomeSite that can't be done using it's
    > extensions?

    >
    > So, anyone willing to put some thought into it? Please be honest, not just
    > posting little gripes, or things that would be nice, but that you wouldn't be
    > willing to shell out some $ for. (you can post those things too, but please
    > note which are which.)
    >
    > And let's keep the scope here on this, not on the broader arguments about
    > whether Adobe will or should do patches or upgrades or whether their dogs have
    > fleas. We can use other threads for that. ok? ;-)
    >
    > thanks!!
    > jeff
    >
    > p.s. No, this isn't Adobe's way of doing a user survey on the cheap, it's just
    > me posting to see what you all care about.
    > If it gives them motivation to do something - great, but this is for us to
    > talk together about what you think really *needs* improvement in HS.
    >
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2007 9:33 PM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    It's somewhat encouraging to find this thread discussing a future for HS.
    I keep coming back to old HS as it is such a competent web code editor; file system savvy and many-web-languages savvy, so many things in one package. But it's getting a bit dated in ways others have mentioned - PHP5?
    Away from it, I really miss my snippets, keyboard shortcuts and macros - a trial with Dreamweaver disappointed me with its code handling features (but 1 month trial is not long enough unless one can use it every day).

    Recurring problem I've had with HS on different PCs is crashing on exit, with WinXP nagging to send error report to M$. (Any help on how to avoid this exit problem appreciated).
    Getting the FTP wrong is difficult to undo; brilliant once it's set up for right-click single file deployment - for my humble needs.

    Yes, some updating and stabilising would be most appreciated - simpler FTP setup transparency - latest web standards.
    I'd pay a reasonable amount for that - use it for development, learning, and old site maintenance rather than to churn out expensive web sites as DW gurus might, so I'd only pay a smallish fraction of DW price for HS upgrade.

    So JeffW, I hope you've got better connections at Adobe than you let on...

    Best wishes and thanks for starting this thread.
    Les
     
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    Jan 16, 2007 12:46 PM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    Not really a program update but id like to be able to purchase a boxed copy of the next homesite has im not a fan of digital downloads.....
     
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    Feb 6, 2007 10:18 AM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    I'd really like to see the tag defs & help updated. This *is*, after all, an "official" product and ought to have accurate information. It's one of the biggest strengths vs CFEclipse - something that's gaining a lot of following.

    The RegEx find/replace needs to be brought up to speed.

    As for diff'ing things, folks working against an svn repository don't really feel the need.
     
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    Mar 4, 2007 11:24 AM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    A Mac OS version...PLEASE!!!
     
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    Mar 6, 2007 12:58 PM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    I think a lot of the suggested features sum up what I look for in future versions. When I consider programs like PHP Designer, which was previously giving full insights into PHP functions and such as a free program, never having HomeSite upgraded to have similar ideas was to some degree surprising. I do like HomeSite, I still use it for my editing needs all the time, which is a great tribute to the program considering how little it has been updated these last few years. I'd love to see some major updates to homesite with insights into other languages, but still keeping in line with being a fairly clear and simple interface which isn't too cluttered, and remains fast to start.
     
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    Mar 13, 2007 9:50 AM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    What I would need is a way to log on the remote server via SSH... Tunneling the traffic is too troublesome.
     
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    May 28, 2007 9:08 AM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    I would like to see Homesite available for OS X. I have been using PCs and Homesite for years, but recently switched to OS X because of the overall toolset and Unix foundation. I do miss Homesite though.
     
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    May 29, 2007 9:11 AM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    I totally agree with the codesweeper file!!

    I upgraded to 5.5 and I cannot figure out how to make it stay on the directory i am working in $%%$%& it is driving me crazy!!!!!
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 30, 2007 12:48 AM   in reply to Victoria
    Some ideas that come to mind:

    • Improved CSS support.
    • Ability to browse with multiple browsers (for example IE, FireFox and Opera).
    • Project contains multiple diff comparison/deployment targets. These can be ftp/sftp/WebDav/FPSE. Can deploy using a directory based diffing interface, file by file or whole project. Diffing tool.
    • Tool to create a SiteMap, a la the new standard. From project with exclusions etc, dates from filing system OR from embedded last edited date in file.
    • Tools to write RSS/Atom etc. feeds.
    • Insight and completion for code entered, including things that can be checked by reflection.
    • Code tools like debuggers, compilers... can be used for languages. Possibly with freely available tools like the .NET compilers, debuggers etc.
    • RegEx support to include, snippets, library, assembler from bits, conversion of text sample to "RegEx recogniser".
    • At one time utf-8 worked please re-instate. It would also be a great drawcard to natively support other forms of unicode encoded files.
    • Improved code sweeper.
    • Microformat capable.
    • Extensions can be .NET assemblies (in addition to existing scripts) and other interfaces.
    • XAML editing.

    If the work is going ahead I for one will contribute more details of the wish list.
     
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    Jun 1, 2007 3:46 PM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    I've been thinking about these suggested improvements.

    If I were doing it for my own project I'd use some techniques I've been developing for about a decade and a half. Quite similar to what Alan Cooper talks about in his book "The Lunatics are running the Asylum", which I read, for the first time, this week.

    That involves describing a single challenging Persona as the user, being sure you know her goals then focusing on that picture for design decisions. (I imagine Nick might have had some such idea in his head with the original work.)

    Does a description like that exist for the archetypal HomeSite user? If not would there be any point in doing this properly? (Is the work worth doing? or is there 90% chance it's wasted?)

    On the sitemap issue. Thanks I've had a look at the code. I've done essentially that in Powershell already. (It also checks for exclusions (like robot exclusions, excluded directories...) and reads dates...)

    Is there a way to use a Powershell script as a Homesite extension?

    I've not thought about it, has anyone else?
     
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    Jun 3, 2007 1:27 AM   in reply to Jeff Wilkinson
    ColdFusion 8 is in Beta. I'm not sure if that's good news or bad news for Homesite, considering its also quite old. I didn't expect either to be updated. I really, really hope Adobe are reading/considering updating Homesite too but somehow I don't see it with Dreamweaver getting all the focus now (I hate to be a pessimist). But Homesite is still the only development tool I feel comfortable with.
     
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