3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 4, 2011 10:45 PM by Peter Grainge

    Recommendations for an HTML editor

    JenelleEDGAR

      RoboHelp provides a WYSIWYG view and an HTML view, but adds excess data (javascripting)--any recommendations for a lean clean HTML editor that doesn't interject a bunch of metatags?

        • 1. Re: Recommendations for an HTML editor
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Welcome to our community

           

          Your post is confusing. First you claim RoboHelp adds unwanted JavaScripting then go on to claim that meta tags are interjected.

           

          JavaScript is typically added during the generation process if you are creating a web based output. Meta tags are inserted as you create or edit topics. But usually it's just a few lines of code and nothing to be concerned about.

           

          What are your specific concerns?

           

          Cheers... Rick

           

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          • 2. Re: Recommendations for an HTML editor
            A25CharacterScreenName Level 1

            What you are asking for is, in my view, the holy grail of web development (which is to say, highly sought after, but never found). The problem is that creating a WYSIWYG editor for HTML is very, very difficult, and the main reason it is difficult is that HTML is becoming less and less a presentational markup, and more and more a semantic one. Presentational markup focuses on what various objects in a document look like, whereas semantic markup focuses on what an object means. In the end, you probably don't want a WYSIWYG editor, but a WYSIWIM editor (What You See Is What It Means).

             

            Consider the following phrase:

             

            Differences between editors

             

            What do we know about this phrase? Well, we know it's not a paragraph, because it's not a complete sentence, but virtually all WYSIWYG editors will mark it as one (this becomes a big issue should you change the default presentation style of a paragraph). But that's about all you know. Unless you look at the HTML code backing this message you don't know if the phases is one which should be strongly emphasized (<strong>)(important for text to speech applications), emboldened to simply make it stand out from the surrounding text for some other reason, or a section heading (<h[n]>)(useful if you have a process which, for example, automatically creates a Table of Contents). In fact, this particular instance is marked as <h6>, but visually it is indistinguishable from the other options.

             

            One of my pet peeves with the RoboHelp Design view is that I am constantly going back through topics to remove the "Normal" style with "none," to get rid of all the inappropriate <p> tags that RoboHelp insists on littering throughout my documents.

             

            All that having been said, I think that the Design editor in RoboHelp is better than many, if not most, of the HTML editors I have tried throughout the years.

             

            My first recommendation is to keep well clear of the powerhouses of HTML editing: InDesign, FrameMaker, PageMaker, DreamWeaver, FrontPage, Microsoft Word, etc. These products fall into the PDF trap, trying (with varying degrees of success) to create HTML which will look identical in every and all environments. Because environments can range from a smart phone to a 30", wide-screen monitor, the one-presentation-fits-all paradigm is almost guaranteed to fail.

             

            A fairly complete list of HTML editors and their trade-offs can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_HTML_editors. My own preferences are for editors which can give me a split presentation/code view, and which do not try to re-write my code when I edit it directly (as RoboHelp Design so frequently does). My opinion changes regularly, but for the time being I tend to prefer the Microsoft Visual Web Developer, which is available in the Express version as a free download. This is not a strong preference on my part, and I always look forward to hearing other people's recommendations.

             

            I have never tried running RoboHelp using exclusively a third-party HTML editor, but you've inspired me to try it on my next project!

            • 3. Re: Recommendations for an HTML editor
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

              Do bear in mind that if you use a different editor, you will lose the ability to use a lot of RoboHelp functionality, such as build tags. Editors such as Dreamweaver have the same content in source and output whereas RoboHelp is designed to use processing instructions (PIs) so that there is information in the source that tells RoboHelp what to put in the output.

               


              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

               

              @petergrainge