[sclug] Simple WYSIWYG HTML editor?

Will Dickson wrd at glaurung.demon.co.uk
Mon Mar 3 21:10:15 UTC 2008

John Stumbles wrote:
> Can anyone suggest a simple WYSIWYG HTML editor?

Not WYSIWYG, but if you don't mind (or are resigned to) editing source 
instead, you could also try 

I use this all the time, and it works fine for me, although I have spent 
a while customising it. I've never found a WYSIWYG editor that produced 
output that didn't suck, although to be fair I haven't looked recently 
so things might have improved (although judging from the rest of this 
thread, they haven't :-).

It seems to me that the fundamental problem is that "good" HTML is 
about semantics, not layout: you say *what* you mean, and then style the 
presentation afterwards. (Hopefully this isn't flamebait, or at least 
not here.) WYSIWYG, OTOH, doesn't have this step - all the "markup" is 
purely presentational. Attempting to infer the semantics would require 
the tool to read your mind, so it doesn't try. The resulting data model 
is inherently defective in that important information is missing, and 
the output code reflects this.

I suspect that a "WYSIWYG" tool which attempted to solve this problem 
would be just as long-winded as, and more awkward to use, than a source 
editor. Perhaps the answer is either a source editor with better 
affordance to cut down the amount you have to type, or some kind of 
WYSIWYG CSS editor. Maybe somebody's looking for a project...


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