The Competition Heats Up for Web Authoring Tools
As the North American summer heats up, so does the competition in the Macintosh Web authoring market. Although Adobe is working hard to release PageMill 2.0 and maintain its lead, the rest of the pack is running close at Adobe’s heels, and Adobe may have trouble maintaining the position it won early with PageMill 1.0
Tapestry 2.0, a Web authoring program that will eventually compete directly with the likes of PageMill 2.0, is on track for release this week on 31-Jul-96. Concept 1 Communications will ship Tapestry as a beta 1 version, though a Concept 1 representative assured me that the program will be stable and of shipping quality. What’s missing is all the features they’d like to include, and they plan to phase in those features in the coming months in a series of seven beta releases. Registered users will be able to access new beta versions at no extra charge. New features in beta 1 include tables, a 12-level undo, and a Find and Replace that can search just one document or one document plus all local documents linked to that document. You can download a demo version from the Concept 1 Web site, starting on 31-Jul-96, and I hope to review Tapestry here in TidBITS shortly.
I’d like to see Concept 1 not release the product as a series of seven betas but instead to release 2.0 on its own merits and then release additional versions as 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and so on. A beta product by definition is one that still has bugs and is not of shipping quality. Changing that definition confuses users. Many products now come with subscriptions so that registered users can freely receive updates over a period of time; for instance, early adopters will find it cheaper to purchase an annual subscription to Netscape Navigator Gold 3.0 (which is due to ship in August) than to purchase the product without the subscription.
Akimbo Systems, publishers of FullWrite, recently announced Globetrotter. I hate to characterize Globetrotter before having played with it extensively, but it supports a great deal of HTML tags and options, and takes a site-centric point of view. Globetrotter takes the stance that users shouldn’t even much think about how the objects and styles in their documents relate to HTML. Apparently, you just create a document and Globetrotter does the rest; when you are ready to publish, you might choose Print from the File menu or you might choose Publish Web Pages from the File menu. Akimbo is planning a "third quarter" release for Globetrotter.
As many HTML aficionados know, a number of new Web authoring programs should ship in the near future; we’ll have more coverage and reviews as these programs ship and become available. In particular, based on email I received last week, excitement is running high over Claris Home Page, which is currently in public beta. To chat more about Home Page, you can join the official Claris Home Page Talk list, run by Blue World Communications, the same company that runs the PageMill-Talk list.