HTMLbits From the Expo
HTML software figured heavily into the Expo mix, but – to be honest – I was disappointed not to have my socks blown off by a new product that had been kept under wraps and that explored novel ways of using graphically-based tools to create and manage Web pages and sites. Even so, I found many products to add to my list of software to review. Claris had an enormous presence with Home Page, which is shipping for $99 with a good table editor, a confusing frames feature, and a clunky HTML text view. Gonet appeared with golive Pro, which offers an intriguing sounding outliner and an integrated tag database for $149. Golive, reviewed recently in TidBITS-337, is now available free from gonet’s Web site along with a trial version of golive Pro.
No other authoring tools shipped at the show, though Adobe PageMill 2.0 went into public beta and SoftQuad announced plans to release of HoTMetaL Pro 3.0 within the next month. HoTMetaL Pro 3.0 will list for $159; upgrades will cost $69 for current users of HoTMetaL Pro 2.0 or HoTMetaL Light.
Bare Bones Software was showing BBEdit 4.0.1, which shipped in late June. This version offers multiple undos (a feature HTML authors should appreciate, since it makes experimenting with different tags easier), a new version of the HTML markup extensions, and options in the File menu which enable you to access, edit, and save files on your remote Web server. These options are part of BBEdit and do not rely on BBEdit 4.0’s expanded integration with Frontier.
Many products offered features for creating HTML documents or GIF images in one way or another; I expect that such features will become almost ubiquitous in another year or so. In particular, Extensis, makers of QX-Tools, a QuarkXPress enhancement utility, showcased CyberPress 1.0, a $150 tool for turning QuarkXPress documents into Web pages. CyberPress purchasers will receive a free copy of PageMill 2.0. Those interested in creating the HTML needed to interact with Maxum’s NetCloak and NetForms can avoid complexity through Maxum’s new TagBuilder. TagBuilder users avoid typing HTML by simply choosing functions from a window and dragging them into PageMill 2.0 (or, according to John O’Fallon, Maxum’s president, some other HTML authoring tools). Adobe plans to include TagBuilder with PageMill 2.0; demos of TagBuilder should be available soon from Maxum’s Web site. Another product, Kaetron Software’s StencilIt, bills itself as "point and click graphics for the artistically challenged." The program offered a number of base images, which can be manipulated in a number of ways and saved in a number of file formats, including GIF.