Review of Page
One of the nice things about owning a site like this is that you can occasionally show off your own work. In this case I would like to present to you the HTML authoring program which I have used to put together this site.
When I was starting to work on the OS/2 Zone site, I looked around for a heavy duty OS/2 based authoring tool. I tried several out which where is shareware at the time and whilst I found some good ideas, I decided that all of them where either too simple, too limited, didn't have the features I wanted or just didn't work the way I thought. Therefore, having considerable experience with REXX and a good knowledge of Watcom's VX-REXX, I decided to write my own. Page was the result.
Essentially, like most HTML authoring packages, Page is a overgrown text editor and based around a single editing screen with additional dialogs and menus targetted at HTML authoring. Some of the editors I had looked at and many of the Window's based ones which are floating around now go for a WYSIWYG style of approach to HTML. This makes them very simple for beginners, but experts rapid find that they cannot perform functions that they want. Thus many professionals I have talked like one or two of the crop, but also tend to reply of plain text editors for "tweaking" their HTML.
So with Page I choose to model it along the lines of a text editor and then to create a menagerie of dialogs and functions around it which worked as tools for HTML authoring.
I have created a picture of some of Page's dialogs for you to have a look at to get an idea of what it looks like.
So what does it offer ?
Ok, lets do a run down of Page's Features:
- Extensive dialogs supporting a wide range of HTML 2 and HTML 3 syntax.
- Drag and Drop one or more files to Page to Import, link or Edit them.
- Drag and drop GIF and JPG files to automatically insert a link to them.
- Drag from Page to the Web Explorer to test you HTML *WITHOUT* saving it first.
- Ring Editing so you can have unlimited files open at the same time.
- All major functions and tags are accessible via:
- A floating Toolbar.
- An extensive menu bar.
- Pop-up menus.
- Hot keys.
- Logically selected and extensive Hot Keys for speed editing.
- Optimised and intelligent dialogs for minimal rodent work. Most of the dialogs will change themselves according to how they where called, as well as automatically responding to the state of the display when they are activated. They are designed to do the maximum work and save you as much time as possible. Gone are the days on dialogs that just insert templates.
- Multi-threaded design. Most of the dialogs are on their own threads so that you can leave them open all the time. This is very handy for such things as Find/Change and Image dialogs.
- Context sensitive Tag reference. If the cursor is within a tag and you hit F1, up comes the help on that tag.
- Extensive help and INF files which also give hints and tips for authoring.
- Table editor which also access HTML 3 tags which are undocumented in the Web Explorers readme's. Editing tables is also a matter of simple making sure the cursor in somewhere within the text of the table. Page will automatically find the start and end and load it into the editor.
- Page's table editor is designed to automatically eliminate cells covered by other spanning cells and can handle tables up to 1,000 rows by 1,000 columns in size. Also all the pop-up menus and drag and drop functionality is available whilst in this editor.
- Cell settings dialogs for Table cells. This dialog allows you to control and set column and row spanning as well as alignment of the data.
- *****TAG CHECKER with a *****CUSTOMISABLE DATABASE. That's right, you can get Page to check you HTML for correctness and even modify and extend the database it uses.
- All major functions available from the toolbar so they are right at hand.
- Recursive Directory based find and Change functions. This allows you to search through all the directories on your site and to find and change text in files within those directories. Very handy for site work.
- Automatic case conversion for Links. Have Page automatically convert any links into Upper, Lower or No Change Case.
- Relative Paths. Page will automatically work out a relative path for each link and image you insert. Thus you will not need to change your HTML before loading it up to the server.
- Text import filter. Capable of doing a lot of the dirty work for you, this filter with auto insert paragraph tags, remove blank links and excess CRLF's and even insert some lists.
- Form's support. Easy insert Form objects into your forms.
- A tag remover for when you are working with some else's mess. Only works on the selected text. not the whole page.
- Convert tags to Uppercase. Many HTML authors put their tags into UPPERCASE and this function does it automatically for you, leaving text and parameters untouched.
- Page Specific tags which allow you to auto-insert the time, date and other files when you save the file.
- Window save feature which tells Page to save the current position of the window and the toolbar when you close it. Thus you can assign it you your favourite place on your screen.
- Tag Wrap feature for speed editing. If you have some text selected and hot key and tag insertion, Page will automatically wrap the tags around the selected text. For Example, Boldfaced, Underlining and Italicing some text can be done by simply pressing the hotkeys one after the other as Page keeps track of the selected text.
- Lowercase Directory Function which will automatically run through the current directory and convert all files to have lowercase names.
- Automatic slash conversion to convert slashes to forward slashes which are used on most UNIX boxes.
Pros and Cons
Suffice to say that Page is now the only editor I will use. There are a number of new and enhanced features being planned for V1.2 make it even more powerful.
On the Con side, Page can be a little sluggish when doing some things. This is mainly due to VX-REXX which does not create a fully compiled executable. There are also a number of minor functions and options which it does not presently include, however most of these will be included in the next version.
OS/2 Zone Ratings !
|Category||Rating out of 10|
|Installation:||★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Ease of Use:||★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Power:||★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Documentation:||★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Reliability:||★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Features:||★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★|