Re: Writing a GREAT HTML editor!
Tue, 4 Apr 1995 17:33:26 +0500

Adam Thodey <> spake thus:

> When including
> graphics you should be able click on a button to insert graphic. The
> dialog box would ask you for the either the path and name of the file or
> URL and then automatically create the link in the document.

We do this in our HoTMetaL PRO product.

> It
> should also ask for alignment of the graphic and if text will be next to
> it and where that text should go. Maybe use bullet type entry for this.
Yes, for HTML 3 this is a good idea.

> then
> you can "reveal codes" to show you all the codes and change those if you
> want.
I don't think it's a good idea to think of HTML tags as formatting codes.
However, show/hide tags is certainly useful. We do that too :-)

> you should have quick keys to enter different tags: ie. ctrl-alt p for
> paragraph tag but come up with a dialog box for all the options.

or allow user-defined macros...

> Maybe simultaneously you could have a screen next to it as WYSIWYG
> environment and translate the code for you as you type it in.

This can quickly get cluttered, especially on a PC or `standard' 800x600ish
Mac screen...

> Make it a WYMIWYG type program (What you MEAN is what you get!!) :)

There I agree. I'd say, start with SGML validation. Look at James Clark's
SGML parser (nsgmls) for a start.

We are often asked for netscape mozilla support (and include it, in fact, as
an option), but as many people value the idea of sticking to standards, and
like the way HoTMetaL and HoTMetaL PRO won't let you put your own tags in,
won't let you delete a > without deleting the rest of the associated start
and end tag, and won't let you create non-standard documents by mistake.

So you might want to look at what we've done... I think that HoTMetaL is
sufficiently different from most of the other HTML editors that you might get
some ideas, and we *certainly* want to encourage the production of valid SGML!

Obviously once it settles down we'll be supporting HTML 3 too, for that
matter, although not necessarily showing all of the formatting on-screen.


Liam Quin, SoftQuad Inc +1 416 239 4801   <URL:>
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SoftQuad HoTMetaL/HTML Editor; SoftQuad Panorama/WWW SGML Viewer