Re: WWWWW Notes

Bob Stayton (
Thu, 12 Aug 93 10:11:30 PDT

> > Authoring Tools
> > ---------------
> What kind(s) of authoring tools are we looking for? Could an idealist
> please post a list of wanted features for would-be developers to work
> with?

Here are my notes from the authoring tools discussion. We
didn't really develop a features list. In the short time we
had, we mostly discussed what was out there and why there
wasn't more.

Authoring tools
I led this subgroup in the hope that someone would
offer their whizbang WYSIWYG HTML editor. No luck.

- Only the NeXT box has a graphical editor, and it won't work
with HTML+ because of element nesting.

- tkWWW is an HTML editor, but has a bad interface and is
hard to use. User's said vi was quicker.

- gnu emacs has an HTML editing add-on that many recommended,
but it isn't graphical.

- Many companies keep doc in another format
and need general conversion tools. I mentioned
ICA toolkit as a possibility, but the general
experience confirms it isn't quite ready for SGML.

- SoftQuad, Arbortext, and Frame offer tools that could
be used for authoring, but there is a need for a cheap
and simple HTML editor.

- Word Perfect and Intellitag could work, but no one
has experience with it.

- Word for Windows could be used with a set of HTML styles
and use an RTF-HTML filter, but Word doesn't support
nesting context.

- The Xmosaic display widget writer was there, and he tried
to do an editible version. The main barrier seems to be
editing structured documents. It is hard to define a good
WYSIWYG interface for that because users aren't used to
structure, and visual cues to indicate what element the
cursor is in are important (but break the WYSIWYG).

- NCSA said they could add editing at a high cost, and
no one offered to pay.

- Fantasy: one of the SGML editor vendors releases a
cheap crippled version of their product for HTML.