The Sunday Post #71

It’s a dreary morning in SoCal and I’ve been playing in Windows.

Why I don’t like WYSISWYG editors

skitch screenshot

I really like the idea of WYSIWYG editors. I do. You drag things around, make it look the way you want, press a button and like magic, you have a nice looking HTML document.

I also really like a sense of order. Not in all things, which you might know if you have ever seen my desk. But in the kitchen and my closet. And my HTML code.

Therein lies the problem with editors for me. If you look at the screen shot above, you will see it’s a bit of a mess. Compared to this (a screen shot of this particular post to this point):

skitch screen shot

Nice and tidy. Relatively easy to read if I need to go back and edit anything or make any changes. Unlike our friend at the top of the post.

Our test subject today was created with Windows Live Writer. A fine offline blogging app. But it’s not the only offender. I have tried MarsEdit and ScribeFire for Firefox (it used to be called something else) and they both put up equally ugly code.

This is why my offline editor of choice is usually the built-in text editor (Note Pad, Text Edit) that comes with the OS. I also like to use Smultron on the Mac and I just started playing with Notepad ++ on Windows. It’s also why I don’t use the Visual editor in WordPress. I stick to the HTML view as you can see above.

Creating a blog post is easy. Adding images and links is easy. Changing font styles to **bold** or _italic_ is easy. It’s just a matter of knowing a few bits of HTML and typing them out. To that end, I will be posting an HTML for bloggers post later in the week to help you out.

Editors aren’t evil. Well, yes, they are. But if someone could write one that did not produce ugly code (or cost $500), then maybe I’d use them. But for now, I’ll stick to the HTML.

(Yes, you can screenshot shot Skitch itself. Click the Tools button and choose Snap Skitch Itself from the drop down. You gotta love Skitch!)

By Don

Lead bottle washer at donburnside.com, host at whiteroofradio.com and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.

3 comments

  1. Thanks for the kind words Don 🙂

    If you find yourself needing to snap Skitch itself a lot, then hold down Option when you click on Snap to get into a snapping mode which keeps Skitch on the screen.

    Hope that helps!

    Keith
    Skitch

  2. thanks for making one of the best apps I, and most of my friends, have ever used. Come up with some kind of pro account and I would gladly pay.

    Skitch rocks. Thanks for stoppig by!

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