Easy-to-use (author in) XHTML tool sought

Subject: Easy-to-use (author in) XHTML tool sought
From: "Chuck Martin" <twriter -at- sonic -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 12:03:34 -0800

Hey all,

I'm trying to see if there is a tool out there that will automatically
create valid XHTML. At the company where I am curretnly contracting, the
Help system (for a web application) is XML driven, with the content in valid
XHTML. The twist is that we actually create all the content after the
starting <body> tag and before the ending </body> tag. (In other words, if
we create HTML files in "standard" tools, we comment out the starting HTML
and head content and the end </body> and </html> tags.)

I've been searching for WYSIWYG tools that create valid XHTML without much
success. Even Dreamweaver 4, which I live for most web work, won't do XHTML.
We end up doing most of our work in HomeSite.

I've been looking at a couple of tools, Hypertext Builder X and XMetaL 2,
but both seem to be very difficult to use and understand. And I'm a pretty
techie person.

Some of the characteristics that must be part of the resulting files are:
- All enclosing tags must have an end tag (including <p> and <li>)
- Attributes must be in double quotes
- Single tags must be formatted correctly (such as <br /> and <hr />)
- The XHTML must be "clean," that is, no extraneous, authoring-too-specific
tagging (like you get from Word's or RoboHTML's output)

Our links are also JavaScript functions, so a tool that would make inserting
customized JavaScript would be a huge bonus. (Currently, I just have a cutom
button in HomeSite to insert the proper JavaScript.)

Any pointers to potentially useful tools would be appreciated.

"I don't entirely understand it but it is true: Highly skilled
carpenters don't get insulted when told they are not architects,
but highly skilled programmers do get insulted when told
they are not UI designers."
- anonymous programmer quoted in "GUI Bloopers"

Chuck Martin
User Assistance & Experience Engineer
twriter "at" sonic "dot" net www.writeforyou.com


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