HTML editor for Mac?

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Chris Beall, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. Chris Beall

    Chris Beall Guest

    On Windows, I use Notepad to create HTML from scratch.

    Today my daughter asked me what to use on a Mac. Apparently she has
    tried several tools, but has not been able to get any to work. As I
    understand her problem, she can create text files, but they continue to
    be recognized as only text files, even if given an .html extension. I
    vaguely recall that Mac uses a 'signature' or something other than the
    file extension to define the type of a file, but...

    Can anyone identify a standard (part of an Apple iBook preload) editor
    that can be used to create HTML files? If there's a trick to doing so,
    please describe the details, as I have no system with which to experiment.

    Thanks,
    Chris Beall
     
    Chris Beall, Dec 3, 2005
    #1
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  2. Chris Beall

    dorayme Guest

    > From: Chris Beall <>
    > On Windows, I use Notepad to create HTML from scratch.
    >
    > Today my daughter asked me what to use on a Mac. Apparently she has
    > tried several tools, but has not been able to get any to work. As I
    > understand her problem, she can create text files, but they continue to
    > be recognized as only text files, even if given an .html extension. I
    > vaguely recall that Mac uses a 'signature' or something other than the
    > file extension to define the type of a file, but...
    >
    > Can anyone identify a standard (part of an Apple iBook preload) editor
    > that can be used to create HTML files? If there's a trick to doing so,
    > please describe the details, as I have no system with which to experiment.
    >


    Source code /is/ just text. And it does not matter what you
    append on a Mac name in regard to what program it will open in;
    double clicking will open the file according to the creator and
    file type (this is "under the bonnet" and you need to read up on
    this stuff, if you really want to know more ask further... I
    will say this here: you /could/ get one of the many facilities
    for changing the type of the text file so that it then "becomes"
    an IE file or a Mozilla or iCab or Safari or Opera or whatever.
    Then it will open in the specified browser. But I would not
    advise this. The point about the source text is that it is
    independent of any particular browser. Leave it that way! It is
    then easy to modify and available in the text editor program you
    prefer to work in.

    In the meantime your daughter will do this: She will create a
    text file (Simpletext or whatever will do) and append the .html
    after it (this is for a different purpose to /merely/ opening
    the file) and drag the file with the mouse over any open browser
    window or any browser app icon. Or (more bothersome) open a
    browser and use file/open and then find the text file concerned
    and it will express itself as a website page in the browser.

    The best text edtor in my opinion for this sort of work is
    BBEdit or its descendants from Barebones. But Simple Text or
    whatever is the simple text editor on your daughter's Mac should
    be ok.

    -- dorayme
     
    dorayme, Dec 4, 2005
    #2
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  3. Chris Beall

    uranther Guest

    On Sat, 03 Dec 2005 22:42:21 +0000, Chris Beall wrote:

    > On Windows, I use Notepad to create HTML from scratch.
    >
    > Today my daughter asked me what to use on a Mac. Apparently she has
    > tried several tools, but has not been able to get any to work. As I
    > understand her problem, she can create text files, but they continue to
    > be recognized as only text files, even if given an .html extension. I
    > vaguely recall that Mac uses a 'signature' or something other than the
    > file extension to define the type of a file, but...
    >
    > Can anyone identify a standard (part of an Apple iBook preload) editor
    > that can be used to create HTML files? If there's a trick to doing so,
    > please describe the details, as I have no system with which to experiment.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Chris Beall


    There is always gVim :) It has nice syntax highlighting and can be
    efficient if you know how to use it.
     
    uranther, Dec 4, 2005
    #3
  4. Chris Beall

    Chris Beall Guest

    dorayme wrote:
    >>From: Chris Beall <>
    >>On Windows, I use Notepad to create HTML from scratch.
    >>
    >>Today my daughter asked me what to use on a Mac. Apparently she has
    >>tried several tools, but has not been able to get any to work. As I
    >>understand her problem, she can create text files, but they continue to
    >>be recognized as only text files, even if given an .html extension. I
    >>vaguely recall that Mac uses a 'signature' or something other than the
    >>file extension to define the type of a file, but...
    >>
    >>Can anyone identify a standard (part of an Apple iBook preload) editor
    >>that can be used to create HTML files? If there's a trick to doing so,
    >>please describe the details, as I have no system with which to experiment.
    >>

    >
    >
    > Source code /is/ just text. And it does not matter what you
    > append on a Mac name in regard to what program it will open in;
    > double clicking will open the file according to the creator and
    > file type (this is "under the bonnet" and you need to read up on
    > this stuff, if you really want to know more ask further... I
    > will say this here: you /could/ get one of the many facilities
    > for changing the type of the text file so that it then "becomes"
    > an IE file or a Mozilla or iCab or Safari or Opera or whatever.
    > Then it will open in the specified browser. But I would not
    > advise this. The point about the source text is that it is
    > independent of any particular browser. Leave it that way! It is
    > then easy to modify and available in the text editor program you
    > prefer to work in.
    >
    > In the meantime your daughter will do this: She will create a
    > text file (Simpletext or whatever will do) and append the .html
    > after it (this is for a different purpose to /merely/ opening
    > the file) and drag the file with the mouse over any open browser
    > window or any browser app icon. Or (more bothersome) open a
    > browser and use file/open and then find the text file concerned
    > and it will express itself as a website page in the browser.
    >
    > The best text edtor in my opinion for this sort of work is
    > BBEdit or its descendants from Barebones. But Simple Text or
    > whatever is the simple text editor on your daughter's Mac should
    > be ok.
    >
    > -- dorayme
    >

    dorayme,

    OK, I think I'm getting closer. Let me repeat what I think you said and
    see if I got it right.

    Let's take the simplest case possible: I want to create a new web page
    from scratch. Keep in mind that I have no Mac in front of me and don't
    know the correct terminology, so I'll use Windows terms and you can
    correct me where the Mac terms are different.

    I open Simpletext and create a New file. I type in my HTML. I Save the
    file, naming it xxx.html.

    At this point, although I've NAMED the file xxx.html, it is still just
    TEXT to the Mac OS. Unlike Windows, which associates file extensions
    with an executable program, Mac has a separate function to do this.
    Simpletext itself does not contain the logic to do this, i.e. I can't
    say Save As HTML from within Simpletext.

    Instead, I can either:
    1. Drag and drop the file on the application that I want to associate
    it with, in this case Safari.
    2. Open the application I want to associate the file with, then, using
    that application, do a File, Open and select the target file.

    This will establish the association for THAT SPECIFIC FILE, but will NOT
    define an association for all files with the same file extension (unlike
    Windows).

    Once I've established this association, I can then just click on this
    file in the future and it will, by default, open in Safari.

    OK, how far off base am I?

    Thanks,
    Chris Beall
     
    Chris Beall, Dec 4, 2005
    #4
  5. In article <hbpkf.3166$>,
    Chris Beall <> wrote:

    > On Windows, I use Notepad to create HTML from scratch.
    >
    > Today my daughter asked me what to use on a Mac. Apparently she has
    > tried several tools, but has not been able to get any to work. As I
    > understand her problem, she can create text files, but they continue to
    > be recognized as only text files, even if given an .html extension. I
    > vaguely recall that Mac uses a 'signature' or something other than the
    > file extension to define the type of a file, but...


    BBEdit is the Cadillac of text processors on the Mac, and HTML files can
    be opened by any browser you have installed by simply selecting it in a
    menu in BBEdit.
    Now for the tough part. As I understand it, the file extension doesn't
    open a default app for your daughter other than the program that created
    it. Extensions don't mean squat to Macs less than OSX unless the file
    association is changed internally, or the file is opened and 'saved as'
    in a current app. The file is associated with the application that
    created it. You drag and drop the file onto the application you want it
    to run in, generally.
    But with a web browser, make sure the file has an .html extension or the
    browser won't read it properly. Type it in text.editor.whatever, make
    sure it has a .html filename ending, and drag it to any.webbrowser you
    have. From there, even relative links work for any directory (or folder
    in old Mac terms).
    To summarize, tell her to drag her file with .html extension onto any
    browser icon she has on her system.
    In reverse, if she has saved her file as say an IE file with 'save as',
    she won't be able to open it in a text editor unless she drags it onto
    the text editor icon.
    All simple if you are Mac oriented. Not so intuitive otherwise.
    OSX has other options to create file associations. For instance, when
    opening a HTML file, do you _always_ want it to be opened by a web
    browser? That'd make it hard to edit. But you can do it trivially in OSX
    if you want to. You can open a jpg in a music player if you're nuts but
    know how to.

    leo

    --
    <http://web0.greatbasin.net/~leo/>
     
    Leonard Blaisdell, Dec 4, 2005
    #5
  6. On Sat, 3 Dec 2005, Leonard Blaisdell wrote:

    > Now for the tough part. As I understand it, the file extension doesn't
    > open a default app for your daughter other than the program that created
    > it. Extensions don't mean squat to Macs less than OSX unless the file
    > association is changed internally, or the file is opened and 'saved as'
    > in a current app. The file is associated with the application that
    > created it. You drag and drop the file onto the application you want it
    > to run in, generally.
    > But with a web browser, make sure the file has an .html extension or the
    > browser won't read it properly. Type it in text.editor.whatever, make
    > sure it has a .html filename ending, and drag it to any.webbrowser you
    > have. From there, even relative links work for any directory (or folder
    > in old Mac terms).


    But for best results, run a local Apache web server, and browse the
    files via localhost (127.0.0.1). That's what our chief Mac-OSX-based
    web author does, and it avoids lots of different shortcomings that he
    could not solve when he was trying to browse the local file system
    directly.

    Apache then controls the file types issue, and the browser correctly
    responds to the MIME types as the HTTP protocol demands - not to some
    incidental file association defined by the OS. The httpd environment
    can be as close as you bother to make it, to the production server
    where the files will ultimately be served out. Highly recommended.
     
    Alan J. Flavell, Dec 4, 2005
    #6
  7. In article <Pine.WNT.4.64.0512040701150.1576@ZORIN>,
    "Alan J. Flavell" <> wrote:

    > But for best results, run a local Apache web server, and browse the
    > files via localhost (127.0.0.1). That's what our chief Mac-OSX-based
    > web author does, and it avoids lots of different shortcomings that he
    > could not solve when he was trying to browse the local file system
    > directly.


    But that doesn't work for OS9 or less or in what I read the context to
    be. I'm not sure which version of the OS his daughter is running. And it
    doesn't address the local issues of .txt or .html opening up in what. I
    thought that was what the issue was. Drag and drop the file you want on
    the application you want, and if the app doesn't recognize it, it won't
    open.
    I run Apache as (127.0.0.1) on my Mac to illustrate to me what my
    scripts will look like in my HTML when I upload them to a UNIX based
    ISP. I even have PHP and MySQL available. Wow! Then again, I'm running
    OSX.

    > Apache then controls the file types issue, and the browser correctly
    > responds to the MIME types as the HTTP protocol demands - not to some
    > incidental file association defined by the OS. The httpd environment
    > can be as close as you bother to make it, to the production server
    > where the files will ultimately be served out. Highly recommended.


    Agreed.

    leo

    --
    <http://web0.greatbasin.net/~leo/>
     
    Leonard Blaisdell, Dec 4, 2005
    #7
  8. Chris Beall

    Chris Beall Guest

    Leonard Blaisdell wrote:
    > In article <Pine.WNT.4.64.0512040701150.1576@ZORIN>,
    > "Alan J. Flavell" <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>But for best results, run a local Apache web server, and browse the
    >>files via localhost (127.0.0.1).


    (snip)

    > But that doesn't work for OS9 or less or in what I read the context to
    > be.


    (snip)

    Alan & Leonard,

    Thanks for both suggestions. She's on OS X (I think it's version
    10.2.8, but I don't seem to have written that down anywhere).

    Looks like drag-and-drop will solve her immediate problem and let her
    see what her HTML will actually look like, but the Apache suggestion is
    better as a long-term approach. I don't think she's at that level of
    competence yet. And I don't know what sort of server this work will end
    up on, nor how she will get it there. All part of the adventure...

    Thanks,
    Chris Beall
     
    Chris Beall, Dec 4, 2005
    #8
  9. Chris Beall

    dorayme Guest

    > From: Chris Beall <>
    > dorayme wrote:
    >>> From: Chris Beall <>
    >>> On Windows, I use Notepad to create HTML from scratch.
    >>>
    >>> Today my daughter asked me what to use on a Mac. Apparently she has
    >>> tried several tools, but has not been able to get any to work. As I
    >>> understand her problem, she can create text files, but they continue to
    >>> be recognized as only text files, even if given an .html extension. I
    >>> vaguely recall that Mac uses a 'signature' or something other than the
    >>> file extension to define the type of a file, but...
    >>>
    >>> Can anyone identify a standard (part of an Apple iBook preload) editor
    >>> that can be used to create HTML files? If there's a trick to doing so,
    >>> please describe the details, as I have no system with which to experiment.
    >>>

    >>
    >>
    >> Source code /is/ just text. And it does not matter what you
    >> append on a Mac name in regard to what program it will open in;
    >> double clicking will open the file according to the creator and
    >> file type (this is "under the bonnet" and you need to read up on
    >> this stuff, if you really want to know more ask further... I
    >> will say this here: you /could/ get one of the many facilities
    >> for changing the type of the text file so that it then "becomes"
    >> an IE file or a Mozilla or iCab or Safari or Opera or whatever.
    >> Then it will open in the specified browser. But I would not
    >> advise this. The point about the source text is that it is
    >> independent of any particular browser. Leave it that way! It is
    >> then easy to modify and available in the text editor program you
    >> prefer to work in.
    >>
    >> In the meantime your daughter will do this: She will create a
    >> text file (Simpletext or whatever will do) and append the .html
    >> after it (this is for a different purpose to /merely/ opening
    >> the file) and drag the file with the mouse over any open browser
    >> window or any browser app icon. Or (more bothersome) open a
    >> browser and use file/open and then find the text file concerned
    >> and it will express itself as a website page in the browser.
    >>
    >> The best text edtor in my opinion for this sort of work is
    >> BBEdit or its descendants from Barebones. But Simple Text or
    >> whatever is the simple text editor on your daughter's Mac should
    >> be ok.
    >>
    >> -- dorayme
    >>

    > dorayme,
    >
    > OK, I think I'm getting closer. Let me repeat what I think you said and
    > see if I got it right.
    >
    > Let's take the simplest case possible: I want to create a new web page
    > from scratch. ...
    >
    > I open Simpletext and create a New file. I type in my HTML. I Save the
    > file, naming it xxx.html.
    >


    Yes.

    > At this point, although I've NAMED the file xxx.html, it is still just
    > TEXT to the Mac OS. Unlike Windows, which associates file extensions
    > with an executable program, Mac has a separate function to do this.
    > Simpletext itself does not contain the logic to do this, i.e. I can't
    > say Save As HTML from within Simpletext.
    >


    Pretty well. The text file is a text file and it will open as
    text in any text program according to the "under the bonnet"
    Creator and File Type 4 digit names associated. with this file.
    (Simpletext is "ttxt" for creator and "TEXT" for file type. If
    you give it a browser creator and file type. If this is changed
    to the BBEdit codes it will open in that text editor instead.
    And, to home in on one of your main points of interest, if you
    change it to "MSIE for creator and "TEXT" for type, then it will
    open in IE as a website page (assuming the text is well formed
    as HTML). The creator and file type tells the OS to open it in
    IE. IE has built in intelligence to open it as a webpage (no
    matter what the over file name is). Not Mozilla though! Mozilla
    will open it as a text file - given the right creator and file
    type codes - ok! You know, you see in the browser window the
    actual text: <html> <head> blah blah.... But - and here is the
    reason I said for your daughter to put .html on the end of the
    name - Mozilla will open it as a webpage if it has .html
    appended. This last is a peculiarity of the intelligence built
    into some or all Mac Mozillas, it has little to do with Mac OS.
    So, it is a good idea and does no harm to anything to append
    ..html to web text files.

    There are further oddities and things to note. Where do I stop?
    In IE one can call it anything, even an alias on the desktop
    (shortcut) works, it will open it as a webpage. But not Mozilla!
    Mozilla wants the extension.

    > Instead, I can either:
    > 1. Drag and drop the file on the application that I want to associate
    > it with, in this case Safari.
    > 2. Open the application I want to associate the file with, then, using
    > that application, do a File, Open and select the target file.
    >
    > This will establish the association for THAT SPECIFIC FILE, but will NOT
    > define an association for all files with the same file extension (unlike
    > Windows).
    >
    > Once I've established this association, I can then just click on this
    > file in the future and it will, by default, open in Safari.
    >


    Not really I am afraid. The creator codes and file types are
    serious things in the Mac world. You can't simply change these
    codes by using the files in some particular way.

    I have described how to solidly change the program you want to
    open any file with. You need for this a little app or a
    facility. Typeshuffler is good, Norton's and other programs have
    various facilities, ResEdit can do it. But read on...

    I have recommended your daughter forget all this. Don't bother.
    Leave text files as text files. Keep them in a folder along with
    all the website associated folders like images for the site. You
    would not normally want to change a file.jpg file to be an IE
    file (though you can and it /will/ then open in IE). No, leave
    ..jpgs as they are and .html as they are (jpgs may be openeable
    in QuickTime if that is what the creator code is set at) and
    ..html text files (openeable in Simpletext). If the jpgs and html
    files (as links) are referenced in the text files, they will
    work in the browser as you expect.

    I know it is hard to grasp for Windows folk. If you do really
    "associate" - by way of creator code and type "under the
    bonnet" changes - text files with browsers apps, you then will
    /lose/ the easy access to the text files! Where will they be
    found? You can open the webpage and open the source in View
    Source etc but then you need to be able to change the text and
    there /may/ be ways of setting things to do this. But it is not
    how I work or a lot of Mac people work. Don't worry about
    associations so that "next time" it will open in a browser. It
    is dead easy to drop the file.html over a browser icon or window
    everytime you open your website. You don't have to do this more
    than once per session. All the other html pages on the site will
    be linked from within the browser and be found automatically,
    just as they are when accessing text files on a server. My
    websites on various servers look like this: index.html,
    main.css, file.jpg, etc etc - (and logically ordered in folders
    which are reflected in the paths written into the links in the
    text files ) This is what is on my machine, and it is what is on
    the server. All just text files and jpgs... plain and simple.
    When accessing the website via a url (also, by the way, possible
    off line to one's own files), the browser has the intelligence:
    it looks for the file mentioned or else for something called
    index.html and away you go...


    --
    dorayme

    (I am not going to stop and fix typos... just excuse me)




    > Thanks,
    > Chris Beall
    >
     
    dorayme, Dec 7, 2005
    #9
  10. Chris Beall

    dorayme Guest

    > From: "Alan J. Flavell" <>
    >
    > But for best results, run a local Apache web server, and browse the
    > files via localhost (127.0.0.1). That's what our chief Mac-OSX-based
    > web author does, and it avoids lots of different shortcomings that he
    > could not solve when he was trying to browse the local file system
    > directly.



    This is interesting. Any examples of shortcomings avoided?

    --
    dorayme
     
    dorayme, Dec 7, 2005
    #10
  11. Chris Beall

    dorayme Guest

    just ignore the sentence "If you give it a browser creator and file type."
    in my post last post "to" the OP, forgot to delete it, sorry...
    --
    dorayme
     
    dorayme, Dec 7, 2005
    #11
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