Personalized recommendation needed - software for former HomeSite user?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by anemone, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. anemone macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2007
    Hi everyone,

    I am a new switcher--bought a new iMac last week, and I need advice about the best web design/coding software for my needs.

    My history--I've been making Web sites for fun and profit since the days before WYSIWYG editors, back when text editors like vi or Notepad were your only option to write HTML. That was what, oh, about 1994 or 1995? Because I started out w/ the code, I have never really used a WYSIWYG editor. DreamWeaver always seemed like overkill and too expensive for me, so I've been happily using an older version of HomeSite for years. that I've switched to a Mac, I need some new software. I don't want to install Windows on my new iMac.

    Ideally I would like to find software that is a step up from HomeSite, but not losing much, if any, of the functionality that HomeSite had. It would be nice to have WYSIWYG editing as an option for quick edits--I am much more of a visual, "right brain" type of person--but only IF it does not mess up existing code or add too much extraneous code. I would also love more automation of tasks, code completion, that sort of thing.

    Initially, I will use the software to edit and update two existing large PHP-based Web sites, one of which has more than 10 years worth of content (editorial and member-generated) and thus some of the code in places is a bit "dated." Every page has at least some PHP on it, even if it's just to call up the header and footer.

    My specific needs:

    • I must be able to directly edit the source code, not exclusively WYSIWYG
    • The program must not break my existing code!
    • global search and replace on text and/or blocks of code within a project
    • some sort of toolbar for easy formatting e.g. buttons for boldface, H1, H2, image insert button, link button, etc.
    • It would be nice to be able to make simple edits to existing sites via a WYSIWYG interface BUT I'll give up on that if all options create bloated code and/or problems
    • some sort of built in code/syntax checker
    • Ability to have many files open at once (ideally tabbed like in HomeSite)
    • built in CSS editor/support strongly preferred
    • HomeSite allows me to easily edit tag attributes by prompting me w/ menus of possiblities. Something like that would be a big plus
    • FTP capability w/in the program a plus, but not absolutely necessary
    • access to useful code snippets and scripts, auto-completion of code, is a big plus
    • ability to customize settings, toolbars, etc. is always appreciated
    • free is good, but I will pay for a product that makes my work much easier and/or more pleasant. I would rather not spend more than $100
    • something that will help me bring the code on older areas of one of my sites up to today's standards without too much pain.
    • HomeSite has a feature that allows you to collapse/hide areas of code. I find that useful, though not critical

    I have searched old threads and stickies, and based on recommendations in previous threads I have downloaded and installed most of the editors that were mentioned that were either free or had a free trial: Nvu, Taco HTML Edit, Coda, RapidWeaver, skEdit, BBedit, SubEthaEdit, TextMate, TextWrangler and Sandvox. I think that's all of them.

    I will try all or most of these out, but I've got enough pressing work on my to do list that I really need to get up and running quickly with something, so I would appreciate any input on which editor might be best to start with, since there are so many to try, and which ones you don't think will fit the bill. I've done a few quick edits in Taco HTML Edit and uploaded via Cyberduck and it worked fine, but Taco seems a little too bare bones for my tastes. To be fair, I haven't really explored all the features yet. I opened one file in Nvu and it immediately stripped out the PHP code on that page that called the footer, so I wasn't impressed with that.

    If there is an editor on the list above that is very good, but doesn't necessarily make a good first impression or which has a bit more of a learning curve, let me know that, too, so that I will give it more of a chance. If I've missed an editor that you think I should consider, let me know that, too.

    Any input is very much appreciated!
  2. wheezy macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Alpine, UT
    I've been pretty happy with Coda, and it's only in it's first version so I imagine some new features will show up in the latter revisions. As for a comparison to Homesite, I've never used it, but my boss who sits right next to me loves it, so I know it must be a pretty impressive program.

    sKedit was okay, Textmate is pretty popular, but I didn't like it all that much. Dreamweaver is pricey and bloated and pretty useless. I like Coda best because it does have Transmit ftp built right it, it's a clean interface and does a good job.

    For CSS editing I would recommend CSSEdit time and time again, it's a fantastic little app.

    Oh, I don't really do any php, so I don't know how Coda fares on that. I think textmate might work better for you if you're a php coder.

    So, between Coda and CSSEdit you can get them both for $100. Coda does have a nice Snippets interface, and code completion. Does not collapse lines but oh well, ftp is built right in. Yeah, I like it.

    Welcome to Mac.
  3. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2007
    Good luck. Something comparable to HomeSite does not exist for Mac. For that matter, it doesn't even exist for Windows anymore either. This is especially disheartening for us ColdFusion coders.

    I've tried several, and nothing comes close. I particularly miss the prompts for tag attributes, and the ability to right-click within a tag and have it bring up the same prompts, pre-populated with the existing values.

    Sadly, the only thing comparable is Dreamweaver's Code View. Other than being an expensive, bloated resource pig, it's actually perfect.
  4. Mr.nix macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2007
    I also recently switched to a mac. I've tired them all and I'm in love with Textmate. At first glance it doesn't seem that powerful but once you get into the bundles and snippets it can do all that you asked and more.

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