I’m finally getting the basics of CSS, which, until recently, was a four letter word. Thanks to CSSEdit I was able to learn CSS to create PixoBebo. So, why doesn’t someone figure out how to marry a good HTML editor with a good CSS editor?
Editors are not a dime a dozen. Maybe a quarter. Each. There are free editors for the Mac. Editors that cost money. Editors that do everything except do CSS as well as CSSEdit does CSS.
What I want is a single Mac application that does XHTML as well as CSSEdit does CSS. Yes, it’s that state of the art. I want that half breed editor.
CSS or XHTML?
If you use an editor on your Mac to create web pages, then you probably already know how to spell CSS, short for cascading stylesheets, and XHTML, the slightly better version of HTML, the hypertext markup language that makes up web pages.
CSS and XHTML combine to create today’s more advanced web pages, such as the delightfully monochromatic purity of PixoBebo. Ow! I just hurt my shoulder patting myself on the back.
Coda is a blend of a text editor and an FTP utility, which is used to transfer files to a remote server. Panic makes Coda. They also make the poplular FTP utility, Transmit.
What makes Coda unique is the ability to combine basic functions. It’s a text editor, it’s a CSS editor, it’s an FTP utility.
Coda doesn’t go far enough for those of us who slave over a hot and simmering bowl of XHTML and CSS. As a CSS editor, Coda isn’t nearly as good as CSSEdit, which is superb.
As an XHTML editor for web pages, Coda needs more tag specific options and features. It’s geeky. I’m not a geek. I just want to build a fun web site.
Peanut Butter & Jelly
It’s this mixing and matching of various technoflavors that’s the problem. With web sites these days there’s more work done in CSS than in XHTML, yet CSSEdit doesn’t do XHTML, and most text editors do a poor job handling CSS.
The key has to do with a Mac’s ability to show a live preview of a web page. Live? Yes, as the code is written, whether it be CSS or XHTML, the page is refreshed live so you can quickly see what has been developed in the text editor.
Many decent Mac text editors have a live preview feature. It’s a must. A deal breaker. It’s gotta be there. But so far, every one of the text editors I’ve tried falls down on the job with adding CSS, hence the need to keep multiple utilities and applications open at the same time.
Coda is open on my Mac to do the XHTML because it has a decent live preview. CSSEdit is open because it reads the Coda code, and lets me adjust the CSS live. It’s this constant back and forth between the text editor and CSSEdit that drives me nuts.
Edit Me, Elmo?
Yes, there’s inline validation of XHTML in HyperEdit. I like that. Yes, it has a live preview. The editor uses snippets, though an anemic supply is provided. Hello? I need more than snippets. I need a Wizard. Sometimes. Except when I don’t.
Tumult HyperEdit is a lightweight HTML editor with a preview pane that displays the web page live as you type. HyperEdit breaks the tedious cycle of writing html, saving the file, then reloading and viewing the page in the browser by combining the writing phase with the viewing phase.
True, to a point. The all important, growing in importance, ever-present requirements for advanced CSS function in a commercial text editor is anemic.
I propose that CSSEdit marry a text editor.
Call it a shotgun wedding, an arranged marriage, and marriage of convenience, or whatever. It just needs to happen. CSSEdit is so much better than Mac text editors at handling CSS, that it’s easier for it to marry a decent self-respecting text editor than for a text editor to learn to do CSS as well as CSSEdit does CSS.
Does that make sense? I know what I want. I cannot be the only one who sees this deficiency among the crowded throngs, the great unwashed masses of Mac text editors.