A free Dreamweaver wanted.
February 5, 2010 11:07 AM   Subscribe

What is your favorite free html/css gui editor?

bonus points for a good looking interface.
posted by spaghetti to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
What platform and operating system?
posted by fremen at 11:10 AM on February 5, 2010

Response by poster: any & all please.
posted by spaghetti at 11:10 AM on February 5, 2010

Ah - I see by the title that you want something like Dreamweaver. If you want something Dreamweaver-like that works well and is free and open-source, you should try KompoZer [wiki], a well-developed and relatively well-maintained graphical html/css editor. The 'latest development release,' from October of last year, has treated me pretty well, although I admit I don't like using GUI html/css editors very much personally.
posted by koeselitz at 11:24 AM on February 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

(And, as you can see, KompoZer has full up-to-date versions for OS X, Windows, and Linux - and in twelve different languages.)
posted by koeselitz at 11:25 AM on February 5, 2010

(Oh, and there's a portable MS-Win version for USB drives, too.)
posted by koeselitz at 11:27 AM on February 5, 2010

On the other hand, if you want a hardcore Eclipse-style IDE with some GUI features - a real 'full-featured development environment' - you can try Aptana Studio if you like. It does what you're looking for - allows you to edit graphically the look of designed html and css - but if you're anything like me you'll find the multi-lingual programming supports, various modules and interfaces, and multitudinous plugins, addons, and added functions a tad overwhelming. It is in fact based on Eclipse, a multipurpose 'development platform' for programming in many different languages, but I find all this stuff very complex and hard to parse, personally. There's too much there for me (I don't need all that other stuff, I just need to see the code and check what it does) but since it performs the function you're asking for, and since I think somebody who knew how could probably find it very helpful, I thought I'd mention it - it is free and open-source, after all.
posted by koeselitz at 11:36 AM on February 5, 2010

Check out NVU
posted by ejazen at 11:42 AM on February 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

For my (admittedly small-ish) projects I used Bluefish (newer versions are available for multiple platforms). Very snappy, handles markup nicely and can be used to do multiple projects at once. The interface appears very simple, but there is a lot of nice stuff hidden in the menus.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 11:57 AM on February 5, 2010

SeaMonkey is simple and good, but probably not very hardcore. But it's simple enough for my non-techie coworkers to grok.
posted by MesoFilter at 11:57 AM on February 5, 2010

Although not a editor, Firebug lets you see your changes on the fly and pretty much turns ordinary developers into super-heros.
posted by kaizen at 12:00 PM on February 5, 2010

I'm sure someone has told you, but gui editors will always have a bit of a disadvantage versus knowing the languages involved. Anyway, I won't give you that sctick, just say that Coda is an excellent in-between for people who are just learning to code - it's great with documentation, quickly previewing, figuring out errors, etc.

And the fact that GUIs are unused by nerds means that the open source ones are pretty trashed; nvu and seamonkey are years behind the state of the art. RapidWeaver is the only wysiwyg editor that I've seen get good reviews.
posted by tmcw at 12:02 PM on February 5, 2010

tmcw: “And the fact that GUIs are unused by nerds means that the open source ones are pretty trashed; nvu and seamonkey are years behind the state of the art. RapidWeaver is the only wysiwyg editor that I've seen get good reviews.”

I think this is generally true – but I wanted to note: what was Nvu is actually actively in development and constantly updated. The last version is only four months old. It's forked off of the Nvu project, which was abandoned years ago, so nobody should judge Nvu by the last releases, which haven't been maintained or even used much in a long, long time. I think Nvu gets a bad rap because people don't seem to realize that the Nvu that's available for download is an ancient, unupdated version, and that there's plenty of work being done on the program in another context. Use KompoZer - it's quite good, and very stable.
posted by koeselitz at 1:22 PM on February 5, 2010

Ooh, Bluefish looks awesome. I'm going to check that out. Thanks, PontifexPrimus!
posted by koeselitz at 1:24 PM on February 5, 2010

2nding Coda, though it's not really a WYSIWYG editor. It's more for coders - thus the name. It's also not free, thus it doesn't meet your requirements of being a free Dreamweaver. Coda really is excellent. I picked it up at a Panic half price sale and am glad I did.

The problem with GUI and especially WYSIWYG editors is that they write awful code. Bloated. Sloppy. The good thing about them is they can teach you how to code. Coda, for example, does have a GUI css editor, but it writes blooooooaaaaated code. Unless there's a feature in Coda I'm missing to clean that shit up, I'll write my css by hand (still within Coda, however. As I said, Coda is excellent).

I code by hand. I never intended to though. I just found myself fixing the code Adobe GoLive created (back when GoLive and Macromedia's Dreamweaver were each $500 competing products).
posted by 2oh1 at 5:31 PM on February 5, 2010

posted by mallow005 at 7:34 PM on February 5, 2010

« Older Here I come to save the day... Help me find a...   |   Buying a Canon 7D On-Line Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.