Dan's Web Tips | WYSIWYG | Editor Examples

Dan's Web Tips:

WYSIWYG Editor Examples

To see what WYSIWYG editors can do to my HTML code, I tried running pages from my site (usually my Web Tips page about cleaning up after WYSIWYG editors) through four of them. (And somebody has sent me a fifth.) In each, I just loaded the page and saved it again, using the default installation settings of the program and not making any manual changes to the document. (Note that I've redesigned my site since doing this, so the pages here are in a different style from the regular pages of the site now.) Here are the resulting pages:

The original page validated perfectly in the W3 Consortium validator. None of the resulting pages validated. FrontPageExpress's version would have validated except for the fact that it removed my DOCTYPE declaration (which specifies which HTML spec I'm following). Netscape's version put in a few minor code glitches like sticking in an ending </LI> tag before the end of an item in a bulleted list, thus making the remainder of the item invalid due to its not being part of an item within the list. It also changed <CODE> elements to <TT>, even though I'm using a stylesheet setting in which the two elements are not identical in effect. NetObjects Fusion's version placed an invalid-syntax DOCTYPE at the head of the file resulting in the validator finding every tag in error due to lack of a specification. When I tried to fix that by putting in a valid DOCTYPE, I still got 114K of errors, such as invalid attributes, bad nesting, missing ALT attributes on images, etc.

Actually, the NetObjects version is a grotesque nightmare even if you don't try running it through a validator. The format was totally messed up, with extra list bullets being stuck in at points in the middle of sentences, some sections inexplicably placed in monospaced fonts, and the whole mess put into a table with a hardcoded pixel width to ensure the page will fail to resize gracefully to different viewing situations. It's a real mess.

StarOffice, an integrated package with a Web browser/editor along with word processor, spreadsheet, database, etc., took my external stylesheet and embedded its style elements in the HTML page itself instead of leaving the link to the stylesheet. It also replaced my valid HTML 4.0 Transitional DOCTYPE with a DOCTYPE for HTML 3.2, which does not accurately describe the HTML standard that is followed in the document.

The original page was 24K in size. The FP and NS versions stayed close to this (becoming slightly larger due to extra tags inserted), but the NOF version bloated up to 30K of HTML, plus another 8K of images (though I had no images in the original document), giving a total size of 38K (over 50% larger than my original document).

Thus, my conclusion is not to touch NetObjects with a ten-foot pole, but the other editors seem marginally tolerable so far, producing only minor glitches. Of course, the glitches might multiply some more if I actually performed some editing rather than just loading and saving the document.


This page was first created 27 Jun 1998, and was last modified 16 Jun 2002.
Copyright © 1997-2011 by Daniel R. Tobias. All rights reserved.