Friday, July 11, 2008

dreamweaver versus nvu... the winner is

For those of you not familiar with it, Nvu (pronounced en view) is an open source web authoring system and it's brought to you by the same folks that developed Firefox and Thunderbird, both of which I have been using for years. Nvu is available for Linux, Windows, and Mac.

I began my html "career" using a simple text editor on an old Mac SE and at some point in the 90s began using programs like Mozilla Composer, FrontPage, CoffeeCup and now I use a pricey version of Dreamweaver for HTML and PHP editing. Well, that was until last week when I decided to give Nvu a chance to prove itself.

Prove itself it did. This compact yet powerful WYSIWYG editor has all the features of the big boys with the flexibility and stability of its Mozilla cousins. Nvu is a multi tabbed work environment allowing you to not only work on multiple pages, but also switch from WYSIWYG editing to working with the HTML source code and even previewing the page as it would be seen in a Firefox or Mozilla browser.

An added feature is the ability to see the HTML code with tags highlighted. At first I was stumped as to how this might be useful then it occurred to me that in Dreamweaver, as in FrontPage, stray tags are often added by the software or are left behind during editing. This is a great way to edit tags to ensure the best presentation of your page in any browser.

Simply put, you don't need expertise in building web pages to create professional, complete, and easy to manage sites with Nvu. If you've been searching for another stable open source application to add to your arsenal download Nvu at

By the way, it's customizable with extensions and themes just like Firefox and Thunderbird. A little personalization goes a long way with this kid.