PAUL FAYFICH
Notepad
Real Men Don't Use HTML Editors.

 Back in the winter of '94, when I started coding HTML, I didn't have any fancy HTML editors. I wrote all of my code using vi and I was glad to have that. Youngsters now a days are just plain spoiled. Writing HTML code is not rocket science. You don't need a fancy editor to write HTML pages. Golly, HTML is just plain ASCII text.

 Why buy an expensive HTML editing program when you have a perfectly good editor built right into your operating system? If you are running Windows 95 you have Notepad. That's what I use to write HTML and the best thing about it is that it is FREE.

 My grandma, God rest her soul, always told me "if its FREE take two". That's good advice and easy to do using the Windows 95 preemptive multitasking environment. You fire up a couple of instances of Notepad and you can be cutting and pasting your way to a Web wonderland in no time flat.

 Notepad opens and saves text only in ASCII format, so there is no way to mess up as long as you remember to save your files with an HTML extension. Notepad also lets you work with files up to 64K. If your web pages are bigger than that it doesn't really matter because no one is going to stick around to wait for them to download anyway.

 Those fancy programs that let you make web pages without knowing HTML are for wimps. They create horrendous code that can't be edited except from within the program and you can never get your pages to look exactly the way you want them to. 

Sure you can pay a lot of money to get locked into some proprietary editor or you can learn HTML and use Notepad to create your pages. By using Notepad you really learn HTML and you get a good feel for how pages are constructed without spending a dime on an editor. 

So the choice is yours. Become a revenue stream for some software manufacturer or use the tried and true method of creating your HTML documents using a simple and friendly text editor that we all know and love, Notepad.

 Paul Fayfich is an Assistant Professor of Information Systems at the University of the Incarnate Word. This spring he is teaching three courses: Java Programming, Advanced Visual Basic and Business Software Applications using Microsoft Office 97. He is also acting as a consultant with the University on its Intranet development project. His personal website is at http://lonestar.texas.net/~fayfich/.