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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2002
Format: CD-ROM
I had just started to learn HTML when I tried HomeSite4 via a free trial on the CD that came with a book (the BOOK had errors, so I won't recommend the book!), and I loved it! First, it was easy to use without a manual, because I looked at the help files first and they ARE a manual. I learned about a lot of advanced features that I would have discovered sooner or later. I upgraded to 5.0 now, and there is no learning transition. The only difference is instead of remembering a shortcut key to show the browser view, there is a tab always there to toggle between it and code view, and this is much quicker.
The 2nd BEST feature is the ability to customize the way HomeSite behaves. 1) You can turn "Tag Completion" on and off. Tag Completion inserts end tags when you type the start tags. 2) THE BEST feature is you can customize Tag Completion to complete ONLY THE TAGS YOU WANT IT TO. 3) Color-coding and indenting of tags makes your code easy to read quickly. This is also customizable. 4) The files view on the left show the folders and files on your computer, so you can work with files from different folders open. 5) HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF BOOKMARKING A HELP MENU? You can! Wow! 6) You can turn the "gutter" in your work area on and off, and decide if you want it to wrap in the view (doesn't change your actual code), show the REAL line numbers (when the validator shows an error, you can see EXACTLY where it is!), make jump-to bookmarks to easily jump to sections of code, etc. 7) HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF ADDING YOUR OWN FILES TO A HELP MENU? It was not easy, and besides the instructions I had to guess a little (which is unusual for HomeSite), but I added some pages about websites I had found on line, as well as a basic webpage I made with some notes. 8) YOU CAN CREATE YOUR OWN CODE SNIPPETS! This is great for me, since in one of my website's highly formatted sections I repeat blocks of code over and over, but not in the same order or number, so templates wouldn't help. You can create "snippets", or blocks of code, and assign your own shortcut to them, as well as a name by which it will be "bookmarked", in case you forget the shortcut and need to copy and paste quickly. 9) They include common tag shortcuts for HTML, javascript, and the list goes on. You can also decide which toolbars are visible, and even CUSTOMIZE the shorcut buttons that appear on them...I had problems with my computer when customizing the shortcut buttons, though...but then I had 4.0 and Windows ME, so I dont' know which was causing the problem...hmm, maybe it's time to try that again (now I have XP)! 10) The code validator is wonderful and easy to understand. 11) You can click-and-insert non-alphanumeric characters (such as the trademark symbol, angle brackets, etc.) with your mouse if you don't want to remember the HTML code for them. 12) Though HomeSite doesn't work with images except to display them in your webpage in the browser view, you CAN right-click on the image name in the file view in the left and get the properties for it, which is great when you want your PROPER code to have the height and width, which makes your pages load faster.
HomeSite 5.0 is the best software I have ever bought!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2002
Format: CD-ROMVerified Purchase
This product is often overlooked with the myriad of WYSIWYG visual HTML editors out in the market. Homesite 5.0 is targeted for people who type HTML code by hand or are programmers.
Highlights:
1) Code Insight: As you type, a list of HTML attributes appears in a tooltip interface. You can choose one instead of typing it out completely.
2) Validator: It comes with a decent HTML validator that can validate against several browsers and W3C specs.
3) Top Style Lite: CSS editor to make basic style sheets.
4) Global Search and/or Replace: If you produce accurate HTML templates and later need to make a global change to the template, the search and replace is powerful. Search and/or replace within a single directory, a directory and its sub-folders, current document, or all open documents.
5) FTP ability: It has an FTP client that will allow you to connect to a remote server directly in side Homesite, allowing you to edit files "directly" (it really just downloads the file locally, you edit it, and when you save, it goes back to the server). Nonetheless, it saves a little time and money, if you don't want to get another FTP client.
6) Integration with CSE HTML Validator and Top Style Pro:
The validator and style editor with Homesite 5.0 are basic versions. If you buy the more powerful versions, they seamlessly integrate into Homesite.
7) Syntax highlighting for major scripting languages and HTML:
HTML, Javascript, PHP, JSP, ASP, CFML, Perl
8) XHTML support: VERY important if you care about standards-compliance.
9) Extendable dialog boxes/custom dialog boxes:
You can use the built-in scripting language to create custom dialog windows for Homesite, should you need it.
You get the best value for the dollar with Homesite 5.0, so even casual and hobbyists can take advantage of it. If you must edit web pages visually, then this isn't the product for you. If you want to write web pages with attention to code detail, this program helps a lot.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2002
Format: CD-ROM
I'm holding on the phone right now trying to get support for this product. There is no 800 number for tech-support, so it's a long distance call. I have had the same issue for over a month and still have not been transferred to a tech support person. They offer only email support, but don't write back. If you call them on the phone they tell you a support person will call you, but it never happens.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: CD-ROM
Homesite is widely recognized as "the" premier tool for coding HTML, client side, and server side code by hand. Adding it to your resume won't land you a job, but it will certainly boost your chances of getting an interview because it indicates that you are not a cheap, WYSIWYG junkie.

One of the things I like best about Homesite 5 is the adaptability it allows when coding in ASP.NET. I was able to find a plug-in, which when added to Homesite, recognized the .NET tags and colors them accordingly. There are similar plug-ins for just about every language out there.

If you are unfamiliar with HomeSite, are considering a purchase, but are not sure it's the right tool for you, here's a very brief description on how it works: This is not a drag-and-drop design tool that created the code for you. It is, in essence, a text editor on steroids. As you code BY HAND it will color the code for you, tell you when you've made errors, offer you a ton of help on knowing what tags mean, has a built in FTP client, helps you organize your work into projects, and a bunch of other functions I've never used.

Here's the main thing you need to know: If you're a HomeSite pro, then you are also a REAL developer.

To everyone who has whined about lack of support: What do you expect for less then $100? If you purchase a flagship product from Macromedia such as Dreamweaver, Studio MX, or Fireworks, you'll get all the support you'll need.

Also, I've been able to find PLENTY of FREE support from news groups and email lists that focus on web development. For every problem or question I've found someone who knows the solution. You can too!!!

Just a note: Amazon is behind the times. From the Macromedia website you can now purchase two versions ahead of what Amazon is offering.

Well worth the $99.00.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: CD-ROM
When starting a new web site, it's nice to whip out a page without worrying about the code. That way you don't lose your train of thought. However, as good as Dreamweaver is, I'm less than impressed with the way it writes code.
That's when you NEED Homesite. With Homesite has plenty of useful tools to help you tweak the code and make the code "look pretty".
This program is a MUST for your web page arsenal.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2002
Format: CD-ROM
This product is the only way to write HTML code in a Windows Environment. It offers excellent wizards for tables, forms, etc. It will easily validate your links, check spelling for content, and convert all tags to uppercase or lowercase. You can easily reset a page for XHTML or HTML. Its drag and drop capability is superb.
This product give you some terrific timsavers in creating code without any unwanted extra code.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2005
Format: CD-ROM
For many who like writing HTML/XHTML code, Homesite holds a special place in the heart. It just feels so right and is addictive.

The tool can be extended, and the extensions use script which makes the development cycle dead easy.

Support from MacroMedia has not been good. Now Adobe is in the process of buying Macromodia (as on 2005-04-19) so who knows where it all goes. Saying that people who like this product still like it and prefer it. If it fits you don't need support. You just run it day after day and it works great.

(There are alternatives emerging after all these years but none quite do it yet. CSE and TopStyle are two that are coming along.)

For some it almost seems perfect, for WYSIWYG oriented people, it might be best not to even look at it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2001
Format: CD-ROM
For those who prefer to go the slim route Macromedia now brings it's visual design influence to a hand coders dream. The improved design interface and addtion of new tools makes 5.0 a nice improvement. Fetures suchs as XHTML Support, Secondary Files tab, Auto Backup as well as serious improvment in validation (HTML, XHTML, CFML, JSP and SMIL). A nice start to a new marriage of two great's, absolutely cannot beat the upgrade price!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2003
Format: CD-ROM
I must echo prior comments about poor support. I once submitted a question and the untimely response did not address my question. It was as if a harried support person whipped out an answer without really reading what I'd written.
HomeSite is still a very useful product for those who want to hand code. I would still be using it if it weren't for TopStyle Pro 3.10. TopStyle was created by the original author of HomeSite, Nick Bradbury. Though it is intended primarily for stylesheets, it serves my purposes just as well. (I'm not a pro, so there may be additional features in HomeSite that I don't miss in TopStyle). Moreover, Nick Bradbury and a cadre of volunteers provide excellent support. Take a look at bradsoft.com.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2001
Format: CD-ROM
I have a full time job and a family, in addition to the web page I manage. Having helpful tools makes my life easier.
After downloading HomeSite 5, I set the program up and went to work. The first thing I did was to bring up a document and validate the code. I fixed the errors. There is something called "CodeSweep". This arrainges the code so it is easier to follow. I can check for broken links.
HomeSite has been on my computer for a week. In that time, I've checked and updated the code on about 50 pages. And, also, my site index is HTML 4.01 validated, with the rest of the site to follow.
What HomeSite has given me is time. I've wanted something to help with my site management. With DreamWeaver,you can't beat it!
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