Cooking with Linux - Web Site Creation Tools You've Never Heard Of
Like the others I've covered so far, Screem is also a code editor, as opposed to a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. Strangely, there are advantages to a code editor that may not be immediately apparent if you like the idea of building a Web page the way you would create a word-processing document. The big advantage is control, although there certainly are others. A code editor lets you see exactly what your HTML tags look like, making it possible for you to produce exactly the code that you want. The HTML produced in code editors occasionally tends to be a bit cleaner as well.
Before you get going on that first Web site, I am going to direct you to the Preferences dialog for a quick change of one of the default settings. Click Edit, then select Preferences. A six-tabbed window appears from which you can modify the default operation of much of the Screem's interface and features. There is one setting that I recommend you change right away and that's word wrap. Click the Editor tab and look for the check box labeled Wrap lines (Figure 7). Make sure it's checked on, and then click the Close button.
You can, if you want, take some time here to familiarize yourself with the other settings. Before I move on, however, let me direct you to one more that may interest you. Under the Misc tab, there is a timed backup feature (set at ten minutes by default) that you might want to activate. My personal favorite keyboard combination is Ctrl-S (used in most editors), and I tend to press it every couple minutes whether I need to or not. The autosave feature can take care of that habit.
The edit window, where you type your text, is that big empty space on the left. When editing a page (Figure 8), you highlight text, click Insert, and then select your HTML markup from the submenu. Other markup elements, such as a link to another Web site, are best done using the wizards. These are on the second toolbar, but also under the same Insert menu.
On the right, there is a multitabbed sidebar. The tabs access a built-in file manager, a tag tree from which you can jump to any tag in any part of the document quickly, an attributes view that further defines all tags and their attributes, and more.
As you may have noticed, mes amis, the clock is telling us that closing time is upon us. While my faithful waiter refills your glasses a final time, remember this. The free and open-source software landscape is extremely rich with countless projects and programs available for your downloading pleasure. The easy path is certainly the one that installs the most popular programs, such as Quanta, the KDE HTML editor, or Bluefish, the GNOME favorite. Yet, there are many other projects, and as with a bottle of wine, it can be fun and educational to try those you've never encountered before. You even may discover a new favorite. Please, mes amis, raise your glasses and let us all drink to one another's health. A votre santé! Bon appétit!
Marcel Gagné is an award-winning writer living in Waterloo, Ontario. He is the author of the Moving to Linux series of books from Addison-Wesley. Marcel is also a pilot, a past Top-40 disc jockey, writes science fiction and fantasy, and folds a mean Origami T-Rex. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can discover lots of other things (including great Wine links) from his Web sites at www.marcelgagne.com and www.cookingwithlinux.com.
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