HoTMetaL PRO 6.0 - HTML with Style | 3
So who would actually want to use HoTMetaL PRO? SoftQuad touts its program as a "professional" Web design tool. Professional literally means, doing something and getting paid for it. Somehow, I don't think that SoftQuad's intent was for this product to be used for Web pages created for pay - the essence is however, HoTMetaL is supposed to be good for people who take HTML authoring seriously.
Of course, there are many problems here. For one thing, as any Web author knows, most large-scale Web sites don't offer static HTML documents. It's not just a matter of writing a document and putting it online; usually a lot of on-the-fly processing happens on the server before a document is finally served to the user agent. If this is the case for you, HoTMetaL probably has little to offer you, and learning how to use the gritty details of HTML and CSS is a must. HoTMetaL only edits complete, static HTML documents. You can conceivably use it to create a "template" for your site and then just use the code it produces to actually produce the site, but most people probably won't bother.
What about Joe Web Author, creating his personal homepage for the first time? He doesn't know anything about HTML, and probably doesn't want to. This is, conceivably, one target audience for HoTMetaL, and SoftQuad promotes the use of HoTMetaL for novice users, claiming that HoTMetaL also helps you learn HTML. You can imagine the novice author picking up a copy of HoTMetaL from a retailer and attempting to create his first Web page with it. I'll be evaluating how suitable HoTMetaL is for something like this, as well as how HoTMetaL can "steer" the novice Web author in the right direction as he's learning HTML.
On the other hand, you get the experienced Web author that already knows a lot about HTML. This is easy to evaluate for me, because I like to believe I'm quite good at this stuff. So I'll evaluate how valuable HoTMetaL is to someone like me: Already adept at creating Web pages, knowledgeable in the technologies involved, and generally able to create a Web site without the use of HoTMetaL. Does HoTMetaL offer enough conveniences to convince me to spend $129.00 ($49.95 for the upgrade from previous versions) and use it to author static Web pages?
Produced by Stephanos Piperoglou
Created: November 03, 1999
Revised: November 16, 1999