Asp4Hs: Why use HomeSite for ASP? (or PHP)
You may be asking why I'm bothering to build this site or why anyone
would want to use HomeSite for
Active Server Pages (ASP) development, especially when
MS Visual Interdev exists as a
relatively mature tool designed specifically for ASP development.
There are actually quite a few good reasons to consider HomeSite for ASP,
or for PHP which is very similar.
- HomeSite is widely considered to be the best code-based
(as opposed to WYSIWYG) HTML editor available for the PC platform. It provides
a fast, mature editing environment and a user interface second to none for HTML
editing plus a strong set of supporting integrated tools.
- From the beginning, HomeSite has been designed to allow and encourage
extension of most of its features. This was partly to help keep up
with the constantly changing world of HTML, but also to allow users to
customize it to how they work and code. Some of the features that can
be extended include:
This design for extension provides many areas where users can create
simple or complex add-on's to support their preferred languages and
coding styles, including ASP, vbscript and jscript. These add-on's may
be easily shared with others, as this site demonstrates.
- HomeSite is a code-based editor. This means that,
editors, it doesn't change your code. It has various aids which can
help you enter or format code, but they are all optional.
- HomeSite is easy to learn. It has an intuitive interface and good documentation
that will help you to be up and productive your first day of use, yet it
offers advanced features that you can learn and use when you're ready.
- Many web developers are used to the HomeSite editing environment and
like to continue to use it as they move to ASP coding rather than
move to a new tool.
- As Bart Gerardi says (in his ASPToday article below), HomeSite it can be used
as a code editor for many technologies, allowing you to transport it
from one language to another, Microsoft-related or not. Allaire and
various users have provided syntax coloring parsers and other tools
to support a variety of technologies including ASP, ColdFusion,
- HomeSite has integrated tools that greatly simplify many common web development
tasks. These include code validation, link checking, document weight,
spell checking, code cleanup (Codesweeper and
HTML Tidy) and a powerful
search and replace function. In fact, the extended search & replace
can do either normal or regular expression finds or s&r's across a
great many files very quickly. Most of these tools can work across sets
of either all open files, a directory (or dir tree), or a project.
- Other external tools can be integrated with HomeSite in a number of ways.
Some tools that work well with HomeSite include the
CSE HTML Validator,
Topstyle CSS Editor,
- Macromedia/Allaire, the producers of HomeSite, are extremely responsive to suggestions
and requests from users. The
are very active and most of the current features and implementation of
HomeSite, from major features to minute details, can be traced back to
user requests or discussions.
- HomeSite's Snippets
feature gives developers a way to keep sets of organized bits of code
or text for quick reuse. For team development, HomeSite provides shared
snippets sets in addition to the private snippets.
- Since ASP or PHP files must be be passed through a webserver
before they are generally viewable in a browser, it is often difficult to
view them in an editor. HomeSite provides Server Mappings
that let you pass files through a webserver before they are shown in the
internal viewer. This is useful not only for ASP, but also for other
technologies such as SSI, PHP or any server-side execution.
- HomeSite can interface to a wide range of standard source
and version control applications to provide this essential function for either
team or individual development projects. It also has powerful and flexible
- Cost-wise, HomeSite is quite inexpensive compared to it's competitors,
a factor which can be important for small developers, beginners or home users
as well as in larger corporate environments.
So... are you using HomeSite for ASP or PHP yet?
If not, why not?
Tell me your reasons either way.
-- Jeff Wilkinson
Just as a note, I've been told there was an ASPwire instant poll survey (in 1999?)
that had the following question and answer: Which editor do you use to develop ASP?
Visual Interdev:39% HomeSite:21% Notepad:17% ASP Xpress:10% Other:12%
If anyone has a copy or link, please let me know.