The Semantics of Cutting and Pasting

I advocate cutting and pasting to prevent errors to my clients. However, since I do most of my editing directly in HTML, I have noticed programs do not get HTML.

What I mean by that:

If I want to move text near an end tag, most programs will grab the end angle bracket and slash: (</) as well, thus mangling at least the pasted HTML and possibly the source if I'm cutting. From my extensive testing (5 minutes in WordPad) it buys "/", "\", "-" and "_" as word boundaries, but not that opening angle bracket ("<").

(For the non technical: an HTML tag looks like this, with an opening and closing tags, with angle brackets signaling the start and end of a tag:
<p>This is a paragraph</p>
The one with the slash (/) in it is the closing tag: if this gets screwed up, weird stuff can happen. This explains why you see > crop up randomly.)

I tried to get a screen shot showing this, but the program I downloaded placed the cursor differently than I really did, so that it looked like I'd meant to select the "</" . No only that, but the program didn't load itself into memory, so when I hit the hot key of Control F5, my entry page was reloaded and blew away the first version of this entry.

I have publically dissed Dreamweaver, but when I'm editing by hand, it gets HTML. If I am inside an attribute and I double click, only the text inside the attribute gets selected. More importantly, it never tries to help, but faithfully reproduces where my mouse is in what it selects.

This lack of understanding of HTML also applies to web forms as I've noticed as I've done more web logging.

So what's the alternative, or at least an alternative?

I've heard mixed reviews on the user interface of Macintosh's latest offering, OS X, but I suspect it may handle these subtleties better than Windows.

I've always said my development platform has to have A) Photoshop and B) Dreamweaver or a decent HTML editor. With the fully "carbonized" versions of Photoshop 7 and Dreamweaver MX out, I think OS X now qualifies. I've used UNIX since my university days, so having a command line on a system with Photoshop and Dreamweaver is appealing.

Of course, my habit of accidentally pronouncing the name of the operating system "Oh Ess Eks" would probably make the other OS X geeks ostracize me.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Tuesday, August 20, 2002 (Link)


Posted by Jack Friday, January 3, 2003 at 03:33 PM

Use Quick Screen Capture ( )take screenshot! Very easy to use and powerful!