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Minimalist Webkit (For CMS and Desktop Applications)

Today, CMS (content management systems) by a large number of developers are perceived not only as convenient options for creating complex and significant in structure sites, but also as excellent solutions for automating updates.
And what to do when there is a simple task to create a small site or a business card site, while you need to anticipate issues related to ease of use on the part of the customer, who usually does not know much about web design or HTML layout?
If you do not think about it in advance, then a priori both will lose: the developer in that he will be pulled about the slightest corrections, the customer - in the fact that updates will not be made quickly.
From here we can note two ways out:
  1. Do everything in the WYSIWYG-HTML editor /constructor, so that then you can quickly and easily explain to the customer the process of updating and adding pages. WYSIWYG is an abbreviation for "What You See Is What You Get".
  2. Use a CMS in which the customer will understand the process of updating and adding information.
In the first case, there will be problems with the fact that good WYSIWYG-HTML editors / designers are usually paid, and to ensure the process of updating the site, the customer will also have to purchase them. In the second option, you can list a number of problems, because many popular CMS already imply essentially quite complex software architectures, some of which even write thick books. At the same time, in some administration panels include everything and therefore are difficult to quickly master, in others they are simple, but do not always display everything necessary, and the CMS themselves are also divided by purpose.
Of course, uCoz can be called a universal and convenient CMS, but not always the choice stops at it. In addition, due to specialization, like all CMS of a wide profile, it is not always suitable for certain specific cases.
There is also a third point, which, as it turned out, is important. Not so long ago, I received a question from a reader in which he asked to recommend a CMS (preferably free) with the possibility of storing the database not in MySQL, but in ordinary text or XML files.
In general, the range of issues is quite large, so it was decided to analyze the market of offers in the field of free software in order to compile a certain list of web minimalists.
As it turned out, in fact, all the solutions listed below were tried by me at one time or another, so I write as is.
Free WYSIWYG-HTML editors on your desktop
In its current state, free WYSIWYG-HTML editors in most cases only partially repeat the functionality of such well-known commercial programs as Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft FrontPage (its sequels), and almost do not provide for the level of the currently popular Serif WebPlus or WYSIWYG Web Builder. This situation has existed for many years and, in general, one should not expect changes in a positive direction. A visual editor can be written by a student, but it usually does not go beyond the HTML syntax highlighting version of Notepad.
And yet something interesting to find is real, so let's list the most relevant of the free WYSIWYG-HTML editors that can be used on the local machine as a replacement for popular designers and commercial HTML editors with a focus on the visual presentation of pages within web development.
  • Serif WebPlus Starter Edition is a free version of the popular WebPlus builder. Work in it resembles more Photoshop, that is, the user combines blocks (text, images, etc.), and this can be done in multi-layered mode, superimposing one on top of another, after which the program automatically translates everything into HTML. There is a mode of automatic upload to the specified server. In other words, you can have two versions of the site, one on your disk, the second on the web server. Then you can make any changes. Of course, the most profitable is the use of paid versions, but the free one also gives certain functionality. Serif WebPlus is great for creating small resources and business card sites.
  • FreshHTML - despite some nondescript interface, in this case we are talking about a rather interesting WYSIWYG editor, functionally and conceptually very close to Serif WebPlus (with the exception of support for multi-layered construction and many specialized deviations). There is a set of components, direct output to the HTML code. Although it is worth noting a number of errors that occur when reading HTML files created using other technologies.
  • NVU - this editor is a continuation of Mozilla Composer, and it was developed with the involvement of one of the authors of the latter. In terms of functionality, it lags behind the same Adobe Dreamweaver and Microsoft FrontPage, for example, many users do not really like the absence of the element properties panel with the ability to fine-tune them. And in general, for developers who understand technology, the entire arsenal of tools is given. There is a site manager that allows you to edit pages on a remote server, a built-in CSS editor with a preview of styles, color syntax highlighting in code editing mode, spell checking, and so on. There is a Russian version. By the way, actually identical both functionally and in the implementation of the interface is another free editor - Kompozer, which is called a continuation of NVU.
  • Amaya is a free tool for creating web applications, created by the WWW consortium itself. The interface is quite ancient, although there are virtually all the features, including adding mathematical formulas and editing CSS. This solution can not be called accessible for quick understanding by unprepared users.
  • OpenBexi is a rather cumbersome visual system for creating modern web applications using a large number of widgets, components, etc. Completely free and does not require special skills in mastering HTML, etc., but I emphasize that everything is very cumbersome. The work takes place within the browser on the local machine in design mode. In this case, you can export to a web server and so on.
Free WYSIWYG-HTML editors for connecting to sites
Now we list the popular online WYSIWYG-HTML editors that require installation on the server, binding to the content, and thereby you get the opportunity to implement a kind of online CMS, more precisely, convenient content editing at the level of simplicity of Microsoft Word. In some cases (usually for a small amount), you may be offered additional modules, for example, to implement the upload of files or images. At the same time, they can always find freeware alternatives, because online WYSIWYG-HTML editors are now created a lot for every taste and color, and if you want and have time, you can write something similar yourself. In principle, I recommend once attaching a WYSIWYG-HTML editor to your resource (in most cases, this will require a few lines of code), after which you can think about whether you need to use a CMS for some specific tasks.
  • Aloha is currently one of the most popular WYSIWYG-HTML editors due to its small size. It is displayed not within the framework of the interface with buttons, but in the form of a context menu when presenting to the blocks of the site. Functionality can be called limited.
  • elRTE is one of the modern WYSIWYG-HTML editors. It is written in JavaScript using jQuery UI and runs in a browser window. The functionality is standard - working with text, adding lists, tables, images, etc., there is an output to HTML. Localized into many languages, including Russian. Functions without errors in all modern browsers.
  • markItUp is a multifunctional WYSIWYG-HTML editor that supports many modern technologies. More precisely, we can say about the whole system of editors, where, in addition to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, BB codes, WYSIWYG, you can monitor communication with the server, work more efficiently with Ajax. This solution is most convenient for site developers, for unprepared users it may seem complicated.
  • Xinha is an advanced WYSIWYG editor in which toolbars can be reconfigured to your liking. For example, if you want, add a formula editor, non-standard numbering of lists (with Roman numerals or Latin letters), and so on. It covers literally all areas of layout of modern web-documents.
  • openWYSIWYG is a cross-browser WYSIWYG editor written in JavaScript and DHTML. Functionally, it can be called standard and very easy to understand, although unlike many others there is an advanced system of settings for tables (frame styles, etc.).
  • TinyMCE is actually a classic WYSIWYG editor that others should focus on. In terms of functionality, it is very close to professional web-designers, you can make multi-layered documents, put anchors, there is an automatic conversion of text copied from Word and so on. Also quite convenient can be called automation for creating CSS. There are additional paid modules (managers for uploading files and images to the server). Overall, one of the best solutions in the segment. It is used in developments from Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Oracle, WordPress.
Also worth noting is the FCK Editor and so on.
In principle, WYSIWYG-HTML editors now you can see not only in a separate form (for self-connection to your site), but also in almost all CMS, both paid and not. And in some of them, such modules are not developed from scratch, but ready-made solutions are taken. It is worth paying attention to the fact that online WYSIWYG-HTML editors are usually not designed to work on the basis of a local machine (unless you have built them specifically on a local server), and are made with the direct purpose of integrating into a CMS or implementing the management of your site on a remote server. It is also worth noting that many developers start writing their own CMS with the implementation of attaching a WYSIWYG-HTML editor to any site.
Among other things, these modules can be used as "fast" translators from the WYSIWYG representation in HTML, for which almost everyone is suitable.
I'm just telling you one of the quick ways to create rich text in HTML. For example, you launch such an editor, copy the text into it, arrange everything as needed, then go to source mode (html code display) and from there copy the finished HTML version to Notepad.
Free CMS without reference to MySQL
Using standard databases is not always justified, especially for small sites. As an alternative, it is necessary to store data in files of various types (text, XML, special HTML, and so on). This option is loved by many not only for its simplicity, but also for its more convenient portability, for example, when copying from a local machine to a web server (or when copying a site from one server to another), complete independence from the database maintenance service and, in some cases, higher speed.
It should be noted that most of these CMS, although it implies free, still introduces restrictions - very often they require the indication of the authors of the CMS on the developed site. If you want to remove such inscriptions, you will have to pay extra. Therefore, carefully read the points about the licensing conditions. In general, we are talking about fairly developed CMS, most of which can be quickly "hung" to an HTML template and so on. Of course, there is a lot of junk, but five to ten CMS can be found.
Let's describe the most interesting of them:
  • LincorCMS is a rather interesting advanced content management system that is designed to create various sites. Among the main modules there are: news feed, pages, surveys, guestbook, file archive, articles, photo gallery, users, multi-level (tree-like) comments, customizable feedback forms, feedback module, mailings, search, forum, database management module (storage either in text files or in MySQL), audit, cache management. Quite quickly and easily mastered, no more complicated than uCoz. Design and content are rigidly separated, there is its own simple template language. You can use GZip compression to speed up the download. Free use is possible only for non-commercial sites with the obligatory indication of a link to the link to the link to the link system site.
  • Kandidat CMS is an easy-to-learn CMS with database storage in text files. Designed to create small sites (HTML / PHP), there is a visual editor and so on.
  • Our-CMS is a simple CMS for creating business card sites. Uses text files to store all information
  • GuppY is essentially a developed CMS portal, so there are all the relevant modules: news, articles, links, downloads, gallery, guestbook, forum, questions / answers (FAQ), surveys, statistics, administration and so on. The list of modules is constantly updated and at the same time it must be said that unlike many other CMS, this one is provided with a fairly large amount of documentation. For fruitful work, knowledge of php is required.
  • GetSimple is a very simple CMS created specifically for creating business card sites (2-20 pages). Each page is stored as an XML file. It has its own small tagging system that allows you to quickly create templates.
  • Ruxe Engine is a fairly advanced CMS, about which you can often find a large number of positive reviews. Best suited for the organization of small news portals, corporate sites, etc. Among the features are provided: templating, which does not prohibit the use of the PHP language; creation and editing of site pages in the admin center, which can also be edited by any other external editor; CNC; unlimited number of news sections; RSS feed; commenting in the news, guestbook and individual comment sections; registration of users with avatars, signatures, activation by e-mail, password recovery, etc.; FAQ module; File directory Link directory banner rotator.
To summarize
In general, the general situation in the free software market is rather confusing. And the most unpleasant thing about it is the situation with updates. In most cases, there is a feeling that the customers of sites (not developers) for screwing the screw are offered either a drilling machine or a hammer, but not a screwdriver. Therefore, ensuring the necessary balance when using free solutions is a headache, first of all, for the developer.