NVU, pronounced n-view (http://www.glazman.org/weblog/dotclear/index.php) is an evolved version of the mozilla composer tool in the recently discontinued mozilla application suite. I’m already a thunderbird and firefox user. So I’ve followed the very rapid development of NVU over the past few months. Every month Daniel Glazman produces a new version and with version 0.90 last week it seems well on its way to become a powerful tool for anyone interested in writing html without touching code. While I like messing with HTML and CSS, I’m pragmatic enough to not do this whenever I am writing content. When I write content, I don’t want to be distracted by technology. Therefore, tools like NVU are a potentially interesting addition to my toolset.
I’ve already used the 0.70 and 0.80 versions at work for editing changelogs and other release documentation. I was not impressed that much with the versions until 0.80. There was a particularly annoying bug with newlines and a lot of rough edges. 0.90 fixes the bug and provides a new polished look and feel. Suddenly it feels like a real application. It’s amazing what a bit of finishing touch can do for an application. It still needs some more of that but feature wise it has become a very nice application:
- support for all important html tags
- css editor
- support for layers and tables
- support for templates (ala dreamweaver)
- integrated site manager
- extension support
Extension support could actually become a killer feature. Many firefox development extensions should be portable to NVU. If that happens, dreamweaver suddenly looks like a toy.
I just loaded my IE unfriendly, homepage in NVU and to my surprise it looks fine (dreamweaver can’t handle it). All of the css positioning works as intended, the fonts are as specified and you can just click and type to add text. Combine this with the template functionality and you have the perfect tool for sites with elaborate/complicated designs.