< Written in Vim >

I decided to waste your time and my bandwidth to advertise my favorite text editor and make a few rants about the WYSIWYG HTML editor crap some people like to use.

< What is Vim >

Vim is a text editor. It's an improved version of the vi editor that comes with most UNIX systems. However, you usually don't get the original vi editor with Linux, it's most likely Vim that comes with your Linux distro. Usually Vim gets installed on a Linux system by default, so probably you have Vim on your system, too.

Vim is a powerful text editor that works very differently from most text editors people are accustomed to. I admit it looks very strange, cryptic and even a bit scary at first, but when you get used to it, you'll find it very powerful, efficient and highly customizable.

Vim is often called a programmer's editor, so I guess many programmers have found it useful. However, Vim is a great tool for all kinds of text editing, not only programming.

I've made this whole site using Vim. I like especially Vim's syntax highlighting. It makes writing the code much more easier. However, I know there are numerous HTML editors that can also do syntax highlighting, so it's definitely not the only reason I use Vim. I also like the ways you can move the cursor and edit blocks of text in Vim, and I like being able to configure Vim exactly to my needs.

Ok, I'm done with the advertising - read more at Vim online!

< So why are WYSIWYG editors bad? >

I promised to rant about all that WYSIWYG crap people use for creating their websites. Why bother doing it all by hand when you can launch a WYSIWYG thingy, throw in some text, click a few buttons, and voila: the program spits out HTML code you can then upload to your server?

First of all, I've found all those point click drag drop programs confusing. Call me a weirdo if you want, but I get frustrated and confused when I click my way through the jungle of cryptic dialog boxes just to be able to change my font color or place an image to a certain place. It's much more straightforward to write the code yourself.

WYSIWYG HTML editors tend to create bloated code. They add a bunch of unnecessary HTML tags that just increase the size of the site. What's even worse, some WYSIWYG thingies may even create nonstandard HTML code that doesn't work in all browsers, or add those dreaded tags to the code.

Conclusion: WYSIWYG editors are bad for your health. Stay away from them.

< Uh... to be fair, though... >

Er... ok, I'm a closed minded zealot... :-) But I must admit that sometimes WYSIWYG editors can be very good and efficient when used wisely. Some editors these days actually produce decent code and even put the formatting into a separate style sheet instead of planting a bunch of tags into the code.

I know some professional webmasters who can make WYSIWYG editors produce good code. So, WYSIWYG thingies may not always be bad if you know what you're doing. Unfortunately very few people seem to know what they're doing...

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