Masthead CMC Magazine / May 1, 1996
 Two Years on the Web, by John December

Waiting for Better Tools

[]Chaplin describes a software system for supporting Web communities.

I don't need an HTML editor. I don't use Hot Dog, or HTML Grinder, or HTML Assistant for Windows, or any other HTML editor. Instead, I need a tool that helps me collaborate with others, that helps me work with authors and editors who are geographically dispersed and who use different computer systems, but yet communicate over the Internet. I want tools that have a degree of sophistication far beyond assisting me with simple HTML syntax and layout. Putting together a publication involves more than collating pages and HTML markup--I'm waiting to see commercial products emerge that address the real needs of content developers on Web sites.

We've had to cobble together our own system of production using "raw" tools--Unix text editors, file transfer, electronic mail. The often complex and arcane command sequences involved create a hurdle for anyone who wants to work on the magazine--they have to learn some Unix, they have to cope with the details of file structures and file formats and sending and receiving files via email.

Technologies such as Java might can make more interactive, collaborative software possible. Why has the Java industry been so slow in developing advanced tools for collaboration that truly show Java's capabilities? The Java language has been out in full release for nearly five months--yet we are stuck with crude, first-generation applications. -

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