Review of Mozilla Composer

Monday February 10th, 2003

Prognathous wrote in to tell us that has reviewed Mozilla Composer. The review, from December 2002, praises Composer's table management and standards-compliant code generation but is critical of its lack of support for arbitrarily positioned elements and absense of form editing functions.

#1 positioned elements and forms

by glazou

Tuesday February 11th, 2003 3:58 AM

Form elements support is a work in progress (bmo bug 45495) and I am working on absolutely positioned elements support. Stay tuned.

#5 Re: positioned elements and forms

by GuruJ

Tuesday February 11th, 2003 8:55 PM

Any chance of creating style classes or ids on the fly?

The biggest complaint I have with Mozilla Composer is the issue raised by the review -- ie. that CSS styles are blindly put throughout the document even where there are 50 spans that all use the same properties.

If the editor placed a single [STYLE/] tag at the top of the document with all classes/IDs used, that would go a *long* way to tidying up the Composer HTML code. It would also greatly simplify the procedure to split things out into a separate CSS file, should you so choose.

#2 A reasonable assessment

by jvlb

Tuesday February 11th, 2003 7:09 AM

The observations the reviewer makes are reasonable. It should be noted that almost any code generator, whether generating HTML, CSS, or C++, bloats its code. That composer does this is forgivable. What I find harder to forgive, is Composer's habit of reformatting my source code with vast and unnecessary white space. It makes the code harder to read, though its intent is the opposite, and it dramatically increases download times.

#3 RE: source code reformatting

by buckminster

Tuesday February 11th, 2003 11:30 AM

I have to agree. And unless I'm not understanding what is meant by "Retain original source formatting", selecting this option does just the opposite, with a vengeance .

This setting adds tons of arbitrary, seemingly random spaces before and after code, new lines, etc., so I still use Notepad as my primary html editor.

#4 Re: RE: source code reformatting

by grayrest

Tuesday February 11th, 2003 8:04 PM

Significant time savings can be accomplished by using a programming editor to write your html. I prefer vim, but anything is better for coding in than notepad.

#6 Something different

by sime

Tuesday February 11th, 2003 9:19 PM

Each mozilla release since 1.0 i read the composer notes more thoroughly...hoping that a bug has been fixed, or a new feature. I love composer, i take it with me everywhere, but its been stagment. Two things that would make my life easier: color coded HTML, composer remembers where you looking at the HTML when you switch back. Its also motivated me a little to learn XUL, so making I can include those feature myself. Also being able to update/sync the file if you edit with another editor.