MWHE task report

Name of associated manuals : StarOffice5.2 - Web User Manual
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Marketing study for a WYSIWYG HTML Editor

Cécile Adam (mfn01) and François Camilleri (mfn08)


Contents | Objectives | Marketing study | Tests | Additionnal features | Conclusion


Objectives

Because of the necessity to write the work reports of the MFN option in the HTML language, we decided to improve the package of tools which were enabled at ENSEEIHT. To realize this, we fixed us the following constraints:

-This editor must be WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get.
-It has to be compliant with the three operating systems in ENSEEIHT (UNIX, Linux and Windows NT)
-It must manage the relative links.
-It must be as cheap as possible.

To summarize, the objective of our work was to find, install and test a WYSIWYG HTML editor, which could be more practical to use and more powerful than Netscape Composer.

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Marketing study

We first tried to find out HTML editors on the Web. There was a high number of opportunities, but in majority compliant with Windows only. Then we refined our search to find softwares which were also compliant with UNIX and Linux.

We found one possibility, which was compliant with Linux and Windows, Hot Metal Pro, but that meant that two types of licenses had to be bought. Another problem was that no version for UNIX existed. It was therefore not a good solution for the problem.

Another solution to find editors for UNIX was to search on the Sun Microsystems web site, that means the site of the developer of Solaris, the OS of the UNIX workstations.

We found there interesting information about the new office suite software of this company, StarOffice5.2. This software provides tools and an editor dedicated to the writing of web pages and HTML files. Moreover, this software is free and exists for the three commonest operating systems Windows, Linux and UNIX.

We decided therefore to test this software.

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Test of StarOffice5.2

The software was installed on the Linux PC in the B004 room.

The tests consisted in the verification of the features of the software:

-HTML WYSIWYG editor
-good management of the relative links for the hyperlinks and the pictures
-edition and management of framesets
-possibility to work with the HTML source code in the application window

After six weeks of intensive practice of StarOffice5.2, we can say that these tests are successful in average.

Two negative points indeed remain:

-StarOffice5.2 does not manage the latest version of the HTML language. It writes the source code in HTML 3.2. The latest version is HTML 4.1. It can be an inconvenient for advanced treatments, especially for the lists and the new HTML tags which are more practical.

-for the pictures, it manages the relative links but the models of background, bullet and rulers must be carefully used: they are not automatically copied in the directory of the document.

Except of these two points, the use of StarOffice5.2 is much more practical and comfortable than Netscape Composer.

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Additional features

Except of the strong ability to manage the HTML edition, the software provides additional features which are very practical and can be very interesting for us as engineer student and for the writing of web pages. Their functionning is detailed in the user manual.

Picture editor:

The application regroups the basic applications for office working, especially with the picture editor.
It is a simple but powerfull tool, which permits to manage the pictures used for the design of the pages.
The use is very easy and it manages all the picture formats.

Drawing editor:

Another tool is the drawing editor. The obvious interest is the drawing and the management of schemes.
It can be also used to create buttons for the hyperlinks on the pages.

Equation editor

The last very interesting tool for the sudents is the equation editor. With a language closed to the LATEC language, it is very practical and permits a very easy management of the equations, combined with the drawing editor.

All these components were also tested by the writing of some reports for the Hydrodynamic Instabilities BES.
They make the aplication very complete and particularly adapted to the student's work in MFN.

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Conclusion

The session C of the MCIP activities has permitted us to find and test a new HTML editor for the students of the MFN option: StarOffice5.2.

This application is particularly adapted for the redaction of web pages. It fits with the desired characteristics for the pictures, the hyperlinks, the conviviality of the editor and the characteristics of portability for the created pages.

The presence of a complete package of tools with the picture, drawing and equation editors, allows good performances and a high interest for the redaction of reports.

Moreover, because this application is free and exists for the three OS used in ENSEEIHT, an installation on the UNIX and Linux workstations will be possible in a short future.

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