HTML5 has garnered plenty of attention in the last two years, and for good reasons. The internet as we know it is changing, and HTML5 is at the forefront of those changes. If you are eager to jump into the HTML5 mix, you will be interested in the tools we have found for creating websites and web apps using HTML5.
At the moment, there are two flavors of HTML5 editors to be found: standalone applications and browser-based editors. There are advantages and disadvantages for each. Standalone apps are OS-dependent, that is, some are created for Windows, others for Mac, only one is for both. Browser-based apps, on the other hand, work on any OS, with almost any current browser, as well as other devices such as the iPad. Standalone apps work with or without an internet connection. Browser-based apps are typically only available if you are online (more on that later). Whether one is better than the other depends on the specifics of a given developer, their needs, requirements, OS, etc.
With that, let’s move on to the HTML5 tools.
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Functioning in a similar fashion as that of a textarea, pretty much any DOM (document object model) element can be edited–a developer just has to embed the code within their online document. When you highlight any text, a floating menu appears next to the area you are editing, allowing you to change the font size, face, insert tables and more according to the content being edited.
The one thing that Aloha is short on is basic tutorials or documentation. An API reference is provided, as is a forum and several different types of samples, but no “how to add Aloha to your blog” tutorials are present (if they are present, they aren’t obvious to this developer).
Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 is well known in the industry, and its initial reputation as a code mangler has improved drastically over the last few years. The most recent release, Dreamweaver CS5, came along with announcement from Adobe that Dreamweaver CS5 now supports HTML5. We’ve covered the Creative Suite of products for many years on HTMLGoodies, most recently in an overview article that discusses the various CS5 product suites and subscription plans, a review of Dreamweaver itself, and a tutorial on how to create CSS Menus using CSS Tab Designer along with Dreamweaver.
Dreamweaver is a full-featured editor, providing WYSIWYG functionality, a multiscreen preview panel, integration with jQuery Mobile and Adobe BrowserLab, along with support for native Android and iOS apps (when using PhoneGap), CSS3 and of course HTML5. Dreamweaver is not a cheap product, but if you are a professional web developer, it can be a useful and versatile tool in your toolbox–well worth the purchase price.
Like some of the others we have discussed, BlueGriffon is a WYSIWYG editor with support for HTML4 and HTML5, as well as XHTML. For users who want to experiment with features of HTML5, it enables developers to directly embed HTML5 audio and video elements into a web page.
It has some additional functionality that other editors don’t have, such as the ability to extract a frame from a video file so it can be used as the “poster” for the video when you embed the video on a web page. That feature takes one click to accomplish. HTML5 forms are fully supported, with dialogs for every form element defined in the HTML5 specification.
All of the HTML5 elements–including header, footer, aside, etc.–are also included in an easy-to-use dropdown menu, allowing a developer to insert them in a document with a click of the mouse. BlueGriffon is a top notch editor–it’s got my vote as my favorite of those mentioned in this article. If you give it a try, or have an opinion on it, let us know using the comment form below!