HotDog 6.5

HotDog 6.5 is a powerful web development tool that targets both the experienced and novice user. Unlike the object oriented or “what you see is what you get” editors such as Dreamweaver and Frontpage, HotDog has its roots in text based HTML editing. Its native 32-bit code is streamlined to take 20% of the system resources and opens documents faster than previous versions. As an HTML editor, most of the code will have to be written manually, but there are time saving tools included to speed up the process.

HotDog is intuitive; however it may be initially overwhelming with all the features it offers. Once you’re acquainted with them, you’ll be wondering how you were able to work without them.

With all these features and tools at your disposal, the ability of HotDog to customize the program for ease and efficiency is a feature worth noting. Almost everything is customizable from automatic code completion, multiple levels of undo, dictionary types, syntax filter and macro editor. The toolbars are all dockable and the buttons on the toolbar can be re-arranged to your liking. It is also possible to drag and drop code, links, images or files onto the HTML editor by using shortcut features on the tool bars. Furthermore, you can customize the editing interface such as fonts and text colors, create your own tags and shortcut keys, specify a file to load each time HotDog is started, how often autosave occurs and more.

Some highlights of version 6.5 include features to teach you HTML with the property sheet, the mouseover tooltip help pops up when over a section of code, and the built in tutorials on top of the wizards and help dialogs. The help is unobtrusive, but can get in the way of the experienced user.

The ROVER is another great feature. It is an internal WYSIWYG viewer that allows you to see updates in real-time as you change the code. Link Sniffer will let you know if any links are pointing to bad or non-existing files or directories. You can even browse the whole site in a compact treeview through the HTML navigation view. Complex web sites are reduced to a more manageable hierarchical format.

You can spice up your web page not only with HTML code but also Javascript, CSS, ASP, and VBScript. The Supertoolz client allows unlimited downloadable plug-ins, some for a fee while others for free, to enhance HotDog’s capabilities. These Plug-ins include Java animations, JavaScript tools, image mapping, ICQ wizard, Xara 3d, SMIL composer, and Real Audio/Video Wizard just to name a few.

After you have completed your web page, you can proofread it with the multilingual spell checker or use the global search and replace features, which allows you to find many errors within your web page, including duplicate links. Optionally you can structure your pages so that images load faster. You also have the choice to publish to different operating systems such as Windows, Unix, or Mac/Amiga. Then the integrated ftp client manager will allow you to upload your work to a website. Should you need to make updates later on, you can also download the entire site with a click of a button.

There aren’t any templates for web pages, although it does let you create and save your own. The sound effects can get irritating after a while. Fortunately, they can be turned off. A free trial version is available from HotDog’s website.

Overall, HotDog 6.5 is an extremely powerful HTML editor which appeals to users of all skill levels. It has many strong features to increase productivity. The program is intuitive to use, yet keeps the power of a professional program at your fingertips. No project is too big or small for this dog to take a bite at.

Product Rating:

Company:
Sausage Software

Requirements:
Windows 95

Pricing:
$99

Reviewed by:
Edward Cheng

Competition:
Homesite 5.0, Ultraedit 6.10

Pros:
Intuitive application, fully customizable.

Cons:
Minor issues with Rover and bad sound effects

Bottom Line:
No project is too big or small for this dog to take a bite at.

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