Your favorite wysiwyg HTML/JS editor?

Polytropon freebsd at
Sat Feb 15 12:14:59 UTC 2014

On Sat, 15 Feb 2014 12:49:43 +0100, Luca Ferrari wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 8:11 AM, David Noel <david.i.noel at> wrote:
> > I see about a dozen in ports.. does anyone have a favorite?
> Emacs!
> Ok, is not a wysiwyg editor, but at least is an editor that avoids
> "what you see is not what you are going to get".

You can utilize a good editor (emacs, vim, maybe gnotepad+, whatever
"feels best" for you) with one or more web browsers. With virtual
desktops (or dual screens) this can be a quite good web develop-
ment environment, serving all the involved components (HTML, CSS,
JS, maybe server-side stuff too).

Many professionals seem to prefer the YAFIYGI (you asked for it,
you got it) approach instead of WYSIWYG (what you see is what
you get) because in reality this is a lie. What _you_ get and
what _others_ get (your clients, customers, friends, you on
a different computer) depends on factors that no editor can
fully compensate. What you _get_ is depending on the web browser
and how it renders the conglomerate of HTML, CSS and JS. So
you are fully right: You usually do NOT get what you see.
I know some professional web developers and even "full stack
engineers" (or however they call themselves this week) who
have successfully abandoned the "see" part of their work,
replacing it by their ability to imagine the result from
their code, verifying it in actual web browsers, depending
on their clients' specifications (like "has to work in
outdated 'Internet Explorer' from 15 years ago, because
you're designing a corporate web app" and similar stuff).
Especially with the complexity of "modern" web pages, WYSIWYG
doesn't seem to fit the bill anymore, because there's already
so much "behind the scenes" (mostly CSS and JS with its many
libraries and frameworks) that it cannot be mapped into an
immediate visual representation of the _creation_ work.

Personally, I did give up WYSIWYG in this field of work
years ago. It's just too much work, a waste of time and
unsuitable for anything remotely complex. Of course that's
just my very individual experience.

> And by the way, what does it mean having a wysiwyg JS editor?

The magic in JavaScript is that you actually don't see anything,
so leave the file empty and the editor will magically do what
you think your client wants. However, the WYSIWYG editor to
perform that task still has to be written... :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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