Dreamweaver, minus the junk

This isn't to say that Dreamweaver itself is junk, by no means. In fact, I think it's probably the best and most robust web-design program there is. That being said, I've found my attention being drawn to a lighter, faster program lately. It's called Araneae, and is a freeware (that's right, totally free) program from Ornj.net (pronounced Orange, I think). The creator of the program is Mark McIntyre, a Computer Science graduate student in Canada.

That's great you're thinking, but what about the program, right? Okay, let me warn you that if you're a web-design newbie this one probably isn't for you, as there's nothing WYSIWYG about it. But, considering that Dreamweaver isn't always 100% accurate in it's representation, previewing in a browser is always the best bet anyways.

The one thing I really do love about Dreamweaver is it's very thorough syntax-highlighting/coloring. This is the area in which Araneae really shines. In my opinion, it's code highlighting is more robust than Dreamweaver, and you can even style Araneae to have a similar look/feel. Araneae also allows you to pick your own hex-color, and then makes a suggestion as to the closest web-safe color.

Another great feature is that you can set whatever code you want to be auto-inserted when you start a new file. For me, that means not having to define XHTML Strict everytime (instead of Dreamweaver's default XHTML Transitional). Also, I have MS Smart Tags disabled by default, as well as turning off the IE image toolbar.

One thing that Araneae lacks is code validation and browser incompatibility warnings. But, if you're good enough to hand-code without a Wizzy-Wig, then you probably already know how to write valid xHTML, and if you're doing that, then you should be okay with browser compatibility.

Anyways, enough from me, go get the program from Araneae.com.