Narain is the founder & CEO for 360 Degree Interactive, a web services firm based in Chennai, India. This blog is about his personal views on Web 2.0, RoR, Social networking,Digital media, interactive advertising, SaaS, Service Oriented Architecture, India Inc, rural education, Web standards, mobile 2.0 and more.

Thursday, January 20

Nvu - Open Source Web Authoring system

via Sitepoint's newsletter, I just read about this website. Nvu (pronounced as N-view) is a first open source, complete web authoring system for end users. Designed with non-techines in mind, Nvu has all the feature sets you expect in a full fledged, paid web authoring system (read: Dreamweaver / Frontpage ) This is a giant leap in the area of web development. I am not sure, whether Nvu is build with a CMS system like contribute or a blog publishing system.
Nvu is based on Gecko, the layout engine inside Mozilla; it's a super-fast, very reliable, standards conformant engine maintained on a daily basis by a wide community of developers. Its remarkable support of XML, CSS and JavaScript offers the best authoring platform on the market. Its architecture based on XUL makes it the most extensible editing tool ever.
The main difference they claim of Nvu are
1) Emphasis on ease-of-use for the non-technical user,
2) Robust WYSIWYG editing,
3) Integrated web file management,
4) Enhanced handling of forms, templates, etc., and
5) Extensibility which allows advanced users to build their own extensions to Nvu with a just a dash of JavaScript. For instance, it will be very easy to create new "smart widgets" (i.e. a calendar, a date/time widget, a mail widget, etc.) and integrate them with one click into Nvu.
The features are well, awesome. I really like the integration of CaScadeS, the full featured CSS, add-on for Mozilla browsers. Although it takes it's shape from Mozilla composer source code, Nvu clears most of buggy elements and presents us with a cleaner, professional, more standards driven, today's technology tool.

What's more, this is a stand-alone tool you can work with. Just download, extract the zip file and run, that's it. You don't like it, delete the folder and get back to your chatting with your girl friend, it's so simple to work with.

What's inspiring here is the commitment of the promotors. Normally, you see an open source project taken up very well with much fanfare and end up beyond their beta versions. The promotors here confirms their commitment to proceed further and to release the official, user-centric Ver.1.0 of this project. I have downloaded and looking forward to test it for a future project. If I am satisfied with the performance, i think it will be a good add-on for web development projects. Download your copy


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