LIS 505 - Arachnophilia introduction

Arachnophilia is a simple, non-WYSIWYG, HTML editor. The particular version that you will be using, version 4.0, published in 2000, represents an end of line; later versions require installation of an appropriate Java virtual machine to run.

When you ask it to create a new HTML page, Arachnophilia keeps things fairly simple. It puts a !doctype tag at the beginning of the file before the HTML code. It automatically inserts the <html> and </html> tags and includes tags for the head and body elements. It prompts you for the title and includes that in a title element. It also includes two brief meta tags identifying itself as the generator and formatter of the file. Finally, it sets color attributes of the body: bgcolor (background), text (plain text), link (ordinary link text), vlink (visited link text), and alink (active link text). After that, you are free to edit the code as you like, though Arachnophilia can provide assistance with certain tasks. A very simple kind of assistance is the different colors used to highlight tags and attribute values in the HTML code.

Arachnophilia has an internal browser in which you can preview your results, but you have to do all your editing in HTML. The internal browser can be set to refresh automatically, even if you have not saved your changes. You may find this setting annoying, however, since the text cursor may keep disappearing from the editing window.

There are a number of different toolbars that may be displayed. You can select which ones are visible from the "Command" menu or using the "Meta" toolbar (which is normally docked at the bottom of the window).

Mostly, the tools just insert new tags; they do not generally modify existing tags or attributes. The option "Strip all HTML Tags..." in the "Selection" menu is an exception, as is the "List" option.

The "Fonts" toolbar allows you not only to insert a <font> tag, but also to specify different levels of heading.

The "Styles" toolbar gives assistance with some other formatting tags, such as <p>, <br>, <b>, and <i>

The "Struct" toolbar gives assistance with lists and some other HTML structures. (The "Bot" option produces special non-standard tags that avoid certain problems if the HTML file is also edited with FrontPage.)

The "Graphics" toolbar gives assistance with images, as well as text colors and marquees (not standard HTML 4, these work only with some browsers).

The "Links" toolbar gives assistance with links and targets and with a couple of tags for setting background sounds (neither of which works in all browsers).


Last updated August 28, 2003.
This page maintained by Prof. Tim Craven
E-mail (text/plain only):
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
University of Western Ontario,
London, Ontario
Canada, N6A 5B7