Goodbye 1st Page 2000; Hello WeBuilder 2005

Screenshot of WeBuilder 2005
Screenshot of the excellent WeBuilder 2005 — my new HTML editor of choice. I like my HTML comments to stand out in bright yellow!

I’ve gone and done it. After almost six years of faithful service to Evrsoft’s 1st Page 2000 I’ve finally said goodbye to my HTML editor of choice and said hello to a new one: Blumentals’ WeBuilder 2005.

Having checked out the beta release of Evrsoft’s First Page 2006 I’m now quite convinced that it is not going to be the product that I had hoped it might be, and so I’ve been looking around for a replacement. I found it today in WeBuilder 2006.

I stumbled upon it quite by accident this afternoon. As I was clearing up my desk I discovered the latest .net magazine cover CD which had an intriguing product on it called Rapid CSS 2005 by Blumentals. So I checked out their website and discovered that not only did Rapid CSS 2005 look like a very useful application, so did HTMLPad 2005. And even better: both applications were combined along with Javascript and PHP editing functions in an application called WeBuilder 2005. So that’s the one I opted for.

WeBuilder 2005 appears to me to be the update that should be First Page 2006. Here’s what I like, so far:

  • it loads really quickly
  • it supports the latest web technologies (XHTML 1.0, XHTML 1.1, CSS2, PHP, Javascript) with customizable colour syntax highlighting and autocomplete coding
  • it has an attractive, highly customizable user interface (reminiscent in places of the Microsoft Office look)
  • The Code Inspector sidebar gives both an overview of your code, but with CSS files also offers a rapid way to edit and build your CSS files.

There’s a whole lot more but you know, what I really want is a fast-loading, highly customizable text editor that offers me a load of useful tools that don’t get in the way of my coding. And I think I’ve found that in WeBuilder 2005. I think we’re going to enjoy long nights of coding from now on.

Opera 9 Preview

Screenshot of Opera 9 Preview
Screenshot of Opera 9 Preview.

Opera 9 is now in Preview release. This is the version before it goes Beta, so it’s likely that there will be some bugs. I’ve just installed it to a separate directory to Opera 8.

There have been quite a few updates since version 8 (as you’d expect from a major upgrade!).

It’s nice to see that Opera is finally having confidence in itself, as one of the changes since version 8 is “Changed default UserAgent string to identify as Opera”. It used to identify itself to servers as Internet Explorer. Which is clearly wasn’t!

It also appears to open much, much quicker than version 8, which isn’t itself particularly slow.

I’m now using Opera 8, 9 Preview and Firefox 1.0.7. And Internet Explorer 6.0 … when I have to!

eSword – freeware Bible software with an edge

Screenshot of eSword Bible software
A screenshot of the free eSword Bible software for Windows.

Next up in my “I’ve been meaning to blog about this for ages” series comes the excellent eSword bible software. I’ve been using eSword for a couple of years now, and it’s now at the truly holy version 7.7.7. (Stryper would be proud of them!) There is also a version available for Pocket PC (or whatever Microsoft are calling their PDA version of Windows).

What I really like about eSword is its variety of Bible versions available. I regularly use The Message, Contemporary English Version (CEV) and International Standard Versions (ISV), as well as occasionally in Hebrew or Koine Greek. Sadly, the New International Version (NIV) and New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) are not available as their publishers haven’t granted eSword a licence.

The user-interface is really quite simple too: Select the version you want (of those you have installed) in the central section, and in the left-hand pane select the book and chapter you want to view. It couldn’t be more simple than that. If you have any commentaries installed you can access information from those in adjacent panes; or create your own study notes.

eSword also has a Compare function, showing your selected Bible verse in each version you have installed; or a Parallel function, allowing up to four versions to be viewed side-by-side.

Searching for a passage is a simple case of clicking Search and telling the software what you’re looking for, and in which version.

It’s certainly worth checking out. But if you want to download everything then you’ll certainly need a broadband connection as it clocks in at over 336 MB.