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June 19, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:49pm

SOFTQUAD READIES 4.0 CUT OF VETERAN WEB TOOL

By CBR Staff Writer

SoftQuad Inc introduced version 4.0 of its flagship Hot Metal Pro web site development and management tool at PC Expo this week in New York. The Toronto-based company is aiming this version at higher-end users than previous versions and hopes to eat further in to the share of the market leader, Microsoft Corp’s FrontPage. The 4.0 cut of HoTMetaL, which is in beta now and will ship next month, has three editing environments; a drag and drop, an HTML source code editor and one between the two, showing the HTML tags but preventing the user from making illegal operations. Site Maker is also new, it’s a walk-through web site builder where the user answers questions and chooses basic layouts. Any site built using HoTMetaL can be edited using any other tools. HoTMetaL FX is a drag-and-drop environment for adding such things as gifs, animations, Java applets and sounds. SoftQuad has also included third-party tools such as Aimtech’s Jamba and Platinum Software Inc. SoftQuad says HoTMetaL differs from such tools as HahtSite, which is is for developing an entire website, and IBM’s NetObjects Fusion, which is for maintenance only, and introduces some proprietary tags that can only be changed by Fusion, according to SoftQuad. SoftQuad is an 11 year-old SGML company, which sold authoring tool to government and other markets and brought the first version of HoTMetaL out at the birth of the web, in spring 1993. Some of its executives are key players in the development of internet languages, including Lauren wood, who is SoftQuad’s technical product manager and also chair of the W3C’s document object model committee, and Peter Sharp, The company’s chief scientist co-writing a spec for XML, which is an area the company is looking at for future authoring tools. HoTMetaL Pro 4.0 costs $129 per copy, thought the company reckons that will be about $100 when it hits the streets in July.

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