August 04, 2006

RapidWeaver Continues to Expand Feature Set

In the world of Web publishing, there are a number of ways to go - each of which offers a variety of benefits, depending on your technical expertise, your patience, and your budget. Some packages work for commercial environments, and others are much more appropriate for individuals and blogging.

As noted previously, I selected RapidWeaver from RealMacSoftware at the beginning of this year, to act as the foundation for the Web site, because it enabled me to update the blog from my computer, on my own domain name, without requiring server-side SQL. The system isn't perfect, but the authors continue to make updates, and each rendition of the software gets closer to perfection.

Since the mid-1990s, I have utilized BareBones' BBEdit for all HTML work, both at the office and for the home page. In fact, I still use it at work, and have been able to use it as we scaled from a few dozen to a few hundred Web pages. It's a fantastic product, and the site-wide search and replace functionality is one of the main reasons I've continued to use it year after year.

I'm also familiar with many Web-hosted tools, like TypePad and Blogger. While simple, they are often too cutesy, or demand you host your blog on their site. RapidWeaver offers the best of both worlds, delivering customizability, and the flexibility of my own URL and the option to host data via FTP on my own server.

This week, RapidWeaver rolled out 3.5 beta 3 of the application (Version Notes), making it the 4th version I've used. We adopted version 3.5 the night it came out, and installed the following two betas each month they came out. With version two came permalinks and subpages, and the latest betas have improved stability and tweaked existing features.

My feature wish list for RapidWeaver is there, but diminishing. To truly eliminate any interest I have in iWeb or TypePad or WordPress, we need to see better integrated comment systems, the option to publish remotely, away from the desktop storing the application, and code editing, to name a few, but it's still pretty darn good. We'll keep watching any and all updates and hope the site continues to grow.

Listening to ''Ready Steady Go'', by Paul Oakenfold (Play Count: 16)

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