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Bluefish, the Linux HTML Editor

written by: MD Weems•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 9/20/2008

For Linux users out there who are looking for a good HTML editor, Bluefish is probably not the one that you need. But, here is a review of Bluefish to help you make up your mind.

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    Bluefish Review

    Rating Average

    For those who need a good HTML editor that is easy to use, yet able to handle the job of designing websites and maintaining them, this review is for you. Bluefish is an HTML editor for Linux that I'll review for you here in this article.

    First of all, installing Bluefish is really simple. For those that are using Debian, Ubuntu, or Gentoo, the installation process is so easy it almost does it for you. For those who need to install Bluefish from the source, then you should be able to get everything installed correctly pretty easily as well, just make sure that you have GTK 2.x installed before you install Bluefish.

    The editor's user interface is really nice and easy to use. It is a very clean layout that is situated so that anyone can find what they need. You won't find that you have to search through everything for the tools that you need. Also, the tab bar in Bluefish is already filled with some of the main editing tools that you will need, so you really don't have to go looking far at all. One of the best things about Bluefish is that it offers some great features, such as PHP, DHTML, MYSQL, and custom scripting as well as some other advanced features for those who prefer to write their own code. But, there is no integration for tools like FTP and other plug ins that can help to extend some of the other functions. So, I have to mark it down for this point. There needs to be more tools added in so those more advanced users don't get frustrated with the program.

    Are you a fan of the wizards to help you learn everything when you first start using program? Well, Bluefish has plenty of those that will help you learn everything there is to know about the HTML editor so that you can easily learn the ins and outs of the program quickly. Now, not everything is covered here in the wizards, but the main points are covered and since the program is pretty easy to use, you will find that you can pretty much learn everything else you need by playing around with the different areas. But, since there were only a couple of wizards here, I had to mark it down a point as there could be a lot more that would help new users learn the program better.

    One of the other great features about Bluefish is that it offers a default browser integration. While most of the browsers are here, the main one that I didn't see is Internet Explorer. I was really surprised that this one isn't here, as there are still thousands of users out there that use Internet Explorer and any page designed on Bluefish might look scrambled with this type of browser. So, this kind of marked it down another point on my score card, as this is a major browser that should have been added in there.

    After looking Bluefish over for a while, I'm on the fence about whether I like it or not. There are good points here that I feel can easily be upgraded to become great points – but, there are some other points that don't do so well with me. So, I'm going to rate the program a 2 out of 5. Bluefish can easily be made into something great on down the road, as I think that the designers are on the right track here, but right now – I wouldn't recommend it for much. There are several other HTML editors out there for Linux users that are much better than Bluefish, and you are better going with one of them.

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