written by: Jeffrey Davis•edited by: Amber Neely•updated: 8/31/2010
Being able to tell useful software from useless software when looking for an editor geared toward programming and webpage editing will save you a lot of trouble later on. This InType review will explore the program, and explain why this program is probably better left untried.
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When it comes to selecting an editor for the pages of your website, you need to know what's good to use, and what isn't. Suffice to say that if you make the wrong choice, you're going to regret using a sub-par program until you find another selection that fits your needs. InType, for example, aims to provide a context-based editor for webpages and other programming tasks, but on average I found that it fails on so many levels that it's hard to say anything meaningful about it, which in fact you are about to witness from my own testimonial.
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Ease of Use
By it's own inherent structure, InType is more of a text editor in design, and nothing more. In fact, the software design is more like gEdit - except without the toolbar. That's right: only menu commands are available to get any work done. Period. Think Windows Notepad, but with tabbed editing and near-useless presentation, as that's basically what you get. Nothing is anywhere near intuitive; and to make this even more humiliating, the word unstable appears in the window title -- that's right, we're talking about what essentially amounts to a beta release (or alpha version, in this particular case) and one that hardly even looks usable to begin with!
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Features and Standards Support
Since this is a text editor with a poorly-designed interface there's very little to even say in terms of default behaviors until you specify what exactly you have in mind so far as formatting is concerned. HTML detection? Not by default. Termplates? Nada. Syntax color codes in general? Nope. There is hardly any way to know if you're doing anything right until you save your work (or specify your target language manually). Until then, all you have is a blank, empty typing field until you add text and save in the desired format, and only then will you get any kind of code detection. Even the syntax selection fly-out does nothing to your work in progress to add the required formatting; only the encoding selection one space over the right direction has any impact thereof!
What makes this worse is that by lacking any kind of template files InType has no way of pre-formatting your document. At least you do get a selection of languages to choose from when you initially save the active file (along with some line numbering) but the "save as" mechanism seems to require at least two save attempts in order to actually save the file in progress. Totally unnecessary, even for a new software package choice. (Of course, you can add plugins to InType, but this shouldn't be necessary to add whatever functionality should've already been included to begin with.)
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If there's any one thing that InType does right, it's the accuracy of the final output. Since InType is a text-based editor (rather than a visual designer), you can be guaranteed that the final results will match the intent once you get the basic coding as you intend it to be. There's no inherent beta bugs in actually saving your work, so you don't need to worry about losing any of the code that you specified during the editing progress. Everything is maintained as you left it, even when you open a previously-used file and save it to another location on your hard drive.
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Alas, no matter how good the formatting is, it still doesn't make up for the other shortcomings of this program. No matter how good you can edit the work you intend to distribute, the fact remains that InType is a poorly-designed excuse for a programming editor. Granted, this software is a still-in-development alpha codebase at present but the design and lack of starting-point features is completely inexcusable when other software packages have their own fair share of pre-formatted templates and such. As a result, I have no intention of recommending the use of InType by any single person or entity in its current state. Whether this changes with further development remains to be seen; but taken as is, the use of InType is lackluster at best.