Xenon, Neutron and Nvu

Oh, and by the way, the previous post was the first I’ve made on our new iron.

The mighty, mighty Farlopsian bubble is now being generated by some serious hardware: a Dell PowerEdge 2950, running the Red Hat distro and named Xenon. This in turn sits behind a Cisco ASA 5505, which turn sits on a big, rather expensive, pipe in climate controlled closet in a co-location facility somewhere in the California Bay Area. We’re talking industrial grade here. The Fish, myself and a couple of his friends have all chipped in to rent and buy this stuff. It’s almost as if we are tiny little ISP now.

It’s a big step up from a month ago when this site ran on an old Sparc 5 sitting on a DSL line in the basement of Baka’s mother’s house. Neutron and DNS, for that is what we called them, served us well in 7 years of almost continous operation. In that time, they weren’t down more than 4 or 5 times. But they are slow, cramped and unsafe. It is time to retire them.

I wonder what the Fish is gonna do with them now. Put them out out to pasture as routers or print servers? Just randomize their disks and put a bullet through their sandy little brains?

Let’s see what else?


I have to say, in 6 months of using it, Nvu still kinda sucks in comparison to Dreamweaver–and maybe even FrontPage. I don’t wanna diss it, it being noble and open source and all but, there are several suggestions and complaints I have (And intend to file with its overworked squad of developers.), in order of annoyance:

  1. It should have HTMLTidy built in. What’s the point of validating if you don’t even have a decent cleaning tool?
  2. I hate that it randomly sticks in non-breaking spaces between words or characters. I almost never use these. I want Nvu to stop doing this to me.
  3. It’s table formatting could be a little better. I’d like it if I could just select a table and zap all presentational information in it–widths, alignments, paddings, etc. etc.–all gone with a single keystroke.
  4. In fact, I want a keystroke combo that zaps all presentation attributes in all elements in a page. Killing all font tags in a stroke is great, let’s keep going along these lines guys!
  5. I want a keyboard combo to quickly assign semantic block elements to chunks of text. FrontPage has this (CRTL+SHIFT+S), why can’t Nvu do one better?
  6. Have that search and replace support regular expressions and I’d be very happy.
  7. There are some missing inline semantic elements I want quick access to. Where are KBD and DFN for example?

These are what I can think of at the moment. I really haven’t used Nvu’s CSS tools mostly because they insert it all in the markup where it really doesn’t belong. CSS should be kept as separate from the markup as possible.

On the other hand, looking at Nvu’s site: it looks like it hasn’t been updated in two years! Not a good sign. Maybe I should start shopping for another open source WYSIWYG HTML editor? Sigh.

This entry was posted in Webmastering. Bookmark the permalink.