Problems with Nvu

Problems with Nvu are listed. Where possible, solutions are also listed as well.

1) Spellcheck needed now!

Right now, I am forced to use another program for spellcheck. Since so many websites seem to have forgotten that there is a thing called spellcheck, this option should be a requirement reminder before a save/publish, just like with error checking that I discuss below.

Solution: A bad solution is to check the spelling with OpenOffice, another program, or even a site checking solution. But please never modify your HTML directly in any other program than Nvu. Always go back to Nvu and correct the text there. Otherwise, you risk having crap code introduced in your HTML, positioning change, etc.

2) Page title is requested only one time, then there is no way to change it

The text for the <Title> HTML tag is asked only once when creating a page. If you save that page as a different filename (very useful to prevent you from copy--paste entire pages or templates), the old page title is saved to a new page.

Solution: Modify the <title><title/> content manually, by using View>HTML Source. It should be somewhere close to the top of the page of the source code.

The HTML Source window is a problem in itself, see below (#9).

3) Option to modify and check META content

Since it seems like too many people do not know about the META content, and Nvu never cares to ask for it, or check it, it should be requested from the user and checked for possible errors.

Requesting for content from a GUI prompt is always better than omitting it or inserting it manually. Also, like I said about Title problem (#2), it also should not be just asked once.

Solution: Read about the META tag online, and insert it manually.

4) Space lines between code lines

I have absolutely no idea what the reasoning was to include blank lines between source code lines if Nvu creates a page by itself. This seems not to happen if Nvu is used to modify an existing page rather than creating it.

Besides, the problem becomes progressively worse as you edit the code. It seems like not only Nvu creates blank lines, but it inserts another one whenever it edits that page. So after a few edits, I had 8 blank lines between each line of code! This is simply unacceptable.

Also read about this in "Too few options" (#5) below.

5) Too few options

The number of options in Nvu is laughable. It is always the same as with Micro$oft options. At least, such bugging topics as errors check, search prompt settings (wrap around should be always on by default), etc must be accounted for.

6) <br> tag

There is an option in Tools>Markup cleaner to fix trailing breaks. This has at least a few stupidities.

1) You cannot choose what to scan for separately.

2) Removal of trailing breaks sometimes moves around text, so they have to be placed back again (only to be removed by the Markup cleaner later again).

3) <br> should be used anyways. Most of the time, templates will instead utilize <p> (paragraph tag) instead as a better indication of how to separate text in blocks and where to put in new lines.

7) Source code is not shown in tags

Besides being another "feature" that I have not idea what the reasoning was, it also has at least a few problems.

1) You cannot copy and paste code back in forth as it were if source code would open in tags.

2) If you try to close the source window instead of dismissing it by View>Normal Edit Mode, then you close down Nvu instead. Stupid!


1) Use two copies of Nvu running in source code display mode to copy and paste back and forth code between the two windows.

2) Use View menu settings to dismiss the source code window.

8) Warn about absence of css stylesheets

If you have a page that is using local css files and you open it in a directory that does not contain those files, your page will look very different from the way you intend it to look with css stylesheets. Checking whether the files that the pages needs are present should not be very difficult.

9) Source code window and saving

Saving for no apparent reason dismisses the source code window. This is stupid for at least a few reasons.

1) If you think that this behavior is logical or if you have a reason for it, then provide it as an option.

2) Never save when done modifying the source code. You might have no idea what it will look like in Normal Edit (human version). Also see "periodic saving" (#12).

3) User has absolutely no reason to expect that clicking save will also dismiss the source code window.

10) Do not use relative file locations

Never specify a file location as a relative location. For example, do not specify it as /file.ext or ./file.ext. Always specify it as a full http:// location. Why? Because there are a few problems with local location.

1) I, as well as you, do not know the difference between "./" and "/". Neither does Nvu say anything about it when we use one or the other.

2) Just like with spaces in filenames, it might work in Nvu, and it might work the first time you test in on your website. But edit the file a few times and upload it a few times and it will break. It just happens. Then you will either: a) stupidly keep replacing it with another or better version (among the two selections between "/" and "./"), and b) be forced to convert it to a full location anyways. Save your time from the start.

Also see "http slash" (#11).

11) Http:// final slash

In case you did not know, the final slash is either used or not used in http:// address. For example, does use the final slash, but does not. If it ends in a filename/extension then do not use the final slash.

This will probably break at least a few of your links. What is even worse is that I vaguely recall that Firefox may fix the slash, but then it does not, and (as usual), your links work for you when you check them, but not for your site visitors.

And please, please never type the complete http:// address in your browser or give it to someone by mouth (as on radio, when telling the link to your friend, etc, etc). All you should type in a modern browser is, and that is how you tell your link to others. There is also no need to type in "www.".

12) Periodic saves

Saving periodically is a must, as are backups, if you do not want to finish your two hours of editing, like how it looks, save it, and on reopening discover that something is missing, you did not actually saved it, or that format is horribly wrong from the way you intended it to be.

There seems to also be the problem of Nvu destabilizing with time. You will see the symptoms when you see them (fe, it will not update the title of the page when you move between tabs or close and open those tabs).

Save periodically, as in every few minutes. I have long since found out that the minute I write something down, my brain purges it from memory. There is nothing as bad and futile as trying to restore your last 30 minutes of typing and editing from memory.

There is also the problem that by saving and exiting you might introduce problems that cannot be easily saved by a simple edit or undo. Therefore, always have a folder where you also periodically (ever hour or a few hours), you copy the file. Next time you copy it, overwrite the old version there. That way, there will at least be a file between your broken file and you jumping out the window.

13) I save the best for last! Find and replace

I have no idea how I do it, but I save the best for last. We have one matter to discuss: Find and Replace. Here I group more than a few problems related to the feature. Why so many? Perhaps because it is that way with every other feature of Nvu, but I use this one most often, so I see most problems.

1) Who was the idiot to suggest that word editors should search from the cursor, and not go to the beginning of the document??? And don't people spell check when they finished typing, i.e. their cursor is at the end of the page! So what then, you check the final dot in the document for spell check and disregard everything before that??? Besides I doubt few even understand the significance of their cursor in having with spell check or search. Wrap around should be on by default. And there should be a setting about it.

2) Double click or click--from--inactive is a pain in the rear with Search and Replace and a few other Nvu dialog boxes, as well as links. It seems that whenever you click what ever way you try on a text field, it does select all text withing it, but then deselects it and moves the cursor at the end. So decides you just 10--clicked on the text field to get it to select the whole text, now you have to press and hold down Backspace until you delete the text and type in. Arghh!

3) Please do not give me a stupid "Press OK" dialog if you did not find any matches. My clicking finger hurts. Instead, copy the way Firefox does it without the "Press OK" dialog.

4) Do I really always need Replace with Search??? No. Besides, if I am "spellchecking outside Nvu" (#1), just searching for text, etc; even if do need to change a word when I find it, I will definitely not use Replace! It is more intuitive to go to the selected word in the text and modify it there. If the alternative is to do it OpenOffice/M$ Office way and allow user to modify text in a small window that is used during spellcheck.

14) Double click

Double clicking in Nvu is one of those things that can drive you absolutely crazy. Notepad is unable to select anything bigger than a word no matter how many times you click, but Nvu can select the whole page with a double click! Also, when you instead intend to click another time instead of a double click, it also selects the whole page! It almost makes double click unusable as a feature.

Also, it has a bad taste of presenting you with dialog boxes on double click (like links). Did you forget that right--click is what is used for bringing context--specific dialogs? Or are you using a Mac with a single button??? I just want a double click to select the whole click.


1 click -- place cursor

2 clicks -- select the whole word/context (link, picture, etc)

3 clicks -- select the whole line

4 clicks -- select the whole paragraph/block

right click -- display context menu


15) Bugs/problems: how can NVU/Kompozer claim to be a complete solution of it has these problems:

  • no build in ftp
  • no spell check
  • cannot modify title
  • no website check/crawler
  • cannot modify link text from dialog box
  • wth is the diff bw a link and an anchor
  • no broken links, rules check, etc
  • no whole site management (folders, links, rules, etc)
  • ignore the *_files folder (missing pics, extra pics)

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Page last modified 20-Aug-12 22:19:39 EDT

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