Welcoming webEdit

So, it’s back to school time. I remember July being a blur of Russian and English, but I have no idea what happened to August. I suspended my own school work during the month so I could circle back to some earlier material in my Principles of Biblical Studies course that I felt I had glossed over too lightly, and I managed to get outlines generated of the five books of the Pentateuch, but I didn’t get much further than that, and I’m now staring at a new month, and need to get back on-track with the lessons, so I can complete the course on time.

I was using some of the great resources available in WORDsearch to help me put those outlines together, and I got a little frustrated (not for the first time) with the limitations of the internal word processor (WYSIWYG HTML editor, really), in combination with the drawbacks of using an external word processor in conjunction with the Bible Study program, and I started getting itchy to find something that would work better than either of those two options.

So, I started hunting (again, not for the first time) for a stand-alone WYSIWYG HTML editor that would offer a little more functionality than the internal WORDsearch wp – primarily a ‘view source’ mode, though other GUI-based layout tools would also be useful. Yet again, I was not able to find anything that worked for me (though I’ve since begun looking seriously into amaryllissoftware’s Selida), so I instead started looking into building a web-based tool that I could run from my website, which I could then access and use from within WORDsearch by utilizing the internal IE-based browser! I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to get one working effectively, and while it’s still far from ready-for-primetime, I was able to use my little webEdit tool to build my outline for Deuteronomy this week.

If I’d be willing to set my sights low, I could be done with the project quickly, but I keep coming up with additional functionality that I want to roll into it. I’m tempted to open up the app to the public (specifically, to the WORDsearch user community), but I would have to incorporate authentication so I could implement security. That’s the only way I could allow people to upload pictures to include in their docs. Another option would be to develop a version that users could host on their own computers running under Microsoft’s built-in http server service, but I’m using PHP to do a lot of the backend stuff, so folks would need to install PHP on their computers as well, and I haven’t had a lot of luck getting PHP to run properly under Windows with IIS – maybe it was just me. I need to get this behind me soon, though…