darkStar: Basic HTML editor

I decided to check out HTML editors for the Zaurus, as I was not having much luck looking for what I needed to know in the online html tutorials. It was a naieve venture, trying to locate a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) html editor for my Zaurus.

There is supposed to be one for $5 from Handango that if it truly performed like one friend says Dream Weaver performs, might be worth the price. But this seems to have done a disappearing act!

However, I have easily installed the freebie darkStar_1_0_arm.ipk, which runs fine on both my Collie's Sharp ROM 2.38, and also on my sl6000's ROM 1.12. The ipk was originally available from what appears to no longer be a viable source (see other URLs further down below):


The development package, darkStar_1_0.tar.gz, which included the ready-to-install ipk along with it, was also available there, but it all seems to have moved to SourceForge. Here are links to SourceForge's darkStar pages. Their mirrors are hard to get copies from (too many redirects, very busy), so I am giving you other sources of the ipk as well, in another section below.

DarkStar Project Top Page - SourceForge.JP
Download - DarkStar - SourceForge.JP

These next copies may be gzipped versions, but they contain or are working URLs to get copies of the darkStar IPK:


darkStar has a customizable dropdown menu that will generate opening and closing tags, and puts them at the cursor. It does not display significant intelligence...it put both tags together right where the cursor is, even if I select the text I want the tags to enclose.

It is much, much faster than the built-in text-editor, however, despite the fact that it seems to load most or all of the files visible in the Documents tab.

The tag-generator can be totally modified by using vi (or whatever other command line editor you prefer) to edit ~/Settings/darkStar.conf. The first thing I did was to personalize the tag generator by changing all the tags from uppercase to lowercase, and adding an href tag, which it was missing.

I can see where it would be very easy to use as an aid in script-writing because it looks like you can put anything you want in that customizable dropdown. However, it will only open files which have a corresponding qtopia .desktop entry. So, at least on ROM 2.38, it is useless for files already written using vi unless you enter them in the Documents tab. I have not yet figured out whether a qtopia .desktop entry is also needed on the later ROM 1.12.

I would not give up the built-in text-editor however, as that is more fully featured. darkStar does not word-wrap, and is missing a few other features I do like to use.

Also, even though it displays these other application files in the opening menu, it also apparently will not actually open anything to edit, other than .txt, .html and .htm files...although maybe it will do other text files..I have not completely checked that out.

It also will feed the draft I am working on to Opera for viewing, much more quickly than I can get Opera to load myself. The limit of this feature is that I have to close Opera and click the "Preview" tag again if I want to view changes. Refreshing Opera does not work as it is set to display only the temporary file created by darkStar.

In fact, darkStar's "preview" option seems to open up another Opera session in addition to the one already running, and can easily cause "out of memory" problems. The less fully featured htmleditor performs better in this respect on the Collie, so if you are making changes to an html file you want to preview, you may prefer the htmleditor package for the sl5500. However, the htmleditor package I installed on my sl6000 does not have the preview feature so, if built-in previewing in Opera is important to you, darkstar will be the best choice.

If you are looking for a WYSIWYG html editor, I do not know if they exist for the Zaurus. After using the basic html editors and syntax checker that I did find for the Zaurus, I have learned how to write the appropriate code myself, and do not feel the need to locate that sort of tool. In fact, I prefer writing my own code, being able to check my html syntax with tidy and being able to freely correct or change my webpages without worrying about what magic created by a WYSIWYG editor might be getting interfered with.

Anyhow, this is another editing tool for the Zaurus which sometimes may be just exactly what you are looking for.

Updated October 7, 2011