to the web site
95/98/Me/2000/XP, Internet Explorer 4.0 or newer, minimum
800x600x256 color display, 64MB RAM, 110MB hard disk space
for Standard installation
(retail box - recommended), $99 (download)
are a billion web sites out there. The problem
is that many of them look like absolute trash,
or they look like clones of one another, or they
simply don't look like anything worthwhile at
all. Of course there are lots of entreaties in
the e-mail flooding your Inbox shouting about
how much more various and sundry web designers
can do with your site. It's all mostly nonsense
of course - too many teens and unemployed 20-somethings
with web editors and a fistful of templates,
eager to take your money even though you can
come awfully close to doing the same work yourself
(with a little help). Herein, we examine the
latest offering from Namo - Web Editor v5.5.
This little number is advertised as the solution
to all your web site design, creation, editing
and maintenance efforts.
editing offerings go, Namo puts a lot of stuff in one box.
get the HTML editor itself, plus Web Canvas
(a vector graphics design tool), 58 templates, 205 themes,
120MB worth of good quality ClipArt, a couple of hundred
theme objects and loads of other odds & ends sufficient
to fully populate nice looking web sites. We had a couple
of web chores to do during the course of this review, so
in keeping with our motto of "real reviews by real users" we
put Namo to work on a small associate site which was in severe
need of some TLC. We ran Namo Web Editor on a workhorse Hewlett
Packard Pavilion 8575c Pentium III/550 with 512MB of RAM
and an onboard nVidia graphics card. Namo was stable and
quite quick on the somewhat elderly machine.
Namo Web Editor is straightforward. Beginners can get rolling
quickly although genuinely intuitive use
is not at the top of the Namo usability list. Mind you, with
all the features and functions built into this program, it's
difficult to criticize its usability. One example of something
we'd like to see fixed right away is the location of templates.
We went looking for templates in the File menu, expecting
to find a Load Template function or something similar. Instead,
we ended up selecting Site>Site Wizard in the File menu.
The Site Wizard is where you choose an actual template, apply
a Theme (lots to choose from!), after which your selection
loads as a tree view of the templates. Click one of the objects
in the tree view (the Home object for example) and the template
loads, complete with buttons, scripts and backgrounds, read
for your text and custom graphics. It's a straightforward
system which works well.
of initial confusion resulted from our pursuit of the location
120MB worth of ClipArt supplied and installed.
You'll find it near the middle of the Insert menu under Image
Elements. The Insert menu also contains an item for Image
at the very top of the menu, where you can load graphics
from elsewhere on your system or network. Also under Insert
you'll find Site Element - click on it to select the Theme
Objects (buttons which match various themes supplied with
the software). We like all this stuff, but we really think
these sorts of functions - Themes, Theme Objects, Insert
Image & Insert Image Elements should be grouped together
at the top level of the same menu.
We got a lot of hard work out of Namo - no crashes, no corrupt
documents, no hiccups which changed formatting and so on.
That's nice to see considering the number of web editors
on the market right now which are less than reliable. There
are a lot of features in Namo, so many in fact that there
simply isn't space in a review of this scope to list everything.
There was nothing on the moderately extensive site we worked
on which Namo didn't deal with effortlessly. The only slowdown
- if you can call it that - resulted from the basic process
of learning Namo's layout and the location of all the controls
we expected to find.
Here's what we dealt with while renovating the project site:
all broken HTML
- converted a bunch of vaguely aligned text into separate
- added a bar chart of some text stats on-the-fly (very
- propagated all formatting and image changes across the
whole 41 page site
- restyled the site using one of Namo's templates and themes
- plenty of manual poking at our original text formatting
(replacing paragraph breaks with "<br>" codes for example)
The verdict? Well if you've been horsing around (or struggling
perhaps?) with FrontPage 2002, ditch it now and buy a box
of Namo. If you've been dithering about the high cost of
Dreamweaver, forget about it and buy a box of Namo. You'll
be much happier, you'll be able to see and control what you're
doing, and you'll spend far less compared to Dreamweaver
MX @ $399 and Microsoft FrontPage @ $169.
The software includes a thorough 363 page printed manual
(which includes a 7 page index - just adequate in our opinion)
and an extensive online help system. The online help is not
context sensitive and contains some topic information which
is buried 4 and 5 levels deep. Dig carefully. We always look
for solid documentation in products powerful enough for business
and home use. Namo has done a creditable job here.
No opacity or transparency setting in the Web Canvas vector
The template thumbnails in the Site Wizard
dialog are terrible - barely legible. You can't drag & drop
between Web Canvas and the Web Editor windows - very inconvenient
and not what we expected from an integrated package. This
is not a Dreamweaver clone, so if you are used to Macromedia
programs be prepared for a bit of a learning curve while
negotiating the variety of control palettes. Some formatting
was messed up when we moved a FrontPage project into Namo,
but note carefully that the same thing happens no matter
where you move a FrontPage site - Dreamweaver, Golive and
NetObjects all have occasional difficulties with FrontPage
Pros: No problems moving HTML files back and forth between
Namo and Dreamweaver. Dozens of templates and hundreds of
themes to choose from - lots of variety in dozens of different
categories - a great selection of very interesting and attractive
designs. We love good content (just fix the thumbnail view
in the Site Wizard please!) The Web Canvas vector graphics
editor is powerful (albeit with a couple of curious omissions
in its tool palette). Thorough Help system which will lift
you over the humps. The web site we worked on was posted
without a problem - Namo has competent Publish and FTP features
- the software works and you can be productive with it. The
page zoom feature is unique to Namo and makes it possible
to do very precise object alignments among other things.
The price is right. Recommended.
to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public.
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