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WinLab Reviews
HAHTsite 1.0
A HAHTsite for Sore Eyes

-- by Serdar Yegulalp

To call HAHTsite 1.0 revolutionary would be faint praise. This program uses a unique object-oriented system for creating, deploying and managing World Wide Web sites. It turns what was once a chore into an unmitigated joy.

Open up the box for HAHTsite and you'll find truly professional tools for building Internet sites and intranet applications. The most important part of the package is HAHTsite's IDE, which collects several different tools-including HTML and graphic editors, and site management tools-into one package. The IDE alone is reason enough for HAHTsite to earn our Recommended seal.

HAHTsite's biggest strength is its ability to abstract the way Web pages work. It's not simply an HTML editor, but a very powerful whole site manager on the level of Net Objects Fusion, currently on our Recommended List. You can define lists of objects (links, site names, widgets, Java code or ActiveX programs) for every page. If you insert a link into an HTML page, you're not inserting the text of the link but rather a reference to the link stored elsewhere in the HAHTsite object library. This allows you to make extremely powerful global changes to links just by changing a single object, rather than through tedious search-and-replace operations. You can also have a portion of a page, such as a navigation bar or legal disclaimer, stored or changed on the fly.

Store objects in an easy-to-navigate tree diagram, organized by sections. The Web section stores HTML pages, as well as GIF or JPEG images. Link objects are held in the Links section, so that creating a link on an HTML page is as easy as grabbing a listed link and dropping it into an open page. The Widgets section stores code objects used in HAHTsite's server-side execution programs. You'll find access information on different Web-site target directories, whether they are local file-system directories or remote ftp directories, under Sites. Finally, Database contains access information for ODBC data sources, which can be used whether you're publishing static captures of database information or using HAHTsite to put the database live on the Web.

The major weakness in the HAHTsite IDE is its HTML editor. Although it provides many good features, such as allowing you to interactively create forms and tables, it doesn't have the level of WYSIWYG of other editors. HotDog Pro and Netscape Navigator Gold are much better choices for static page editing.

HAHTsite's graphics editor is a big step up from its HTML editor. It collects several of the most commonly used functions for creating Web graphics: including format changing, resizing and rescaling, color-depth changing, transparency controls, cropping, rotation and JPEG compression control. Although it's not on Photoshop's level, it doesn't need to be.

HAHTsite offers a source-code control check-in/check-out feature that allows multiple editors to work on a single site. You can mark individual files, project items or even objects as being "in use" to prevent changes that might break a project's referential integrity.

When you're ready to publish information to a target server, HAHTsite's attention to detail truly shines. Pushing one button compiles all links, code and URLs. If you wish, the program uploads these items to a target site either by placing them in a directory or using ftp. You can allow HAHTsite to adjust file extensions if necessary and also to take appropriate measures when publishing to a UNIX or Windows machine. The program can publish for a specific Web server: Apache, HTTPD, IIS and Netscape are all supported.

Using HAHTsite Engine, a Web server add-on, you can deploy HAHTtalk, a Visual Basic-esque server-side scripting language that complements Java applets, JavaScript and ActiveX controls. Adding any of the above to a Web page is as easy as clicking a button and specifying a filename. HAHTsite also comes with an extensive set of encapsulated code objects that make common functions simpler. Included widgets range from one that produces the system date and time, to another that plugs into databases and produces data from SQL calls.

HAHTtalk can speak directly with other languages or system functions. Extensions are included for communicating with DLLs and for working with OLE/OCX controls (including OLE automation calls), or for calling out to applications written in C/C++, PowerBuilder, SmallTalk, Visual Basic and Delphi. This makes possible everything from quick information collaboration on intranets to topnotch, regularly updated Internet publishing.

If you need strong functionality right now, HAHTsite 1.0 is a good choice.

W Info File

HAHTsite 1.0
Price: IDE, $995; Application Server, $2,495
Pros: Revolutionary paradigm
Cons: Ugly HTML editor
Platforms: 95, NT
HAHT Software
888-GET-HAHT, 919-786-5100
Circle #606 or visit Winfo Online
WinMag Box Score: 4.5

Windows Magazine, February 1997, page 162.

[ Go to February 1997 Table of Contents ]