The Shareware Review People

Hot Dog Professional 5, Webmaster Suite

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Type of Program: Advanced HTML Editor
Supported Platform: Windows 95/98/NT
Company Name: Sausage Software
Version: 5.0 (standard version)
Price: free to try/ $199.95
Installed size: 26 - 40M depending on options


This dog keeps getting further ahead of the pack. Aimed at professional webmasters -- but friendly enough for mere mortals -- the Hot Dog Professional 5 Webmaster Suite packs in new web development and site management capabilities that are ideal for a design team environment. It's got a few more megatons of power, too, with enhanced editing and page-building functions, HTML 4.0 and Dynamic HTML support, and built-in image manipulation facilities. All this hums along at over twice the loadup speed of version 4, while page loading inside the program is even faster. Plus, the integrated auto-update system is more flexible, offering re-get function for broken downloads and user-tailored download options. Everything needed to develop and manage one or multiple web sites is rolled into this best-of-breed application. Fire it up and feel the sizzle. It's hot.

Along with the revved-up HotDog Pro 5 editor module, the Webmaster Suite integrates three popular partner applications for web analysis and link checking (Linkbot) DHTML authoring (mBed Interactor Lite) and graphics editing (Paint Shop Pro). But SuperToolz plug-in functions are bundled differently here than from the previous version 4, with a different API, so don't try to mix-and-match SuperToolz between the two versions (if you have both).

For the version 5 WebMaster Suite, the included SuperToolz are an improved AutoDownloader (which provides ongoing program update notification and download, with scheduling options too), Image Mapper (for creating hyperlinked graphics), Link Exchange (for web advertising), ICQ Panel (for site messaging and chat services), Real Audio/Video (for site multimedia functions), Bandwidth Buster, (to optimize speed of page loading), Safe Surf (for site content ratings), Channel Wizard (to add "push" channel buttons, e.g. PointCast), Button Editor (for converting images into buttons), Table Editor (making complex table design easy), JavaScript Tools (for snappy Java effects), and Multi File Find and Replace (enabling global site revisions and publishing).

Among the many other enhancements are the more customizable layout of panels; a new syntax checker; a 100-entry MultiLine Clipboard; new panels for macros, HTML tags, Internet sites, Netscape Bookmarks and Internet Explorer Favorites; and a new Web Sites Wizard, which makes multiple site management a breeze.

The web site management functions offered by HotDog 5 are almost unbelievably easy to use, and non-proprietary, too. So you can use any HTML pages in your HotDog sites, and it doesn't effect their useability in their parent programs. You can create web sites from existing local or remote file structures, and work in a team-based environment with web site files on a network, with file locking and version control. HotDog's resident Resource Manager coordinates and tracks all file-revision activities, including dates, who did the work, task priorities, and more. The FTP capabilities are improved, making site uploads and downloads a painless one-click operation, using the WebSite Wizard or Internet panel. Sitewide file management, error checking, link checking and updating, including external links, can all be done from inside HotDog 5.

A new Multimedia Manager allows thumbnail previewing/browsing through your directories for images, animations and sounds, plus there's new Xoom clip art included in the version 5 package. And just point the new Thumbnail Page Creation Wizard at a folder full of images to create instant tables full of thumbnail links. Save yourself lots of cataloging time.

There are further HTML editing and toolbar enhancements, plus color coding options, more CSS support, rulers, in-line document browser, integrated thesaurus, and the spell-checker is available in 10 languages. There's also new tutorial and Help guide, so you have a built-in reference library covering everything from basic operations to the latest HTML information.

Probably the hardest thing about the WebMaster Suite is describing all its features in less than 20 pages. What I've described are highlights. If you don't need all the Suite program components, just download and install only what you need through the AutoDownloader. You can easily add elements later as your needs change. Current users of Hot Dog Pro 4.5X can upgrade at a reduced price that's posted at the product web site. (And for users who don't wish to move up to the Webmaster Suite, the 4.X version will continue to be supported.) Product support from Sausage is excellent, and it seems they're always coming up with new Toolz (often free) and improvements in response to what users ask for.

User Friendly:
Ease of Installation:
Reviewed by Bobbie Crowell
ICQ # 9407183

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