HTML Extensions for EPM v0.98- by Trevor Smith

One of the often overlooked solutions to many editing needs is the EPM. Whether you're using the version that came in the box when you got Warp (or an earlier version of OS/2) or v6.03, this versatile editor allows you to address many of your HTML needs.

What we're talking about here isn't just EPM though. The beautiful thing about EPM is that it can utilize add in modules written in the EPM macro language. I don't know anything about writing these modules and you don't have to either, because the freeware HTML extensions for EPM v0.98 can be found at Hobbes and other FTP sites on the Internet.


Setting up the EPM to have HTML tags is not terribly difficult. There are instructions included with the zip file that explain it quite well. In fact all there is to it is unzipping and copying one file to the directory where you keep EPM. Then, like you would do to link any macro module to EPM, you just click on 'command', type 'link htmltags' and press enter. Suddenly you have an HTML menu on your menu bar.

What can you do with them?

These 'tags' aren't as ambitious as some of the stand alone shareware applications that we've reviewed this issue but all the basic functions are there. There is also support for many advanced features such as forms and tables and a fair list of special characters ready for insertion. Also included is rudimentary support for previewing files in Web Explorer, although the program only opens Web Ex. You then have to drag your HTML file onto it.

The interface is pretty much like any other menu driven program for inserting HTML codes. Beware, though, there is no fancy button bar here. Also, like other HTML editing programs, a reasonable amount of HTML knowledge is required to use these extensions. If you don't have it when you start, you'll end up with it. Ironically, it seems that learning to use HTML editors frequently teaches people so much about HTML that they no longer need to use the editors.

Pros and Cons

The extensions are pretty solid for the most part. No bugs manifested themselves during testing but there are some inconsistencies in the interface. The documentation is also a little sparse; beginners are not likely to be reassured by it. It almost seems likely that anyone bold enough to try the HTML extensions for EPM might not need any help entering his or her tags. Also, although not recently, I tried to contact the author (to compliment him, actually) and never received a reply to various E-mails. This is a bare bones solution to your HTML editing needs.

On the up side, though, this means that it has the speed of a bare bones application. Although EPM doesn't load as fast as the system editor, it's still a lot faster than any of the various applications written in VX-REXX. Because you are only adding a small file (16k) to an already fast editor, the end result is blazing speed compared to its peers. And of course, it's free.

Overall, for the price and speed, if you need to do casual HTML editing, you can't go wrong with the HTML extensions for EPM. They provide just the right amount of power without sacrificing any of the inherent speed of EPM.

By the way, if you're wondering what HTML editor I use, the answer is - none. I originally settled on EPM with the extensions over its very slow competitors, but over time found I was hand-entering most codes anyway. Now I save myself the extra few seconds and just open the system editor.

HTML Extensions for EPM v0.98 (33k)
Author(s): Eduardo Areitio
Format: Freeware
Trevor Smith is the editor of OS/2 e-Zine!. In his spare time he designs corduroy evening wear.

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