RISC World


Aaron Timbrell rounds up the software directory


All rights reserved. This program is licensed for use on a single computer by a single user.

This version is supplied for the use of RISCWorld subscribers only.

SiteWriter is a great way to create websites. It's easy, because it makes sense. SiteWriter breaks some rules - it's assumed that you want to create pages easily and quickly with a minimal of fuss, but at the same time that you care about how your pages look.

A modular approach

Most users would use the Site Manager and Page Editor, as these are the core components. However there are a number of additional components which advanced users may like to investigate. For example, the Style Manager, ColourManager, Master Border Manager, and Asset Manager. This approach means that new users can be introduced to site management and page design without being overwhelmed by the additional features of SiteWriter. New users can very quickly see how easy page design is with SiteWriter.

The following design ideals have contributed to the design ofSiteWriter:

  • People surfing the web are using capable browsers, and that they have images turned on.
  • A web authoring tool should make sense, and as such will be easy to use.
  • Designers require an authoring tool which allows for easy creation of graphical pages.

SiteWriter is designed to allow a user to create a web page, then drop an image on that page and type some text and position those elements where they want. Then, to allow that user to create a web page which will look just like the page they have just designed in SiteWriter, and SiteWriter allows this. Users can create pages which look great. They can also create pages which are difficult to create by hand. Designers can easily keep a constant theme. SiteWriter does a complex job - making it very easy for users to achieve a great result with little effort.

Site Management

The site manager is a filing system for web sites; it contains all the pages of a site, which can be organised into folders. Just like a normal filing system, users can move, add, delete and rename objects too. The Site Manager is completely drag and drop. The contents of a folder can be shown/hidden by double-clicking the folder icon.

The SiteManager allows the creation of four kinds of objects:

  • Folders allow users to organise your site. Pages relating to one topic can be placed in a folder.
  • Web pages contain the content of a site and are edited in the page editor, which is a complete visual page authoring tool.
  • Framesets allow designers to display two web pages in a single browser window.
  • HTML objects allow users to use your own hand written pages in SiteWriter.

Page Editor

The Page Editor is very similar to any standard object based drawing or word processing program. Creating objects is straight forward; users simply select the element creation tool they require (from the toolbar), then drag a box on the page where they want to create the element. To select an element, users simply click on it. To move, simply drag the element. Users can select multiple elements, and nudge them in a direction using the arrow keys for precise positioning. An easy way to create images, is for users to simply drag a gif, jpeg or png file from a filer window, and drop it on the page they are editing.

Users can double click on a text element, and edit the text just like a word processor, even setting word and paragraph formatting options, and linking and anchoring. Text formatting features include: bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, superscript and subscript. Users can alter the font name, size and colour. Paragraphs can be aligned to the left, center and right. Users can also create bulleted lists. The text editor behaves very much like any text editor. Therefore users use the mouse to select text. In addition, a text file may be dropped onto an editor to insert that text into your page.

Because SiteWriter creates HTML code you can design the page any way you like. Provided elements do not overlap, SiteWriter will work out how to code pages to ensure they will look correct in a web browser. If there are any non standard characters, SiteWriter will take care of these too.


Publishing is the process of converting a web site in SiteWriter to HTML. All users have to do is tell SiteWriter where they want to publish your site, and the site will be created in HTML - complete and ready for viewing in a web browser. All images, folders and pages are created in one place. When users are editing a web page in the Page Editor they can preview that page - SiteWriter will update the HTML for that page and open it in a web browser. Therefore anyone can quickly check the affect any changes have taken.

Publishing is relatively quick. To give you an idea, publishing an average site takes around 12 seconds, and previewing a page takes around 1-2 seconds on a StrongArm.

SiteWriter is the quick and simple way to design any sort of website, why not experiment yourself to see what you can achieve.

The complete DiscWorld line up

As per usual we have our collections of the latest RISC OS games and applications, as well as support files for this issues articles. So the full DiscWorld line up looks something like this:


All the games from this issues games world column.


All the latest PD, shareware and freeware releases from the PD column.


The full version of SiteWriter.


Al few photos from the Wakefield Show.


This contains two sets of Toolbox Modules. The Castle archive contains the latest 26/32 bit neutral system components, required if you want to run a lot of new software releases on 26bit machines (ie. anything that isn't an Iyonix). The RISCOS Ltd archive contains later and improved versions of a number of modules and is suitable for all versions of RISC OS from 3.1 onwards.

Aaron Timbrell