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Linux-Based PageBuilder Takes on Microsoft's FrontPage

Using the Web to Build the Web

  • December 4, 2003
  • By Jacqueline Emigh

Linux open source developer SQLFusion says it's taking on Microsoft FrontPage with its first commercial product, a server-based software system aimed at quick, WYSIWYG creation of Web pages from Linux, Windows, and other desktops.

Through mid-December, SQLFusions's PAS PageBuilder will be available free of charge to beta testers. After PageBuilder leaves beta, SQLFusion will start to charge a $10 to $15 monthly subscription fee, said SQLFusion CEO Philippe Lewicki.

Available from SQLFusion's HTMLFusion site, PageBuilder runs on Red Hat Linux servers. However, end users can access the software interface from virtually any operating environment via a Mozilla or Internet Explorer browser.

During a demo at the recent Comdex show, Lewicki contended that PageBuilder is easier to use than FrontPage and other Windows-based Web authoring packages. "With FrontPage, you can't change (the structure) of a Web page once you've already created the page," he pointed out.

In contrast, PageBuilder lets you drag-and-drop text to anywhere on the screen at any time during the authoring process. You can also quickly change fonts, colors, and background colors, import your own graphics to a library, and insert them into the Web page. Also included are tools for resizing and rotating.

"We provide Web hosting, too, but only for the length of your (Web development) project. After that, we'll refer you to one of our partners if you need hosting," he maintained.

In the future, SQLFusion plans to add more tools to PageBuilder, along with a clip art library, according to Lewicki.

PageBuilder operates on top of SQLFusion's PAS Application Server for PHP. So, too, does PAS Web IDE (Integrated Development Environment), a new commercial product meant to ease database development.

Web IDE is still under development, Lewicki said. SQLFusion created both products as ways of generating revenue to help support open source development.

Lawndale, CA-based SQLFusion also provides open source database application support for the MySQL and PostgreSQL databases, open source business application consulting, and custom Linux distributions for kiosks and home digital media servers.

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