Thread: Website development tools
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SVG development tools Forum: Graphics ForumReplies: 2
10-29-2003, 12:40 PM #1
Website development tools
Hello again. I was looking back over the HTML forum threads and came across the discussion of FronPage. Apparently the consensus of opinion is that FP generates "bad code". What is the "bad code". I also noted that you(administrators) lean toward Dreamweaver.
I started out and bought Macromedia MX(it IS expensive!!) and began setting myself into ASP.NET. I found that, for me, Dreamweaver was difficult to use, it used so many MMxx tags and what looks like Macromedia specific coding that it is hard to follow. It also appeared to me that there is a lot of overhead in setting up a design environment(local,remote and test servers). Now, I react to the fact that you have to pay for technical articles about Macromedia MX. However, I do respect your viewpoint.
I next started using Web Matrix for ASP.NET development. WM is a little "quirky" but easier to use than Dreamweaver( I think). With a pure HTML application I have to write a lot of my own code but that's OK too. I have lately, begun to move away from ASP.NET and go more toward ASP/Html as it appears to me that I can do almost as much with HTML as with ASP.NET and not have to pay the premium for hosting.
I am now evaluating FrontPage 2000 and have ordered a FrontPage2003 evaluation package. So far I have found that FP allows one to quickly create a site with an attractive theme and Navigation bars automatically created, although rightly enough, it is sometimes impossible to get the Nav bars configured to your wishes. Tables and Forms seem easy enough. I haven,t tried any of the "Dynamic HTML Effects" yet. But anyway, I am at a point where I am definitely receptive to the opinions of you who are much more experinced than myself. I am no great lover of MIcrosoft, I just want to use the best tool available.
Thanks in advance.
10-29-2003, 01:33 PM #2
My thoughts on this subject.......
I can't be too sure, but I think that the last version of FP I used was FrontPage 98. It seemed to do what I wanted (I was just learning), but being the kind of guy I am, I was more interested in learning HTML as an art form, rather than learning how to have a web presence in as little time as possible.
After plodding through tutorials and hand coding everything, I decided to see just what Frontpage was about, and started opening and editing my own play pages with it. When I was saved things and viewed the same document in notepad, I was amazed at how much more stuff it added to my code than it needed to do the editing job's I wanted. (In more than one circumstance it almost doubled the size of the HTML page!)
It added hundreds of " & n b s p ;" 's just to change the layout a bit.
I tried to do a webpage in it once, and in order to get it validated, I had to spend as much time editing the code in notepad as it would have taken to just do the code in notepad correctly the first time.
Maybe FrontPage is better now. Maybe WYSIWYG editors are better now in general. I guess it depends on what your opinion of "better" is. I still hand code (for the same reason my wife sews her own clothes). I like to feel that I'm in control of what's behind the page, rather than trust a software developer to do it for me.
Sort of like "Having a destination is desireable, but it's the journey to get there that matters" I guess.
10-29-2003, 07:38 PM #3
FP still adds those little nbsp I have used FP express, 98, 2000, & XP. XP came with a lot of extra & good things. I remember the first time I opened DW, - all those extra windows freaked me out & it took me about 18 months before I would open it again.
I use FP to usually create my page. And since all my other pages will look almost the same. I just copy & paste all my coding - once I delete some of the stuff that I do not want in it. Plus I love publishing my website with it. It does it for me. I do not have to remember how many pages I added or anything. I do not use a lot of the extras - like the FP input form, and the includes - I would rather code them myself.
I never understoo all that extra MM coding as you pointed out. It seemed to just be way too much. I do use DW for a few sites because I need to use virtual hyperlinks & FP hates those. It will change them.
FP 2000 was not all that great for ASP. It was recommended not to use FP 2000 for ASP editing. I have one site in .NET, but I use Ultraedit or DW for that. I would not open that in FP XP. FP 2003 might be better. I have heard it is supposed to be pretty good. But it is a MS product, and for those people who do not like MS products, you will never change their minds about it.
11-04-2003, 08:34 AM #4
What you like and can put up with kinda sorta depends on how much of a control freak you are. I started off learning HTML tag by tag and first began using Allaire Homesite 3 or so--yeah--way before Macromedia swallowed 'em up.
Homesite is hand-code heaven and having started off with that product I found the earlier versions of DW and FP tried to take way more control away from me than I could stand for. You had to declare a site, then it had to inventory all of your pieces and so on and so forth. Tedious!
And yes, depending on how well you know HTML you'll have no problem knowing/seeing the bloated gassy code FP produces. DW, though I've approached the runway many times I've failed to take off because I simply just think a totally different way than how they present things. By time I navigate and negotiate the various windows to get things done I could have opened the html or css up in Homesite (4.5.1 now for me) and been done with it in literally 30 seconds and on my way. No exaggeration.
Now the big time design guys seem to swear by DW and one day I might but I may be too much of a hands on control freak to ever do it. Again, depends on your understanding of HTML. Homesite was such a wonderful learning tool cause any site you see you could litterallly open it in Homesite, save the code, and then study what and how they did what they did.
If you're learning (shhhhhhhh)... check out Mozilla... you can right-click on any given web page and (again be clear--this is JUST FOR LEARNING PURPOSES AND NOT PIRACY) chose to "Save Page As" and it will just about save all of the code (.js, .css, etc.) AND the pictures on the page as well. You'll have an html page and a corresponding folder containing everything else. Great study tool.
Conclusion, know yourself and decide do I know enough HTML... if you don't know HTML that well but want to be on your way then one of the WYSIWYG software deals (DW MX... since you've already got it) would be your best route! Just buckle down and go through the tutorials.
11-07-2003, 12:07 AM #5
Personally, I learned myself by just using Notepad. That lets you not only create the pages, but understand what is actually doing the creating. I tried a few programs (WYSIWYG) and they confused me more than hand coding in Notepad. And as a few mentioned, they seems to add tons of code that isnt necessary. I've suggested to people just learning HTML to find a good, easy-to-understand tutorial and fire up Notepad and IE. Plus the fact that you spend money on programs that you dont even know you're going to be able to understand, or actually like using.
11-07-2003, 02:21 AM #6
Most HTML I do is just quick dirty stuff that is going to be replaced by a template anyways (since all I really do is write code now)
So, basically I open up dreamweaver, and use layout mode and just draw my stuff on the screen...
Dreamweaver also has GREAT project management features, esp. if you are working with more than one person.