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HTML development question

 9:52 am on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

There're many successful webmasters in this forum, and I'm someone who's studying web development languages and methods.
I'll like to know if you guys just program your sites all by typing in a notepad, or you're using something else like Dreamweaver or Frontpage. Or it could be a combination of any wysiwyg plus notepad for optimizing the code.
I would like to know if do you think I should forget those wysiwyg's and try to take further my html knowledge.
And if you have to chose between one of these softwares, which is the one that writes the best code?




 10:38 am on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use Textpad, but any text editor with syntax highlighting will do.

Personally, I don't use WYSIWYG editors because I like having complete control over the my front-end code. However I can see their value if you need to get something done quickly and don't know the underlying code. I believe nvu [nvu.com] is meant to give decent output and is helpfully free, so you could try that. I'd still recommend learning how to handcode if you're serious about the languages.

Another thing to bear in mind is that my current company wouldn't hire any developer who couldn't hand code (and in fact has an interview test in which the interviewee has to handcode a printed webpage).


 11:06 am on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use the simple text editors that came with Windows.
I used to use Notepad, but some pages got too long so I use Wordpad.
I FTP them up to the host. Very simple.

Most people here will advise you to learn to hand code.
Even if you do use WYSIWYG page generation software, and I don't advise it,
you will need to know hand coding, html at least, to go in and fix the awful messes
those programs can create. - Larry


 11:50 am on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

Larry make a good point here. Whatever WYSIWYG program you use, you need to understand the actual code to clean it up.
I use html-kit. It's not WYSIwYG, but has a lot of features.

But that doesn't answer your question. Dreamweaver, if I had to choose one.



 12:10 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I do probably 90% of my web work in Notepad. The other 10% I do in DreamWeaver because it is what was installed on my computer when I took over the job.

At home, I have FrontPage installed, and only use it about 10% of the time as well.


 3:04 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

When thinking about the expression "hand-coding" I get an image in my head of grizzled chisel-wielding craftsmen painstakingly carving markup out of granite blocks. :) Having said that, I don't use a wysiwyg editor either. I find Notepad to be woefully deficient when working with markup - proper syntax highlighting is a must to avoid errors.

"Hand-coding" shouldn't need to be writing every tag out repeatedly either: my text editor (usually Bluefish under Linux) has excellent markup generation tools. For example, if I want to create a table, I select the table generation tool, choose the number of rows and columns and click OK - the markup is produced by the program. I can right-click in a tag and add/alter attributes, and many other time-saving tricks.

Ideally, you need to understand the markup which is being produced by your preferred editor, whether wysiwyg or not - but there is no reason to have to struggle with over-simple programs which are not adapted to web development needs.


 7:51 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

Any text editor with syntax highlighting and automatic indentation etc is fine. I can't believe that there are web developers out there who handicap themselves so much by using Note or word pad. Take the plunge, get a real text editor, Crimson editor is free and does pretty much everything you need, minus one or two nice feature from more premium editors.

Once you learn how to script a site the whole WYSIWYG(sic) idea becomes pretty pointless anyway.

"but there is no reason to have to struggle with over-simple programs which are not adapted to web development needs."

But still people persist. Any note/wordpad users out there, do yourself a big favor, download one of the very lightweight alternatives out there and give it a test run. I don't see how you could possibly prefer straight text to syntax highlighting, clip pasting, setting of tab view widths, multiple page search and replace etc.


 9:57 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use hand coding for some sites, frontpage for stuff that I want to do fast and dirty, and dreamweaver because, well, just because. I agree with the other posters here I've read that you need to know how to hand code even if you use a wysiwyg editor so you can clean up the code or at least know what the editor is doing for/to you.



 4:47 am on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Great hints and ideas there, guys!
Many thanks everyone.


 11:40 am on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

UE Ultra Edit

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