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|Best WYSIWYG editor?|
I am tired of cleaning up after FP
and I really dont care to hand code all day long.. want to be able to work in the "normal" view that FP has ..but also still be able to switch back to html view when needed.
I want FP but without all the head aches !
I started out 5 years ago using FP - UGH! discovered my pages were junk and moved to NoteTab Pro. Using NTP is how I learned html (so I could fix my old FP pages).
My site grew to the point it was hard to check for broken links, orphaned image files, missing titles, meta tags, alt tags, etc. etc. The kind of stuff I screw up when I work waaay to late ;)
So I purchased DW4 for the WYSIWYG ease, easy to use templates and libraries for updating/changing common sections site wide and because DW can help manage a site by checking for broken links, orphans, etc. I love the "Notes" feature because I often think of something when I haven't the time to do it.
I now use a combination of DW and NoteTab Pro and wouldn't be without NotTab open almost all of time because of the other great features, non related to web design, that it offers!
<disclaimer>I'm not a full time web designer. My web site is to offer my "real" work to the web. I just do my own site and a couple for friends.</disclaimer>
>I started out 5 years ago using FP
Remember though that the FP of 5 years ago is not the FP od today. FP200 and onwards produces clean code.
Imagine if we said "I dated five years ago but s/he was a real dork - Ugh! - so I havn't dated since."
Interesting that no one has mentioned Softquad Hotmetal Pro 6, its a good deal value for money wise and has loads of features inc fast table editing, project managing, creation storage and reuse of elements plus "code view", "Tags view", wysiwyg view (based on MSIE or any number of other browsers you install on your machine) and various links fixers etc for large site projects.
Yes, WOZ, I hear FP is much better now although I still see people complaining about it ..
However, what I meant to say, and didn't articulate very well, was that I really like the combination of Dreamweaver (for all its goodies) and NoteTab Pro for hand coding.
It really irks me that people shout that Frontpage is hopeless. I have stuck with FP for the last three years and dont even want to consider changing. I have some spot on sites using FP2002 and ones that i am sure 99% of webmasters would be proud of - URLS available if you sticky me ;)
Tried Hotmetal Pro 5.0 that was enough thanks.
Agreed, which ever browser you use, if your happy with it why change, as long as the code validates, and the functionality is good-enough then who cares. As with hot metal, to me it seemed hard work.
Na, Dreamweaver Rocks!
Jamsy, I don't think anyone claims you can't do a good-looking web page with FP. It actually has some productivity tools that makes doing things like e-mail forms fairly easy. I think the problems historically have included difficulty of collaboration with other designers on the same site, intolerance of changes made outside FP, the funky Shared Borders vs. multiple templates like DW offers, tedious publishing process, and frequent site corruption requiring publishing from the remote site back to the local hard drive.
I've liked DW quite well for a WYSIWYG editor. I may edit the code fairly often, but building complex tables (and keeping track of the COLSPANs and ROWSPANs) is a real pain in a text editor.
The newest version of FP seems a bit snappier, but I haven't had a chance to evaluate it in depth.
caine re Hotmetal pro and hard work :-) I think we are almost in the same situation as we are with Operating Systems, the first interface you learn becomes your default and the process of learning the different ways that other interfaces do the same things can irritate.
I started playing with an early version of HotMetal first, a few years ago then played with a couple of others later till I bought HMP6 which seems great for most things.
I use it mainly to make / tweak template pages which I populate with other things. The image editing it came with was good though. Another non industry standard item, Ulead Photoimpact rather than Adobe.
Fine for Web sized stuff but I gather that if I point it at 100 x 20mb tiff images it might get a bit busy!
|I think the problems historically have included difficulty of collaboration with other designers on the same site... |
That may be true if you're using FP-specific features and the other designers aren't using FP. Of course, that problem isn't unique to FrontPage. Content management systems are even worse. (I've written for several clients with content management systems that required chopping an article into pieces and entering the headlines, subheads, body text, etc. into e-forms.)
|intolerance of changes made outside FP |
That hasn't been true in years.
|the funky Shared Borders vs. multiple templates like DW offers |
Funky? They work great on my site.
|tedious publishing process |
Tedious? Click "Publish," and it publishes. That's pretty simple. If you have more than a few hundred pages within a given Web it takes longer, but then you can simply upload individual files via ftp if you want. No big deal. (FWIW, if you have a really large site, you'll probably want to divide it into subwebs anyway for organizational reasons.)
|and frequent site corruption requiring publishing from the remote site back to the local hard drive. |
Are you sure you don't have an OS or hard-drive problem? FP doesn't corrupt my site, and I use it nearly every day unless I'm traveling.
(by the way, I created my profile site 2 years ago with FP98, so please don't go checking the code)
The best one is Homesite. Using it for years now, you won't find any better.
I've used DW for five years now and it's the best of both worlds for my money. MX might be a step back from previous versions--it's a little harder with the page views to follow subtle differences in layout between pages that should be identical (though I may not be comfortable enough with it yet) but it still strikes the perfect balance between WYSIWYG and code editing.
|The best one is Homesite. Using it for years now, you won't find any better. |
Homesite is an HTML editor, not a WYSIWYG authoring tool. It's really a whole different animal from FrontPage or Dreamweaver.
I'm a FrontPage user myself, but I do find Homesite to be a wonderful tool for one task: extended search-and-replace operations. If I want to change a block of code on 500 or more pages in one fell swoop, it's a lot more convenient to do it in Homesite than in FrontPage.
|Homesite is an HTML editor, not a WYSIWYG authoring tool. |
I know but doesn't the thread topic say WYSIWYG and Text Code Editors?
|brotherhood of LAN|
|I know but doesn't the thread topic say WYSIWYG and Text Code Editors? |
The title says WYSIWYG, I guess we have to split a hair when some people will be comfortable with a pure WYSIWYG environment while others like to work "closer to the code" so to speak :)
oops, I took the forum name and thought it would be the thread name :(
that's weird... well... it's late, you know ;)
|oops, I took the forum name and thought it would be the thread name |
that's weird... well... it's late, you know
Well, when it's late and your eyes are tired, WYS isn't always WYG. :-)
This was exactly the thread I was looking for --FP v. DW
I've been using FP and have a very successful site with some Swish animation, etc. Took a while to learn FP to its fullest potential.
Now, I'm faced with needing 1st class PHP integration and have been playing with the DWmx trial. I also bought a DW beginnner book.
I have no doubt, after looking at both, that DW is the better program with more potential for building complex sites. But, I still don't know if the learing curve is worth abandoning FP for DW. It's like learning French and having to move to Spain and start a new language.
Any thoughts on the DW learning curve? It looks very steep when you are used to FP and just starting to evaluate.
I use Dreamweaver 4 and absolutely love it. I didn't use a book or anything to learn it - just playing around with it for a couple of days allows you to quickly figure out most of it. Obviously, if you're doing ASP or CFM, a book is likely needed, but for straight HTML, Dreamweaver is really hard to beat. The extensions for it are also dynamite as is the very tight integration between Fireworks and Dreamweaver (especially for me since I have a graphics/photo heavy site).
Using Dreamweaver, despite knowing nothing about HTML, I designed a 1500 page site that visitors really, really like. Admittedly, I haven't tested it in all the browsers, so maybe there is quirks in places such as Netscape 3 and Opera. But who uses these browsers, anyway?
My two cents worth.
Here's my $0.02.
Typically, I do 90% of my coding by hand with my trusty GWD Text Editor. Occassionally, however, I'll want to flush out the rough layout of a table or a page in a WYSIWYG editor before tweaking it in GWD.
In the past, I've used FrontPage. First FP Express, then later FP 2000.
What I like about Frontpage is:
- You can copy and past from a web page into the WYSIWYG view, and Frontpage will generate to HTML for you
What I don't like:
In the past week, however, I've downloaded a demo of Dreamweaver MX. I've used Dreamweaver in the past, and I didn't like it. It didn't seem intuitive, and I don't tend to like the multiple window approach. MX seems better, however.
- No XHTML support.
- Generates Netscape-breaking HTML.
Here's what I like:
What I'm not too fond of:
- XHMTL support. You can tell it to generate XHTML compliant code! Something FP deperately lacks.
- Solid CSS support
- A solid HTML view, with pop-ups for valid attributes.
Overall, I think I might make the big switch to DreamWeaver MX. It's pretty solid, and the pros outweigh the cons.
- CSS elements that aren't put in a seperate .CSS file tend to generate a seperate <style> tag for each darned rule!
- I can't seem to figure out a way to attach a style to any tag without manually typing class="blah" in the HTML view
- One nice thing that FP does is that it will re-format the code for you if you copy something into the HTML view. I haven't figured out how to get MX to do that.
Hope this "unbiased" viewpoint helps.
... such as Netscape 3 and Opera. But who uses these browsers, anyway? ...
Well, lots of people do. And more for Opera than you might think as in many cases it is set up to identify itself as MSIE in order to stop those annoying warnings saying 'You need IE4 or NN 4' etc.
In any case, Dreamweaver output works fine in Opera and if you're going to use a WYSIWYG editor then it's the best there is.
Another vote for DreamWeaver here. But I'd also suggest something you can use for hand-coding to supplement it.
I started out learning about web design using (ugh!) Netscape Composer. Great for beginners, but fairly primitive. I shifted to hand-coding 'cause it was less expensive and I really felt it was important to learn HTML for its own sake.
When I got tired of correcting 57,000 typos per page (yeah, I like to exaggerate sometimes) for stupid little things like missing a closing tag (especially on a table), I switched to DreamWeaver. Why? Simple. I prefer Netscape for my default browser. When I would surf to websites designed in FP, they rarely showed up properly in NN and often times the only way I could view them at all was to switch browsers to IE (which I hated).
Unlike FP, DreamWeaver doesn't use any proprietary codes when it sets up your webpage. Now, I know there are lots of folks out there who use FP with no problems. They've found all the ins and outs of setting their preferences so their paegs show up properly in NN and other browsers. I'm sure I've browsed some of their pages in NN without ever even realizing it. I've never checked the code of a page that I couldn't view in NN and discovered it was designed DW.
For my money, I'd point anyone looking for a good WYSIWYG editor to DreamWeaver. Then I'd tell 'em to download a copy of TextPad so they can hand-code whatever DW won't do for them on its own, or so they can add whatever weirdness they'd like for their favorite proprietary browsers.
As for those of you who code everything by hand. More power to you. However, I have a small child and need as much time as I can get to do things other than type each and every table-tr-td and its respective closing tag by hand.
WYSIWYG programs are a time-saver. It's just that simple.
<editted for typos>
It also happens to be damn good editor too with loads of extra bits like case transposition and notification of changes to your files by background processes.
1st Page 2000. It's even free! Download from [evrsoft.com....] I used to use Scriptworx but I trashcanned it immediately when I tried 1st Page.
|I've never checked the code of a page that I couldn't view in NN and discovered it was designed DW. |
I can send you some of mine, Syren! :) (NN4.x chokes on lots of stuff, including most CSS. Below 3% and falling, thank goodness!)
As a previous FP user, I can attest that DW is a bit intimidating when you boot it for the first time. It's probably all those little windows, and the fairly cryptic toolbar. Once you get into it, though, you won't get back. It's not really too bad - a day or two of use will get you the basics.
My vote goes for my personal favorite, Adobe GoLive 6.0. It maintains an easy interface for laying your page design into template and CSS easiy, and at the same time it will maintain the integrity of your quality photos and optimizing the photo for you on the fly.
Like most good programs, you need a good book and read up.
If you know Photoshop the process is smooth.
My .02. ;)
As always, the answer is "It depends."
My favorite is FrontPage 2002, which works well for my site (more than 3,000 pages, plain-vanilla page design, editorial focus). If I were running a very design-intensive site, I might feel differently.
BTW, there's no need to "clean up" after FP2002.
"no need to clean up after FP?"
If you use IE maybe, but on other browsers so much of the code is redundant it's just filling up bandwidth ...
|I can send you some of mine, Syren! :) (NN4.x chokes on lots of stuff, including most CSS. Below 3% and falling, thank goodness!) |
Thanks, rogerd, but I never said NN4.x didn't choke on stuff. NN4.x chokes on lots of stuff - pages I've done, as well as other folks'.
But of the pages I couldn't view at all in NN4.x, none of 'em were created in DW. ;)
I've been told it was because the FP pages were designed by amateurs. Of course, DW doesn't care if you're an amateur or not. It just goes merrily along creating pages that can be viewed in pretty much any ol' browser. The pages may look a little funny in some of the older browsers, but you can still see the content of 'em.
That's definitely an argument in favor of DW over FP. Even for amateurs! ;)
|If you use IE maybe, but on other browsers so much of the code is redundant it's just filling up bandwidth ... |
That may have been true with old versions of FP. Of course, most of the complaints about at FP are from people who haven't used it since FP98 or earlier. In the interests of fairness, maybe I should post a series of my complaints about Dreamweaver 2.0 here and omit the "2.0" in my post. :-)
'europeforvisitors' - you're right.
I think to be honest I just don't like (personally) software that thinks it knows best and bloats out everything. I'm a bit of a purist at heart and it actually gets me annoyed.
I do accept your point though that the bandwidth issue is relatively minimal compared to the images etc in a page and I was wrong to denigrate FP because it just doesn't work the way I do.
Also, as you say, I haven't tried newer versions (despite having it installed).
I think my comments came from snobbery. I'm a programmer and so I look at web design the same way (in fact I never use pure html now, all my sites are database-driven PHP even to the main menu on the index page).
I appreciate that for others they just want a quick tool to allow them to concentrate on aesthetics, and so I retract my comment as I am underinformed on the later versions.
One thing I will say, though - the Frontpage marquee function has a lot to answer for when it comes to setting standards for bad page design!
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