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What's wrong with FrontPage?
Negative comments about the program
shallow

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 12:32 pm on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Since I've started participating in this forum not too long ago, I've seen a number of negative comments about FrontPage such as this recent one someone wrote in another thread:

"Only the ones who use FrontPage or using a free blog system can't actually say that they are really webmasters."

I haven't seen any explanations for these types of comments so I'm curious as to why the negativity.

 

Wlauzon

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 3:24 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

(Bitching about FrontPage 98, as I've seen people do here, is like reciting complaints about Windows 98 or an outdated Mac operating system--what's the point?)

I have seen this many times, and it is actually sort of funny. In fact in this thread alone there are about 5 mentions of "shared borders", which went out.. what.. 4 years ago?

But it is not peculiar to MS products, I think it is human nature for some to develop a personal hate for a company that goes beyond all logic. I used to play Everquest (an online MMORPG game), and I saw exactly the same kind of posts about Sony Online - people complaining about things that had been changed in the game years ago, but they are still using it as an example of a bad program.

FP has a few issues (like less than perfect CSS support), but they are not near as horrible as some would make them out to be.

sonjay

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 3:34 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

How to insert, remove, and modify shared borders in FrontPage 2003:
[support.microsoft.com...]

I don't think shared borders went anywhere.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 3:36 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

FP has a few issues (like less than perfect CSS support), but they are not near as horrible as some would make them out to be.

That's nothing. Notepad has no support for CSS at all. But then, what would you expect from Microsoft. :-)

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 3:51 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you aren't using my server extensions the purpose is defeated and you don't really appreciate me.

Let's talk about the Server Extensions for a moment. Yes, I am well aware of various issues that may arise when using the FrontPage Server Extensions. But, many of those issues are due to other issues that were not addressed at the time of installing and configuring the extensions.

You can build a website with FrontPage and not use any features that require the FP Extensions. You would be defeating the entire purpose of the program in doing so. If you compare the features of the various WYSIWYG programs that are popular, I think you'll find that FP offers a very robust and integrated method of allowing the Novice user to build and maintain a website. It may not be the prettiest website when viewing source, but in most instances it looks just fine at the browser level. That is phase one for most who are starting.

Those FrontPage Server Extensions allow a user to create a dynamic website without having technical knowledge. Do a search for FrontPage Server Extensions and read about what they do and how they provide CGI like functionality for a website, intranet, etc.

In addition to all the WYSIWYG functionality, there is another side to FrontPage. This side is for Advanced Users who have learned how to work with the program and have configured it to produce html the way they want it, not based on the default settings out of the box.

So, while some may cringe at the thought of FrontPage Extensions, there are millions of users out there who are smirking right now while they make their respectable incomes banging out those FrontPage sites that everyone sees in the SERPs. ;)

FrontPage + Five Templates + SQL Database + Quality Content = Infinite Number of Pages

It doesn't get any better than this, or at least I don't think it can. Someone needs to show me otherwise. And yes, I have DW8 installed and I've whipped out a few template pages. I prefer my Microsoft environment as that is what I am accustomed to using. Macromedia users will enjoy working with Dreamweaver.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 6:59 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

You can build a website with FrontPage and not use any features that require the FP Extensions. You would be defeating the entire purpose of the program in doing so.

I disagree. FrontPage is a good investment whether or not you use features that require the server extensions. I consider it worthwhile just for the editor and the site-management functions. Heck, I'd consider it a worthwhile investment even if I only used the editor.

oddsod

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 7:15 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

That's nothing. Notepad has no support for CSS at all. But then, what would you expect from Microsoft. :-)

So is it safe to say that those using Notepad are not anti-Microsoft but just anti-crap-products-from-Microsoft? :)

Disclaimer: I use FP myself despite being anti-everything ;)

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 7:22 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

FrontPage is a good investment whether or not you use features that require the server extensions.

I want to make sure that everyone knows where I am coming from on this. The basic user of FrontPage is going to use features that require FrontPage Extensions, it is a given. As soon as they insert a shared border, theme, etc., they've just become reliant on the Extensions.

Sure, you could build a flat brochureware site and not use any of the Extensions but you are missing out on what the program was really built for and that is it's WYSIWYG interface. Those <webbots> will save the beginning webmaster programming fees while providing the CGI like functionality.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 2:15 am on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Shared borders don't require the server extensions. Include files don't, either. (I'm not sure about other <webbot> features, but I know those two don't.)

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 2:35 am on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Include files don't, either. (I'm not sure about other <webbot> features, but I know those two don't.)

Ever try running Include files without the FP Extensions? You end up with <html><head></head><body></body></html> information for each include. With FP Extensions installed, the include file is processed correctly and everything is stripped except for that which resides between the <body></body> of the include, like it should.

Also, shared borders do require FP Extensions.

<added>I'm checking on the Shared Borders needing extensions...

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 2:51 am on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ever try running Include files without the FP Extensions?

You know, there is no documentation on this at Microsoft, not that I can find. But, I've seen those <webbots> react incorrectly when coming from a server that does not have FP Extensions enabled. In reference to Include Files, the include page is not processed properly as I stated above.

In reference to Shared Borders, there are some things that require the extensions. Here is a list of those features that do require the FrontPage Server Extensions...

  • Collaborate simultaneously with other users on the same Web site.
  • Create a Web page directly on a Web server.
  • Save directly to a Web server when using Office programs.
  • Include these FrontPage components on your sites: link bars, top 10 lists, form handlers, discussions, full text searches, hit counters, and categories.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 2:57 am on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

By the way...

When combined, FrontPage 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services eliminate the need for Server Extensions. This solution allows customers to access new functionality in FrontPage 2003, along with better ways to do things in previous versions of FrontPage. Most exciting of all is the evolution of Server Extensions into the more powerful solution of creating rich, Extensible Markup Language (XML) data-driven Web sites and instant Web solutions, accessible through a server configuration that harnesses the power of both Microsoft Windows Serverô 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services.

Leosghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 2:58 am on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just watching you two digging yourselves deeper into your hole here ;)..and someone said that DW has a steep learning curve ;))

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 5:57 am on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Leosghost, we're advanced users. New users don't have to think about issues like these. (The great thing about FrontPage is that it's an out-of-the-box solution for newbies or a platform that can be customized for advanced users. And it's a lot less messy than Dreamweaver, in my experience, though I'll admit that I haven't played around with DW for a year or two.)

jimbeetle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 6:27 am on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just to clarify, my first remarks below concern the dialogue between EfV and PoR. EfV happened to post as I was getting my thoughts together.

And I'm just sitting here watching two pros digging themselves deeper into the different ways Frontpage might appeal to different users. ;)

PoR, this is one time, and possibly the only time, where I think you are a bit, hmmm, let's call it inflexible, concerning Frontpage's flexibility.

Yes, the major advantages of FP can be best realized when using a server with FP extensions. However, the management, CSS and coding capabilities themselves are a true savings in time and labor for the user. It's a very, very flexible environment

I use Frontpage in a lot of different ways. I don't necessarily use all of FP's features all of the time for each and every site I develop. Depending on what I need to do at that moment I pick and choose the features I need and go from there.

Heck, WYSIWYG coding, a great hand coding environment, solid CSS support, site management, FP-specific functions, data base functions, shopping carts -- whatever pieces you want to use are there. It just matters on how you have to incorporate them into your final product.

vincevincevince

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 7:49 am on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

jb - that is probably one of the best summmaries of what Frontpage offers in this thread so far. Given what I have read here about the newer version of Frontpage I am given to suggest that if the server-extension-based parts and needless bloat (author tags, characters in empty cells,...) were all disabled by default it would be meet both my requirements and that of the professional public at large.

My personal choice of editor depends upon which OS I'm using - either EditPlus or Kate. The reason is the great syntax highlighting for the languages I use most frequently, and if Frontpage can highlight and brace-match say HTML, javascript, PHP and Perl then I'd be happy to use that as well.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 8:23 am on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

The reason is the great syntax highlighting for the languages I use most frequently, and if Frontpage can highlight and brace-match.

FP 2003 took this one step further. You now have the ability to custom color code all of these areas...

  • Background
  • Normal text
  • Bookmarks
  • Tags
  • Attribute Names
  • Attribute Values
  • Comments
  • Script Identifiers
  • Script keywords
  • Script numbers
  • Script operators
  • Script strings
  • Script other
  • DWT editable regions
  • DWT non-editable regions
  • DWT design outline
  • Layout label background
  • Layout label text
  • Layout border
  • Layout border handles
  • Layout table border
  • Layout table spacer cell
  • Web part border
  • Web part zone border

And then you have control over Code Formatting, Rulers and Grids, IntelliSense, and a few other nifty features. ;)

sc112

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 7:30 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a free copy of FP2003, but I haven't really explored it. Will find time to do so.

But regarding script highlighting, it doesn't highlight php codes. If the file extension is .php, it doesn't even highlight the plain html codes in them. The Script highlight options seemingly work for JS only. Am I missing something?

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 7:50 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Am I missing something?

There is a program out there called PHP Rocket that allows you to work with PHP in FrontPage. I'm going to assume that it adds the color coding functionality for scripts.

Until now, developing PHP based web sites with a WYSIWYG HTML editor was a multi-stepped process. You'd need to layout your pages, open them in a text editor, add your PHP code, upload them to the server, test your pages, then repeat the process until you got it right. Now, with the PHP Rocket Add-in for FrontPage, you can do all your PHP development from FrontPage and preview the PHP'd pages right in FrontPage's Preview window.

No more wasting your precious time uploading your PHP files to a web server to test them. To see what your PHP code produces requires only one click or keystroke with the PHP Rocket Add-in for FrontPage.


oddsod

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 7:56 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

You now have the ability to custom color code all of these areas...

Er, I've been using FP for years and haven't heard of half of those. The FP help doesn't seem to er, help. Was it ever the case (in any WYSIWYG program) that you couldn't set the colour for background, text etc? That's appalling! And, if it can be done now... are these really features?

It's not just FP help. Even Google doesn't seem to have heard of Layout table spacer cell [google.com] and Web part zone border [google.com] among others.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 7:59 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Er, I've been using FP for years and haven't heard of half of those.

Many are new for FP 2003. I don't have a copy of FP 2002 to compare but there were at least half of those in previous versions as you mention.

The FP help doesn't seem to er, help.

You know those FrontPage Bible books? I picked up one of those years ago and learned a lot of neat things from FP Masters of yesteryear. ;)

oddsod

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 8:02 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

And what are all those items? If FP doesn't know and Google has zero links.... I've got to buy a bible book? :(

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 8:04 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Also, for those looking to add functionality to their FrontPage webs and don't want to hire a programmer, do a search for "FrontPage Addins" or "FrontPage Addons" and you'll find a host of third party Add-Ins that extend the functionality of FrontPage. There are some pretty neat ones out there that even the advanced user would appreciate. Like the PHP Rocket Addin. That one Addin alone makes FrontPage a PHP coders WYSIWYG interface. You'll never look back. This based on comments from those who work with PHP in FrontPage. There are not that many. ;)

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 8:05 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

And what are all those items? If FP doesn't know and Google has zero links.... I've got to buy a bible book?

No, they are all there and the FrontPage Help topic covers them. Remember, this is FP 2003 not FP 2002. The program has made tremendous leaps and bounds since FP 1.1.

DWT's and Web Parts are new to FP 2003. DWT stands for Dynamic Web Template and it turns FP 2003 into a CMS Powerhouse!

aleksl



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 1:32 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Late to this one, but want to answer one of the very first comments (I think #3):

europeforvisitors: the loss of income from tools and systems that threaten to make their work obsolete

my dad used to work with computers, waaaay back when... they always've been dreaming of "automated languages", "software that writes code", etc. etc. now some 30 years down the road nothing has really changed. Software can't write good code, not something even mildly intelligent. Dreams of AI never materialized. The best "automated tool" we could find is to outsource our work to India (no offense intended).

my point is that the only "loss of income from tools" is because FrontPage produces crappy HTML which doesn't rank well in SEs. :) cheers

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 8:09 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

my point is that the only "loss of income from tools" is because FrontPage produces crappy HTML which doesn't rank well in SEs.

It doesn't? Dang, I must have imagined all those top 5 Google positions (and quite a few #1 positions) for the keywords and keyphrases that I watch. :-)

yowza

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 8:31 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

The primary reason that you shouldn't use FrontPage is that you'll most likely never be able to get a job in the industry with only FrontPage skills.

If you look at the classified ads you will see ads for DW or hand coding skills: not FP.

The problem, as stated, is that most people don't know how to use FP correctly. However, why learn how to use something correctly that will never help you in the current job market? If you know for sure that you're going to be self-employed for the rest of your life, then I guess this doesn't apply to you.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 8:51 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

The problem, as stated, is that most people don't know how to use FP correctly.

Actually, that may not be the core problem as most beginners are using the program for what it was designed to do; provide a WYSIWYG interface for users who are unfamiliar with HTML and such.

However, why learn how to use something correctly that will never help you in the current job market?

Yikes! That one is way off target. Look at the business marketplace today. What is the predominant OS? Windows. What is the predominant suite of programs being used? Microsoft Office. What do most people have a familiarity with? The Windows interface and working in Word. FrontPage is Word on steroids and integrates seamlessly into the Microsoft Office environment.

Dang, I must have imagined all those top 5 Google positions (and quite a few #1 positions) for the keywords and keyphrases that I watch.

Those must be my sites that you are watching. :)

jimbeetle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 9:15 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Those must be my sites that you are watching.

Uh, uh. Must be some of mine. ;)

Now dang, just imagine what we could do if we didn't use Frontpage.

yowza

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 9:26 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yikes! That one is way off target

Yeah, I know that Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Windows, etc. dominate the market, but FP doesn't.

Just out of curiosity, I did a Monster.com keyword search for Frontpage and one for Dreamweaver.

287 results in the US for FrontPage and it says "more than 1000" for dreamweaver (it says more than 1000 but won't let me scroll past 1000 -weird).

So I guess that some companies use it, but you have a much better chance of getting a job with DW skills than FP skills.

I know of some companies that would laugh at a prospective employee with only FP skills. As you can see from this and other threads there is an inherent aversion to FP in the webmaster community. Sorry, but I think I was right on target.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 12:53 am on Jan 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

287 results in the US for FrontPage and it says "more than 1000" for dreamweaver (it says more than 1000 but won't let me scroll past 1000 -weird).

What that is telling you is that companies have embraced FrontPage and the receptionist is building newsletters and managing content between phone calls. They don't need a DW designer, they just need someone who has experience working with Office products. ;)

I'm going to guess that the numbers will always be disproportionate due to the designer's side of things. Many of the designers are working on a Mac. Most only know of Dreamweaver and the little they've heard about FrontPage scares them and I don't blame them. They really haven't had the same support that us Windows users have had for the product. And, since FrontPage is primarily a Windows product, there won't be many Mac users who have quick access to it. DW will be their choice or even GoLive.

If you have WYSIWYG skills, making the transition to Dreamweaver should not be that difficult. Sure, there will be a learning curve, but same applies for DW users migrating to FrontPage.

Many of the negative comments that are expressed on the Internet are coming from those who have not really used the product. They've only seen what the beginning webmaster has produced and it isn't pretty in most instances. But, the same applies to DW. The program is only as good as the user. ;)

I know of some companies that would laugh at a prospective employee with only FP skills.

I would say those that are laughing are not savvy business people. Again, it is not the program, it is the user of the program that counts. I build strictly FrontPage sites and there are very few that compare, very few. I'm also an advanced user of the program so I have a slight edge. But, that's why I'm here sharing my experiences with everyone. FrontPage is a great tool in the right hands. So is Dreamweaver and all the other HTML Editors. There are strengths and there are weaknesses. The ones that count are those of the individual using the programs. ;)

abbeyvet

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1330 posted 1:12 am on Jan 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sure, you could build a flat brochureware site and not use any of the Extensions

I use FrontPage every day and use absolutely NOTHING that requires extensions, haven't done for years.

Most of my sites have CSS layouts, make heavy use of PHP/MySQL and all are on Linux boxes without extensions of any kind (never had a site on Windows, ever). Few could be described as even distantly related to brochureware.

I started out with FP years ago and the way I used it just evolved as I learned more, but I never felt the need to jettison it as it continues to serve me well.

I looked at Dreamweaver several times, but since I would continue to work the way I do, and thus have no real use for proprietory stuff there either, I can't see any reason to change.

Sure I could do it all in Notepad, but it would take me twice as long, and I would lose out on a lot of very convenient and useful tools. The one that comes most to mind is applying CSS styles, which as P1R points out in his other recent posts about FP is really quick and easy to apply in FP.

I am quite sure there are many people working with FP in the same way as I do.

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