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|What's wrong with FrontPage?|
Negative comments about the program
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.
|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.
Yes, it all boils down to the individual using the program. However, that individual would have a better chance of getting a job if they used the most accepted tool.
For instance, I'm much more proficient at Fireworks than Photoshop. For web work I actually think Fireworks is a better product. Yet, if I wanted to get a graphics job, I would have a much better chance of getting hired with Photoshop skills than Fireworks skills. Just because I use Fireworks doesn't necessarily mean that I'm any worse of a prospective employee. However, if they don't have to teach me how to use their tools, I have a much better chance of getting the job.
Thus, even though FP and DW may produce the same quality of website, why not choose the tool that is much more widely used and accepted?
|For instance, I'm much more proficient at Fireworks than Photoshop. For web work I actually think Fireworks is a better product. |
I'm a Fireworks user too and have been for years. I'll agree that it used to be a better product. PhotoShop and ImageReady have made leaps and bounds in this area and are equal to if not better than Fireworks. I will continue to use both programs.
|Yet, if I wanted to get a graphics job, I would have a much better chance of getting hired with Photoshop skills than Fireworks skills. |
Graphics Job is the keyword phrase there. Yes, if you were applying for a general Graphics Job, Photoshop is going to be a requirement. So is Quark, Illustrator, PageMaker, etc.
But, if you were applying for a website graphics designer position, then your Fireworks skills are going to be a plus. Either way, the programs (in their latest versions) work almost seamlessly together.
|Thus, even though FP and DW may produce the same quality of website, why not choose the tool that is much more widely used and accepted? |
Choosing the tool that is most widely accepted is all relative to the specific industry you are referring to. Traditional graphic design; Quark, InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, PageMaker, etc. Website graphic design; FrontPage (SharePoint), Dreamweaver (Contribute), Fireworks, ImageReady, etc.
Learning how to use all of the above programs would be the ultimate scenario. These days, they have so much in common and are cross platform that you can use whatever you want.
If you are serious about the job/career that you are applying for and/or pursuing, you will hone your skills using the tools that are required by your prospective employer.
[edited by: pageoneresults at 6:15 pm (utc) on Jan. 23, 2006]
You could write a #1 book and not even know what a printing press looks like, but writing a #1 book doesn't automatically qualify you as a master pressman.
You could use notepad to create webpages with millions of viewers that make thousands a day. It may make you a great designer/marketer/writer/artist/ect, but it doesn't automatically qualify you as a master of the web.
You could be great php/asp programmer with amazing database skills and a complete understanding of xml and xhtml, but if your website gets no visitors because you use a 50pt flashing font, then you are also not a master of the web.
As for frontpage, nothing wrong with frontpage, if your a great designer/marketer/writer/ect then frontpage is a great way to promote your skills/abilities on the web. If the skills/abilities you are promoting are that you are a webmaster though, then you should probably take the time to learn more than just the limited abilities of frontpage.
|Yes, it all boils down to the individual using the program. However, that individual would have a better chance of getting a job if they used the most accepted tool. |
Depends on what kind of job you want. For some corporate jobs, FrontPage skills might be preferable to Dreamweaver or Notepad skills. Just as, for some corporate jobs, Access or FileMaker Pro skills might be more useful than SQL database skills, and Word skills might be more useful than PageMaker or Quark XPress skills.
Still, this thread isn't about job-hunting, and not all of us want jobs. Indeed, some of us have zero interest in jobs: We earn good incomes from our Web sites, and we pick tools for their value to us in our work as self-employed publishers, e-commerce merchants, affiliates, or whatever.
|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. |
That surely is NOT my experience. On one site I use many thousands of static includes in FrontPage2003. The inclusion is very "intimate"--for example, having a <ul> and </ul> on the HTML page, and using one or more FP2003 include webbots to insert the <li></li>'s for the list between them.
What FP2003 inserts is just "that which resides between the <body></body> of the include, like it should". Obviously it wouldn't work any other way.
The site is hosted on BSD unix, with no FrontPage Extensions.
I think the confusion may come because FrontPage2003 can work in two different ways. One is to operate on a remote hosted website "live" (FrontPage Extensions required). The other is to operate on a local disk copy of the files for a website, and then "publish" it via FTP (no FrontPage Extensions required) to a remote server.
|That surely is NOT my experience. On one site I use many thousands of static includes in FrontPage2003. The inclusion is very "intimate"--for example, having a <ul> and </ul> on the HTML page, and using one or more FP2003 include webbots to insert the <li></li>'s for the list between them. |
I'm looking at a site right now that I developed templates for. I'm viewing the source right now as I type this. The server does not have FP extensions installed. The webbots are not being processed properly by the server so the entire page (<html></html>) is being included. It is not a pretty site to see four <head> sections rendered behind the scenes.
|The inclusion is very "intimate"--for example, having a <ul> and </ul> on the HTML page, and using one or more FP2003 include webbots to insert the <li></li>'s for the list between them. |
I'm quite intimate with FP Includes myself. Met my first one back in late 1995. ;)
[url=http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum46/710.htm]Developing FrontPage Includes - Tutorial for Building FP Included Content.
j_h_maccann, nice FrontPage site, bravo!
I should point out, that I am using .asp extensions for my sites. FrontPage reacts a little differently when using the .asp extension on include files and the webbot. The most important benefit is that it hides the <webbot> tags. lol! That's a tip that I rarely share, so eat it up all you FP fans.
Did you know that you can also use <webbots> in your <head></head>?
<!--webbot bot="include" u-include="include-head.asp" tag="head" -->
Change the tag="" attribute from "body" to "head".
Well, if you use .asp pages, you probably are not using a Unix server (without extensions) as I am. :-)
Perhaps this is yet again a sub-chapter of the general theme "you must set the FrontPage2003 options so that they produce the kind of website you want".
Under "Tools", "Page Options...", on the tab "Authoring", under "FrontPage and SharePoint technologies", choose the dropdown setting "Custom" and then you can separately turn on or turn off "Browse-time Web Components" and "Author-time Web Components".
I have Browse-time Web Components firmly OFF and Author-time Web Components firmly ON.
The Microsoft website tells us what these mean:
"To turn support on or off for Web components that can make it easier to create and design Web pages ... select or clear the Author-time Web Components check box.
"To turn support on or off for Web components that are available on Web sites located on Web servers running FrontPage Server Extensions from Microsoft, SharePoint Team Services from Microsoft, or Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services, select or clear the Browse-time Web Components check box."
That is, "author-time" web components are processed within FrontPage2003 on your computer at authoring time, and result in static HTML pages which can be FTP'd to ANY server, without Microsoft Extensions.
But "browse-time" web components are processed partly by the server when the page is accessed, and so they require a server which has the Microsoft Extensions.
With Browse-time Web Components OFF, when I use a FrontPage2003 "include" it is completely handled (properly) on my machine and results in HTML pages which can then be FTP'd to and served by any web server WITHOUT FrontPage Extensions.
Perhaps "includes" are handled differently if you turn Browse-time Web Components ON? The including is done by the server? I wouldn't know for sure, but it sounds likely.
With "Author-time" on only, the includes are put into the static pages surrounded by the webbot comments which identify their source. It sounds like, if you enable "Browse-time" components, the includes are inserted by the server, replacing the webbot comments. That would account for your observation about the comments.
With "Browse-time web components" turned off, I find that I can easily and reliably use FrontPage2003 to produce sites which do not depend on Microsoft server technology. Also, relative URLs can be used in the includes, and FP2003 automagically rewrites them (at author-time) to be correct no matter where they are included. It's very slick. This seems like the right way to use FP2003 on non-Microsoft servers.
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