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WYSIWYG and Text Code Editors Forum

FrontPage for hand-coding?
Sounds stupid maybe, but I got it for free....

 2:51 pm on Feb 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've always hand-coded HTML. I've tried various free/shareware WYSIWYG editors and always felt they got in the way more than they helped.

At work I now have a copy of FrontPage, which I've never used before. I like to keep my code tight, so I can't see using it for WYSIWYG. Are there any other features that I might find useful? Or should I ignore it and continue my basic text-editing ways?




 2:59 pm on Feb 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Have a look at this thread


I am a huge fan of Dreamweaver, others swear by Frontpage etc - But lets not go there ;)


 3:02 pm on Feb 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's been a very long time since I've looked at FrontPage, but when I did look at it, I always found that it added in some proprietary code specific to FP and IE...

If you are used to hand coding, I'm not sure if using FP will add any extra benefit to you?

I know that I like Dreamweaver for hand coding for it's tag colouring, both in html and JavaScript - I'm sure FP has something similar.


 3:14 pm on Feb 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

In my daily work I use Dreamweaver, FrontPage and Textpad.
One thing that I thought might be useful to you is:
In FrontPage even if you do not use WYSIWYG you still can use the tool bars to do things. Like inserting an image or creating a table, etc. For features like those, the code is clean and does not have extra stuff.
I think it makes hand coding musch faster.

Receptional Andy

 3:25 pm on Feb 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> Or should I ignore it and continue my basic text-editing ways? <<

IMHO you'd be very well advised to do just that. Or use a free text based editor like 1st page 2000 (which i'm using at the moment)

There are lots of good text-based editors out there which will make your life far easier than Frontpage ever could. Many of them are very similar too, and so at the moment I jump between lots of different ones (e.g. Homesite/1st page/coffee cup etc etc)

I am forced to use Frontpage sometimes to work on sites using FP specific code, and as a hand-coder, for me it's like pulling teeth.

And ...the horror... when you open up your hand coded site and see the mess that FP can sometimes make of your code when you add a line break or a paragraph or something.

Sorry, touchy subject for me ;)

brotherhood of LAN

 3:30 pm on Feb 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Frontpage has loads of useful things IMO. The fact that you handcode probably means that 99% of any "shortfalls" in the program are out of the question....less chance of it going wrong when you explicitly type stuff in ;)

Some scripting languages may not agree with FP though, even in HTML mode. PHP mentions this in their manual.

I'd guess its to do with FP checking the code on your page when you save. Some FP extensions will want you to not edit code, so FP checks those pages and undoes changes. ;).

$message = preg_replace("'here'","<a href=\"/?id=10&product={$result['id']}\">here</a>",$message);

$message = preg_replace("'here'","<a href=%22/?id=10&product={$result[&#039;id&#039;]}/&quot;>here</a>",$message);

...thats using default option settings on FP 2002, after saving the file it changed the code a little.


 3:36 pm on Feb 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I appreciate the responses. I guess one thing specifically I'm wondering about is if FrontPage offers any built-in FTP or other uploading features that might be useful.

I'm currently making changes, saving, then uploading (manually) via FTP. I don't find that particularly onerous, but was just curious if FrontPage offers any site management benefits?

P.S. I'm not trying to get into what editor people prefer. I'm asking about FrontPage because it's what's on my machine. I don't want to start any range wars....


 3:39 pm on Feb 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

backupbrain.com did an interesting comparison between hand-coding, DW3, FP2000 and GoLive5 in 12/2000; and a similar comparison of DWMX, FP2002, GoLive6 and hand-coding 11/2002.

The author compared coding of a simple rollover script, including # of lines of code and number of characters, whether the page valiadated with W3C, and whether the javascript was "good" (?).

The results were the same each time: hand-coding came in first, then DW, then GoLive. FP came in a distance last. By distant, I mean more than 100 times the coded lines and characters as hand-coding and DW. The differences between GoLive and FP were less significant, but certainly noticeable.

Just a little something to think about.... ;)

BTW, I don't use FP, but I understand there's a way to change the settings so it doesn't change so much of your coding when you save a document. Maybe someone can help you out with that. I believe the backupbrain.com study used the default settings. ;)


 3:51 pm on Feb 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

If the FrontPage extensions are enable on the server you can do 2 things:

1- Use the publish option to either make the remote site (on the server) like local or other way. It will take care of updates for you. You have to "open web" the version you want to publish from.

2- You can work on your pages online (on the server) without touching your local backup. This makes development, testing and debugging much faster since you do not have to save, upload and view for each action. Just save and view.
DWMX has similar convenience too. It basically uploads automatically whenever you hit save. But in Frontpage you are working on the actual live page.

I like FP and DW both. If you want to choose, take DW. If it will cost you, take the free one. IMO differences are not an issue if you are comfortable with hand coding. But WYSIWYG in both can save you a lot of time and much less mistakes.

Receptional Andy

 3:53 pm on Feb 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Frontpage is fairly good at site management - most often those with FronPage server extensions installed. However it does have FTP capabilities and has a handy feature to check which pages have been modified and only upload those.

However, in the past i've run into problems where frontpage doesn't recognise a page or script that has been modified and I have to go to great lengths to get the changes uploaded - like FTPing it to the server and moving pages using windows explorer ;)

brotherhood of LAN

 4:00 pm on Feb 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

However, in the past i've run into problems where frontpage doesn't recognise a page or script that has been modified and I have to go to great lengths to get the changes uploaded - like FTPing it to the server and moving pages using windows explorer ;)

If I remember right, that can happen if you edit files outside of Frontpage....I had that same problem too

Apart from that the FTP was fine.

Photon, as with any editor you can used to the "quirks" pretty quick, specially when the editor is free and on your desktop ;)

Receptional Andy

 4:42 pm on Feb 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>.I had that same problem too <<

Here's a good workaround for this problem that I discovered:

Right click on the file within FrontPage and go to 'properties'. Click on the 'summary' tab and add some comments (it doesn't matter what, a single letter will do). FP will now republish the file because you've added comments to it. Saved me a lot of time in the past.


 3:55 pm on Feb 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks to everyone for the comments. I believe that at this point I may just play around with it a bit to familiarize myself with it--one of my clients has it and has expressed an interest in changing their (text) context with it.

For myself, I'll continue my hand-coding ways with HTML-Kit and TextPad. I really want to like HTML-Kit (seems a bit wonky, though), but have used TextPad quite happily for some time (but that's a different topic).

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