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What does "Coding by hand" mean?
webustaad




msg:933686
 10:59 pm on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Dear webmasters!

I hope you all are fine and in your good health. Can you tell me what does "coding by hand" mean? Actually I am new in this web designing world and have no idea about the web designing terms.

 

EliteWeb




msg:933687
 11:02 pm on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Coding by hand means to code without any assistance from HTML designing programs. All done by hand with the knowledge of how to code. :D If you use a program to design your sites its done with a WYSIWYG editor.

le_gber




msg:933688
 7:37 am on Apr 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

As EliteWeb stated coding by hand means using your 'own little hands' to type in code :).

There is 2 ways of designing web pages

  • WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors like front page, macromedia dreamweaver, adobe GoLive etc... it's software where by clicking on a button will 'write' the code for you.
    For example if you click on 'insert an image' a popup window will appear and you select the image and it insert it automatically on the page for you.

  • hand coding is where YOU type <img src="MyImagePath/MyImageName.jpg"> and any other code in simple software like notepad (included in any windows OS and I'm sure mac and linux have their own version of it).

    Another difference is that with WYSIWYG editors you see how your page looks like while you design it, in hand coding all you see is your code and you only see your page when you preview it in a browser.

    Hope this helped

    leo

  • gingerbreadman




    msg:933689
     8:03 am on Apr 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Some web designers think there is benefit attached with still 'coding everything by hand'.

    I still know a couple of people who will only use notepad for their code. Each to their own I suppose.

    I think a lot of people now use a variety of methods to complete the code.

    I for example use dreamweaver to get the layour sorted and then go 'into the code' (by hand) to sort it all out.

    ranjan




    msg:933690
     8:05 am on May 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

    "Coding by Hand" is a term coined by purists who do not rely on a WYSIWYG Editor to glorify the fact that they use a NON WYSIWYG Editor.

    To me coding by hand means, taking a pen and paper and writing the code with your hand on paper. Isn't that stupid?

    Everybody uses an editor. Nobody codes by hand! The editor maybe as simple and cheap as Windows Notepad or as complicated and expensive as Macromedia's Dreamweaver.

    Please don't allow the purist to get into your head whilemaking your choice of an editor. Primarily if you know (X)HTML, it really doesn't matter what editor you use to code. Your code is as good as your knowledge of (X)HTML.

    While I have seen complete mockery of code done by the so called "Hand Coders", I have also seen absolute clean coding done by Editors.

    Ranjan

    Nick_W




    msg:933691
     8:14 am on May 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

    >>Your code is as good as your knowledge of (X)HTML

    Most, WYSIWYG editors spit out a fair bit of unneeded code at best and at worst just make your page much, much messier than it needs to be.

    Coding by hand is a choice for all designers/coders - The benefits are:

    • You actually learn quicker and better
    • Your understanding of the code will help debug scripts and design issues
    • It's way, way faster as you don't have to first do the WYSIWYG thing, then go to the source code and edit out all the junk
    • It makes you feel like less of a big girls blouse ;)

    The disadvantages are:
    • It's a steeper learning curve
    • It's tougher (at the beginning) for newbies
    • It's slower and you end up doing everything twice.

    Nick (of the purist Nick's)... hehehehe

    chiyo




    msg:933692
     9:12 am on May 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

    I guess Im still a "hand-coder". But I do use sophisticated elements such as "cut and paste" and "multi-replace". That said, I have a "library" of "clips".

    Hand coders are not usually elitist or purist. Though they made be proud that they know the theory as well as the practice! If you know the theory, then the world is your oyster and you are not restrained by applications. Its just the difference between sewing your own clothes or using a sewing machine. The latter can be faster but it's less flexible. The former does mean you have to understand first principles.

    After trying most wysiwygs right from the very first like HotDog - and then Dreamweaver, GoLive, Homesite and even Front Page, I find hand coding just easier and you know exactly what each peice of code in there does and why. That actually makes you able to be far more flexible and creative in what you do.

    I guess part of it is that i started pre WSYWIG days. Im pretty sure if i started in the past 5 years i would have gravitated fast to a WYSIWIG.

    Part of it too, is that we can't afford those ungodly prices for things like Dreamweaver abd Front Page that reward your purchase by making you dependent on them and upselling you on upgrades, "extras" and related gizmos.

    As someone else said, all to his own. But I prefer my scotch neat and my coffee black..

    TheDoctor




    msg:933693
     10:01 am on May 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

    I've being using Amaya, from the World-wide Web Consortium, for the past couple of months, and I'm beginning to like it. It has all kinds of problems - notably a lack of documentation - but it does have the advantage over most WYSIWYG editors of producing fairly clean HTML. It also has an HTML editor where you can overide the code it produces, accessible simply by clicking View -> Source on its menu bar. I have solved every problem easily (once I've found out how to do it - given the lack of documentation) using the package.

    It also has the advantage of being downloadable free of charge, and it also, being a W3C package, validates your code. I use it all the time now, replacing a combination of GoLive and an editor.

    I did ask in another thread, when I first starting to look at it, if anyone else was using it, but got no reply. Am I its only user?

    DLadybug




    msg:933694
     3:53 pm on May 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

    The disadvantages are:
    It's a steeper learning curve

    It's tougher (at the beginning) for newbies

    It's slower and you end up doing everything twice.

    UM...twice? by the power of 10! lol.

    But, learning to write HTML or XHTML line by line is best if you like to be able to correct your own mistakes. You have to know enough to be able to read the directions (code) that outlines how your page looks, even if you use a software program that does WYSIWYG.

    The best example would be, have you ever used a word processors' template to create something like a resume? Then decided you didn't want one of the fields selected, and tried to delete the "clubs and affiliations" section? It's murder, because the program has already set up for that field, and you can't SEE what it's doing to hold that space, and you can't see the "code" to correct it.

    This is pretty close to what happens in a wysiwyg editor, is easy to correct something If you know enough html code to change a line here or there. If you don't, you can be fuming at your software until you cry.

    Most pros know the coding very well, then they can take shortcuts and use wysiwyg programs that speed up the process, because they know they can go in and override anything they wish. when I get to that stage, I'll feel like a big girl.

    Good luck to you! It'll be fun either way.
    ~Dian

    europeforvisitors




    msg:933695
     4:21 am on May 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

    As someone else said, all to his own. But I prefer my scotch neat and my coffee black..

    So do I, but I edit my site with FrontPage. Otherwise, I wouldn't have time for Scotch or coffee. :-)

    upside




    msg:933696
     5:52 am on May 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

    I write all my code in a plain text editor called BBEdit on the Mac. BBEdit offers some killer features like syntax coloring in every major scripting language and also an HTML tag editor. So in essence you write the code by hand and then you use it's graphical (not WYSIWYG) interface to tweak an attribute. This IMO combines the best of both worlds, the freedom of hand coding with built in reference material. The only thing I cannot code by hand are imagemaps. :P

    crosenblum




    msg:933697
     2:49 pm on May 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

    I am a die-hard purist, will only code in Textpad. Or any other text-editor I like.

    Hand Coding is simply the way to go to make sure your great design looks great, and readable, and easy to modify.

    And correct HTML!

    The problem is that WYSWYG editors, which results do look good. Create bad html.

    Extra font tags, unnecessary div tags. Just a lot of extra crap.

    I can still create a very nice looking web page. But I am personally familiar with every part of my code, so that if anything is wrong, I know what and where to fix.

    The big thing about purists and purism, is that the code has to look good as a web page, and the code itself has to look good.

    Indented, lowercase for easier readability.

    Simple, standard HTML Usage.

    And as you get into Web Application, such as what I do, with languages like ColdFusion.

    Then good coding style/standards become incredibly more important.

    Good Coding is about creating good results with good code.

    Unfortunately a lot of WYSWYG editors create good results with bad code. Which creates a lot of problems for other people to take their time, to have to clean up the code, for implementing in lots of different ways.

    Fine use a WYSWYG editor to create the design, but then please go look at the code, and make sure it is clean, and purely great html code.

    That's all we ask.

    ritch_b




    msg:933698
     3:05 pm on May 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

    "Coding by Hand" is a term coined by purists who do not rely on a WYSIWYG Editor to glorify the fact that they use a NON WYSIWYG Editor.

    Couldn't disagree more.

    Coding by hand is, for many, a natural route of progression after having used the likes of FP, DreamWeaver, etc. It is neither a glorification, nor is it eliteist, merely a progression.

    Whilst the likes of DreamWeaver and FrontPage have certainly made the process of producing web-sites easier for novice and intermediate users and provided a much gentler learning curve for the individual concerned, they all (pretty much without exception) produce unnecessary tags and code bloat and without going in there and editing by hand, there's simply no way to clean it up.

    For many, this isn't an issue and they are perfectly happy with the end result from their WYSIWIG editor. Others will strive to learn more, edit by hand and make their work cleaner, tidier and quicker to load.

    As a newcomer to web design, using a WYSIWIG editor will allow you to start producing sites quicker than if you worked by hand. Don't be afraid to look through the code, chop bits out, change others and see how it all works though - it's nowhere near as difficult to pick up as it would first seem, or as others would have you believe!

    R.

    brotherhood of LAN




    msg:933699
     3:16 pm on May 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

    "Coding by Hand" is a term coined by purists who do not rely on a WYSIWYG Editor to glorify the fact that they use a NON WYSIWYG Editor.

    Well I'd have to agree, it is by purists and by people who try to draw a line between themselves and supposed newbies ;)

    WYSIWYG is a tool for you to get a job done, depending on how you use it, it will do it well. Any "purists" will be relying on other bits of software instead.

    If anyone slants you for using a wysiwyg, laugh in their face ;) They are either using notepad and wasting time or another type of "editor" that has bells and whistles............designed to save time in your coding, effectively WYSIWYG.

    I prefer to see WYSIWYG alongside "automated tools", because that's all they are, they do a specific job with the help of some precompiled code. "hand coders" are just aware of what code is being spat out by the editor :)

    I guess you could call WW a wysiwyg editor, it was hand coded, but still requires us to point and click to get the job done ;). IMO ignore the stigmas, buzzwords and stereotypes and use the tool to get the job done :)....oh and if you ever meet a hand coder, they'll be able to de-fluff your WYSIWYG code because its their job...lol.

    ritch_b




    msg:933700
     3:19 pm on May 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

    <off topic>

    Disagree / agree / god bless democracy!...

    ...and as if that wasn't good enough, it's Friday!...

    </off topic>

    europeforvisitors




    msg:933701
     2:09 pm on May 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Coding by hand is, for many, a natural route of progression after having used the likes of FP, DreamWeaver, etc. It is neither a glorification, nor is it eliteist, merely a progression.

    Coding by hand strikes me as being an unnatural route of regression. It makes me think of the 1980s, when I used to hand-edit formatting codes in my word processor and tags in ASCII text that was being imported into my desktop-publishing program.

    Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web, envisioned a Web where HTML code would be generated automatically behind the scenes as the author used a WYSIWYG tool that resembled a word processor. That's stated very clearly in his book. His vision is good enough for me. :-)

    Fact is, some of us have to make a living with our Web content. We don't have time to be "pure code hobbyists," and we don't have clients paying us by the hour to hand-code pages. Nor are we judged by the perfection of our code--we're judged by what our readers see. (My code may suck, since it's been generated by FrontPage since I gave up writing code by hand years ago, but that hasn't kept my site from being a Forbes "Best of the Web" selection and attracting several hundred thousand visitors per month. We've all got our own priorities, and mine is to deliver quality content, not to deliver aesthetically satisfying code.)

    caine




    msg:933702
     11:30 am on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Welcome to Webmasterworld Webustaad,

    Coding by Hand. As the other chaps have stated refer's to not using Automated processes to create webpages, databases, and other applications. Instead directly working with a computer language, whether HTML, CSS, Perl, PHP, MySQL, etc and actually building it on a compatible platform. Certainly require's a deep understanding to do it properly, and is usually in the domain of coders or programmers.

    Most individual's usually use WYSIWYG's editors, which is an automated process of making web pages, and then hand code to tweak the automated generation of code, dependant on their concerns.

    TheWebographer




    msg:933703
     1:07 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Once you learn how to "Code by Hand" you will possibly never use a WYSIWYG editor. In fact, I bet I can code a page by hand just about as fast as most WYSIWYG editors. AND the code will not be speghetti.

    Its been my experience that most of those who have truely mastered(X)HTML have little need for FrontPage or DreamWeaver etc. Its kinda like training wheels on a bike. Sure, you COULD continue to use your training wheels....and you would get along just fine up to a point.

    But the big reason to learn how to code by hand is this:

    I can make one template page, tweak it as I desire.
    Tie it to a database with server side scripting.
    BANG! 100,000 pages if I want. In fact, my newspaper website does just that.

    But it goes even further than that. Learning how to code HTML and do some programming on the server side is setting you up to take advantage of the myriad of possibilities that are comming down the pike as the web grows and matures. If your stuck being only able to do the things that FrontPage and DreamWeaver can do for you then you very well may miss out.

    Take my advice. Learn to code it yourself. It takes some time, some sweat, some tears even. And then you will be lightyears ahead of the common herd.

    [edited by: TheWebographer at 1:22 pm (utc) on May 5, 2003]

    victor




    msg:933704
     1:19 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    It makes me think of the 1980s, when I used to hand-edit formatting codes in my word processor and tags in ASCII text that was being imported into my desktop-publishing program.

    You mena most of the people who code by hand use ASCII!?

    What kind of soft-liberal pinko stuff is that?

    The only way to really get close to the code is use only 0s and 1s. As a two-fignered typist,I find that an ideal approach.


    crosenblum




    msg:933705
     3:20 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Good food for thought.

    I am not trying to persuade anyone to do anything.

    I just want us to be realistic in the consequences of each, and the responsibilities of each.

    When I started out in 1997, there was FrontPage or notepad, that was it.

    I had to know the code I was using, so I could make sure the results i wanted were successful or not.

    I am not an elitist.

    All I have ever asked, is go ahead use whatever tool you want, just don't create crappy code that other people will have to clean up after.

    Isn't that common courtesy?

    I try hard to make sure my code is commented, documented and planned out and organized.

    I am not trying to exclude people.

    My BIG POINT is:

    I BELIEVE THE QUALITY OF THE RESULTS SHOULD 100% MATCH THE QUALITY OF THE CODE!

    For example, I have friends, who have to clean up the code left by WYSWYG coders. Which takes extra time out of their regular work.

    So all i am trying to make is, after you are done designing the beautiful page or app. Make sure the code sticks to the recent html, css whatever standards. Is it indented for each section for easy reading?

    Is it having only the necessary tags? No extra, unnecessary tags?

    Is that understandable?

    ritch_b




    msg:933706
     11:12 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

    use only 0s and 1s

    ...careful - you'll get RSI...;)

    R.

    europeforvisitors




    msg:933707
     5:07 am on May 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

    crosenblum wrote:

    When I started out in 1997, there was FrontPage or notepad, that was it.

    Hmmm...I remember using HotDog Pro in late 1995. (I didn't like it much, though--it crashed a lot more than Notepad did!)

    For example, I have friends, who have to clean up the code left by WYSWYG coders.

    What on earth for? How many users look at code? If it works, it works...and if there are a few or even a few dozen unnecessary tags on a page, that won't make an iota of difference to any user who isn't on a 300-bps connection.

    Hand coding is great if it floats your boat. What the heck--I know a few writers who still use pencils or typewriters. :-)

    grahamstewart




    msg:933708
     7:50 am on May 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

    What on earth for? How many users look at code? If it works, it works...

    Probably to make it validate :)
    That tends to be a lot more important to hand-coders than to WYSWYGers.

    Oh.. and probably to make it use the right tags as well. :)
    Hand-coders also find this important!

    Show me a WSYWYG page that uses the correct tags for everything, has a good document structure, passes WAI/Bobby accessibility tests, isn't bloated with extra code, and has HTML/CSS that validates.

    Sinner_G




    msg:933709
     8:02 am on May 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

    What on earth for? How many users look at code? If it works, it works...

    In addition to what grahamstewart wrote, you have to consider that sometimes, other people will have to change things in your pages. If then something goes wrong, it is much easier to spot if you have decent code (indented,...).

    Sinner

    jamesa




    msg:933710
     8:47 am on May 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Hey if you know the HTML specs inside and out, and can generate clean code using a WSIWYG then more power to you. But I'm sure most true hand-coders will write better code and faster. :)

    Hey webustaad, you touched on a hot topic :) The "stigma" is that WYSIWYG users don't know their stuff any rely on the WYSIWYGs to do it for them (which always produces sub-par results), and that hand coders are the seriously good developers that know their sh_t... the fact is that there are some lame hand coders, and there are many WYSIWYG folks that do know their stuff. It's just that anyone can pick up a WYSIWYG and produce a "web page", just not necessarily a good one. If you rely on the tool and not learn your craft then you'll always be limited. And when you get into the scripting languages then WYSIWYGs are worthless IMHO.

    DLadybug




    msg:933711
     11:40 am on May 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

    If you rely on the tool and not learn your craft

    You know, that might be the key here...it will depend on what you see "your craft" as.

    If your function is to create a web page to achieve someone elses end, then the code will be your focus, and you might be of a nature to want to be "intimately connected" to it. (hand coders?)

    If you are creating a web page as only a means to an end, your focus is on the end product, and whatever means necessary works. I mean, if you sell widgets, you focus on widgets and the business of widgets, not the biz of producing web pages. So it follows that the code will be one step removed from your focus. (wysiwygers?)

    Although there are we control freaks out here that have to have one foot in each arena. (herds of nerds?)

    Anyway, I think it comes down to how close you need to be to the process, which is probably defined by temperament, and time/money resources.

    Dian :)

    europeforvisitors




    msg:933712
     2:16 am on May 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    DLadybug:

    Very well put! To use another analogy, there may be more satisfaction in making bread dough by hand than in using a mixer, but if you're running a bakery, you'll get more work done if there's a Hobart to do your mixing and kneading.

    1milehgh80210




    msg:933713
     3:30 am on May 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    If you are creating a web page as only a means to an end, your focus is on the end product, and whatever means necessary works. I mean, if you sell widgets, you focus on widgets and the business of widgets, not the biz of producing web pages."<<

    exactly!
    If coding is your $thing you definitly want to do it by hand. Know html,Xhtml Php etc etc etc.Some, like myself are doing several things at once (coding, SEO, writing content) so the learning curve will take longer for each.
    Analogy---you can be a great chef and not know how to grow and process each ingredient by hand.
    Even though the final product MIGHT have been better if you had.

    grahamstewart




    msg:933714
     5:19 am on May 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    "you'll get more work done if there's a Hobart to do your mixing and kneading"

    But your bread won't taste like real bread, some of it will be under-cooked and it will have hard bits in it that break peoples teeth. :)

    limbo




    msg:933715
     2:24 pm on May 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

    You don't need to know what is under the bonnet(hood) of a car to make it drive. for that you need only a basic knowledge. But if the car breaks down you will be at great advantage (and richer) if you can fix the problem yourself.

    I am a very enthusiatic Aytch-te-em-eller (new verb) but often create pages in DW. This is fastest way for me to draw up the site (very slow typist - see other thread running in FOO). Then I go in and clean up the code and create script using notepad.

    This 66 message thread spans 3 pages: 66 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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