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FrontPage vs. DreamWeaver
The merits of frontpage and Dreamweaver, which wins?
Aberdeen




msg:935813
 8:19 pm on Jul 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi, my first post here.

I have just developed my first site in .asp using notepad the whole time. I really like being in total control, and I now know html pretty well because of it. But, now I have been given the task of developing lots of sites in a short space of time. I dont know why but something is telling me I need to change to a WYSIWYG editor. Am I right in thinking that FrontPage is going to get a beating here?. How does DreamWeaver handle .aspx? Will it complicate the code I have already written, or will it leave it be? Or is there a editor that I dont know about which is good for .aspx?

Cheers for your help.

 

NeedScripts




msg:935814
 9:41 pm on Jul 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi Aberdeen,

Welcome to WebmasterWorld.... I hope you will enjoy this place the way I do..

Well I personally prefer Frontpage over Dreamweaver. Haven't worked with anything but static pages on both FP and Dreamweaver though. Also, if you were to check out the new features that MS is having in FP 2003, I think Dreamweaver will have to work hard even to get close to the new FP.

Hope this helps :)

NS

europeforvisitors




msg:935815
 11:28 pm on Jul 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Dreamweaver started out as a "Mac-centric" application for Web designers who a WYSIWYG tool that would complement HTML editors like BBEdit.

FrontPage, in contrast, started out as a Microsoft Word for the Web. It was geared to business people, writers, and editors, and it was--and is--an ideal tool for pages that consist primarily of text with the occasional table or illustration.

Both products have matured quite a bit over the years, but I think it's still fair to say that Dreamweaver is primarily a tool for Web designers and FrontPage is an application for content creators. To put it another way, if your first computer application was Photoshop, Dreamweaver is likely to be right for you; if you were a Word power user before the Web came along, you'll love FrontPage.

Jenstar




msg:935816
 11:47 pm on Jul 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, I am a die-hard Dreamweaver fan :) I have also used FrontPage and I find Dreamweaver does the job so much better. I also find that FrontPage has the tendency to add a lot of extraneous code to a page, which can really add up if you are trying to keep a page size down. I haven't tried the new FP 2003 that NeedScripts talks about, though.

I always got the impression that Dreamweaver is built more for professionals, while FrontPage tends to be more for the non-professional webmaster. That said, I know plenty of professionals who do use FrontPage, and love it, but I find the hard core features of Dreamweaver are much better overall, particularly for larger sites.

Also, welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com] Aberdeen.

lorax




msg:935817
 12:39 am on Jul 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WebmasterWorld Aberdeen!

Hmm.. well, let's see. I started with FP and that lasted about 1 year. Then I had Hotdog for about 6 months and then I graduated to the program that eventually turned into DW Ultradev - Drumline or something like that. Then I went stepped down to Dreamweaver. Now I'm back to handbuilding my pages with a code editor and using DW as a glorified FTP program. But I'd still use DW over FP in a heartbeat.

europeforvisitors




msg:935818
 1:19 am on Jul 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I also find that FrontPage has the tendency to add a lot of extraneous code to a page...

Oh, puh-lease...not that old canard. FP may add a lot of JavaScript code if you're letting it generate navigation bars, table of contents, etc. automatically, but that's something it does only if you want it to--e.g., if you're publishing the site on a high-speed corporate intranet and your site is essentially a large multipage document whose structure dictates the navigation scheme.

I always got the impression that Dreamweaver is built more for professionals, while FrontPage tends to be more for the non-professional webmaster.

What's a "professional Webmaster"? The art director in a design studio isn't a professional Webmaster, but there's a good chance that he or she is using Dreamweaver. The Web publisher who makes a living from editorial content (as I do) is a professional Webmaster, and he's more likely to be using FrontPage than Dreamweaver because it's a more efficient tool for that purpose.

Unless you're an employee or contractor for an organization that dictates your choice of tools, you should choose the tool that (a) most closely meets your needs and (b) is most convenient to use. In my case, that's FrontPage, because I'm an editor and writer who produces straightforward, traditional page layouts and likes a clean user interface to work in. If I were a Web designer, or if I were creating graphics-intensive sites, Dreamweaver might be a better choice.

The important thing to remember is that either program is just a tool, and tool selection is very subjective. Debates over which is better--FrontPage or Dreamweaver--are about as productive as debates about the PC vs. the Macintosh. Either tool will deliver an acceptable finished product, so you should choose the tool that you feel most comfortable with.

BTW, Dreamweaver had a downloadable trial version the last time I checked; I don't know if FrontPage still does, but if you've used Microsoft Word, you'll probably feel at home in FrontPage.

edit_g




msg:935819
 1:33 am on Jul 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Our MD has Frontpage on his machine. Everyone else uses DW to code... ;)

DW is just the professionals tool while FP has always been seen as somewhat inferion IMHO. I haven't tried FP2003 - but then, why would I want to? DW does everything and more and it doesn't add any silly code which I have to go through and take out.

Jenstar




msg:935820
 2:11 am on Jul 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

that's FrontPage, because I'm an editor and writer who produces straightforward, traditional page layouts and likes a clean user interface to work in

That proves it all comes down to a matter of preference, because that describes me perfectly, but with the word "Frontpage" replaced with "Dreamweaver" ;)

Yes, Dreamweaver offers a 30-day trial version of their software, so you can test it out and see what you think.

europeforvisitors




msg:935821
 5:44 am on Jul 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

That proves it all comes down to a matter of preference...

Exactly. That's why it pays to try the software if you can, or at least to read reviews and marketing materials that very clearly show (via plenty of screen captures) what the interface looks like.

IMHO, the user interface is one of the most important things to consider when choosing any application. And if you're buying the program for yourself, the UI will often be the deciding factor.

jamesa




msg:935822
 8:03 am on Jul 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> Will it complicate the code I have already written, or will it leave it be?

Sounds like Aberdeen has some ASP and HTML code that s/he would prefer the WYSIWYG doesn't touch. From what I understand Dreamweaver won't destroy/alter code that it didn't create, and will even keep your source code's indenting in place. Does Frontpage do the same thing? (I don't use either one.) This would be a key issue if you're using imbedded scripting.

Mozart




msg:935823
 9:29 am on Jul 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Another point worth mentioning: DreamWeaver now also handles PHP quite well (coding never was a problem, but it now also has syntax checkers/reference for php). So if you ever feel like moving your pages/application from a Windows to a Unix machine and therefore need to change you aspx to something more cross-platform like php, DW is the way to go, IMO.

killroy




msg:935824
 9:33 am on Jul 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't want to delve deeply, but generally I can smell a frontpage created website a mile against the wind, and it's not a nice smell. And if I need to look at the source, I have a hard time keeping my lunch down.

The fact that frontpage creates pages recognisibly made by that tool, says a lot either about hte kind of people using frontpage or the tool itself, both of which should make your alarm bells jingle

SN

Aberdeen




msg:935825
 10:46 am on Jul 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the welcome, and the advice.

Nobody seems to have adrressed the .aspx side of my question. I did not know there was a FrontPage 2003, surely that must have so sort support for .aspx , compared to dreamweaver. If dreamweaver has good php support, whats its .asp support like?

Most of the pages on the new site will be created server side. So will this make a difference as to my choice.

Cheers

europeforvisitors




msg:935826
 6:37 pm on Jul 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't want to delve deeply, but generally I can smell a frontpage created website a mile against the wind, and it's not a nice smell....

Trash talk isn't very helpful to someone who's seeking unbiased, useful advice. (I personally think Dreamweaver's user interface sucks, and I don't have much use for most sites created by art directors, but that doesn't mean I don't recognize the value of Dreamweaver for people who like its UI or are creating graphics-oriented sites.)

Of course, if we really want to let this thread become a torrent of trash talk, we can always invite comments on the topic of "hand coding vs. WYSIWYG editors." :-)

kjones




msg:935827
 9:26 pm on Jul 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

i'm sorry - i cannot answer your question but since you seem to have (unintentionally) started a catty fp vs dw skirmish here, and no one else is answering it either...

i would suggest starting a new discussion, using your question ( How does DreamWeaver handle .aspx? ) as the title instead of fp vs dw...

Alphawolf




msg:935828
 12:39 am on Jul 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

i would suggest starting a new discussion, using your question ( How does DreamWeaver handle .aspx? ) as the title instead of fp vs dw...

Good timing. From MM's website: Link [macromedia.com]

Dreamweaver MX extension fix for .NET framework version 1.1
For Windows only, this patch fixes an issue with the rendering of built-in ASP.NET controls that arises after installing version 1.1 (or greater) of the ASP.NET Framework. The default MM.ASPNetDesignerMgr.dll file is replaced with an updated version that has been tested with Dreamweaver MX 6.1.

To original poster- get demo's of both.

For me it comes down to the rich amount of support/extensions/and cool community Dreamweaver has.

If you invest in solid books for FP2003 or whatever the latest version is and really learn how to make the most of your tools, the program itself won't be that big of a deal.

That stated- Dreamwever is better...it would be silly to think otherwise. ;)

AW

pageoneresults




msg:935829
 1:11 am on Jul 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Arrrggghhh! Smell an FP site a mile away? I take offense to that. You must like the smell of Sterling Silver Roses because that is what my FP sites smell like! ;)

Nah, I can't bash either program, or any of the others that are in use today. It all comes down to the user, not the program. FP does have less of a learning curve than DW but, it all depends on what type of programs you are used to working with. As it has been mentioned above, if you are an MS Office user, than FP will be more familiar than DW. If you are a Macintosh user and utilize Macromedia products, than DW is going to be more familiar.

Yes, you can work on aspx sites using FP. The preferred editor for aspx is Visual Studio.Net or NotePad (Hehe). If you know the full power of FP, you can use it on any site. Add a plugin called PHP Rocket and viola, you can edit and develop in php.

If your authoring team is MS based, then you will probably want to explore an MS product as it will offer seamless integration. There are all sorts of plugins that you can add that give FP more functionality. And, FP 2003 is a force to be reckoned with in the right hands. Just as any editor is. Pssst, MS has this neat little backend called SharePoint Team Services, great little tool.

Hey killroy, come sniff my site! ;)

woop01




msg:935830
 3:45 am on Jul 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think the most important aspect of using FP is to make sure you don't use any of the built in tools. They're just plain poor.

percentages




msg:935831
 8:49 am on Jul 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I dont know why but something is telling me I need to change to a WYSIWYG editor.

Sorry to be a party pooper, but if you have developed in notepad so far the only progression you should be making is to a standard editor like Coffee Cup's or Ace's. Stay well away from the WYSIWYG nonsense, they will drive you up the wall!

I've tried DW and FP, they are both junk when used in WYSIWYG mode, and not worth buying if you intend to use them in standard coding formats.

A decent plain editor wins out everytime.

For me WYSIWYG was not only several times slower but as frustrating as heck, not to mention all of the junk inserted in the code that made it hard to read afterwards.

95%+ of designing a good site is thought, 5%- is typing. If you know how to write the code the last thing you need is an interface that gets in the way rather than helping!

europeforvisitors




msg:935832
 3:53 pm on Jul 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

For me WYSIWYG was not only several times slower but as frustrating as heck...

Only because you were new to the programs didn't know how to use the tools. (I'm not very productive in Excel, either, but I don't blame Excel for the fact that I've never taken the time to learn it well.)

Side note: Maybe it's time that we had separate forums for WYSIWYG tools and HTML/text editors, just so threads wouldn't get cluttered up with repetitious "WYSIWYG vs. hand coding" debates (which are about as useful as debates about the Mac vs. the PC).

SlyGuy




msg:935833
 4:35 pm on Jul 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

FrontPage vs. DreamWeaver
The merits of frontpage and Dreamweaver, which wins?

I think you have opened a can of worms here..;)

In response to the title of this thread and your initial question:

I dont know why but something is telling me I need to change to a WYSIWYG editor. Am I right in thinking that FrontPage is going to get a beating here?

IMHO, yes.

I started with FrontPage, moved to DreamWeaver and never looked back. I'm not going to trash FrontPage, it worked perfectly well for years, but since the release of DW4 and more recently MX, I simply uninstalled FrontPage for good.

- Chad

Marketing Guy




msg:935834
 4:54 pm on Jul 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

From what I gather both tools have their own unique *ahem* features (read: bugs) that you will have to get used to.

Ive used FP for about 2 years now (was so easy to pickup after using Word/Access/Execel). I tried out DW for a month or so, and didnt really see much benefit in using it creating the type of sites I do (large amounts of content).

Personally, I find all the FP bashing pretty offensive and bordering on being snobbish. That smells of people bashing MS, *just because it's MS*....

You don't like my code? So what? It's none of your business anyway. Leave my site if you dont like it.

FP users are unproffessional? Well, to be honest that's what I would call people who look down their noses at others.

Aberdeen, your best bet is to try them both out, as has been suggested above - get a feel for both.

Scott

rogerd




msg:935835
 4:58 pm on Jul 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Like SlyGuy, I'm a converted FP user. I haven't used the very latest version of FP, but the reasons I switched were:

1) DW has stronger collaboration features (when multiple people must work on a site).
2) DW Templates are more robust and faster than FP shared borders. (SSI beats both.)
3) FP had a nasty habit of changing edited code to its preferred version. I've heard this can now be turned off in FP, but when you edit code in DW it stays the way you left it.

I think the reason people could spot FP sites was because of the built-in "themes" and availability of many derivative themes. Certainly, one could design nice-looking sites from scratch and they would look no better or worse than those built with another tool.

I do believe that FP still targets the novice user, and that code bloat is the common result of making powerful features easy to implement. On one site, putting in a row of hover buttons created gobs of code on every page, for example. Having said that, if you get carried away with DW (and its partner Fireworks) you can build up some rather messy code, too.

DW still gets my vote, although I need to evaluate the latest version of FP.

dragonlady7




msg:935836
 5:34 pm on Jul 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'll put in a vote for DreamWeaver as well, and mention that this thread is the first time I've ever heard anyone say anything _nice_ about FrontPage. Interesting.
I'll mention that the reason I love DreamWeaver is that it's just like HomeSite, my old code editor. Macromedia bought HomeSite and put it into their WYSIWYG. I liked HomeSite a lot. And I have to admit that I like DW because it lets me be lazy and just drag things around rather than having to do the coding. But I keep the code view open and watch it-- there isn't a line of code in there that I don't know about. And it doesn't change my code. So... that's what I like about DW. Other wysiwygs didn't let me see my code easily enough, and would change things to suit themselves. Not so with DW. I think its support for server-side technology is pretty comprehensive but I can't speak with authority because mostly, I just play with HTML and CSS and on an adventurous day, JavaScript.

WebJoe




msg:935837
 10:51 pm on Jul 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

@rogerd
3) FP had a nasty habit of changing edited code to its preferred version. I've heard this can now be turned off in FP, but when you edit code in DW it stays the way you left it.

I only partially agree: If you use it's wizard to generate dynamic content (i.e. database results) and would like to reuse the wizard then yes, FP won't allow you to change the source.

But not so if you use straight forward html and VBScript/JScript (at least not in my old FP2000).

But in my opinion, that's just a detail: Every person administrating a web sit, no matter how "professional" a webmaster he/seh is, has to choose a tool that fits the needs. I use FP to set up first drafts and as a glorified ftp-client (since my ISP only allows access via FP) but most of the time reedit the code in a simple text editor.

Watcher of the Skies




msg:935838
 9:59 am on Jul 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Every major online company I've been associated with began with FP and made the move to DW4, then to Dreamweaver MX, and never looked back.....

From my personal scouring of reviews, user-surveys, etc. it's clear - at least to me - that DW is the preferred product across the board, regardless of project/content/whatever. This has been my take, too. It's a gem!

killroy




msg:935839
 10:07 am on Jul 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

europeforvisitors> sorry was uncalled for. I've not used either, jsut that I've never come across a site where I said "hmm that was done in dreamweaver". Anyways, I haven't ever touched wysiwyg editors for websites... but then again my sites usually look crap, but work great...

Sorry again.

SN

Marketing Guy




msg:935840
 10:20 am on Jul 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Um Kilroy... you're criticising the professionalism of others using software that you've never used?

Given that your profile page is PR0 and the stats about referals from Google appear to be way off (from my google.com search anyway), I dont think you are in any position to criticise the quality of other people's sites.

Scott

Aberdeen




msg:935841
 10:27 am on Jul 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well from what I have read so far, I am going to give Dreamweaver MX the first try, but I have a feeling that I will be using it for the templates, and then switching to Visual Studio to do the .aspx stuff. I have a C++ background, which I think is the reason why I like total control, and where my fears that a WYSISYG editor would do things I did not ask it to do.

Cheers

europeforvisitors




msg:935842
 4:31 pm on Jul 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Every major online company I've been associated with began with FP and made the move to DW4, then to Dreamweaver MX, and never looked back.....

The major online companies that I've been associated with began with hand coding or HTML editors like HotDog Pro. But that was long before DW4 came along--and before FP 1.0 was introduced, for that matter. :-)

Still, the question of what "major online companies" need is beside the point. The only important question is what YOU need (whether "you" are an individual Webmaster or a Fortune 500 corporation with a team of art directors. In my case, FrontPage is the tool of choice because I've been using it a long time, I like its user interface, and it's an extremely efficient tool for what I do. FrontPage might also be the tool of choice for an intranet in an organization that relies heavily on Microsoft business software. Dreamweaver, on the other hand, is likely to be the best tool for a freelance Web designer or a team of corporate art directors who grew up with the Macintosh, PhotoShop, and Quark XPress.

People should always buy tools that meet their needs--not somebody else's--unless they plan to work for that "somebody else." :-)

This 43 message thread spans 2 pages: 43 ( [1] 2 > >
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