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Layout Master
CSS positioning WYSIWYG

 6:12 am on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Has anyone given Western Civilisation's Layout Master [westciv.com] a try? That might be a useful WYSIWYG if it produces quality code. It looks like they have a demo I may have to try if I could only find the time...



 12:15 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

You can see their stylesheet [westciv.com] for yourself. It looks bloated -- whether it's because the application itself is inefficient, or the programmers have used it inefficiently I don't know -- I don't know which alternative I'd prefer to be true.

I'd guess it would be a great help if you're using positioning and need it to be cross-browser compatible. That said... try viewing their site in Netscape 4.7... (Tip for company webmaster: NS4.7 doesn't implement the @import directive)


 6:01 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have tried this for a while and found it pretty useful - worth the money for me 'cos it fits in with how I work. It goes well in tandem with a decent html editor.

The MAC version seems to be better than the PC one at the moment, but hopefully it will catch up.

If only they did a linux version it would speed up my windows-linux transition enormously.


 10:12 pm on Jun 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

I tested the BETAs of Layout Master, it can be helpful for those just beginning to venture into the realm of CSS layouts. And, as 4eyes relates, it can be a useful everyday tool. It all depends on your own work preferences as well as "how close to the code" you choose to be.

As rewboss notes, there IS an excessive amount of code bloat. For beginners this can be a double-edged sword: on one hand it helps familiarize users with CSS rules and formatting, but it may also encourage the use of excessive and redundant code.

The visual aspect is nice, but still, nothing will ever beat "conceptualization from the id..." coupled with a good text editor. ;)


 6:44 am on Jun 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Well, I gave Layout Master a short spin on my PC and must say that I'm underwhelmed. I went thru the tutorial to see what would be generated...all the while viewing the output on IE6, Opera 6, & Mozilla 1. I'm pretty sure I followed the instructions correctly, but the resulting code was not cross-browser at all. It looks like they only ran their tutorial thru Mozilla, because that's the only browser that came close to rendering the page the way they intended. IE 6 was a close second and surprisingly Opera had the hardest time (the footer covered the entire contents, and a few other quirks).

Maybe I need to work with this more, but first impressions are that this software is not quite ready. Maybe the Mac version is better.

Unfortunately I know enough just enough CSS to make me dangerous ;) but not enough to say exactly what was wrong with the generated code. I'm not sure I could recommend this for a beginner...

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