Whats the current state of WYSIWYG editors like Dreamweaver? Last I knew they produced bloated, innefficient code. How big of a deal is this now that bandwidth speeds are increasing? Are the newer versions of Dreamweaver any better? Any other pros and cons I should know about? I've taken a little break from web design and I'm finding that now that someone wants me to do a site for them the biggest factor in my hesitation is dealing with the hand coding of the site......
For me, DW is cumbersome. I haven't used the program since DW3 (I loved it at the time), but then I began to use more and more CSS, not only for styling of elements, but for positioning as well. DW writes horrendous inline styles: very bloated. I became very code conscious in all regards.
I got tired of "going back in and editing by hand," so I switched Homesite. It has all the advanced site management features I want and it allows me to work directly with my code without any interference.
Dreamweaver MX is an improvement, but still, after testing the pre-release, I deleted it and decided against the upgrade. Too bulky, with bells and whistles that only got in my way. It's not for me.
Efficient coding is always a goal to strive for: at least it should be. Hand coding is total control. I know there are fans of DW and FP (as well as other wysiwygs) but to each his own: what fits best into your work is something only you can determine.
I've used most of the editors and all have their advantages and disadvantages. I personally like Frontpage 2000 because it has by far the best WYSIWYG editor (avoiding all of the stupid bloat that it has). Dreamweaver is excellent, but a little bit of a climb for beginners. Both editors produce bloated code, although Dreamweaver is better at it than Frontpage.
I still use DW4 to make a rough layout. I like the ease of building tables, and the ability to space the cells and rows with the mouse rather than guessing at the sizes.
But ultimately I code by hand. It's not so bad. With 1000 pages already coded, it's a lot of cut and paste.
I did look at DWMX, and tried to write an ASP.NET page, but it crashed on my server while my simple hand coded .NET pages worked fine. So I guess my DW days end at version 4.
I think DreamweaverMX is a big step forward, and I've used it since the first version. You can customize about everything, to how it lays out each tag on the page. Xhtml and css support is good, and it doesn't mind jumping back and forth between my hand edits and cut and paste code and its own. Code is decidely cleaner than Frontpage, or build your own library of code snippets. Some pages and editing I do with nedit in linux, some with Dreamweaver in Win2k, best tool for the job, or whatever is at hand. I have a site open in Dreamweaver now that has an average page size of 7k, you don't have to use all the bells and whistles.
IMO Dreamwever is the best WYSIWYG around, but still not as good as plain good old editors.
DW is not just a WYSIWYG it does have a code editor you know!
DW doesnt create bloated code
>DW is not just a WYSIWYG it does have a code editor you know!
I haven't used DW for a while, but I remember my code in black font on a grey background. Not very easy to read.
Well i guess a LOT has changed since you last looked!
you can colour code tags to any colour you want
Yes DW has come a long way since V.1. The code editor is very good, although the search and replace function isn't easy.
I can still highly recommend it, and I do recommend it strongly for new developers. Their straight HTML isn't too bloated, but their tutorial is excellent, and an intuitive person can take the generated code and learn how to modify it.
It's well worth the price.
The built-in FTP and site management is quite good also.
Yes, highly recommended.