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Expressions Web Designer
First impressions - what are yours?

 6:47 pm on Sep 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have been playing with/using the beta of the new Microsoft EWD, which is slated to replace FrontPage in 2007.

So far, it appears to be leaps and bounds better than FP, even with the usual beta glitches and minor bugs (such as images won't resized properly in "properties"). And I much prefer the UI over DW and other WYSIWYG (or partial) programs.

The CSS functions - so far - seem to be better than any other standalone CSS editor I have tried. It seems to be pretty easy to manage styles and style sheets.

It does have some foibles - which is to be expected in a beta version, but overall it is much better than what I expected. Microsoft may have gotten it right this time.

But those are just my impressions after 2-3 weeks and making up a few basic pages and test sites. I have not seen any major problems or things I hate so far, but I also have not tried everything yet, such as .asp, or any but a very primitive database.

Anyone else have any feedback on it so far?



 10:00 pm on Sep 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wlauzon- is it true that it doesn't support PHP or anything other than MS .net/asp stuff?


 12:35 am on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

No, it is pretty much ASP.NET only, at least in the beta (CTP1) version.

Personally, I always hated the UI for Dreamweaver, and never really did much with .php. What little non .htm stuff I have done has been .asp.

So basically if you are tied to .php it probably won't do much for you, at least at this point.


 4:31 am on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

sigh ... I would love to try it out, but don't have a vista to run it.

I don't see me getting vista for a few years, so unfortunatly unless it gets ported to XP I'm stuck with Frontpage :)


 6:16 pm on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

You don't need Vista, it installed just fine on my winxp machine. (won't work I think on win2k).

It appears that not many (any?) have tried it.. would like to get some other opinions on it from some that have delved into it deeper than I have had time to.

[edited by: Wlauzon at 6:17 pm (utc) on Sep. 3, 2006]


 7:43 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well I downloaded it and installed it. Its a 200meg file, but that seems to include other office products as well.

Apart from CSS additions it doesn't seem much different to FP2003. Except that the preview button has disappeared.

The CSS part doesn't really ring my bell as I use topstyle for CSS which is far better.

However it does do a much better job of rendering the CSS in the Design window.

Sure there are more panes, but really, its not THAT different, for me the CSS isn't so important, as I have a better method anyway, and the messy Dreamweaver style panes (pains) just complicated the program.

I havn't spent long on it however, so it may be better under the hood.


 12:47 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Did you download the (old) CTP1 version, or the (new) Beta 1 version?

I see quite a few changes in the Beta version from CTP1, like all the old FrontPage stuff is now totally gone.

There is also a side by side comparison with DW on the peachpit dot com blogsite, and a lot more info on what is new with EW and how it is different from DW.

And I have TopStyle, and I so far I much prefer the new EW for CSS... To each his own :)

[edited by: Wlauzon at 12:48 am (utc) on Sep. 7, 2006]


 1:39 am on Sep 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>However it does do a much better job of rendering the CSS in the Design window.

The best I've used. Almost every editor has a glitch or two with some of my pages and complex CSS, but I haven't found a single error in Ex yet.


 9:11 am on Sep 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree on the CSS.

I have stopped using TopStyle and use Expressions for my CSS even for our other sites (not doing any real development on our main sites til it gets a bit further along in beta).

The CSS ediiting and preview is better than any other program I have tried.

I finally figured out how to get it working on ASP.NET 2.0 - or rather how to set up the host so it would work, so will be playing with some ASP to see how it does. Not familiar with ASP or ASP.NET, so a pretty steep learning curve for me...

And BTW, I did a quick redo of about 15 pages from our old site, and it passed W3C CSS and XHTML without a single error or warning. I think this is going to be some serious competition for DW etc...

[edited by: Wlauzon at 9:14 am (utc) on Sep. 17, 2006]


 8:30 pm on Sep 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have downloaded this beta, and I'm eager to try it, but do you know if I can install and use it side by side with FP2003? Do they work independently?


 8:37 pm on Sep 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yep they do, I have it like that on my system.


 4:28 am on Sep 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

if it dont support php its a big blow for microsoft, it would be nuts not to have that in the program

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