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WYSIWYG and Text Code Editors Forum

This 74 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 74 ( 1 [2] 3 > >     
Benefits of a WYSIWYG?
Curious
jesstp




msg:4104982
 5:20 am on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi,

Not sure if this is the right forum.

I taught myself HTML & CSS in notepad and find it really hard to create files in Dreamweaver, as I feel that it creates extra useless code that is confusing.

However, I would like to pursue a career in the digital space and it seems that most companies use Dreamweaver or something similar.

To all the webmasters out their - Do you use a WYSIWYG, manually code or both?

 

SteveMann




msg:4143061
 4:53 pm on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

"For some 'websites' that have a couple of 10,000 hits every second, and that 24x7x365, a few microseconds and a KB here and there translates into massive time and bandwidth savings :) Those are the cases where text coding is required."

And if I had a client with that kind of volume, I would insist on having a coder with your knowledge on the team. Most small business sites get, if they are lucky, a few dozen hits a day and WYSIWYG sites are perfectly adequate for them. OTOH, a WYSIWYG site would be useful for a quick proof of concept and design approval stages of a large project.

I think we're mostly all in agreement - but our perspective is different.

John_Keates




msg:4143088
 5:17 pm on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think we're mostly all in agreement - but our perspective is different.


Same thoughts about that over here (another agreement! :D)

lavazza




msg:4143753
 11:45 pm on May 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

John_Keates
Text coding isn't about making money, at least, it's not when you are designing. It is about what skill-set you want to use, and wether you just need the means to an end, or wether you want to know what you are doing. There is a component of pride and fulfillment of creation somewhere as well, but that is with the WYSIWYG developers too I guess.
I think that considering the "component of pride and fulfillment of creation" is of prime significance in replying to the OP who - self-taught in HTML and CSS - wants to "pursue a career in the digital space"

Taking pride in one's work is what differentiates a rewarding career/profession from a mundane 'job'

When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 - 1983)


Developers who are reliant on so-called WYSIWYGs might take pride in 'their' work... but only if they are prepared to consider their designs 'finished' without considering the beauty of accessibility (testing the display and behaviour of their content on a variety of platforms and media types) and maintainability

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4143861
 9:44 am on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Developers who are reliant on so-called WYSIWYGs might take pride in 'their' work... but only if they are prepared to consider their designs 'finished' without considering the beauty of accessibility (testing the display and behaviour of their content on a variety of platforms and media types) and maintainability

In the real world try selling that to a client who can see no apparent difference in the end result. We are still being elitist here.

I suppose I could propose to a client... "I can build your website so that it will look good, work perfectly well, load quickly and validate to W3C standards for 500 or I can build it in a way that does the above and also offers me self satisfaction for 1000. Which do you want?"

Guess what the answer is going to be? ;)

lavazza




msg:4144035
 7:38 pm on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

The byline of this site is 'News and Discussion for the Web Professional' and the OP expressed a desire to "pursue a career in the digital space"

If designing, building and maintaining sites that are accessible and... well... maintainable is elitist, then so be it

In the real world try selling that to a client who can see no apparent difference in the end result.
Yeah... why not try?

I suppose I could propose to a client... "I can build your website so that it will look good, work perfectly well, load quickly and validate to W3C standards
Please, do cite a so-called WYSIWYG that will do all that
BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4144263
 8:46 am on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

the OP expressed a desire to "pursue a career in the digital space"
Precisely, and this involves very much more than being able to put together valid code.

Yeah... why not try?
Have you tried to do this? Do you know how difficult it is to make a living as a self employed web designer? there's a big, real world out there and I often have to create websites for people who do not even use the Internet or computers. Selling detail like that to them is impossible.

Please, do cite a so-called WYSIWYG that will do all that
Dreamweaver does this perfectly well. When was the last time you tried it?
tangor




msg:4144269
 9:17 am on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Chuckles... WYSIWYG can get the job done. Makes ugly code which is ugly at the time it is made and might cause significant problems in the future, but that's another story. With no disrespect intended, WYSIWYG web editors are the realm of those who have not bitten the Web apple. A rush through the orchard instead of learning how to plant their ideas and watch them grow. (or knowing how to plant more trees...) Nothing wrong with that, for now. Maybe later as the web evolves and finally eschews the tag soup of earlier daze (sic) there might be a different story. Text editors with HTML extensions is the more appropriate way to go, IMHO.

lavazza




msg:4144282
 9:40 am on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Selling detail like that to them is impossible.
No

Please, do cite a so-called WYSIWYG that will do all that
Dreamweaver does this perfectly well. When was the last time you tried it?
Huh?

Did you read the OP?
Dreamweaver ...creates extra useless code that is confusing.
Take a look at the mess that's behind the DW site [adobe.com], and see for yourself...

... and then look at it with JAVASCRIPT and FLASH turned off...

... and then try to PRINT it...

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4144299
 10:36 am on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

All of that is completely irrelevant. I can produce 100% valid, accessible code in DW. There is nothing wrong with using DW as an editor.

How many of you detractors have actually tried DW lately? the problem is that you do not seem to have a clue what it is capable of.

Tell me, when did you last try it?

SteveMann




msg:4144412
 4:49 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

"I suppose I could propose to a client... "I can build your website so that it will look good, work perfectly well, load quickly and validate to W3C standards
Please, do cite a so-called WYSIWYG that will do all that "

I do it all the time with Wysiwyg Web Builder. Notwithstanding that the WWB website itself doesn't pass W3c validator because of the duplicate object ID's. (An easily fixed problem that is *not* the fault of WWB, but the operator.)

"...Makes ugly code which is ugly at the time it is made and might cause significant problems in the future..."
All HTML code is ugly, but how does ugly code make a page develop problems in the future? Using a WYSIWYG editor (or page builder as in WWB), I don't care what the code looks like because when I hit "publish", a whole new page or website is generated. I don't have to know the underlying HTML/PHP/Java, etc, and I don't care.
Note that I did say previously that when a business site gets tens or hundreds of thousands of hits daily, knowing the details of the code to shave a few milliseconds here and there does have benefit to the users. User Lavazza obviously falls into that category and people like him will earn the big bucks that this knowledge commands. However *MOST* business sites do not have anywhere near that much traffic and consider their site a success if they get a hundred hits a day. For those, the few milliseconds that the browser has to interpret extra table or DIV elements that a wysiwyg editor will generate is not noticed. And the site owner will not pay for efficiencies that they will not see nor benefit from.

steve40




msg:4144425
 5:26 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

When I started quite a few years ago most of the wysiwyg editors did put tons of bloat code into the pages and the worst problem was I did not understand the code so I was forced to learn the basics , I think if I was designing websites for clients today I would more than likely go to wysiwyg and of those around I think DW is by far the best , I have played with it and if you understand the code you want you can get it to create streamlined sites ( But takes some time to understand how to use it well because it is still designed for ease of use ), most of those I come across who use it do not understand the underlying code which is why it gets such a hard time.

added so for the OP original question , I think he would do well to learn how to use DW and get the best from it

Steve

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4144495
 8:46 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Personally I think that the problem with WYSIWYG detractors is that most of them have never tried the tools they criticise. They are not familiar with them (or at least the latest versions of them) and they make statements based on preconceived ideas.

lavazza




msg:4144518
 9:52 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

make statements based on preconceived ideas
No

The ideas are POST-conceived; based on personal experience, observation and discussions (such as this one) in which advocates of so-called WYSIWYG consistently FAIL to provide ANY evidence that would counter those ideas

Consequently, it makes sense to endorse simple text editors coupled with knowledge - both of which are readily available for free (as in lunch)

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4144776
 8:48 am on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

The ideas are POST-conceived; based on personal experience, observation and discussions (such as this one) in which advocates of so-called WYSIWYG consistently FAIL to provide ANY evidence that would counter those ideas


I am NOT advocating the use of "so-called" WYSYWYG. I am merely defending it against your claims, which are totally wrong. I have told you that I or anyone can produce 100% valid code in DW. This is a known fact that does not have to be proven. Why must you imply that I am lying?

DW actually includes validation tools and assistance that are not available in your simple text editors. DW also include a text editor that is as capable as any of the others. You have confirmed that you do not know how to use DW properly but that's fine. I appreciate that it can be a complex tool. You stick to your simple text editor and I'll stick to DW. You'll be OK and so will I.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4144780
 8:59 am on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Consequently, it makes sense to endorse simple text editors coupled with knowledge

Yes perhaps it does.

It also makes sense to endorse DW "coupled with knowledge", although that is not what I have been doing. I have merely been defending DW from people who do not know how to use it.

None of my clients have ever asked me what editor I use. They don't know and don't care. The HTML editor used to develop a wesbite is of no consequence. It is the end result that matters, not the designer's personal pride and satisfaction.

Well, that is my experience and also how I have survived in this business for nine years.

John_Keates




msg:4144788
 9:20 am on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ladies, ladies! Shall we get back to the civilized matter of the thread and be nice to each other?



As all people know, everybody will always defend what they know as long as they stick to it. But that is not what this is about, so let's get back to the simple matter: what's meant for who?

WYSIWYG is mostly meant for:

- Static content
- People who just want to make money
- Publishing content


Text Coding is meant for:

- All of the above
- Total and complete control
- Doing the work yourself, and thereby putting your knowledge to work
- Bleeding edge & the latest and maybe greatest (but that doesn't always apply)


So now that we know that, and it's summed up in an easy way, is there something else the starter of this thread would like to know? :)

We all know what we think, but what does he think?

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4144821
 11:12 am on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

So now that we know that, and it's summed up in an easy way, is there something else the starter of this thread would like to know?

"Lady, lady", we do not know that. All we know is that that this is your opinion and we have to consider that it may be wrong.

The OP mentioned the fact that DW produces "useless code". I am using DW CS3 and I can tell you that it does not produce useless code. Used properly it produces 100% valid code. This is not my opinion. It is a fact. I do it all the time. That is why I get annoyed when people tell me it can't do this.

There are occasions when using its text editor can help the process along but to offhandedly dismiss DW is silly. Like all tools you have to know how to use it and an understanding of the mark up that it produces helps.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4144822
 11:13 am on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

To the OP - I am not condemning those clever people who are specialist web developers and perhaps in employment where they are given the time and support to specialise but if you are "pursuing a career in the digital space" and you mean as a self employed person then it would depend on what type of career you mean.

Also, if DW is producing a mess then perhaps you need to think about what version you are using and perhaps use it in both its design and code views. If you know HTML that should not be a problem and it can speed up the design process.

I am a self employed website designer. Making a living on your own is not easy and to do so I need to work quickly. I also need to have knowledge of HTML, CSS, graphic design, marketing, SEO, accounts, etc, etc. I am not clever enough to be expert in all of these. I am however competent enough to have been able to meet my clients needs since 2001. Probably the two most important tools I used during this time were DW and WW.

Added: forgot to mention researcher and copywriter. ;)

John_Keates




msg:4144830
 11:36 am on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

"Lady, lady", we do not know that. All we know is that that this is your opinion and we have to consider that it may be wrong.


Well, that might be the way you just read it. It sums up to:

"Everybody uses the tool(s) he or she wishes to use and that is fine"

But that is just a simple version of:


WYSIWYG is mostly meant for:

- Static content
- People who just want to make money
- Publishing content


Text Coding is meant for:

- All of the above
- Total and complete control
- Doing the work yourself, and thereby putting your knowledge to work
- Bleeding edge & the latest and maybe greatest (but that doesn't always apply)



Of course, you might not like that, or have a preference or experience, but it is the way it is.

That said, it doesn't mean DW is bad, or that you can't do both. It also doesn't mean that there is only one way to reach a goal.

If that isn't clear by now, it doesn't really matter who is going to say what..

lavazza




msg:4145195
 8:58 pm on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am using DW CS3 and I can tell you that it does not produce useless code
Please provide supporting evidence for this claim
SteveMann




msg:4145223
 9:42 pm on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

You cannot prove a negative. "Does not produce" is an unprovable negative so since you are making the claim that WWB and DW produce junk code, then it is up to you to prove that they do.

lavazza




msg:4145248
 10:11 pm on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

You cannot prove a negative.
This is both fallacious [skepticwiki.org] and irrelevant

since you are making the claim that WWB and DW produce junk code, then it is up to you to prove that they do.
Again?

OK...

I use Dreamweaver predominantly ...

What useless code is giving you the problems?

One look at the source code of adobe.com [adobe.com] ought to answer your question<snip/>


you can dive into the generated code all you wish.

Dive in?

Looking at the source code behind the WYISWYG Web Builder's own site, I'd be surprised if anyone can hold their breath long enough to identify (let alone fix) that tangled mess


So... we have proof that both DW and WWB can and do generate spurious, awkward code

I am merely asking for evidence that DW (and, if you like, WWB) can be and are used to generate clean, efficient code

TYIA :)

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4145288
 11:24 pm on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Please provide supporting evidence for this claim

No! I am fed up with this infantile nonsense.

SteveMann




msg:4145386
 4:15 am on Jun 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

"One look at the source code of adobe.com [adobe.com] ought to answer your question"

You assume that Adobe.com is generated from Dreamweaver. Could be generated on a text editor by an HTML wizard.


"Looking at the source code behind the WYISWYG Web Builder's own site, I'd be surprised if anyone can hold their breath long enough to identify (let alone fix) that tangled mess"

Again, why? What needs fixing? Where is it broken? Who, besides you, gives a cr*p what the code looks like as long as the parties involved are happy with the appearance and performance?

OK, using your own criticism of WWB's site (http://www.wysiwygwebbuilder.com/), What needs fixing? Where is it broken?


"I am merely asking for evidence that DW (and, if you like, WWB) can be and are used to generate clean, efficient code "

And, who defines "clean" and "efficient"? Is there an industry standard like K&R is to the C language?

lavazza




msg:4145472
 7:07 am on Jun 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

You assume that Adobe.com is generated from Dreamweaver.
Could be generated on a text editor by an HTML wizard.
I can only assume that you have NOT followed the link (it's to adobe.com/products/dreamweaver/) or, if you have, you have NOT looked at the source code, which includes:

L004: <!-- InstanceBegin template="/Templates/pocket.dwt" codeOutsideHTMLIsLocked="true" -->
L017: <!-- InstanceParam name="identity" type="text" value="product.dreamweaver" -->


"Looking at the source code behind the WYISWYG Web Builder's own site, I'd be surprised if anyone can hold their breath long enough to identify (let alone fix) that tangled mess"
Again, why? What needs fixing? Where is it broken? Who, besides you, gives a cr*p what the code looks like as long as the parties involved are happy with the appearance and performance
From this, I assume that you have never been hired to maintain a site that someone else built, otherwise you would appreciate clean code

OK, using your own criticism of WWB's site (http://www.wysiwygwebbuilder.com/), What needs fixing? Where is it broken?
Srsly... it's a nightmare, vis:

<div id="wb_Text8" style="position:absolute;left:431px;top:419px;width:543px;height:288px;z-index:3;" align="justify">
<font style="font-size:13px" color="#2A54C2" face="Arial"><b>
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"I am merely asking for evidence that DW (and, if you like, WWB) can be and are used to generate clean, efficient code "
And, who defines "clean" and "efficient"? Is there an industry standard like K&R is to the C language?
No standards, per se... just (informed) common sense... common enough for dozens (perhaps hundreds) of
"enthusiastic volunteers at Source Forge" to take over the maintenance of HTML Tidy, which was originally developed by Dave Raggett - who now
"works on assignment to the World Wide Web Consortium, where he is the W3C lead for Voice and Multimodal." [w3.org]

-------
Edited to deal with the (cr@p!) code quoted from wysiwygwebbuilder.com/ are sooooooooooo long that, if wrapped in code and pre tags, would involve the dreaded horizontal scrolling

SteveMann




msg:4145704
 3:30 pm on Jun 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

"Srsly... it's a nightmare, vis"

Granted that WWB does not use a separate CSS file which would eliminate the frequent font definitions. It does tend to make bloated code. But unreadable mess? It looks pretty well organized and properly indented in Textpad. You forget the basic tenet of a website builder as opposed to an HTML editor - you do not need to edit the code. The object is to generate a web site where the parties involved are happy with the appearance and performance. They are *NOT* HTML editors. Never were, never meant to be.

If you are handed a DW or WWB site to maintain, then you can either learn DW /WWB or start over. The code from DW and WWB is *not* intended for your level of editing. Never was. Never will be.

Both styles have their place. DW and WWB is perfect for those who just want a site online quickly and don't care what the code looks like as long as the parties involved are happy with the appearance and performance.

Again. Referring to the WWB site - Apparently the owners and users are happy with the appearance and performance. So, what is **BROKEN**? What needs fixing? It isn't "broken" and require "fixing" just because it doesn't generate code to your standards. ("Broken" usually means it does not work as designed). I am sorry, sir, to tell you that you *are* being elitist. Do you also dis Microsoft Windows because it is largely written with a compiler and not in assembler language?

John_Keates




msg:4145763
 5:02 pm on Jun 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just pointing a few things out:

- HTML is designed to be a human-readable markup language
- HTML is not a compiled or bytecode language, it's text. Therefore the ASM vs compiler etc is not a valid analogy.

Using HTML but not using it in a human readable way defeats the the purpose it was designed for: human readable text markup.

Now that doesn't have anything to do with WYSIWYG editors vs text editors, but with the definitions of what everybody is talking about.

pageoneresults




msg:4145777
 5:36 pm on Jun 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

All you folks better stop dissin' WYSIWYG Editors! ;)

Do you use a WYSIWYG, manually code or both?


I started with VTI which was then purchased by Microsoft and renamed FrontPage. I've progressed through all versions and now use EWD (Expression Web Design).

The program is only as good as the user. You can use the out of the box settings and produce less than satisfactory markup or you can modify those settings and micromanage each element which I learned to do way back in the beginning.

The number one challenge with WYSIWYG is the user and how they perform actions in the editing environment. I mean, you can either push the right buttons or the wrong buttons, it's that simple. If the user doesn't understand what they are doing in their WYSIWYG editing environment, they will be prone to producing markup that resembles puke, it's a given.

The same holds true with many CMS. The editors within those environments are being misused by the users. When you have a client who wraps an entire paragraph in <em> because they think it looks fast, there are challenges. Or, the same client wraps an entire paragraph in <strong> because they just wanted it to jump off the page. Therein lies the major challenge with WYSIWYG, the user!

Most Editors these days provide normal and code views, I use both. I even have a split view in EWD that is real time. I typically work with the reveal tags shown. I can see the start and end tag for each element. I know exactly where to position my cursor when performing various functions like copy, cut or paste. This is what bites a lot of users, not knowing where their cursor is resting at the time of an action. FrontPage was notorious for this as I'm sure many other editors are too. But, it comes down to the user, again.

I'd say most WYSIWYG Editors on the market today are capable of producing fully valid code if they are configured properly and the user understands their editing environment. I've not seen an editor yet that can produce 100% valid semantic markup 100% of the time without human intervention. We make it a practice to validate each document after any changes are made. We also run ongoing bulk validation routines to keep things in check. All of those routines include the extracting of semantic outlines to verify document integrity and structure. Without valid markup, you can't extract semantics for the most part, it becomes a guessing game for the UA.

To you folks dissin' WYSIWYG, are you up for a challenge? Do you think you can handle the truth? ;)

John_Keates




msg:4145786
 5:50 pm on Jun 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

I can be dissin' anything I want to and not give a #*$! about the result :) That's not the point.

What was the point was:

Do you use a WYSIWYG, manually code or both?


Then some people started being offensive, defensive and the point made was:

Everybody uses whatever tools he or she sees fit for the task

Then some more ranting and blabla-ing was done, and the point was:

- I dis thing X
- I dis thing Y
- I dis it all
- I do thing Z and that's sooo cool

After that there was no point in following this thread :)

Oh, and how come I can't find the unsubscribe button?

SteveMann




msg:4145881
 8:15 pm on Jun 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Agreed - this dance on a pinhead is getting too long and off topic. I'm done on this thread and I won't feed nor be a troll any more.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4146154
 9:06 am on Jun 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Therein lies the major challenge with WYSIWYG, the user!


Thank you P1R. ^That sounds like as good a way as any to wind things up on this one.

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