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WYSIWYG and Text Code Editors Forum

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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?

 

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4105030
 8:06 am on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I use Dreamweaver predominantly but you also need to know a bit about HTML to understand what is happening.

What useless code is giving you the problems?

trillianjedi




msg:4105031
 8:24 am on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Most WYSIWYG tools can be configured to deliver the code that you'd like to see, it just takes a bit of time setting them up.

Personally I still do it all manually, but the benefit statement you're looking for is really all about speed.

lavazza




msg:4105058
 9:17 am on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I use Dreamweaver predominantly ...

What useless code is giving you the problems?
One look at the source code of [adobe.com...] ought to answer your question

If it doesn't, try [validator.w3.org...] and [jigsaw.w3.org...]

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4105066
 9:42 am on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I can produce 100% valid code in Dreamweaver. What's the problem?

jesstp




msg:4106228
 3:52 am on Mar 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm not using it at the moment, just have found in the past that it generates useless code and was curious to see the answers.

Thanks all

Wlauzon




msg:4106259
 6:44 am on Mar 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I use Expression Web, which is similar to Dreamweaver in function but has some functions aimed at ASP.NET and IIS sites. So it depends somewhat on what you are working on also.

SteveWh




msg:4107046
 4:08 pm on Mar 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

WYSIWYG reduces repetitive keystrokes, especially for awkward tag punctuation </> and helps prevent repetitive stress injury. It's also helpful to be able to select text and press Ctrl+B to make it bold, instead of typing <b></b>.

topr8




msg:4107056
 4:21 pm on Mar 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

WYSIWYG reduces repetitive keystrokes, especially for awkward tag punctuation </> and helps prevent repetitive stress injury. It's also helpful to be able to select text and press Ctrl+B to make it bold, instead of typing <b></b>.


yes i take your point, however i use edit plus (plain text editor) and would suggest it's about knowing how to use the tools you choose to use.
with mine for instance i've set up all kinds of code snippets, auto-completes etc. which saves plenty of repetitive key strokes!
i haven't used dreamweaver since ultradev4 but the same applied to that, by tweaking it you could make it do whatever you wanted.

ssgjcl




msg:4136155
 8:02 pm on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I ... find it really hard to create files in Dreamweaver, as I feel that it creates extra useless code that is confusing.
...
Do you use a WYSIWYG, manually code or both?


I tend to code most by hand to, but I'm still using Dreamweaver most of the time, it contains most of the tools I use.
1. The first and obvious reason is one click to see the result
2. Code completion and code snippets, nice and quite configurable (this configuring takes some time, but saves a lot while working)
3. synchronizing with svn and testingservers

So I'm actually mostly using it as tortoisesvn, filezilla, a browser and a text-editor in one. It has many more functions, that if you learn to use them streamline your work. It gives you more than one way to accomplish a task you can use whatever you like best.

If your just using standard start documents with the graphical interface, it delivers code, but not really what I want. (and apparently you too) I think it's not bad for a WYSIWYG editor. And I don't think those functions are meant for you, these are there to help people that don't know much about the code to create what they want.

Matthew1980




msg:4136171
 8:19 pm on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi there people,

I came off Dreamweaver MX about 5 years ago, and went back to using a plain text editor, I got fed up of feeling like I wasn't in control of what I was producing. I have been using TextPad for ages now, and because I am so used to it, I doubt I could go back to a "Bells and Whistles" type of GUI.

One definite benefit of not using a big application is drainage on memory, little text editor won't take much space up ;)

Having said that though, it's all down to preference, and how you like to code, and your coding style. Everyone is different.

Cheers,
MRb

SteveMann




msg:4141351
 5:44 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I use WYISWYG Web Builder and I am very happy with it. If you know not one line of HTML or CSS, you can build a respectable web site with WWB. If you do know HTML, Javascript, etc, then you can dive into the generated code all you wish.

jesstp




msg:4141382
 6:41 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Excellent! Thanks all fo your comments, it's been good knowing what others use on their sites!

lavazza




msg:4141421
 7:35 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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

jesstp




msg:4141530
 9:08 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Lol, not only me then!

jesstp




msg:4141531
 9:08 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Lol, not only me then!

SteveMann




msg:4141901
 2:38 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

WYSIWYG Web Builder is not - *NOT* - an HTML editor. If the generated site passes the Wc3 compatibility test and works in every tested browser, WHO CARES what the underlying code looks like?

"I'd be surprised if anyone can hold their breath long enough to identify (let alone fix) that tangled mess "

Fix? What's broken? No, it isn't pretty, but most HTML code isn't. When you create a Word document, do you analyze what the underlying code looks like or do you just want the Word document to look good?

Before I got into video production about ten years ago, I was a software engineer in Silicon Valley (for 25-years). I see no difference from the "real" programmers then belittling the 'lite' programmers that simply used GUI apps to create the same results versus today - those who learned the nuts and bolts of creating fantastic web sites using nothing but notepad belittling those who take the shortcut that WYSIWYG programs provide.

Websites are not my primary line of business. The less time I spend on my sites provides me more time to spend on my work of choice - video production. I can manage my website or any aspect of it in minutes using WWB. Why should I spend hundreds of dollars and tons of unproductive time just to satisfy the ego of the "real" programmers?

Seriously, If I want to add a new page with a demo video and a few paragraphs of editorial on my site with a few links, I can do it in WWB in less than five minutes. How long would that take in your favorite HTML editor?

lavazza




msg:4142283
 8:47 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

If the generated site passes the Wc3 compatibility test and works in every tested browser, WHO CARES what the underlying code looks like?
And when it does NOT pass?

5 errors found while checking wysiwygwebbuilder.com/add_images.html [validator.w3.org]

the shortcut that WYSIWYG programs provide.
Advocating a reliance on so-called WYSIWYGs is short-sighted; Those who don't know how to write code are unable to fix it when (not if) it breaks

Why should I spend hundreds of dollars and tons of unproductive time just to satisfy the ego of the "real" programmers?
I have no idea why you ask this question

What's wrong with using a free text editor and investing your time to develop skills that will satisfy the wants and needs of a diverse range of visitors to your sites, both now and in the future?

Seriously, If I want to add a new page with a demo video and a few paragraphs of editorial on my site with a few links, I can do it in WWB in less than five minutes. How long would that take in your favorite HTML editor
About the same amount of time... and my code will work - as intended - on ALL media types...
SteveMann




msg:4142302
 9:10 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'll have to get on Pablo's case about the errors you found. I know what he did wrong to get this because we had a discussion about this error a few weeks ago. It's easily fixed. WWB does not use a separate CSS file, but instead uses a "master page" concept to give a site CSS like global control over the appearance of the site pages. He has images on the master page and on the ..add_images.html page. This is OK if you want the same image, say the header, on every page, then put it on the master page. But Pablo forgot to rename the default ID's on the master page.

Bottom line - it's an operator error, not a fault of WWB.

John_Keates




msg:4142320
 9:37 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

There is only one real benefit of a WYSIWYG, and that is that you can use it as a standard text processing application, with a little bit of designing stirred in. If you make one static html page a day, then it'd be the tool of choice, a WYSIWYG application. However the only real use would be a small website with not a lot of updates.. For those small sites, a pricy WYSIWYG application isn't an option :)

Just a text or code editor with a few autocompletion and standard snippets set-up does the trick everytime, fast & clean. Everything there is, is something you put there, something you know why it's there and what it does, and it will doe just that, and no strange things like WYSIWYG editors seem to do.

Most of the coding done for websites is in the backend program. The CMS or generator, it just takes a template, stuffs it with the right content and that's it. No coding involved when used, because that's where a built-in WYSIWYG is useful. But only then, because in that place, it's going to do what it's made for: text processing, and a little bit of designing/image placement.

You code the template once, by hand for speed and insight. If it takes 10 seconds to set one up, why waste those 10 seconds on the heavy lifting the WYSIWYG needs to do before it's even ready :)?

Most WYSIWYG applications have one simple reason of existence: make money for the company that created it! Not that making money is bad.. but it is bad if it lowers quality and speed!

[edited by: John_Keates at 9:50 pm (utc) on May 27, 2010]

lavazza




msg:4142321
 9:39 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Bottom line - it's an operator error, not a fault of WWB.
Maybe...

WDG HTML Validator: Validate entire site [htmlhelp.com]

Yet it's an error that is perpetuated throughout many, many parts of that site...

Furthermore, it's an error that authors who only know how to use so-called WYSIWYGs are unable to fix

I ask again:
What's wrong with using a free text editor and investing your time to develop skills that will satisfy the wants and needs of a diverse range of visitors to your sites, both now and in the future?

SteveMann




msg:4142399
 11:29 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

If web design and their maintenance are your primary business, then by all means, learn HTML, CSS, JAVA and PHP. Buy Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Acrobat and Flash - they are toold of your trade. Even using WWB, knowing some PHP and HTML helps me a lot, but for my purposes, learning enough web programming to develop and maintain one website via Textpad is like getting your pilots' license only to take one trip.

lavazza




msg:4142418
 11:49 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

learning enough web programming to develop and maintain one website via Textpad is like getting your pilots' license only to take one trip
OK.....

Please note that the OP said "I would like to pursue a career in the digital space" and then asked "To all the webmasters out their - Do you use a WYSIWYG, manually code or both?"

Suggesting they pay for a product like WYSIWYG Web Builder is, following your analogy, akin to recommending they buy a leaky Zeppelin (from one of your friends!) in order to become a helicopter pilot

SteveMann




msg:4142512
 3:33 am on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

You are correct. I didn't focus on the career path part of the question.

lavazza




msg:4142544
 4:36 am on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Indeed...

Even so, I still see no reason to accept your recommendation (for someone merely wanting to "take a trip") that they "buy a leaky Zeppelin (from one of your friends!)"

John_Keates




msg:4142622
 6:57 am on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Being able to code, in pure text is a skill, one that quality always demands. You can use those other programs too, but not exclusivly and not as the base for things to be created, it simply won't create the same quality.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4142776
 11:19 am on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think some of you are being a wee bit elitist and unfair here. I have made a good living as a website designer and optimiser based on my ability to use Dreamweaver. I have about 150 happy clients in my portfolio, most of whom have given me terrific testimonials.

The reason for this is that I have met and exceeded their requirements with regard to their websites. It is now part of my process to ensure that all my websites validate but in just about all cases the clients don't give a tinker's cuss what the code looks like. Many of them do not even know what "code" is, all they are interested in is how their website looks and if it is going to do a job for them.

I do now understand HTML and I can edit the code manually but I see no reason to stop using DW, which delivers exactly what my clients and I need. Think about your clients folks and forget your own egos.

Actually Steve offered a good analogy about the code behind Word documents. The bottom line is how it looks.

John_Keates




msg:4142898
 2:16 pm on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

My previous post wasn't intended as elitist or egocentric, it was more about the reason someone might want to know the bricks they use to build something.

It's like building a house but not wanting to build it, but only design it. It's going to look like you designed it, but it might break down for no reason, might only work on a few types of foundation and might not be allowed to live in by local regulations (doesn't mean that you can't or won't do it)

The WWW and HTML were made so people could actually look at the code and know what it's about. Then came de 99% of people who didn't want to know that and one of the people of the 1% that did know, created a tool so people without knowledge could design something. He made a ton of money and probably doesn't care about what happens next.

Next, websites were created that followed the rules of the application it was created with. The sites didn't care about regulations or efficiency, only about the end, the display for a group of people in a limited base of time (lets say, 5 years). Therefore the end was reached and it's purpose was fulfilled. The tools used to create the websites were just a means to an end. How it was reached didn't seem important at that time.

After 5 years, people were upgrading their hardware, software and rules, and found new ways to connect digital networks. As soon as they saw the speed of those new shiny networks everybody wanted just that. And so they got it.
The websites that were made using 5 year old rules which were upheld by the tools they were created with were still online, and faster, even as the code was large and big en did things it didn't need to do.

More websites came, with more content. Images, CSS, JS files, etc, etc.. More data needed to be sent to the guy or girl who wanted to know what was on that page. But that didn't matter, the networks were fast.

A few months later, as the internet was still growing and sites continued to grow as well, people started to notice slowdows and clogging of the internet. Those pages on the websites they visited for years now, seemed to appear slower than when they first appeared, and for some reason the computers used to view those sites needed to work harder than ever to display them! How could that have happened?


It's a bit of a long, cut, fictive, story on the way things are, and are going.. But you get the point.


There is nothing wrong with making money or with happy clients and happy visitors on happy websites. That isn't the point..
If you want to make money and be a webdesigner, you can use whatever you like, WYSIWYG gets the job done, it's your tool of choice.

But for those who are webmasters, programmers or the ones who want precision, efficiency and speed, WYSIWYG will never get you what you want or need. It never did, it doesn't do that now, and it never will.

( Speed: load as fast as possible, not 'fast', because everything is 'fast' these days, that isn't the point in this case)
( Precision: every singe variable, css property and line of code is there for the exact reason it was designed for, and no other reason. Everything will always be in the right place, when rendered in standards-compliance mode)
( Efficiency: whatever you make the browser do, you do it because you need that specific thing done, and for no other reason. Stuff that needs to get loaded gets loaded because you know you need it, and because you need it implemented, it never has to load the same thing twice or more, because you know it's already loaded somewhere.)

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.

So when you make money, you need means to an end, a business model and a simple course to get you up and running. End of story, just go, make money. That is when it doesn't matter what you do or how you do it, and that is fine.
There is the small problem of dependency, you need the ones who provide you with the tools you need to do your job to keep them up to date, keep them working, and you need the pay them to do that.
Another point is that you don't get the say what you want, but that might not matter if the means will have you reach the end you seek. (most of the time)



If you want to 'program' the web, or make a browser do things, you need to command every piece about it, and the only way is text.




Oh, and for the record ;-) .. The analogy about the code behind Word documents is really, awfully bad.. Word documents are binary, proprietary, documents, made for endusers to swap the results of text processing. They are made to be read and written by applications, and not for closer human control or inspection.

If an analogy would be needed, take an analogy for an action, like, publishing. WYSIWYG is a publishing method. Word is WYSIWYG, almost all Adobe applications are WYSIWYG, windows is WYSIWYG.. Coding isn't WYSIWYG. Especially for those who can't read code and picture the result in their mind. :)

The analogy would be: When publishing something, you don't want to know if the fibers of what you're making are aligned perfectly.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4143018
 4:04 pm on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

But for those who are webmasters, programmers or the ones who want precision, efficiency and speed, WYSIWYG will never get you what you want or need. It never did, it doesn't do that now, and it never will.

I am a webmaster and like many thousands of others I use Dreamweaver to produce websites that get me exactly what I want. They normally validate 100% unless I am forced to use external coding or scripts. Those programmers who strive to shave another yet another microsecond of the page load time are just wasting their time. They are the only ones to whom this matters.

I am afraid that your analogy makes no sense to me but here's another one. You may as well say you cannot take a good photograph with a digital camera because all the exposure and other settings were not done manually.

No one is dissing you guys for being smart but you really need to think like the rest of the world and stop wasting your time looking for another microsecond. ;)

It's all about priorities and mine are to provide what my clients need and make a living in the process. ;)
John_Keates




msg:4143043
 4:36 pm on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

It indeed is all about priorities. And the line you quoted from my previous post still stands, and your follow-up post, and post before that are both valid as well.

If using a WYSIWYG GUI application is the means to the end (making money by delivering a website to a client that matches the client's expectations) then, like before, there is no need for text coding.
(unless both ways take the same time, in which case text coding tends to be cheaper - but that doesn't make a difference in the Text vs WYSIWYG idea)

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.

For some clients of mine, that is exactly what they need, super speed, super small footprint, and it doesn't matter what I bill them for.
For some other clients, they don't even blink if the site would be a slapped-up FrontPage 1.0 homepage that renders every time you reload the page.. I adjust the quality and price for every job, since sometimes, work can be very dynamic.

I must admit that I haven't touched DW since the first Adobe CS version, but I never trust the GUI apps to deliver what I want them to deliver, no matter how I modify it's prefences or preview engines..
And since my text coding is probably just as fast, I usually don't mind doing the design by hand. It's a one time thing, everything, like content, is managed by the CMS.

Anyhow, it think that when someone reads this thread, that someone will probably understand that WYSIWYG gets the job done, if that's the job. (which might sound cryptic, but means the same as the blue line in your post)
90% of the jobs is such a job I think, but that irrelevant.

This 74 message thread spans 3 pages: 74 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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