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Microsoft's support of other browsers is suspect. Ever browse their web site using Netscape? Doesn't work.
Dreamweaver is ARGUABLY, the industry standard. I work in it. I edit the code by hand here and there to clean up after it. Hand coding is almost mandatory if you're doing UL's or OL's.
After using it for long enough, I found myself spending more and more time using the code editing window (especially after I started using a lot of CSS positioning, which gums up the layout window something awful)... right now, I'm transitioning into using BBEdit exclusively.
But if you're not entirely comfortable doing hand coding, using GoLive or Dreamweaver will allow you to build very good sites while you learn. GoLive has a built-in code validator, I don't know about Dreamweaver, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did.
There is also a freeware program called "HTMLTidy" that has specific commands for "cleaning" code generated by all the major WYSIWYG editors.
Also, remember the addins from Jimco [jimcoaddins.com] that can make FP work much better.
Don't give up hope just yet.
Overtime Homesite took over for me and I eventually uninstalled DW - but that's just me. I can certainly appreciate the ease of knowing HTML but editing in a total WYSIWYG environment.
The thing I found with my simplistic sites is that FP would do things that I wouldn't want it to do. There are many uses inside the program aside making a page...ie link checker, edit replace etc that for me means its still sitting in the background.
I'm now using Dreamweaver to nest my sites and playing around with Notetab for the "code templates" that I frequently use to alter pages.
FP was ideal for me after I learned of dynamic pages using ASP and using IIS. It's just a matter of preference and what you are used to I guess....though more automation from a WYSIWYG sometimes gives you lesser control over the final code.
Best WYSIWYG for me at the mo? Has to be a text editor with templates
I hear smarty is good for php templates...the easier it is for me to flick between programs with various code gives me more confidence that the code is not being fiddled around with by a WYSIWYG :)
It's never quite right for professional sites. Perfect for showing pictures of grandchildren though. I use Dreamweaver 4 for table layout. Never had a problem with it, but do need to go back and hand code quite a bit after the fact.
i think you've probably picked up that WYSIWYG is a bit of a misnomer, as in you don't quite get what your seeing on the editor once its live and on call to the usual suspects, hence a multitude of browsers.
Following from what Tedster said, about validation, this would be the key concern, if i was too choose an editor.
Certainly for whistles and lights dreamweaver will knock anything flat, but at a cost, which you obviously have experienced with FP.
Options, you can stick with FP, and do the delete's after the fact, or you can build templates with FP, and fill in the content in a text base editor. Nope. Dreamweaver, is what i use with a little help from homesite and notepad, for working out issues, but from a validation point of view it took me a while too find dreamweavers quirks, even now i have just found one in which, something looks as it does in IE as in dreamweaver, but i dsiplay it in Opera, and whoo!, back to the drawing board. All and all you won't go far wrong with dreamweaver.
However if you got the time, Homesite is worth getting into, not as fast as dreamweaver, but the code is purer to W3C standards.
Still, it's nice to have a WYSIWYG tool available to flush things out from time to time. Just get the basic shapes in place before you turn it over to the Text Editor for fine tuning. For that, FP works fine.
In fact, I sometimes use it to "clean up" old code that gets handed to me by a client. It's nice to get it reformated and (for the most part) syntactically correct.
What I would like, however, is for FP to generate XHTML compliant code. That would be nice...
I think there is a HUGE market for some talented people to design a wysiwyg editor that REALLY works ..98% ..
I simply dont have the time to hand code and check this line and that line etc..and on top of it .I type to slow and tend to make my share (and everyone elses )of typo's ..
Has to be hundreds of thosands if not millions of webmasters like us..(me)..short on time and talent
I think there is a HUGE market for some talented people to design a wysiwyg editor that REALLY works ..98% ..
This is probably true. I don't know if I want to support that market, however =) I wonder, is there a WYSIWIG that tries to wean people off of doing things through them and into HTML? That'd be neat.
Of course, the best tool (whether it's WYSIWYG or not) depends on what your goals are. My site is an editorially-driven "content site" with simple, plain-vanilla text and graphics that are designed for reasonable download times even at 28.8 Kbps. I wouldn't want what some might term a "good-looking site" if that meant having pages like the ones on corporate and e-commerce sites. My readers are looking for information, and a site that presents that information with an editorial look and feel is vital to my site's credibility. (To put it another way, the difference between an editorial site and an e-commerce site can be like the difference between a newsletter and an advertising brochure.)
For my editorial purposes, there's nothing better than FrontPage. If I were trying for a Fortune 500 corporate look or an e-commerce look, on the other hand, another program might be a better choice.
I use one that tries to do that, I suppose. A freebie called 1st Page (after using it, you'd be surprised it's free though). It's an html editor with a preview tab, but it has 3 different menus available (Easy, Normal, and Hardcore). I've grown very attached to it. I've actually bought others and I try to use them, but when I've got a page that's giving me serious problems during validation, I end up coming back to 1st Page.
I wonder, is there a WYSIWIG that tries to wean people off of doing things through them and into HTML? That'd be neat.
Why would anyone want that? It's a step backward.
People who preach the virtues of HTML handcoding need to read what Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web, has to say on the subject:
"...for some reason although everybody has got used to WYSIWYG in every other field, they would not put up with WYSIWYG in the Web. But people had to write HTML you have to write all those angle brackets. It was one of the greatest surprises to me that the community of people putting information on line was prepared to go and write those angle brackets. It still blows my mind away, I'm not prepared to do it, it drives me crazy."
No, in an ideal world, WYSIWYG "shouldn't" be a big deal. But we're not in that ideal world yet.
As a side comment, I sometimes wish that MS Word WASN'T so darned WYSIWYG. It would be a joy to be just bit more "under the hood" at times.
I sometimes wish that MS Word WASN'T so darned WYSIWYG. It would be a joy to be just bit more "under the hood" at times.
I spent 6 years in WordPerfect 5.1 with the reveal codes ALWAYS on. Must have spent more time reading the document I was working on in the reveal codes section than I did in the "normal" section. Then wham...."you will now all use MS Word." - what a shock to the system!
In other news, after reading about the wonders of Dreamweaver for 2 years now, I finally broke down and tried it. WOW. I'm very, very impressed. Will be purchasing the full version soon!
for one thing I am Mr typo..the last thing I want to do is keep going back over and over cleaning up ...this little thing..that little thing...etc..
let alone typing it all in to begin with..
if I want a line here or there..let me just have a line ..let me "grab" it and place where ver I want with out making me typ a bunch of nonsense.. like little brackets..etc..
To those that find joy in html ..thats great..it's an art and I respect your talents..but I am not an artist nor are most people..and even if they might have the talent ..who has the time !
Anyway ..thanks all..I am just sticking with FP for now because even with the mess it makes..at least it's a mess I am familiar with ;)
I've used it for two years now, and swear by it. It's going to run you a few dollars, but the hassle and time saved will speak for itself.
When you make a small mistake that needs to be fixed and it spans across every page in your Website, fixing the problem will be ever so simple. That's what I love about Dreamweaver.
Did I mention that I love Dreamweaver?
I started with FP, and although I find it a pain like everyone else here..I refuse point blank to spend any more money because things are changing every day (which is probably why no-one has produced anything better yet...it's impossible to keep up..i.e. XHTML 2 is just around the corner with no backward compatibilty at that!)
I've now moved onto text editors (free ones), although I tend to start in FP then move over to the editor.. (HTML Kit actually tidies your code, but won't amend it until you give the authority..which I like...). Frequently used code snippets can be entered into favourites and html tags can be edited, so if you type a paragraph then want to surround it with a tag, then it's a case of selecting the paragraph and selecting your preference..so you can amend all the tags as you like
In saying that, I've only recently discovered HTML Kit (Homesite is NOT now available for free....Allaire bought them I think)...My trusty editor is NoteTab Light, it doesn't have a preview (I use my browser on refresh)...but it does have access to HTML codes and CSS codes, so you don't have to type them in....but what I do like about this is you can select the whole text and convert it from uppercase tags to lowercase tags, change selector case... or convert all tags to XHTML from HTML...etc so I can take a document from FP and convert it with very little actual input from me...
My view (but remember it's only mine) is that while I feel I've outgrown FP, It'll still do the job for me, and if I was to keep up with the latest "best", I'd be forever spending money...so go with a product and make the most of it!
I've learnt so much since the day I installed FP, I didn't have to...but that's the difference between web developers and "my teenage son/daughter" could do better....
I read an interesting article the other day (got link off one of these forums, but can't remember now..sorry!)...but it said that the small but growing numbers of front-end designers, that cared (about accessibility that is..), where helping to make an impact on the standards of web-design...
If we were all to use (different) WYSIWYG editors to build sites then we're not supporting a standard, but the many standards of the companies who produce the software (unless of course they care about the world standards as opposed to their pockets;))
anyway enough of my rant, that's presuming you even got this far!
my tuppence turned into a few pounds I think ;)
[edited....was going to delete it all, but I'll just apologise for going off topic and having a rant....sorry!]
If we were all to use (different) WYSIWYG editors to build sites then we're not supporting a standard, but the many standards of the companies who produce the software (unless of course they care about the world standards as opposed to their pockets)
In the real world, Web "standards" are myth than reality. The only standard that matters is whether a page displays acceptably in your target audience's browsers.
Every version has improved the program even more, and after using version 3 and 4 I recently switched to MX.
The only problem I've found with this last version is that it seems to run considerably slower than the previous one. Maybe it's time to update my computer, although I'm currently running a PIII at 800MHz and 256MB of RDRAM and I think it should be fast enough.