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Strictly speaking, you are only handcoding using something like notepad. If you use something like arachnophilia, which is a glorified text editor with a load of other tools, then you are getting help in one way or another to code, so technically you are not hand coding ;)
So what do you think is the best use for a WYSIWYG editor, or any software that helps you produce your code for that matter?
I can start with a few things that come to my mind, but I am sure there are at least 101 reasons as to why you want to be using an editor ....... for whatever reason. A bad workman cannot blame his tools, especially when there is something called open source :)
1. FP favourite - verify all hyperlinks option..do this once every few weeks and bye bye to dead links
2. I can "flip" between code view and output view quickly
3. Something that can present you with an easy on the eye overview of the navigation of your site (sorta like files and folders really)
4. The ability to edit/replace code en masse
5. a hefty instruction kit that you can start off with if you are new to it all or are not proficient with a particular aspect of web sites (like CSS).
6. A follow on to CSS, I got FP to throw some CSS together, sent it through the W3C validator and hey presto.
7. Spell checkers. I don't know how FPages dictionary compares to others, but the MS one is "OK"
Brands of WYSIWYG aside, what editors do you use, and why do you use it? :) I have referenced FP a few times but I have a hunch that many of you don't stick to any one product when taking into account the scope of your WHOLE site.
MSInterdev is also a pretty fun to use.
I'd be interested in what people think about Dreamweaver. Recently, someone (who does not do web pages) said, "Oh, you have to learn how to use Dreamweaver." It got me thinking. If ultimately, we are just using these editors as a vehicle to put HTML together, is there something else that DW offers?
I also started learning how to do hand coding, I am in no way close to the skill level that many of the individuals are here in this forum, but I know enough to be dangerous. ;)
What I liked about Front Page , and DreamWeaver now, is the ability to do changes on the fly (live updates are great, but can get you in trouble :) ). But you can also take a look at the code, and straighten up what you need to, and clean it up. So in a way, I guess to me its kinda like using a 'note pad', but only after you have 'plugged' the elements in it.
I really like Dream Weaver alot, and am going to get MX soon. To me atleast, it seems to write nice clean code. But again, that may be my ignorance talking. :)
I would encourage anyone that is wanting to get into web design, or is in it, to learn the languages so that you can 'hand code' whatever you need to. Or at the very least, be able to look the code over and spot in an instance the "no no's".
I do like to use multiple products, I wont even get into my preferences for graphics manipulation.... I still use alot of other programs for that, the built in stuff from FP just doesnt cut it. And for now, Fireworks seems to be very powerful, but I just dont know enough about it yet... Soon to be rectified. ;)
Slowly, as I flipped back and forth between drag and drop view and HTML view in FP, I started to see the patterns of HTML code. I won't pretend I *really* know HTML code but I can at least edit certain things by hand and I picked that up by flipping back and forth.
I'm not very good at graphic design so I now hire most design work out, but if it wasn't for FP I would still just be surfing.
In my opinion handcoding is a must if you plan to upgrade your style and go into programmed webpages such as asp/jsp/php/jb/modplsql
Nothing beats a finegrained knowledge on html coding when doing that.
Otherwise you get programmers that need to compile/run/edit/compile/run/etc....
(edited by: Olaf at 12:19 am (utc) on June 1, 2002)
(edited by: Olaf at 12:19 am (utc) on June 1, 2002)
For example, rename a page or move it to another directory and FP, and I assume others, will recode all links pointing to the page, or graphic or whatever, so they still work correctly.
Also the include page on FP which is a poor mans pre-server SSL.
And other things which don't immediately come to mind.
These things can be done by hand of course, but they are a lot easier in a program.
But, like others, I am not adverse to editing the final code by hand.
Also, when I want to insert something, I just click on the visual part, then switch to the code and my cursor is generally in the right place.
So it's really a combination. I prefer doing most of my tweaking by hand, but for dealing with tables, I like the DW.
To my mind any text editor that allows you easy click or hotkey to access the page displayed in a Web browser, could also be classified as WYSIYG. We all know for example that WYS is very rarely WYG anyway. Renderings vary, even with full W3C compliance in different browsers, and in diff resolutions, screen sizes, and browser pref set ups.
Sorry, I have never coded anything except by hand, and I use arachnophilia. I just do not use their auto tag makers, templates or other automatic "tools."
The reason I do use Arach is because of the nice view I have. It displays code cleanly and will identify content, tags and atts in different colors if I so choose. It searches and finds words, phrases and code through multiple documents, spell checks, etc... but I still code by hand.
Notepad is an editor for small files. It is not intended to be used as a true HTML editor, and is not even a true text editor; it even says so. The documents it creats and calls a ".txt" file really are not. Be careful to be sure uploads are in binary mode when using automatic FTP settings because some FTP clients have been known to not recognize files created by Notepad as .txt.
When I attempt to C&P very large pieces of code with Notepad, it often maxes out. It also inserts white space into the mark-up. I could go on and on about the bad points of using Notepad as an HTML editor. I don't even use it as a text editor. In fact, I don't use it for anything since I switched to Editpad.
I appreciate the fact you strive to hand code and you indeed do :) Im sure you got my point about the fact if you use "any" software to create/store/paste code for you, then one technical reason or another you are not handcoding. But it sounds like you do :) Maybe there are side issues here as to when someone should hand code and when to use WYSIWYG for speed.......I know at the end of it all, I always end up looking straight at the code and making sure "if its not needed- bin it!". This motto is needed with many a FP user :)
Great response, thanks folks :) Not only was I wanting to know what WYSIWYG you use, but "how many and why" sort of thing. It seems nowadays we have a million and one tools to make the website we need, and no doubt there is a "route 1" involving all the best tools from all mentioned :)
I find myself as an intial beginner in FP, moving to some of its more "advanced features" (ahem).......and slowly moving to something more text based that is "hands on" to a hand coder. Good to see WYSIWYG tools still have their place and time, though maybe not all in the same package!
*nicely laid out site by the way :)
I know about them too :) The profile site was made a few months ago, and im sure you appreciate you can learn LOTS in WMW in 2 months :) the biology site i do is the one ive been sorting code out for, i guess i should do it for the profile one too.
The other site im in the middle of creating is validating 100%......so its not like im an expert too ..... just on a par with all other beginners :)
I volunteered to reduce the bloat and she was amazed that I dumped close to 8k in needless FP crap. I then optimized her images and created an external stylesheet, getting the page to down to 37k.
I have never used software to create a webpage but respect those who choose to do so. However, these tools, IMO, should be used to aid in this process and not be the process - LOL
thats why i hesitate to ask "which WYSIWYG or editor do you use", because different tools have different functions, and as you state, some have a knack of doing it the wrong way.
I know for a fact that after editing a FP created page by sifting through the code - removing un-needed code and removing indentation saves about 20% of the overall file size of the source code
another thing about FP is the fact that FP includes use a line of code, that wouldnt be there using other methods ;) But all this is another topic...........perhaps a new thread on "maintenance of a site" is needed ....... and in HTML design ;)
im working towards less reliance on WYSIWYG as a beginner though. I'm trying to find the balance between "production line" automation and fine tuning hand coding.
one of my #1 fears (previously and still) was that I do things the long way round. After all, a simple notepad editor wont allow you to search and replace HTML for example
I remember once typing in a long list from notepad into access.....only to find out I could have simply "exported" it one way or another in one foul swoop.
In regards to FP, where I do a majority of my "stuff", there are inevitably shortfalls. If the software could make a perfect site, then every good webmaster would own it :)
Its good to see what everyone is using too, maybe there is something out there more suited to my liking (or everyones).
I see several benefits of this effort of yours.
1. By spending so much time doing it 'the hard way', I'm sure the 'easy way' was ingrained in your brain. I'll bet if someone had shown you that 'easy way', say, on the afternoon of the 2nd day of a 5 day class on Access, I doubt it would have made as much of an impact on you.
2. The next time you are engrossed in a task that appears to be time consuming monkey-work, a little light goes off, and you remember this Access incident, and begin to search for a better way.
3. If you are like me, this traumatic event has such an impact on your psyche that you feel compelled to tell everyone around you of this neat trick you just discovered, thereby making the world a safer and easier place for the rest of us.
the bottom line is many of the things nagworthy on the web are the output of something like frontpage, without much 2nd thought. The tools are there to be used in the best way possible. This may be which the WYSIWYG and text editor forum was created per chance :)
The bottom line to me is, as wonderful as a computer is, its still just a tool, just like an editor, just like the Internet. Its easy to get swallowed up by all the side trimmings of info that comes across you as a webmaster.
We have a knack for superceding our tools with better ones. MY learning curve here at WMW has hinted me to use Dreamweaver, because the successful webmasters here do so. Its WYSIWYG and it has a function to them.
I would hope to get the best of all programs and produce the best result....and its always nice to share something new you learn, particularly if it may not be common knowledge :)
The recently bumped up thread about "Google banned my site because of CSS" is an example of why I DO NOT LIKE frontpage....it may produce a bad bit of CSS and it gets me the boot. I won't blame frontpage if this happens to me, I'll blame myself for using it :)
Hence the question i use "wysiwyg because".....(maybe another thread is i DONT use wysiwyg because) :)