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Creating your own website layouts

post #1 of 15
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(I was going to post this in response to another thread, but I thought it would turn that topic to a tangent. This turned into a bit of a rant. Sorry.)

To anyone interested in creating their own website layouts: if you want to possibly continue with web design, and perhaps even venture into the world of web programming/development (which you may learn about when learning how to code web designs, so why not keep your options open?), I suggest you not listen to these Dreamweaver and FrontPage fanatics. Using such editors will not help you continue, and they cost money you probably don't have or are not willing to use.

I have yet to see a decent website coded in Dreamweaver (using WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get). I have yet to see a "not-very-good-but-still-better-than-some" website coded in Frontpage. There are many arguments for why Dreamweaver (WYSIWYG component) versus coding by hand, is better or worse. (Though I also have yet to encounter a professional/semi-professional web developer who uses WYSIWYG instead of coding by hand.)

Yes, Dreamweaver can be useful for coding by hand, but why spend money for a word processor with syntax highlighting and a few other gadgets when there are free programs such as Notepad++ among many others (your options are close to endless).

Why am I advocating people not to use Dreamweaver or other WYSIWYG programs? Because I don't like seeing really ugly websites, and I'm sure you don't either.

I may not be a skilled web designer, but I certainly know a lot more than others. I remember awhile back, I had a friend who loved using Dreamweaver. I tried convincing him at one point, and I gave up (he said to me, hand coding websites is "disgusting") At some point or another he realized that WYSIWYG really does suck, and was limiting him towards what he could do (I assume).
post #2 of 15
Interesting post.
I'm not a web-designer by ANY stretch of the imagination but, I have a query:-
I was always led to believe that DW was the 'industry standard' in web-design software/css design/layout etc, and that when combined with fireworks/flash was the 'suite' of programs most used by professional developers.
Am I wrong? Do most 'jobbing' design houses and webdevs use notepad?
Or, is it the case that it is great to be educated in web-design using notepad - in order to have a true grounding in the roots of the skill, but that then in a real-world professional corporation the work would be done using wysiwyg?
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post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by newphase View Post
Interesting post.
I'm not a web-designer by ANY stretch of the imagination but, I have a query:-
I was always led to believe that DW was the 'industry standard' in web-design software/css design/layout etc, and that when combined with fireworks/flash was the 'suite' of programs most used by professional developers.
Am I wrong? Do most 'jobbing' design houses and webdevs use notepad?
Or, is it the case that it is great to be educated in web-design using notepad - in order to have a true grounding in the roots of the skill, but that then in a real-world professional corporation the work would be done using wysiwyg?

bingo!



yes, ccoding a simple website by hand is easy.....but I would like to see you code an indepth website with a hundred pages, with sql connections, datagrids, password protection, same layout, menus....

Sure its possible, but it will take you forever, and I mean forever!

hand coding is a good way to start....so you know why things work when you click a button in DW.

however, I have yet to see a professional web desiger code by hand.

if you code using notepad, your not a professional, your an idiot.
    
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post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by gobygoby View Post
bingo!



yes, ccoding a simple website by hand is easy.....but I would like to see you code an indepth website with a hundred pages, with sql connections, datagrids, password protection, same layout, menus....

Sure its possible, but it will take you forever, and I mean forever!

hand coding is a good way to start....so you know why things work when you click a button in DW.

however, I have yet to see a professional web desiger code by hand.

if you code using notepad, your not a professional, your an idiot.
hear hear!
    
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post #5 of 15
Hey! I got something right!
/me tatoos 1337 on his forehead
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post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gobygoby View Post
yes, ccoding a simple website by hand is easy.....but I would like to see you code an indepth website with a hundred pages, with sql connections, datagrids, password protection, same layout, menus....
Done. I am the lead developer of a content management system called the QuateCMS. Coded completely in notepad++ (open source notepad with syntax highlighting for any programming languages.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by newphase View Post
I was always led to believe that DW was the 'industry standard' in web-design software/css design/layout etc, and that when combined with fireworks/flash was the 'suite' of programs most used by professional developers.
Yeah me too. But I've learned that sometimes programs you pay for aren't always better than programs that are free. (Oh, and I quit using regular notepad on my 1st day of starting web design. Moved on to 1st page 2000, which provides syntax highlighting and a few other tools I never used.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by newphase View Post
Am I wrong? Do most 'jobbing' design houses and webdevs use notepad?
Or, is it the case that it is great to be educated in web-design using notepad - in order to have a true grounding in the roots of the skill, but that then in a real-world professional corporation the work would be done using wysiwyg?
Is there anything wrong with WYSIWYG if you're looking through and correcting the code afterwards? I can see how, for some, it gives a quick start on your design. However, if you have a programmer's mind like me, you'll spend most of your time cleaning up the code that Dreamweaver spilled out.
Companies love to buy products... so that they can blame them if something goes wrong. At least, that's the best I can figure out.
post #7 of 15
It is your duty as a human being to question the sanity of anyone that suggests you use Microsoft FrontPage for anything. Why hasn't this been pointed out yet? The only application I know of that produces worse HTML than FrontPage is Word.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gobygoby
yes, ccoding a simple website by hand is easy.....but I would like to see you code an indepth website with a hundred pages, with sql connections, datagrids, password protection, same layout, menus....
Each of those would be handled by some sort of CMS (which includes the content, "sql connections", "datagrinds", "password protection", "same layout" and "menus", as you have described it). No one in their right mind is going to manually update each individual page of a large scale project to tweak the layout.

A note on Dreamweaver.. It's a superb WYSIWYG editor for designing a site's layout if you know what to watch out for when tidying up your code. I was particularly impressed with the feature that produces valid XHTML for you.

Call me wierd, but I'm quite satisfied with Vim.
post #8 of 15
DW is not just a WYSIWYG...

Couple Photoshop, Imageready and Dreamweaver and you can produce a very high standard webpage and you can code it yourself if you really want or just correct and tidy the code in DW.

Photoshop - Look of website
Imageready - Actions states (Rollovers)
Dreamweaver - Coding

You could use notepad for the coding if you really want to but why... and cost of programs, well if your doing it for a living then its an expense you have to deal with like any company and if its just a hobby then there are other progs to use.

So prefference to your needs but to say DW is just a glorified WYSIWYG is silly.
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post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by version2 View Post
Is there anything wrong with WYSIWYG if you're looking through and correcting the code afterwards? I can see how, for some, it gives a quick start on your design. However, if you have a programmer's mind like me, you'll spend most of your time cleaning up the code that Dreamweaver spilled out.
Companies love to buy products... so that they can blame them if something goes wrong. At least, that's the best I can figure out.
Hmm
I thought DW had a nice 'clean-up-the-code' function?
It will also search for image tags without an alt tag - useful function... I for one still use a text web browser on occasions (lynx) - As well as searching for many other 'errors' which would possibly be overlooked by a hand-coder.
Also DW will, so I believe, verify that ALL the code is W3C compliant - another useful function in a world full of pages built to no particular standard at all.
My feeling is that W3C compliant pages should be striven for by all web-devs, both professionals and amateurs, if only to allow maximum compatibility across platforms.
And when it comes down to a corporate, full-on multimedia website/portal with multimedia etc... I could hardly imagine trying to hand-code that without the interoperability of DW, Flash and Fireworks.
In the Corporate World, as I'm sure you are aware, Time=Money. hand-code = slow, whereas Wysiwyg=Fast and efficient.
Again, OP... these are just thoughts and questions from a lay-person
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post #10 of 15
I've built several web sites and have always coded "by hand". WYSIWYG software for HTML etc has it's place and offers an easy route for web publishing for those who just want a web presence without wanting to learn how to code. It's great for your average Joe who just wants to share his holiday photos online, or who wants to put a biographic web site together, but doesn't want to spend the hundreds of hours it takes to learn how to properly structure a web site so its form and function synergize.

Personally, I like to build web sites from scratch. I like the creative process and I find that getting my hands dirty with the code gives me unlimited freedom to create exactly what I want, without any compromise.

I think the only real problem with people using WYSIWYG html etc coding programs is that they can, sometimes, overcomplicate their web sites, adding waaay too much to a page/site, under the misguided impression that more, is somehow better. Cluttered and poorly structured pages are a real turn-off for me. Most of the time, a simple elegance is all that's really needed to make a web site/page comfortable to use and easy to look at. I hate having to search around a page/site for what I want and if I have to do too much searching, I just go elsewhere, as there is always another site to offer me what I want.

If WYSIWYG web site/page production software didn't exist, I would guess there would be a lot fewer web pages on the internet right now. At a guess, I'd say that a good 70% of non-commercial web sites/pages have been produced using some kind of WYSIWYG software. Most people are lazy and wont do something if it requires them to spend hundreds of hours getting good at it. I've put a good few thousand or so hours into teaching myself web design (mostly though trial and error) and I know I've still got a lot to learn.

WYSIWYG web site/page creation is not the best route for people who are serious about truly understanding web site development, but for the majority of people (lazy or otherwise) who just want to produce a generic web presence to share with their family and friends, it's ideal.

Highly-Annoyed
    
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