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Dreamweaver vs Front Page

Hello fellow experts!

I just had a question over in the ms access forum where I recommended that a guy smash his frontpage cd and pick up a copy of dreamweaver so that he could have some self respect while he coded. I am sure that at least some of you disagree. So I am opening this question to either make me feel more right or change my mind about M$'s most worthless product in my eyes.

Lets say I want to make a 10 page website where 5 of these pages will use database connectivity via asp. Would I be better off using Dreamweaver or Frontpage?

There is no love lost here, the most brutal comments against either program will be rewarded the greatest.

I hope you all enjoy this as much as I am going to :-D

-jkorz
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jkorz
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jkorz
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8 Solutions
 
humeniukCommented:
There are people on E-E who would recommend that you smash your Dreamweaver CD so that you can have some self respect while coding.

Anyway, this doesn't seem like a legit technical question, jkorz, more of a Lounge question - a better place for fun & games.
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coreybryantCommented:
Well FP seems to have a better relationship with Access for some strange reason.  :)  I use FP (a lot) and you still code a strict XHTML website with it.  

Any WYSIWYG editor will add some bogus coding at some time or another.  DW adds so much extra coding for those rollovers, it is ridiculous.  FP has come a long way since its express days.  2003 is very good and you can control a lot more than you could even with 2000.

-Corey
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humeniukCommented:
Fair enough, Netminder.  I'm all for a legitimate discussion about the relative merits (or lack thereof) of different software.

For the record, my comments were based entirely on one line - "There is no love lost here, the most brutal comments against either program will be rewarded the greatest"  ie. that creative cheap shots are the purpose of the question rather than information and ideas.  I've posted more than once about the limitations of WYSIWYG editors - which I consider a relevant issue - in various TA's, so I was interested in participating until I read that line.

To me, it appears that what separates this from a Lounge question is that it seeks to bash software rather than badgers or 'n00bs' - so you're right that there is some distinction.  Anyway, if my post has wandered too far off topic, please feel free to delete it.  As for me, I'm going to exercise my EE prerogative to 'Unsubscribe'.
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COBOLdinosaurCommented:
If i cut and pasted everything I have ever said about the trash generated by dreamweaver it would timeout tryingt omove the comment.  The linger post woul be the comments about Frontpage.  An just to be fair about I will point out that Access is a top database that does not deserve anything better than Frontpage.

And let's not stop at FP and DW.  Let's add Golive, Mambo and all the rest of the garbage generators.  As an expert in a bunch of Web topic I see the trash all the time.  I would rather eat a cockroach sandwich than work on a frontpage abortion. A good programmer, if they are careful can get a decent page out of these "tools"; but if you are good enough to do that, tehn you are good enough to produce something far superior with a straight text editor that does not limit you to the limited subset of capabilities that the "tools" offer.

Note "tools" is quoted.  Because build a we page was driving a nail into a board, a text editor is a perfecttly balance hammeer.. Front page is a monkey wrench; Dreamweaver s a screw driver, mambo is a blowtorch, Go live is a hacksaw, and odd bits are wirecutters.

Cd&


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jkorzAuthor Commented:
My point with the

"There is no love lost here, the most brutal comments against either program will be rewarded the greatest."

comment was not to just get a bunch of "dreamweaver sucks, no frontpage sucks comments". I was more looking for somebody with a point that would make me feel stupid for using one or the other because their comment elimninated all doubt about which one is the best.

I think COBOLdinosaur has said it best so far.
>Because build a we page was driving a nail into a board, a text editor is a perfecttly balance hammeer.. Front page is a monkey wrench; Dreamweaver s a screw driver, mambo is a blowtorch, Go live is a hacksaw, and odd bits are wirecutters.

I guess I didn't realize that the only stuff I actually USE in dreamweaver is the preview pane, the code window and the site map. I use DW as kind of a glorified text editor.  

What has always burned me about front page (and word's convert to html functionality) is all the sad little obscure tags they use to do something in hundreds of lines when it could have been done with regular html in 10. It makes stuff that looks different in different browsers... try to go to a modarately complex frontpage built site with firefox. I guess it has been a while since I have actually used front page but if I remember correctly there was no asp or database support in FP 97/2k whereas dreamweaver (at that time dw ultradev) would let you do the basic asp connection, rs and data. Since then I have always thought frontpage was a joke because it didn't have any asp support when asp is microsoft's web language. I know about intedev, but it I still don't understand why frontpage couldn't support asp. Does anybody know if it does yet?
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COBOLdinosaurCommented:
Hmm... the combination of a Saturday of beer and a lousy typist makes my comment look like it uses the same quality control model as the code generators.  I'll figure out what I actually said there in a more sober moment.  In the meantime.  I will add one good thing about Front page.  It generates marginally higher quality code than Office apps.  Have you ever tried to use the code that gets genrated by Word?

Cd&
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jkorzAuthor Commented:
that's what I was talking about... there's no rhyme or reason to word's generated code at all... the formatting gets pretty beat up too
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COBOLdinosaurCommented:
>>>there's no rhyme or reason to word's generated code at all...

Ah but there is the M$ conpiracy.  Users of Word who save as HTML are not developers, and don't know any better.  All they know is that when they save as HTML in Word they get a "web page" they can display in Internet Explorer.  The fact that it is non-standard, not compatibile with anything does not matter.  IE can render slopcode... no one else can.  So if it does not work at home in Firefox, it must be bugs in Firefox.

Now if the a user happens to be a manager, he adds that bit of mis-information to his pea-brain, and whenever the dicussion of web development come up he supports using M$ products like Frontpage because in his experience M$ products are more reliable.  So some junior developer gets told to build that web site using Frontpage; never learns to code right, and becomes another M$ Borg drone who eventually starts doing real development using .net without ever realizing that a third of the Internet users will never be able to access the trash he is building.

Then when he comes to EE trying to make some abortion work right in browsers other than IE he will get upset and offend when some dinosaur points out that his page is non-standard garbage that needs to be re-written; or gets told by gentler residents of WebDev to validate, and does not have a clue what a validator is; what a doctype is, and has never heard of W3C.  

We get 30 to 40 of the slopcode trash pages every week across the various web topics.  Most of the time the developers think they are professionals; but they don't know how to code without tools and they do not understand anything that is not found on MSDN.  Fortunately we manage to save a few of them from the dark side and the ones with a little talent and rudimentary skill can actually be turned into real developers if they let us teach them.

Cd&
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mrichmonCommented:
Dreamweaver, Frontpage, GoLive, etc....  The list goes on and on

You can't have any self respect coding if you can't code it by hand.  If you do know how to hand code it and wade through the extra nonsense that all these add to your page - then I see no problem using them - just realize that you pay the price with the code you get.

Personally I only use tools like Dreamweaver or Visual Studio, etc  as code editors because they nicely color-codes my code.  Just makes it easier to code than all black and white.  But I never use the WYSIWYG features - becuase often in these programs even LOOKING at your page in the WYSISYG portion modifies your code.  I hate that.

Anyway, my 2 cents...
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James RodgersWeb Applications DeveloperCommented:
better to use a good text editor any day of the week that try to deal with the code generated by WYSYWYG's, yes the editor i use has a design window, but i never use it, if you lok at teh mess of nested tables genetrated by using those processes you would gag, when i started working they used FP to generate some pages, no database just some strange word to html with header and footer inserts automated, then when we switched to a new design - page look - we had to recode all those pages, i dumped the whole lot and started from scratch it was easier than trying to figure out the nested tables

everyone has a personal favourite, FP, DW, etc. but a good text editor beats tehm all, because if you rely on the tools to do the work god help you when you go to an organization that uses VI or notepad, you'll be out on your a$$ in a week
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webwomanCommented:
I'll use whatever I've got -- I only use code view anyway.

But when I teach anybody anything about web design, even just modifying pages that are already created, I tell them to use HTML or split view in FP and code/design in DW. ESPECIALLY if they're going to do anything remotely complex.

ALL of the WYSI(N)WYG editors don't show you what the page REALLY looks like, and the more complex/dynamic the page, the less use the WYSI(N)WYG editors are, because they don't show you ANYTHING that looks remotely like the actual final result, and design views don't let you edit the parts you need to edit, because they don't show them.

Static pages? Sure, use whatever you want. Limit yourself to what some programmer thinks you need to do. When it breaks (and it ALWAYS breaks), come running to us, so we can charge you a small fortune to fix your mess, when it would have cost less and worked better if you'd been willing to face up to the fact that you're not a web designer/developer and come to us in the first place. ;-)

Why is it that people who would never attempt to fix their own car, design their own landscaping, or do their own accounting think they can wave a magic wand and be a web developer?
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DaydreamsCommented:
Another good reason to code in a text editor is communication. By that I mean having a language where you can articulate problems and understand solutions in html and css coding with other developers on forums like this one.

I recently posted what I thought was a good solution to a question about putting an image link in a div with a background-image using a proper doctype, css and the html. The asker ultimately asked the same question in the Dreamweaver TA (on my advice) as s/he only seemed to understand what to point, click, insert etc. (and that's the kind of answer they got).

If one wants to use the WYSIWYG's, by all means do so, but I believe being a professional means one needs to understand what is behind the particular WYSIWYG's pointing, clicking, inserting etc. Otherwise, when there is a problem, or one has a question, one may not be able to describe it, or understand the answer, unless one speaks "Dreamweaver" or Frontpage", which in my view is limiting.
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seanpowellCommented:
As the top expert (in points at least...) in CSS and HTML at EE, I can tell you what I think about programs such as the so-called WYSIWYG editor FrontPage...

I absolutely love it.

Yes, you heard correctly. Why do I love it?

1. I understand the code, and hence I understand the software. If you don't know what the code actually does, then it won't matter a hill of beans what software you use - FP, DW - or notepad.

2. It is based on the Office GUI - one that most of my clients are familiar with. I can go in and train them on updating their site in 1 day that would take me 10 with Dreamweaver - way too high a learning curve for those not in our world.

3. I build completely standards compliant web sites with FP all the time. (I use it, it does not use me.) I create the design, wireframe, UI, architecture, content and presentational files by hand, and then bring them into FP to leverage it's extremely powerful site maintenance capabilites.

I do not use FP the way little johnny does when creating his first pet turtle site. So - it has nothing (or very, very little) to do with the software. It has to do with the user.

Get really, really good at what you do and what you know, and then go ahead and use any software you please.

Sean
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EsopoCommented:
Woohooo!!! - I love this threads!!

>> but given that the Lounge tends to deteriorate into nonsense<<
That is the most accurate one-line description of the lounge I have ever read. :D

Now, to the good part:

>>make a 10 page website where 5 of these pages will use database connectivity via asp. Would I be better off using Dreamweaver or Frontpage?<<
I would be surprised if you could spot much of a difference. It seems these two applications were designed for that exact use.

The problem with WYSIWYG editors is that HTML has grown far more complex than the editors can handle. With CSS, client and server side scripting interacting in the same space, it is very hard to do a proper useful render within the development environment.

So, although I love DW, I find myself using a separate text editor all of the time for the most complex stuff. DW can't render it and it doesn't have the advanced code editing tools to help in the developing task.

But when it comes to quick sites, I can make an entire 10 pages site in 2 days. I give myself a week to think the graphics through, but the developing part is a piece of cake with the right tools.
In contrast to that, I recently spent 2 months working on a complex site that involved templates and many DBs. DW wasn't much of a help there, I had to do practically everything in a freeware code editor.

[now I'll read the other posts and unless there is something too outrageous to skip, I'll probably just duck]
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EsopoCommented:
BTW: If my code editor would ever dare to change my code, I would set it on fire. that's why I never really used FP past the first "Oh, is this for web development?" 5 mins.
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jkorzAuthor Commented:
>>If my code editor would ever dare to change my code, I would set it on fire.

I couldn't have said it better
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webwomanCommented:
I agree w/Esopo -- the more complex the site, the less useful the graphical editors.

They are good ways to get started, provided you use the code they generate as a learning tool. Pick apart what they generate, learn what it does and why, and you've got a good start on how to go about creating things yourself.
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jkorzAuthor Commented:
Netminder:

Are you still going to refund the points? I would sure like to be able to thank the people who participated in this informative discussion by dividing the points among them.

Experts:

Thanks! You've suceeded in affirming the point that I didn't even realize I was trying to make: you're not a web developer unless you can code with a plain old text editor. Other than that, there was still some great discussion (and some great brutal comments) so I am satisfied. Again, thanks to all participants!
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seanpowellCommented:
You mean there's still points up for grabs?
Now it's time to get nasty :-)

jkorz - go ahead and award away - we'll use this thread as an example of just how good it can get.

Sean
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EsopoCommented:
>> you're not a web developer unless you can code with a plain old text editor.<<
Or have a premium membership at EE for whenever you get stuck. ;)

I guess the bottom line is: unless you know the languages for what they are, you are not getting very far; no matter what tool you are using. I haven't seen any editor advanced enough to offer all the stuff you will need to code a complex site.
For anything beyond the most basic DB queries you will need to understand SQL + Server Side Scripting to request and handle the query + HTML/CSS/Javascript to render the results.

There is no way around it, if you want to do anything beyond the 5-10 pages site, you have to know what you are doing.

********

Havign said that,
I've seen people do magic with Photoshop alone. If you are developing a 5-10 pages site, chances are looks will be far more important than the server side scripting (if any).
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COBOLdinosaurCommented:
Folks... Thanks for building another good one.  :^)

Cd&
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COBOLdinosaurCommented:
would 499 be a strange number?

Cd&
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EsopoCommented:
I've been waiting for floating point splitting long enough...

>>Thanks for building another good one. <<
I've always liked these threads... even when they do get messy... :D
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jkorzAuthor Commented:
And the winner is (drumroll):

>If my code editor would ever dare to change my code, I would set it on fire.

Thanks everybody
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EsopoCommented:
Thanks for the poinks!! hum.. yummy lounge poinks... (no wait... that's elsewhere...)

Just noticed:
>>M$'s most worthless product<<
M$ most worthless products in my eyes has to be Outlook Express. I feel they owe me at least $250 for being forced to use it for almost 2 years. I should sue them.
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DaydreamsCommented:
Thanks jkorz for the opportunity for an interesting discussion!
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James RodgersWeb Applications DeveloperCommented:
good discussion

glad you found my input useful

thanks for the points
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