Something else you have to look out for in WYSIWYG tools like FrontPage are browser-specific features. Frontpage, for example, offers you features that rely on your visitors using Internet Explorer to view them properly.
It's not that they couldn't be done in a Netscape-compatible manner, it's that Microsoft as a browser vendor has an interest in making Web pages look best in their own browser, so their Web editor will obviously produce pages that do.
That's why if I were to use a WYSIWYG editor (I never have -- I learned HTML as a hobby so nothing was time-critical and now that it's my job I'm at the point where I can code faster by hand), I'd go for DreamWeaver. Macromedia isn't a browser vendor. Their interest lies in producing pages that look great on as many browsers as possible, and it shows.
Jizbot, there's a couple of things I could add after reading your last post.
Firstly, try using (if you're not already) a text editor that automatically formats your code as you write it. This means that each new nested table is tabbed across further than the last, imposing a kind of visual order on the document that makes it easier for your eye to follow. Many text editors do this, HotDog and Homesite being the obvious one that come to my mind.
Secondly, drop in plenty of comment tags saying things like 'major table', 'nav table' 'row 2', etc and other things that make sense to you (and others hopefully) to put landmarks in your code. (I should do more of this myself)
Thirdly, don't get too hung up on trying to write crazy and convoluted tables, just cos ya can.
The browser doesn't display any of a tables contents until it has built the entire table, so the longer it takes to construct a set of beehive-like tables, the longer your screen stays blank. Not a good look.
There is usually more than one way to construct the table/s you need, so it's a good idea to just spend a few minutes doing little 'napkin scribbles' till you get the simplest, leanest structure you can. In the end it's simpler to get your head around, easier to build and faster to load.
If you want to try a good text editor with a lot of features like:
<LI>HTML validation hotlinks.
<LI>The ability to add context help for any language
<LI>Point and click tag additons.
<LI>interfaces in many different languages with spelling dictionaries.
<LI>templates and clip libraries.
<LI> and much more than can be listed here.
Check out Textpad 4.2 at www.textpad.com/. It is shareware with a decent demo period and it only costs $27.00 to register. Give up a cup of coffee or soda per day for a month (a week if you like Starbucks) and its paid for.
Kyank wrote- <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>FrontPage are browser-specific features. Frontpage, for example, offers you features that rely on your visitors using Internet Explorer to view them properly.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
On the contrary, FP gives you the ability to specifically design your pages for browser types and versions. It will turn off the features that the browser you specified doesn't support.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>On the contrary, FP gives you the ability to specifically design your pages for browser types and versions. It will turn off the features that the browser you specified doesn't support.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Agreed, but from the perspective of someone new at Web design, it's easy to fall into the trap of assuming that anything Frontpage can do will automatically work on all browsers. Just wanted to sound a note of caution.
I am really new to this forum and to web designing. I want to make it my future, I started my own business because several people want me to build their sites and maintain them. Although I openly let people know I have no design degree and I bow to all of you that do. I value you opinion and am nervous about saying this but here it goes. I have been using FP 2000 and I think it is pretty good. I realize that my novice approch is the problem here but why not use something to generate the pages and help with the design and then fill in with the HTML? I have tried using HotDOg but it gets confusing and really no help to learn the basics, like FP has books and tapes and things that are step by step. I have people wanting their web pages and are happy with the things that I have showed them in FP. I realize this is makiing some of you really upset with people like me, without much experience out here doing what you are doing but the companies I am working with have a very small ad budget and could not come up with fees like $6,000 for a site and they are more than willing to use me with all my newness and it becomes a good relationship. When things slow down a bit my plan is to learn mor scripts and more in depth HTML. I am impressed with the person who learned everything in 2 days about HTML but some of us are really not that gifted. Thank you for your time
I generally use both Dreamweaver 3 and Hot Dog Professional 6. I prefer to code by hand but there is a feature in Dreamweaver I can't forget: Templates. My server doesn't support SSI so it's a lot easier to use that. Also, before uploading I always run all the files in Pretty HTML to polish them up.
I think that most of the designers out there who have been designing for more than a year (IE: they've been doing it just long enough to be ashamed of their very first websites ) probably use both a WYSIWYG and Notepad/HTML Editor.
I'm very fond of 1stPage 2000, however I find the only way I can create a good looking with with 1stPage is if the graphics there come out well. I have FrontPage 2000 and I must say, if I have a very simple website job to do that needs to be done QUICKLY, I turn to FrontPage and crank it out in a few intense hours of designing.
I find FrontPage is much faster and easier when it comes to tables within tables within tables, colored bars all over the place, stuff like that. It definetly has its shortcomings, which is why I'll sometimes create some of the tables in FrontPage and copy the code into 1stPage.
------------------ Chris Bowyer
MyCoding.com: Under Construction!
"I'm not an insomniac, I'm a web designer."
I am a newbie too. I havent touched a WYSIWYG yet and hopefully wont get into the habit of using them. (on regular basis at least)
I have just one comment to say about the guy that "learned HTML in 2 days." There is no way that he was new to computer coding at the time of his learning HTML. He had either done other languages that are similar to HTML or has entirely too much time on his hands. It took me more than 2 days just to read the HTML book, much less begin coding pages to the point where i would feel safe in saying that i had "learned the language."
Here it is about a month later, and i still have to crack into the damn HTML book to double check a tag or a method. And if you want to get into tables...im STILL totally lost in them. I wont even go into how confused i am on graphics and how people get them laid out the way they want them without them conflicting with rows and columns...
He obviously has forgotten what its like to be a newbie, not only to HTML, but to computer code as a whole.
Granted... HTML is a pretty easy language, but there is absolutely no reason to post a message in a forum topic that a newbie created to seek help and encouragement from webmaster gurus only to brag about his supposed engenious learning abilities.
Believe me bud... if we newbs wanted our cyber egos crushed, theres plenty of kick ass websites out there we can look at that will show us just how far behind we really are.
I'm with you on the 2 day guy, maybe I am alittle jealous , wishing I could learn that fast, but do we really need to feel stupid right now? Not
You know it may help you with your confidence to try a WYSIWYG editor ( I am new I tried Frontpage 2000) and it helped my peace of mind that I can created (term used loosely) a web site and I learned about lots of things,granted my goal is to learn all that you are studying but for me I need to do some action and see something that looks pretty good to feel like I can go on . I will move off the editor to get move versital but why suffer for another month. download one for free and give it a try you can always go back to notepad. Also speaking from newbie to newbie don't take on to much to fast it can get you more frustrated than you are, I know I love this stuff to and the excitement of learning something totally new but I have to step back and make myself learn on thing at a time
What I've found best is working with a combination of tools. WYSIWYG is nice if you just want to chuck something quick together and don't want to think too much and a good WYSIWYG program such as dreamweaver can be useful for trying to figure out why something has gone askew.
However I find myself using text editors about 85% of the time for three main reasons;
1) The text editor lets me do all the code - none of this "machine can think better than me" stuff (although I am sure it can!)
2) I find it far easier to avoid fat code when I have to type in in myself and thin code equals fast pages
3) I work a lot with PHP and MySQL and am yet to use a WYSIWYG program that does completely what I want in that field.
Obviously the main asset with WYSIWYG is that you don't NEED to know how to structure a good table or how to correctly code a feedback form, but I'm a strong believer in the worth of knowing these things - there is no quicker way to learn than stumbling through a few monthes of trial and error with a good text editor.
On the topic of text editors - I use three - Homesite 4.51, Hotdog 5.5 and Editplus 2.01a. Of the three I do the vast bulk of my coding on Editplus, because it is small, fast, has all the colour coding I need, and doesn't have the window dressing that the other two have (both of which have major resource leak problems - though Hotdog has addressed that in their V6 release)
I think over time you'll find the benefits of becoming well acquainted to a text editor far outweigh the early learning curve...
As for Frontpage - I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole - it writes code in Billbabble and sites designed in FP stand out a mile...
Gonzo... I totally agree with your comment about the tables. If i have learned just one thing so far in this, its that tables are everything!!! or at least 90% of the work.
Ive been banging my head trying to learn the "physics" of tables since the beginning. I definitly know first hand that trial and error teach best. Ive made great strides in learning table manipulation and have gained much more control at the cost of a few all nighters.
But what i want to know is... Arent there any types of tutorials out there to teach the ins and outs of tables?
I mean, for example, i see a website and enjoy how they set up their tables (with a nice little pinline border & rounded corners lets say)...Well now rather than banging my head for 2 days straight trying to learn how to recreate that style. It would be much nicer if i could go somewhere and pull from someone elses knowledge.
Does ANYONE know of a site like this?
One that perhaps has a FAQ section that i can search for say... "rounded table corners"??
If not, it may be worth while for me to create one because i know i would have visited it at least a dozen times by now!!!
Hmm.. If you say there is no benefit in using WYSIWYG editors, you must be kidding me. Just doing the layout of a page in HTML is a tedious task even for us that know HTML like the back our our hands. I think there is a comprimise between the two. I just don't agree with the fact that a human can a computer task faster than a computer! It just doesn't make sense. I say, hand code for more control but find a comprimise with an editor to automate tedious tasks. OUT.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Originally posted by aspen: I hate wysiwyg editors. I dont know if they're easier to learn on, when I first learned html they didn't exist. But come on HTML is the most simple thing you can possibly learn, I learned it just by looking at page sources 6 years ago.
I still do all my pages in code, and as far as frontpage and the ilk speeding things up, I say ha. I can write my page in cutehtml and get it done faster than I would have dont it in frontpage. Hands down. Reason being frontpage is bulkier to use, more complicated to use, and it changes everything around. So if I did make a page with it I'd have to spend 30 minutes recoding it so any time I would have saved would be nil. Actually how long does it take to type out a tag? a few seconds? about the same amount of time it takes to click on a button.
And as for frontpage automating tasks, I've changed 1 line of code on 100 or so pages in about 5 seconds using cute html. And then if you just need to copy things, ctrl-c and ctrl-v seem to work pretty fast for me.
of course the number 1 reason I hate wysiwig editors is that they dont require you to learn HTML, or any language in order to make a page. There is no discipline there.