No, real men code using dip switches and, if they're lazy, punch card readers.
C'mon people, Dreamweaver is just another tool. I think we can all agree that an application can "help" you get the job done, but you shouldn't rely on it; you need to have the skill-set without it.
I can hand-code in my sleep, but if I have the opportunity to use a tool like Dreamweaver I will--not to have it "write the code for me" but because I can work a lot faster in it's interface. I can use it's code-checking abilities to find errors quickly and easily, I can find and replace easily--globally if needed, I can check links, run error reports, etc., etc. And Dreamweaver isn't the only editor that has these abilities, it's just a really, really good one.
I've used everything from plain ol' notepad to TextMate, TextWrangler, BBEdit, Visual Studio and others--whatever the job requirements were and applications required per my employer. Sometimes I had a choice of apps, sometimes not; which I imagine is fairly common.
What I find ignorant is people who think you can't produce good code unless you hand-code in a text-only editor and then look down on others for making a different choice.
and yes, you're right, the quality of the code is often completely independent of the choice of editor to use.
Any tool that is affordable and improves productivity should be an asset to any company. Not sure why dreamweaver didn't fit it under your boss's plans.
Chris, Programmer/Developer, Chrisranjana.com
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Software Company. Php Web developers
Hey Another Designer. It looks like you've sparked a healthy discussion here.
I have been in this situation before, albeit in the bosses shoes.
Perhaps due to the fact that I can hand code HTML/CSS myself makes a difference, but it appears that your boss, and perhaps the programmer too, is not giving you enough reason for their decision.
Personally, I'd only hire someone in your position that can already hand code, but since you're already hired, your boss needs to set down what it is that you need to be able to do.
As a lot of people have mentioned, if you want to consider yourself a "web designer" in this day and age, you need to be able to code by hand, unless you want to only be a "designer" who hands over to a markup guy...
Perhaps your company's workflow needs to be looked at too. We work primarily in PHP, but I think I'm correct in assuming that if you were to present your programmer with well written, easy to read HTML, external stylesheets and everything intuitively laid out, they should be able to take it and amend it to their dynamic needs. If not, then their competence needs to be looked at.
My opinion on what needs to be done:
- Your boss needs to explain things better and possibly learn a bit more about the industry you're in
- You need to learn to code by hand or step down as the markup guy and hire someone else to do that (beware, this could spell your employment demise)
- Your programmer needs to have their skills assessed and either brush up, step down, or have somoene step in to help them
All in all, I think a consultant of sorts would be your best option to figure out what the problem is and recommend the best course of action.
Last word of warning... I have a friend who was fired from a firm in London with the reason cited as being "below industry standard". Get your skills to a level of this not being a possibility and you'll retain your gainfully employed status.
- codythebest: ....Nothing better than 10 fingers and notepad...
- DelvarWorld: Drawing on the ground with a stick is better than notepad :P. At the very least get an editor with code colorization.
- shockbotkins: I haven't used an editor in years, I find it much enjoyable by hand to help improve my skills and to master it.
- bals28mjk: Tell me you're one of those who thinks their brave for using notepad; those guys crack me up.
- roosevelt: Coding with notepad? Are you serious? Well maybe for people who like their keyboard very much. ... Don't waste your time with notepad, metapad or any text editor.
- webnology: Hey, let's all go back to the VI editor ;-)
- dc dalton: ....Notepad? Aw come on folks! There are great editors out there and a ton of them ... no one needs to go back to notepad....
- peach: I dont even need all 10 fingers! or notepad!
- xkcd: Excuse me, but real programmers use butterflies. Real programmers set the universal constants at the start such that the universe evolves to contain the disk with the data they want.
- SoulScratch: - so you use a pen write it all out huh.
- Daniel0: Yeah, pen+paper and then scanner+OCR is the way real men code.
- Michael Morris: No, real men code using dip switches and, if they're lazy, punch card readers.
......Real programmers code in binary.
Thank you for taking the time to describe in detail how you code in vim. Your post is very informative, and I'll be saving a copy for future reference. As I read the account on creating a 15 item navigation menu by recording keyboard combos I kept saying to myself, "wow", and "cool". Your post opened my eyes to a whole new world I hadn't been exposed to before -- I currently use Notepad (the plain kind that comes with windows, not the ++ version) . I heard of vim years ago and did not try it because I thought it was only for unix -- but while composing this post I took a quick look at the vim site and discovered it comes in pc versions as well. Cool! I was planning to graduate from Notepad by moving-on-up to UltraEdit, but now will go ahead and give vim a try instead. Thanks again!
Last edited by D9r; Dec 21, 2008 at 08:56. Reason: added two more quotes for context
From my reading of this I take it that Another Designer is just that, a designer. He is probably very good at the art side, but his boss is cutting corners by also having him convert his designs into templates - this is the wrong way of doing things.
In the company I work with we have separate people for separate roles because each is so specialised. We have dedicated designers - they are artists and they can create great looking sites, but we wouldn't expect them to create the xhtml and css.
We then have CSS and XHTML specialists who convert the designs into templates - we also work with other design agencies to do conversions for them. These guys eat sleep and breath standards compliant semantic code and produce top-drawer hand-crafted stuff in a fraction of the time it could otherwise take, freeing up the designers to do their job of designing.
Finally, those templates are taken by the programming team and used when creating the sites.
In a professional organisation, this is the only way to do it properly.
I use Dreamweaver, but only for site management, auto-complete, suggestions, HTML organization (I go through and re-write it, I just use the organization so I can skim it easier if theres a problem), and code highlighting.
However, I started learning HTML in my freshmen year of high school, and the only tool we were allowed was Notepad, and due to horrendous OCD, I went through and learned as much as I could about standards, usability, and semantic coding.
If the programmers complaint is that theres errors within your markup, validate througout your design process (I validate at each milestone, just so I don't waste time re-working an area thats invalid).
There's a thread for CSS Beginners in the Sitepoint CSS Forum that would be worth your while to take a look at. Here's a cross-posted excerpt for your convenience:
1) Bulletproof HTML: 37 Steps to Perfect Markup
2) Breaking Out of the Box With CSS Layouts
3) HTML Utopia: Designing Without Tables Using CSS, Chapter 5: Building the Skeleton
4) CSS FAQ - How to......
5) CSS Examples
6) CSS Forum
I can see both sides of the issue. There are two really big reasons you should consider hand coding.
I started out hand coding in html in 1994, because I didn't have anything else. I moved on to dreamweaver in the early 2000s, becaused I liked the templating features and speed of doing layouts. At that time, I was saving time because I was using templates, and drawing tables, which is super fast in Dreamweaver. I also had a solid background with hand coding so I could fix things when DW broke it. It was the best choice for me, for many years.
A few years ago, I started drifting back to hand coding. Nowadays I use notepad++, because I no longer do DW templates, and I don't use tables. It really is faster to build everything by hand for me, because I can punch in my CSS, and throw together snippets to build include-style templates.
Iit's all about being flexible and adapting to changes. Recently I changed jobs and I'm a very large web team for a fortune 500. They have a corporate rule against using any WYSIWYG editors for the same reason your boss mentioned. The code passes through many hands, and it has to be clean, and perfect. It is minimalist compliant code that almost has to be written by hand.
If hadn't already switched, there would be an adjustment period that would slow my progress. You simply have to adapt and change all the time, and thats the nature of our industry. So that's reason #1
You never know what methods an employer or client will require to build the code. With hand coding it doesn't matter.
When you switch to hand coding, there will be an adjustment. But it's better if you're making that adjustment before you have to. By doing so you also use it as opportunity to really get to know html and CSS inside and out.
By learning to code by hand, you get to know exactly what you're doing. You have 100% control over the code, and you KNOW the code.
What better job security is there than really knowing how to do your job well? Let's be frank here
There is nothing Dreamweaver can produce that a human being with a text editor cannot.
So that's my reason for hand coding. It's not because I'm so awesome, or trying to be hardcore (that post was great d9r), it's because I want to be the best web developer I can be. You have to push yourself to that next level, so my suggestion would be to roll with the punches and start rolling your own sooner rather than later.
Insert witty quote here!
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Notepad does not ftp on save. Notepad does not auto suggest code as you hand type it. Notepad can only undo your last "Oops" not the last 50. Notepad sucks and I quit using that years ago. If you are forced to use a text program, use EditPad. Otherwise, I would fight for Dreamweaver as much as possible. Adobe products are also what most Colleges teach with these days. So your boss also needs to think about finding a qualified replacement or adding qualified staff in the future too. She is limiting herself. Plus, it does not sound like you know DW well enough yourself by some of the questions I have heard you ask. DW does much more than the average user realizes. When you master it, there is no alternative.
Here's an example of a block of code generated by Dreamweaver....no thanksCode: <BR> <FONT size=2 >email us:</FONT> <FONT size=2><STRONG> </STRONG><A HREF="mailto:email@example.com"> <FONT size=3><STRONG><EM>firstname.lastname@example.org</EM> </STRONG></FONT></A></FONT></FONT></FONT></FONT></td> </tr> </table>
And if you really need FTP why not use an FTP filesystem which allows you to use whatever program you want and save remotely.
Still a bad idea though, you should never be editing the live version of a site directly.