Replacement editor for an old FP guy.

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by jungleexplorer, May 6, 2012.

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  1. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer New Member

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    I know I am painting a huge bulls-eye on myself by asking this question here, but I am what I am. Back more then a decade ago I paid a lot of money to go to school to get MS Frontpage certified. I intended to make a money at it, but never really made a go of it. But I still created a lot of very nice sites for friends and family and I did make a little money here and there. I really enjoyed using the program and never had all the complaints that I heard everyone else had. So you can imagine my horror when Microsoft discontinued the program. I mean, all the time and money spent in learning this program was just flushed down the drain. So, I have hung on as long as I could, but now you cannot find a web host that supports FP extensions anymore and now I am forced to move on.

    Now I know what most of you purist will say, just learn to write code and then you won't have to worry anymore. But code changes all the time too and requires almost constant study as well to keep up. I am not as young as I used to be and don't have the brain cells left to learn a new language every six months. No, I need a replacement for Frontpage. Now most people will say, "Dreamweaver". And I may go with it in the end, but I have never liked any of Adobes programs that I have used. They really seem to design their software to be the most counter-intuitive as possible.

    So here I am, a guy who has been out of the market for over a decade, looking for a new WYSIWYG program to update and edit my many existing FP sites with. I am not looking to make this a career choice, I just want to keep what I have already created up-to-date and going.

    This may be the wrong place to ask this question, and if it is, would kindly point me in the right direction.
     
  2. ronaldroe

    ronaldroe Super Moderator Staff Member

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    To answer your question, take a look at Kompozer.

    I would like to at least make an attempt, however, to change your mind about the languages. And, if I'm unsuccessful, no one is worse off for it. This line:

    is where you're wrong. HTML 4.0 came out in 1997. We are still waiting for HTML 5 to be finalized, and it looks to be a couple years off still. Furthermore, the syntax between the 2 specs is almost identical. In fact, aside from a few deprecated HTML 4 elements, you could call HTML 5 in your DOCTYPE and still write HTML 4 code. CSS 2 came out in 1998. It was updated to 2.1 in 2004, but there were no syntactical changes. We are talking about over a decade without updates. If all of that isn't enough, you can still call HTML 4 DOCTYPEs and use CSS 1 if you want to.

    What I'm getting at is, the languages largely haven't changed, and the old versions can still be used to create modern looking pages if you're uncomfortable updating. What you'll run into more is design trend changes, which you will never be able to avoid even if you go WYSIWYG.

    In the end, it'll make it easier to update what you have out there, and who knows, you may find a new hobby, I did...
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  3. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer New Member

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    I appreciate your attempt to convince me that writing code is not all that hard, but to tell you the truth I did not understand 90% of the terminology you used to to try to convince me. Things like "Syntax" CSS 2" DOCTYPE etc, are all french to me. So as you can see, I am totally wysiwyg dependent. I am a visual person. This may have to do with the fact that I am severely dyslexic and have a difficult time writing English, mush less complex code.

    You mentioned Kompozer. Have you actually used it? I imagine that you most likely have have not since you appear to be a code writer. What am looking for is other WYSIWYG users that speak wysiwyg language. People who I can ask FP questions to that know what I am talking about. For instance, if asked you if Kompozer can create shared borders with link bars based on the navigational hierarchy, could you answer that?
     
  4. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

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    did you even bother to check it out?
    The reason Ronald suggested it to you was that it IS a wysiwyg editor.
    and probably the best you'll come across. Frontpage died for a reason and if you don't even want to consider the alternatives (aka coding) then its your best bet.

    probably, but i'd have to guess at what you were referring to.
    it can create navigation menus very easily (if thats what you meant), it can create breadcrumbs very easily. (if that too is what you meant)

    For what its worth creating a site with frontpage is like cooking with a rock, or starting your car with a icecream stick. It IS possible, just incredibly frustrating!

    it might be wise to at least learn the names of the languages, and what they are used for, even if you dont use them.

    html, css and javascript are the main ones.
    markup, style and behaviour.
     
  5. ronaldroe

    ronaldroe Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have actually used it. It was adequate for what I thought at the time was adequate work. We all start somewhere. That's why I'm so adamant about the code route. I've been there (wysiwyg), and I found it wanting in a big way.

    Phreadee makes an excellent point: WYSIWYG or no, it would behoove you to take the time to at least gain a cursory understanding of the languages you're working in. There really, to this day, is no real FP replacement, unless you plan on exporting the site from MS Word. You'll have to deal with code to some degree. That's how the industry has changed in the past 15 or so years. There has been a massive movement away from full on WYSIWYG, and the majority of those editors that are still around require at least a basic knowledge of code.

    I know it's nowhere near what you want to hear, but that's the way it is. It just isn't there anymore. Communities like these, though we'll gladly help you with whatever issue you have, will always try to move people away from dated methods to newer, better ones. It isn't because we think we're necessarily better, just that we love what we do and want to see the industry grow and become something bigger. Much like any artist, I'd assume.

    All that said, I answered your original question. Kompozer is one of the best you'll find. Most people here will be happy to help you with it if needed. Some may even suggest a better editor that I haven't heard of. Either way, if you ask for help and receive it, you can take it or leave it.
     
  6. d a v e

    d a v e New Member

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    i've never found Dreamweaver counterintuitive since version :)
    however not good trying to pursuade you to use it if you don't like it...
    http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/Web_Overview.aspx is frontpage's replacement

    the other thing you might want to consider doing is having a look at some Content Management Systems (CMS) like Wordpress. might be worth taking for a spin, but basically you're going to have some learning curve whatever you choose.

    but without a basic understanding of html and css then you're going to struggle to design anything.

    or you might have to consider becoming a print design :)
     
  7. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer New Member

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    Okay, so what you are saying is that, Frontpage was the most advanced wysiwyg editor ever created and that there is no full wysiwyg editor to replace it. I find that hard to believe, but if it is so, then it is so.

    I disagree with you, that writing code is in any way an advanced way to create a website. How is it an advancement when that is the same way people started making websites in the beginning? People used to fight wars with clubs, then they invented swords, then bows and arrows, then guns, then canons, then missiles, then Predator Drones. That's advancement. Doing things the same way they were done in the beginnings, does not seem like and advancement to me.

    To me writing code seems like choosing to walk to the store instead of driving my car that will do most of the work for me. FP was like driving a car to me, and now every body is saying that they don't make cars anymore, because walking is a far more advanced and easier way to get to the store. It just does not click in my mind.

    I have tried Kompozer, I am sure with time I could build a basic site with it, but it is not 10% of the program that FP is.

    I am not totally code illiterate. I can look at simple code like, Java and HTML, and figure out how to modify some parameters to change some of the effects. I just have never tried to write it from scratch.

    I knew this would happen when I asked this question. I guess my only hope is for a massive E.M.P pulse from the sun to hit the earth and fry every micro circuit on the planet so we can all go back to life before the internet. To me, that would be an advancement.
     
  8. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Frontpage rocks, its clearly the best thing ever built for the web.

    thanks for convincing me otherwise.

    I suppose you think Internet explorer is pretty good as well.
    ...and table layouts
    ...and static webpages
    ...and proprietary code
    ...and not conforming to standards
    ...and extra code bloat
    ...and limitations on what you can access
    ...and limitations on file size
    ...not to mention counter intuitive paint by numbers interface.

    how can it be that getting a program to code for you (when it cannot do it right) is more of a "step in the right direction" than knowing precisely what you want to acheive and implementing that?

    and a final question.
    If I was a professional race car driver (seeing that you like car analogies) would I be
    a) driving an automatic? (Frontpage) or
    b) driving a manual? (Coding)

    why would it not be a? because as a driver I would want to have complete control over the car and its ability. Yes its more work, but the result is I can handle the car better.
     
  9. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer New Member

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    As I said in my first post, I have never had all the problems with with FP that I hear other people complain about. Maybe it is because I went to school to learn how to use it properly and the people complaining about it did not.

    I was not trying to argue that FP was the best thing ever. I was saying that using a wysiwyg editor is easier then writing code, just like driving a car is easier then walking. Your attempt to make a point by comparing a standard transmission to and automatic was very lame. With either one, you are still driving a car and it is doing 99% of the work for you, so they are both representative of wysiwyg editors. Your argument would be better compared to a Dreamweaver guy arguing with and FP guy by saying that, "Dreamweaver give me 5% more control then FP, so it is better".

    Look you guys, I am not trying to convince anyone to stop writing code and start using a wysiwyg editor, no more then I would suggest that a person that has learned how to speak Spanish fluently start using Google Translate (language translation software) to communicate with someone in Spanish. You guys have learned to write code and I am glad for you. But I think it is wrong for you guys to try to make me feel like there is something wrong with me if I don't want to learn how to write code like you. Hey, there are hunters that choose to hunt only with bows and arrows and look down their elitist noses on people like me that hunt with a high powered rifle and thermal imaging scope. They choose to do it the old way and I choose to let technology make my life easier. I admire them, but they despise me, and that is kind of the feeling I get from code writers every time I try to talk about FP or wysiwyg editors in general.

    I admire all you code writers. I am sorry if I offended anyone. I was just sharing my viewpoint or opinion, and you know what they say about opinions, "Opinions or like rear ends. Everyone has one and most of them stink." LOL!
     
  10. ronaldroe

    ronaldroe Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If we were talking about a wysiwyg editor that output code that was standards compliant, optimized and efficient, your car analogy would work. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. WYSIWYG is the old way of doing things. It's clunky and generates incompatible, inefficient code. I'm not sure why you're feeling like you need to fire back about this after you admitted it yourself. I gave you an answer. If you don't like it, ignore it. I also tried to help you understanding you might not take my advice. Is wysiwyg easier? Yes, it is. This is just one of those times where easier isn't better.
     
  11. DHDdirect

    DHDdirect New Member

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    I think you could have learned how to code with the time and effort exhausted in this post. ;-)
     
  12. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer New Member

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    I was not firing back at you Ronald, I was firing back at Phreaddee who was deliberately trying to make me look stupid. People having a different opinion then me does not bother me, but people that try to insult me for having a different opinion then them, does.

    On a different note. You keep saying that FP produces none compliant code. Since I don't know code, it is impossible for me to argue with you on this point. What is important to me, is if the website works, and I have checked all of my sites in IE, Firefox and Google Chrome, and they all work perfectly. Of course, anything that was dependent on FP server extensions won't work because there is no longer server side support for these, but I removed all of these features from my sites long ago. So my question is, what do you mean by non-compliant code? I am not questioning whether or not your right. I just don't understand how the code can be screwed up and it still work with all major browsers.
     
  13. ronaldroe

    ronaldroe Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The answer to that last bit is that the people who make the browser want websites to look good on them, so they've allowed all sorts of malpractice to be rendered just fine. The answer to the rest of your question is, in part, that they're moving away from that line of thinking, and sites will need to be coded properly to display properly. Thus, old sites with funky WYSIWYG or hap-hazardly written code won't display correctly anymore.

    For WYSIWYG-only users, it's generally hard to explain why code can be wrong when it appears to work just fine. The same goes for people who code their sites using only tables. Yes, it works, but it's still wrong. Going back to the car analogy, think about it less like walking vs driving and more like power and efficiency. WYSIWYG editors put out code that has more elements than necessary, they use proprietary code (FP being the worst in that regard) that will, as you've seen in your own sites, eventually lose support. Using extremes, this would be like a clunky old Yugo. Sure, it'll get you from A to B, but look under the hood. Do you think a modern engine of the same size would put out that little power at that low fuel economy? No. In fact, modern engines are not only more powerful at smaller sizes, but have way better fuel economy. They'll not only get you from A to B, but they'll get you there faster and cheaper and cost you less in parts, considering you just can't get parts for a Yugo from anywhere but a junk yard.

    Like any industry, in web design there are standards and there are best practices. For WYSIWYG, because you're asking a computer to intuitively understand how to position elements on a page with the ability to work around those elements, they are necessarily unable to comply with standards and best practices. To do these things by hand, you have the control to make those decisions. If you need to move an element 10px to the right, you have several ways to do that. A WYSIWYG will generally use only absolute positioning to do this, assuming it uses CSS at all. Doesn't sound so bad, right? Well, try zooming that page or looking at it on a very large monitor or worse yet, a mobile browser. You'll be lucky if it doesn't destroy the layout altogether. Will that happen every time? No. This ties into the power part of the analogy.

    A WYSIWYG will also generate unnecessary code to perform tasks a hand coder could do with half as much code. Doesn't seem so bad, right? Maybe not, until you're trying to load a site on your mobile or on a slow public connection and all the bloated code makes it take forever. This speaks to efficiency in the analogy.

    Imagine being a hand coder asked to fix something that is broken that was done by WYSIWYG. Thanks to the absolute positioning or worse yet, tables, every single task is much harder than it needs to be. Not to mention sifting through twice as much code to find the error or to find where the added content should go. Even in the short time I used WYSIWYG, I noticed many times that trying to add content threw everything out of whack and I had to play with it for more time than I should have to get it to work. Much like finding parts for that Yugo.

    Phreadee may be a little more gruff than others at times, but I don't see where he said anything offensive. He only reacted to what you said the same as I did. Again, we don't discourage WYSIWYG simply to "look down our noses" as you put it, but because we care about the future of our craft. This is one industry where easier just isn't better. And it isn't just WYSIWYG, either. We see our fair share of frighteningly messy hand written code around here as well. That gets the same treatment. You want help, you'll get help, but expect to hear that there's a better way.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  14. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer New Member

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    Thank you for the very detail explanation of your view point. If what you say is true, then my FP site (or any wysiwyg site) should soon stop working. I guess time will tell.

    One statement you made allowed me to see into to the psychology behind your mentality though ("the future of our craft"). Most people who delve deeply into any craft, at some point, develop a sense of ownership of the craft as a whole and therefore become defensive to anyone who is less committed then they are. There are many examples of this mentality, but one that comes to mind is a scene from a movie called "A River Runs Through It". In the scene two fly fisherman are going trout fishing when they come upon a couple of other guys with some cheap rods and a can of worms. The two fly fisherman begin to mock and ridicule the guys with the cheap rods and worms as a couple of idiots that had no idea how to catch trout. Of course the movie goes on to show one of the fly fisherman catching a trout so big that it drags him down the river. So even the writers of the movie script were under the impression that fly fishing is the superior way to catch trout. But the truth is far from this.

    I have fished for over forty years with nothing but a cheap Zebco 33 reel and worms and I have not once been beaten by a fly fisherman. Two years ago I was invited by a doctor friend of mine to go on a camping / fishing trip up in the mountains. There were seven of us total, including four guys that were devoted fly fisherman. Their rods alone cost no less then $700 a piece. They had their own hand tied ties, hip waders, the works. After we got to our camping spot and set up camp, we had a few hours of daylight left to fish. When these fly fisherman saw me pull out my Zebco 33 reel on a $20 telescopic rod out of my backpack, the laughing began. "Is that really what you brought to fish with!" "Your not serious are you?" After three hours of fishing the expert fly fisherman had caught two seven inch trout between them. I found some red worms and I caught twenty-two trout, the largest of of which was 24 inches long and weighed over five pounds. Guess who's trout those expert fly fishermen were eating that night?

    We fished for four days and every day I caught five trout for every one that the expert fly fishermen caught. Do you think that one of those expert fly fishermen changed their opinion or tried fishing with worms like me? Not on your life! In spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, they continued to talk about the superiority of fly fishing and how important the quality of the rod and the perfection of the fly is to being successful at the craft of trout fishing. Instead of admiring me for my skill, they looked at me with disdain and hatred as if my existence had some how corrupted the beautiful art of fly fishing. They were simply locked in a psychological box of cultural brainwashing and misinformation. They had bought so deeply into the lie that fly fishing is the superior way to catch trout and had invested so much time and money into it, that to consider any other option was unthinkable and anyone who was successful in any other way, was viewed as an enemy. Why? Because if someone could be highly successful at the same thing without investing the enormous resources they did, then that would mean that all their investment was unnecessary and it would make them look foolish for doing so.

    Why did I tell you this story? Because, I want you to see into my mentality. I am not accustom to investing lot's of time, energy and resources into anything unnecessarily, if I can accomplish the same task in a much easier way (even if my way is viewed as "ugly and unprofessional").

    You keep insisting that writing code is some how an advancement in web design technology. While I admit that it my be a more PRECISE way to write code (if your an expert, that is), I have a hard time believing that wysiwyg editors are as bad as you make out. When you want to type a letter on your computer, do you use a text editor like MS Word or OpenOffice? Or do you go back to writing binary code? I am going to take an educated guess and say that you use a text editor. How is that different from choosing a to use a wysiwyg editor to create a website over writing code? I bet writing binary code is a more precise way to write a letter too.

    Listen, I came here looking for a recommendation on a wysiwyg editor to replace FP with. That is the help I came here looking for. My opening statement ("I know I am painting a huge bulls-eye on myself by asking this question") was intended to inform any reader with reading comprehension that, I have already been down this road before. With that opening statement, I was hoping to avoid this whole WYSIWYG vs Code Writing debate for the hundredth time. The problem is that apparently, there are no avid wysiwyg users on this forum, because they were either ridiculed into leaving or converted to code writing to avoid embarrassment. So there is no one here that can help me. I anticipated this might be the case and that concluded my OP with the closing statement , "This may be the wrong place to ask this question, and if it is, would kindly point me in the right direction." If any of you would have read and respected that last statement, we could have avoided this entire debate.

    It is not your fault that you cannot offer me the help I came here seeking, no more then it is my fault for not being to teach you how to write code. I know what I know and you know what you know. I can't tell you what I don't know and you can't tell me don't know. I don't believe a single person that has commented on this thread so far has given a wysiwyg editor more then a casual glance at, and probably with the sole purpose of trying to find out how it is not as good as writing code. I have no doubt that you guys may have had to fix sites that were made with wysiwyg editor and your impression of them is primarily derived from these nightmarish experiences. But anyone can make a site with a wysiwyg editor and has it ever dawned on you that the majority of the mistakes might have been user error. No matter how smart a program might be, it cannot compensate for complete stupidity (and neither can code writing).

    You will never convince me that writing code is the more advanced way to build a website, when I can guarantee you that all of you use text editors, image editors, video editors, audio editors etc. etc. etc, and that none of you routinely write code to perform any of these task. And in spite of this obvious contradiction in your own behavior, you wil die tying to convince me that write code to make a web page is the new advanced way to do things.

    I am sorry I wasted your time. The is the Jungle Explorer signing off.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  15. ronaldroe

    ronaldroe Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Brother, if after all I wrote, and all the explanations I gave, you still can't wrap your head around it, vaya con dios.

    Don't expect you to agree, but you're still not grasping the point in the slightest. Of course, you explained your view of the whole thing right here:

    You clearly aren't interested in putting any effort into it, which explains why you can't grasp the concepts laid very clearly before you.

    Finally, I defy you to slap together a layout in FP or any WYSIWYG editor faster than most of the people around here could hand code it. WYSIWYG isn't faster, it just requires little if any effort to do. That's why you see those things marketed to small business owners. Literally anyone can use them.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  16. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I built my first website in 1997 and had my first job as a web designer in 2000.
    between may 2000 and sept 2002 I, and the company I was working for, built 294 websites, the vast majority of them built with FP. so therefore I'd say I've probably used it a lot more than you have...so my "opinion" is based on fact AND experience.

    no, user errors are easy to spot.
    MS proprietary code is the problem. but as you dont know or dont care about that there is no point in explaining that.

    PLEASE! no one is claiming to be a software engineer, that is just a ludicrous statement. yes you are right, you need a piece of software to type into, or to edit a photo or to edit a video...
     
  17. Phreaddee

    Phreaddee Super Moderator Staff Member

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    1,978
    actually I use a plain text editor. notepad or textedit, if i want to style it I use indesign.
    i actually never use msword.
     
  18. d a v e

    d a v e New Member

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    so did you have a look at expression web (link in my first post) and have a look at wordpress.org or are we going round in circles with the old FP argument (been there, done that, many times)
     
  19. jungleexplorer

    jungleexplorer New Member

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    I have not actually tried them, although I have read about them. Before I choose which one to invest time into, I want to talk to someone who is actually actively using the program. I can do a simple web search and find a list of web page editors to try, I can find that information in my sleep. So giving me a list of programs to try is really not that helpful. I came looking to have a robust discussion about different wysiwyg editors with people who are actively using them. Evidently, these types of people are extinct on this forum.

    My hope was that if I kept this thread going on long enough, a wysiwyg user might stumble on to it and we could have a discussion. I have lost all hope of that ever happening on this forum. Since the fact is, that wysiwyg editors are still being produced and updated, that means there must be a demand for them. Since some of them are quite expensive to buy, that would suggest that there are professionals using them as well. Some where in the internet universe there is a forum where these people talk to each other and exchange ideas. I just need to find them.
     
  20. d a v e

    d a v e New Member

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    i'm sorry that attitude just doesn't fly.

    you want everything but won't invest any time.
    you want us to listen to your opinions and caveats but won' take any notice of ours
    fine why not just go somewhere else?

    i've had enough of your attitude as i'm sure some others have too.
     

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