Frontpage/dreamweaver/netobjects - why?

  tasslehoff burrfoot 22:16 02 Dec 04

Hello again,

I have recently had to use a wysiwyg html editor for the first time and, well, I am amazed!

The one I am using is netscape composer and I can't believe how much quicker and easier it is produce a web page. Brilliant!

Now, searching through the forum, I see a lot of support from some very knowledgeable people for the abovenamed apps.

I have frontpage installed on my laptop but ahave never used it. What does it offer me over and above what netscape can do? Is it as easy to use? If not, does the functionality compensate for the steeper learning curve?

Or is there no real difference between them?

TBH I have just had a look at frontpage and it does't seem to have the "load up and go" ease of use factor of composer. But I am willing to learn how to use it if it is a lot better (anyone know of a good tutorial).

Any advise/comments welcome.



  Forum Editor 23:39 02 Dec 04

you will find it far better than Netscape Composer - there's no comparison really. FrontPage is very powerful, in fact it's probably the best program currently on the market for designing and developing data-driven pages, and I thoroughly recommend it.

DreamWeaver has become a legend in its own lifetime, and no serious web designer would be without it on the hard drive. There's a pretty steep learning curve associated with the program, but if you have the inclination and the time you won't regret it.

NetObjects Fusion is probably the ideal program for those who are designing their first 'serious' site. That isn't to say that the software lacks refinement or power - it has both in full measure, and is capable of holding its own with anything on the market - but it comes with a comprehensive set of templates, and has a very friendly 'feel' to it.

If you plan to do a lot of design/development work you'll ideally have all three, but if I had to recommend one program for all-round versatility and power it would undoubtedly be FrontPage 2003. 00:42 03 Dec 04

but I think people just get used to what they start off with. I have always been happy with NOF. I have never had the oppotunity (or the cash) to try the others FE mentioned.

I did once build one with Notepad, but that was just to see if I could manage it, and I did. But if you are new to web design, I found NOF quite easy to get along with.

Good luck, Whiz...

  granpa geek 01:24 03 Dec 04

look back through the reponses to this forum and your question will be answered a number of times, but the only way is to try and find what is suitable for yourself as to what level you wish to achieve, considering with the technology involved it will always improve so the level of skill has to develop accordingly.

  Taran 01:38 03 Dec 04

Comparing FrontPage with Dreamweaver has been argued for years and it will never be settled properly.

The program interfaces and workflows are all very different and they all have some specific strengths.

I agree entirely with Forum Editor - NetObjects, especially the latest version, is a superb application capable of producing very advanced sites, but it manages to hold your hand and keep you out of trouble along the way like no other program I know of.

Dreamweaver scares the pants off a lot of people. Most of my students find it the most difficult program to get to grips with out of FrontPage and Dreamweaver. I've tried teaching them in a different order, but with an almost unanimous verdict they almost always plump for FrontPage for general ease of use. Anyone who has ever used Word can use FrontPage at its simplest level, but it's real secrets lie a little deeper. If you take the time to learn them, there isn't anything Dreamweaver can do that FrontPage can't.

The whole point to any WYSIWYG editor is that it makes your workflow more efficient. Think of these programs as a springboard. Without them writing web pages is boring in the extreme and tediously slow. I can put a site skeleton together in a minute or two in FrontPage, Dreamweaver or NetObjects (among others) but to hard code the same pages and hyperlinked framework would take far, far longer and bore me to tears in the process.

All web developers working commercially still use one or more simple text/code editors for quick fixes and other minor tweaks, but they all rely heavily on one of the mainstream web authoring programs and I can honestly say that without FrontPage, Dreamweaver, GoLive and NetObjects I would be leading a far less comfortable life now.

  tasslehoff burrfoot 13:45 08 Dec 04

thanks for that, Indeed I am interested in what the other applications (in particular FP) offer that composer doesn't, if anything at all.

Sorry for my delay in posting, I have no internet access at home at the moment.


  Taran 16:46 08 Dec 04

Composer's form support is very obvious by its absence.

In brief, Composer can do a lot of good things for a lot of people, but it cannot match a more comprehensive WYSIWYG program and, unless you want to get into extensive hand coding, you'd be better off with one of the mainstream products.

Composer is a simple editor with a relatively small feature set. Yes, you can drop elements into a page and use a point and click visual interface, but to get the best out of it you need to know how to code manually which more or less defeats the object since there are far better code and WYSIWYG editors out there.

Composer was never meant to compete with the mainstream WYSIWYG editors - it is a thoughtful inclusion as a browser tool but requires a great deal of knowledge to produce anything other than a simple site.

I have used it before to quick fix pages via the browser but there are better tools available and so I choose not to use it.

If you want some links to any amount of free web authoring tools just ask. There are some superb free to use code editors if you want to go that route, and one or two free WYSIWYG editors as well.

To summarise, Composer us a useful inclusion to the parent browser program but it has a limited feature set and so requires coding knowledge to get the best end results. Or that is my opinion anyway, for what it's worth.

  Taran 16:54 08 Dec 04

I should have added that FrontPage is worth its weight in gold for a lot of reasons, but especially for its built in form handler.

As long as your web host supports FrontPage Server Extensions you can create a site with feedback or contact forms on it and when you publish it FrontPage sends up its own CGI type script to process the forms and deliver their contents to your email address or to an online database. Note that it isn't actually a CGI, but it does more or less the same job in a broadly similar manner.

Since many newcomers to web authoring trip up quite badly getting online forms to work, the ability to simply publish the site and have FrontPage sort out the hard bit(s) is nothing to be sniffed at.

FrontPage is also the single most competent and capable program for working with various data sources for data-driven websites. It knocks the socks off Dreamweaver in this regard.

The list of things FrontPage can easily do that Composer can't would exceed the word limitations for posting on this forum. It is the single most comprehensive web authoring tool currently available and its feature list is vast. Basically, there's not much you can't do with FrontPage using the point and click menu options. It is worlds away from Composer, as are the other mainstream applications like Dreamweaver, GoLive and NetObjects.

  tasslehoff burrfoot 14:27 12 Dec 04

Looks like it's more than worth my while taking the time to learn to use FP then.

Could you reccommend a tutorial at all?



  Taran 23:02 12 Dec 04

click here

click here

click here

click here

Any Google search using the words


will unearth more online tutorials than you can shake a stick at.

Good luck with it, and ask any specific questions you mau have back in this forum.


  tasslehoff burrfoot 16:57 22 Feb 05

I have been without internet access for a long time.

I wanted to thank you for the advice you have given me.

I'm going to take a look at a few tutorials, I'll be back with some questions!!!



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