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psmith
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Hi,

I have used Frontpage XP, Dreamweaver MX, and GoLive CS2 (in that order) over the past 3 years doing html web design.

I'd like to spend a lot more time in CSS layouts, however based on a comment in another forum to me, I'm not so sure now that GoLive is the best piece of software to be using.

Ideally I would like something that:

- has a great GUI
- has a live/quick preview
- doesnt necessarily have to be wysiwyg

Comments and suggestion are very welcome.

Thanks

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Ed Seedhouse
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Re: Best software for layout/coding

psmith wrote:

- doesnt necessarily have to be wysiwyg

If you want to design web pages using standard html/xhtml and css then I'd say:

- never design using a WYSISYG tool.

- the best editor is a text editor or, even better, a program editor with syntax highlighting.

- the best preview tool is a web browser. A web browser that isn't Internet Exporer. You have a multitasking computer, and you should use it.

Firefox has wonderful tools available through it's extension capability to make web design much much easier. It also does, pretty much, standard layout according to the CSS rules.

Just my two bits...

Ed Seedhouse

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psmith
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Best software for layout/coding

Are you saying that Firefox has an extension for actually creating web pages, or an extension to help you validate pages you are working on?

If not, can you specifically recommend a program besides note/wordpad?

Thanks again

Chris..S
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Best software for layout/coding

I pretty much agree with Ed.

If you create your markup first, then style it, a quick preview isn't necessary. CSS tweaking can be done live in Firefox using its extensions - then copy/paste the results into your css file.

A quick preview is probably a hindrance. In the end you don't care how it looks in the preview - its how it looks in IE, FF, Safari, Opera, et al. that matters. Its not hard to run a WAMP, LAMP or MAMP server and edit the files under the webroot and refresh them in the different browsers to see how they work.

/edit

I should add, I use Dreamweaver. Mainly because I have used it for ages, because it handles site management and file transfer/synchronisation. All my editing is done in code view, I haven't been near the other views in a long long time.

I believe one of the free text editors now also has integrated ftp/site management. iirc there is a thread in Off-topic with all the details.

Ed Seedhouse
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Best software for layout/coding

psmith wrote:
Are you saying that Firefox has an extension for actually creating web pages, or an extension to help you validate pages you are working on?

It might have both, but it definitely has the latter, and the "web developer" extension is just necessary if you want to develope web pages. It lets you do a lot more than validate. Also the "html tidy" extension is probably essential.

Quote:

If not, can you specifically recommend a program besides note/wordpad?

Any text editor you like. Notepad will work just fine, actually. Myself I use Dreamweaver to do my editing, but I stay away from the "Design" view. Works pretty good as a program editor, and I got it for free since my employer bought it. I doubt if I'd pay for it, though.

However this is not on topic in the beginners css questions forum so you should probably go to the "off topic" area.

Ed Seedhouse

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gary.turner
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Best software for layout/coding

You're right, Ed. Moved.

As has been mentioned, DW has some nice site management tools that make it worth while, if not worth the $.

The key tool is a good text editor. My choice is Emacs and Vi(m) would be my second choice. From within Emacs, you can do anything your operating system can do. Early on, I liked the idea of syntax hi-liting, which many editors have for all manner of languages. I now find it distracting and have turned it off. So look for it in an editor if you like it, but it does not make your code any better. I like on-the-fly validation more. Yeah, Emacs has it.

cheers,

gary

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There are enough html & css demos and tutorials to be interesting. Please visit.

Tyssen
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Best software for layout/coding

kk5st wrote:
The key tool is a good text editor. My choice is Emacs and Vi(m) would be my second choice.

Plenty of others discussed here.

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roytheboy
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Best software for layout/coding

psmith - you're at the stage that many reach, where you see how difficult it is to learn the interface tools of something like Dreamweaver, get confused by the illogical and (unbeknown to you) proprietary 'framework' terminology, and think "sh*t, if I can't understand all this, how could I possibly even start to think about hand coding!"

But what you don't understand is that hand coding is logical (hence easier to learn than WYSIWYG editor interfaces) and very easy to pick up the basics within a few days with a good tutorial - easier than most WYSIWYG interfaces!

Hand-coding is also the only way to get valid and clean code (although I think some of the framework applications are getting better now).

I also use Dreamweaver in code view (only). If you're serious about web design then you'll have to make the break sometime, so do it now!

Life's a b*tch and then you die!

Hugo
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Best software for layout/coding

Oh dear so many DW fanboys :mad:

What Roy says has a lot of truth in that I think that a lot of people confuse proprietary interfaces and controls, terminology etc, with what writing code is all about. Hand coding is not some sort of arcane art that only the really advanced coder can manage, it's just focusing on the code as it relates in it's pure sense without the confusion of all the mush that editors try and envelope it in, supposedly to make things 'easier'.

At the end of the day the important thing is that you realise that it is not necessary to use any of these proprietary interfaces to produce code of any complexity just a good code editor.

If you want something that is similar to DW :mad: that has all the same features (in the main) but that doesn't mangle code and that has a quick preview that is actually accurate (always use a real browser for previewing though) that is extendable with plugins and that is completely free!! (that is, which doesn't cost hundreds of dollars/pounds) then download html-Kit.

As mentioned there is a thread in the forum that reviews and discusses many editors used by members, it does pay to have a good rummage through the forum and see what stickied/'how to' topics are available to help people (apologies for re-iterating that point Smile )

Sidenote/ Can't believe the member who doesn't like pretty coloured code, what a grey world he must live in Smile

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