51 replies [Last post]
gfisch
gfisch's picture
Offline
Regular
Last seen: 14 years 33 weeks ago
Joined: 2005-03-04
Posts: 21
Points: 0

I manage a couple of entertainment sites (pics, vid, music).
All is done in "plain" html (no css) - very few JavaScript.
No content managment - static. Done like you would have done it 8 years ago.

So - you plan to upgrade the system
a) content management
b) campaign management
c) css?

This is my question now...

WHY should I go from HTML to CSS?
What are the short-term and long-term benefits?
What are potential problems or annoyences?

Is this a philosophic question?
Maybe...

greetings

gfisch (new here)

thepineapplehead
thepineapplehead's picture
Offline
Guru
Last seen: 1 year 9 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT+1
Joined: 2004-06-30
Posts: 9668
Points: 801

plain html vs css

1. CSS allows site-wide changes to be made instantly, by editing one file.

2. HTML attributes such as the <font> tag are deprecated by W3 (the governing body on web standards).

3. CSS will make your HTML files infintely smaller, therefore saving bandwidth, and, ultimately, money.

Quote:
What are potential problems or annoyences?

Internet Explorer.

Verschwindende wrote:
  • CSS doesn't make pies

euio
Offline
Enthusiast
Last seen: 14 years 33 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT+8
Joined: 2005-03-03
Posts: 71
Points: 0

plain html vs css

i dont think you are going from HTML to CSS... coz without HTML you can't do CSS...

maybe the question should be...

why should I go from table-based layout to css layout? or maybe why should I use CSS? or hmm... :?: :?

DCElliott
DCElliott's picture
Offline
Leader
Halifax, Canada
Last seen: 2 years 23 weeks ago
Halifax, Canada
Timezone: GMT-3
Joined: 2004-03-22
Posts: 828
Points: 0

plain html vs css

There are now a number of content management systems that are XHTML/CSS compliant (like Back-End CMS) and would be the way to go if you are interested in future-proofing your investment in converting your sites. Interestingly, with CSS you can create sites with identical html that can end up looking wildly different just through changing the CSS. For you this could mean having identical back end coding for each site except for the CSS "skin" which makes each site appear unique.

One of the foremost examples of this is CSS Zen Garden but there are now many others as well.

The up front investment and learning curve of a CMS may be steep, but maintainence costs would be less. Also, clients could do online addition of content making them feel more empowered while you have less work.

DE

David Elliott

Before you ask
LearnXHTML|CSS
ValidateHTML|CSS

euio
Offline
Enthusiast
Last seen: 14 years 33 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT+8
Joined: 2005-03-03
Posts: 71
Points: 0

plain html vs css

DCElliott wrote:
There are now a number of content management systems that are XHTML/CSS compliant (like Back-End CMS) and would be the way to go if you are interested in future-proofing your investment in converting your sites. Interestingly, with CSS you can create sites with identical html that can end up looking wildly different just through changing the CSS. For you this could mean having identical back end coding for each site except for the CSS "skin" which makes each site appear unique.

One of the foremost examples of this is CSS Zen Garden but there are now many others as well.

The up front investment and learning curve of a CMS may be steep, but maintainence costs would be less. Also, clients could do online addition of content making them feel more empowered while you have less work.

DE

can I have your opinion about how well a compliant(if it is) is Movabletype as a content management software? All I know is that its templates are easily modified unless you lack CSS knowledge...

DCElliott
DCElliott's picture
Offline
Leader
Halifax, Canada
Last seen: 2 years 23 weeks ago
Halifax, Canada
Timezone: GMT-3
Joined: 2004-03-22
Posts: 828
Points: 0

plain html vs css

I have done a fair bit of research on CMS software in the course of looking for one to employ in my work but am not currently using one. MovableType is blogging software and may not have all the features of a general purpose CMS. However, I do not say this from experience, only from looking at specs and demos.

I'd suggest you look up some of the sites devoted to CMS discussion like http://www.opensourcecms.com/ or others. One of the most popular CMS products is Mambo, but in examining it I found it to be hopelessly table based, to which I am philosophically opposed.

[As an aside, there is no need to quote someone's entire post when making a reply of asking a question. Most of us know how to use the scroll. [-X ]

DE

David Elliott

Before you ask
LearnXHTML|CSS
ValidateHTML|CSS

euio
Offline
Enthusiast
Last seen: 14 years 33 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT+8
Joined: 2005-03-03
Posts: 71
Points: 0

plain html vs css

Thanks for replying:D ... sometimes I wish the reply button is just beside the quote Laughing out loud

gfisch
gfisch's picture
Offline
Regular
Last seen: 14 years 33 weeks ago
Joined: 2005-03-04
Posts: 21
Points: 0

plain html vs css

thepineapplehead wrote:
1. CSS allows site-wide changes to be made instantly, by editing one file.

3. CSS will make your HTML files infintely smaller, therefore saving bandwidth, and, ultimately, money.

Those are all good reasons. Makes sense to me.

Since I am also looking for a CMS how should I procede?

1. Learn CSS and convert my sites first?
2. or - find the right CMS first and do the changes then combined (CMS changes and CSS)

When I want to learn CSS - what is a good source?

I have a license of Dreamweaver MX but I hated it that there came no printed manual with the upgrade. So I resisted to use und understand the new CSS features...

And thanx - FORUM - for all the answers. Its nice to jump into a new brain pool and realize that your first question was not too dull and boring Smile

greetings

gfisch

Helen
Offline
Enthusiast
NYC
Last seen: 14 years 39 weeks ago
NYC
Timezone: GMT-6
Joined: 2005-01-16
Posts: 135
Points: 0

plain html vs css

There are uncounted excellent CSS resources out there, but when I first started, the tutorial at WestCiv was the one I went through in detail - it's not "dumbed down" and provides excellent coverage:

http://www.westciv.com/style_master/academy/css_tutorial/index.html

Full tutorial table of contents is a bit down the page. (You don't have to purchase their software, the tut is free and not linked to their StyleMaster program. I'd also personally leave your Dreamweaver where it is - the trash. Wink )

thepineapplehead
thepineapplehead's picture
Offline
Guru
Last seen: 1 year 9 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT+1
Joined: 2004-06-30
Posts: 9668
Points: 801

plain html vs css

Evening. (Cool avatar, by the way!)

At the moment, I tink your best bet would be to leave the existing site as it is, and learn CSS from the numerous tutorials on the web.

See if you have any previous table based sites, and convert them to CSS. If you get stuck, come ask us for help.

Verschwindende wrote:
  • CSS doesn't make pies

gfisch
gfisch's picture
Offline
Regular
Last seen: 14 years 33 weeks ago
Joined: 2005-03-04
Posts: 21
Points: 0

plain html vs css

thepineapplehead wrote:
Evening. (Cool avatar, by the way!)

At the moment, I tink your best bet would be to leave the existing site as it is, and learn CSS from the numerous tutorials on the web.

See if you have any previous table based sites, and convert them to CSS. If you get stuck, come ask us for help.

yea - the avatar is nice. I pot pipe I have lost already. Taco eating fat mexican with big belly grabbing his *beep* - haha

and I will come back after getting through the tuts.

great to feel welcome Smile

gfisch

bigredX
Offline
Regular
Delaware Valley, PA
Last seen: 14 years 32 weeks ago
Delaware Valley, PA
Joined: 2005-03-06
Posts: 15
Points: 0

Steep learning curve, but when you get to the heights . . .

WOW!

I have struggled with css (am still struggling!) but geez, tables are so dang RIGID! I can do so much more with css layouts already and I'm not even anywhere near the top yet! CSS is an incredible tool in the hands of designers, and we're just scratching the surface! If IE ever becomes standards compliant . . . well. The next universe is the limit, heck with the sky.

Then there's the other benefits-- faster load, less bandwidth, easier update, cleaner stripped down html for other devices such as palmpilots and cellphones and the readers that the blind use (which translates to more people actually getting to your content!), easier way to make a printfriendly page, etc. etc. etc.

Why would anyone want to use just old fashioned html???? Wink

euio
Offline
Enthusiast
Last seen: 14 years 33 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT+8
Joined: 2005-03-03
Posts: 71
Points: 0

plain html vs css

Laughing out loud only a few can afford to realise that on their own... and most are stubborn, and narrow minded despite being told of its benefits...

I'm struggling too! but as for me, one of my weakest point is positioning... Im always having trouble whether to use absolute positioning or not... floats or not... Shock Laughing out loud

gfisch
gfisch's picture
Offline
Regular
Last seen: 14 years 33 weeks ago
Joined: 2005-03-04
Posts: 21
Points: 0

plain html vs css

euio wrote:
Laughing out loud only a few can afford to realise that on their own...

dont get that - sorry
you mean its so difficult? So expensive to to it yourself (CSS)?
To realise what? - hmmm - that CSS is mandatory?
Shock

what I primarily want is a css file that I change and all pages using it change with it.

Thats what CSS does - I know.
I will learn this first now Smile

My sites come out of a CMS in the future and will NOT be hand coded anymore. Done with that.

gfisch

bigredX
Offline
Regular
Delaware Valley, PA
Last seen: 14 years 32 weeks ago
Delaware Valley, PA
Joined: 2005-03-06
Posts: 15
Points: 0

Heh!

Positioning is the bugaboo-- I've never succeeded in making absolute work, though I've been having fun with floats- the alternative to the table in the css world. Of course, I had some help or I would have gone buggy. And though I can clear most floats by wrapping them in another, I've never got the hang of the so called easyclearing thing.

bigredX
Offline
Regular
Delaware Valley, PA
Last seen: 14 years 32 weeks ago
Delaware Valley, PA
Joined: 2005-03-06
Posts: 15
Points: 0

Sorry, gfisch, didn't mean to hijack your thread!

Learning CSS is really the best. You'll never regret it (oh, um, maybe at 2 in the morning you might, when you're beating your head against a wall, and still can't get that float contained, but most times you won't!!!)

euio
Offline
Enthusiast
Last seen: 14 years 33 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT+8
Joined: 2005-03-03
Posts: 71
Points: 0

plain html vs css

ooppss i shouldve used a quote... i was actually replying to bigredX! Laughing out loud

is it difficult? you've been designing with HTML and all you have to do is to put a style on its elements! know how to position(www.glish.com/css), be aware of browser bugs(www.positioniseverything.net), etc... now you answer the question yourself... Laughing out loud

expensive? Nope, just use the same resources you have when designing in HTML and you don't necessarily need books... gurus are readily available online and references are distributed around the net, youll save money tho u may have to spend some time looking for those...

www.alistapart.com
www.positioniseverything.net
www.csscreator.com
www.csszengarden.com
www.shauninman.com
www.glish.com/css
www.justwatchthesky.com
www.mezzoblue.com
hmm...
and many more!

to realise what? CSS rocks
is CSS mandatory? *gurus please help
Laughing out loud Laughing out loud

euio

bigredX
Offline
Regular
Delaware Valley, PA
Last seen: 14 years 32 weeks ago
Delaware Valley, PA
Joined: 2005-03-06
Posts: 15
Points: 0

plain html vs css

euio
Offline
Enthusiast
Last seen: 14 years 33 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT+8
Joined: 2005-03-03
Posts: 71
Points: 0

plain html vs css

thanks for the links Laughing out loud didnt know they exist! :oops: Laughing out loud

Hugo
Hugo's picture
Offline
Moderator
London
Last seen: 4 years 40 weeks ago
London
Joined: 2004-06-06
Posts: 15668
Points: 2806

plain html vs css

Quote:
is CSS mandatory? *gurus please help

It is on this forum Smile

This threads getting a little convoluted , not sure who's talking to who Smile

What's the problem with understanding the clearing contained floats technique, explain the stumbling block and someone may well be able to help you, it's quite easy to understand really.

Hugo.

Before you make your first post it is vital that you READ THE POSTING GUIDELINES!
----------------------------------------------------------------
Please post ALL your code - both CSS & HTML - in [code] tags
Please validate and ensure you have included a full Doctype before posting.
Why validate? Read Me

gfisch
gfisch's picture
Offline
Regular
Last seen: 14 years 33 weeks ago
Joined: 2005-03-04
Posts: 21
Points: 0

Re: Heh!

OK - thx for the feedback. I come to a conclusion now...

I will learn CSS but only for global style change and nicer interface highlighting reason. I will not dive into "div"

Thats too much and I dont see why. I dont need fancy design - just good looking interface elements and a clear structure (for my use). This can be handled with tables and frames easily...

And then - I am still on the search for a CMS. Once I now what they can use (html with or wo css) I will decide who deep to get into this new toy...

will "old style" html ever go away and be not usable anmore?
I doubt that...

And then - I have to reach most possible useres - and most use Explorer.

BTW - one of the most visual things you can do with CSS are "faked" pull-down menues (not coming from the system).

I tell you the truth - most suck big time!!!!

I read the macintosh user interfac guidlines in 84.
Most menues behave different - timing, exit aso.
This is NOT what you should do to please the user.

Its a nightmare - for my taste.
Some I cant even operate!

One of the worst interfaces is macromedia.com - haha.

And then this "new" highlight effects - its like flesh - not necessary.

There are VERY view interface elements that really are new and resonable - like Expose on the Mac. Mausgestures makes sense.
Polldown-menues are done - why re-invent.

It lacks a standard - but who should do that?
Mac OS / Longhorn interface API plug-ins for browsers?

But variations of pulldown-menues with various highligh effects are not really necessary. They confuse or - at best - entertain for a short time - then you have seen it...

Userinterface is something different than content delivery.

Anyway - this i probably another thread and highly off-topic (sorry).

But I am still not convinced why I swith (fully) use CSS.
I am convinced to use the global style elements though.

And I love forums and virtual communities (the tribal aspect of the web). Its so cool to be able to get into a topic REALLY anytime you want and get fresh, intelligent, up-to-date, controversial knowledge. Thanks...

gfisch

Chris..S
Chris..S's picture
Offline
Moderator
Last seen: 7 years 4 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT+1
Joined: 2005-02-22
Posts: 6078
Points: 173

plain html vs css

With CMS CSS is vitally important. They are the means that allow you to give your site a look that is different from every other site that uses that CMS. A CMS that uses <div>s rather than tables will give you a lot more flexibility in creating your look.

Hugo
Hugo's picture
Offline
Moderator
London
Last seen: 4 years 40 weeks ago
London
Joined: 2004-06-06
Posts: 15668
Points: 2806

plain html vs css

Hm, you don't seem too enamoured by CSS-P Smile it does take some patience to understand fully and to deal with cross browser problems.

By all means stick with tables if you must for the moment but keep working on your understanding of CSS-P and bear in mind that using tables to construct layouts is fundamentally wrong regardless of whether they work, it's regarded as semantically incorrect, the correct method of laying out a page is the use of the div tag and as for frames they don't bear thinking about they are outdated, redundant, obsolete and come with many problems.

Hugo.

Before you make your first post it is vital that you READ THE POSTING GUIDELINES!
----------------------------------------------------------------
Please post ALL your code - both CSS & HTML - in [code] tags
Please validate and ensure you have included a full Doctype before posting.
Why validate? Read Me

bigredX
Offline
Regular
Delaware Valley, PA
Last seen: 14 years 32 weeks ago
Delaware Valley, PA
Joined: 2005-03-06
Posts: 15
Points: 0

plain html vs css

Divs aren't that hard. Really.

And if you're going to take the time to build this, why build it in code that's been obsolete for a few years now? FYI your sites will load faster in IE if they're constructed using css for the layout, so I don't at all understand why you believe it's better for IE users to view a site constructed in tables. IE7 is coming out soon, hopefully with even better css support (though they won't say for sure)

Zeldman said it better than I ever could-- and if you look at the date on this article it's easy to see how long tables have been obsolete.
http://www.alistapart.com/articles/tohell/

You might want to check out the htmltidy tool. I understand it's a big help updating code. There's an installable version and an online version you can find at:
http://w3.org

gfisch
gfisch's picture
Offline
Regular
Last seen: 14 years 33 weeks ago
Joined: 2005-03-04
Posts: 21
Points: 0

plain html vs css

bigredX wrote:
Divs aren't that hard. Really.

And if you're going to take the time to build this, why build it in code that's been obsolete for a few years now?

Zeldman said it better than I ever could-- and if you look at the date on this article it's easy to see how long tables have been obsolete.
http://www.alistapart.com/articles/tohell/

well - THAT is exactely the point.
Do you really belief there will be browsers that ONLY support complient CSS and NOT tables anymore.

Thats not what I think - sorry.

But I changed my mind a bit after reading Zeldman. Wow - was not aware for HOW LONG this discussion goes on (and the initiative to fundamentally change the way of coding websites).

A quick question...

I am using a 3 fram construct. Topnavigation, Left-side-sub-navigation, center-content

As I learned from reading the Zeldman scripts a 3 table design is hard to accomplish with CSS. Is it still?
They suggest that this is bad interface anyway and should be rethought.

Hmm - I think it is pretty practical interface design still.
Why should navigation scroll out of the view when you have a scrolling (liquid?) content area....

Give me a site that simulates fixed top and left navigation with content area and I have a look...

but again - thx for putting up with my total CSS newbee (stupid - ignorant - oldfashioned) view.

I come from another time zone.
I started Multimedia with HyperCard on the Mac.
The next step was CD-ROM.
Then came video (well - haha).
Then came the web.
Then came content management.
Then I sold my company shares (1998)

Now I do my own stuff simply with Dreamweaver...

You understand now why I am still stuck in this bad bad bad old world

:twisted:

But I like to improve and I LOVE to learn new tricks...
Thats why I am here

gfisch

DCElliott
DCElliott's picture
Offline
Leader
Halifax, Canada
Last seen: 2 years 23 weeks ago
Halifax, Canada
Timezone: GMT-3
Joined: 2004-03-22
Posts: 828
Points: 0

plain html vs css

Regarding your question about frames and frame-like functionality. Look at this site created by a friend of mine (animgirl - also a forum member here) which looks like a frame-based site. However, it is all clever CSS-P using overflow:auto; scroller divs.. Everything there is CSS - CSS tabs, CSS buttons, CSS tables. So you can do it without frames or tables.

DE

David Elliott

Before you ask
LearnXHTML|CSS
ValidateHTML|CSS

Chris..S
Chris..S's picture
Offline
Moderator
Last seen: 7 years 4 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT+1
Joined: 2005-02-22
Posts: 6078
Points: 173

plain html vs css

Probably these are all mentioned above. I am not sure they do what you are after, if its position:fixed you need and IE browsers are in your target audience you are stuck.

Three Column Layouts - css-discuss
glish.com : CSS layout techniques
CSS Stuff - XHTML/CSS - 3 column layouts - Netscape 4 compatible
Source Ordered Columns

bigredX
Offline
Regular
Delaware Valley, PA
Last seen: 14 years 32 weeks ago
Delaware Valley, PA
Joined: 2005-03-06
Posts: 15
Points: 0

plain html vs css

Smile I'm glad you've finally decided to at least consider the idea of not using tables for layout. Tables will always work, but they're meant for "tabular data" according to the w3 specs. And once you start learning to design with css you'll never want to go back to using them for layout! They are SO limiting!

The links posted so far are really good ones. If you decide to go with 100% wide header including some nav in it, with two columns underneath, the left one additional nav (did I understand you correctly?) and the right one content, you can simply leave the right side div or class out of any three column layout and you've got your two columns, just adjust the left and center widths accordingly.

Since I'm just reaching the "intermediate" level of css myself, I can make a couple suggestions to someone learning. Throw out that "table mindset" and try to think in terms of fluidity. I've found that using floats for my div boxes is much more intuitive, once you learn what they can do (and some of the weird things they don't!) Another thing to remember is that boxes can be nested. Containing two (or sometimes many more) boxes in a bigger "wrapping" container often solves a problem. Floated containers will always float up to nest against the element before them in the html flow, and in the direction you set them- right or left. Floats always need a width specified, though that width can be pixels, ems or percentages. If you tell a float to "clear" another float, it will go under it-- a 100% wide footer, then, should be set to "clear:both;" if it goes under your two columns.

Name your divs with names that make sense, ie wrapper, header, floatwrap, leftnav, rightcontent, footer. That way you won't get too lost!

There are some pretty good tutorials here to explain the basics- the Selectutorial, the Floatutorial, and the Listutorial. They should give you a basic understanding of what css does and how.
http://css.maxdesign.com.au/selectutorial/

Beginning to understand how floats work is important. This is one of the better articles, and from the master himself, Eric Meyer.
http://www.complexspiral.com/publications/containing-floats/

And when you get in trouble (which you for sure will, if I can judge by my own experience!) give all of us a yell. But do VALIDATE before posting-- http://w3.org

gfisch
gfisch's picture
Offline
Regular
Last seen: 14 years 33 weeks ago
Joined: 2005-03-04
Posts: 21
Points: 0

plain html vs css

Chris..S wrote:
Probably these are all mentioned above. I am not sure they do what you are after, if its position:fixed you need and IE browsers are in your target audience you are stuck.

Ok - learned a lot now.
1. tables are bad (all can be done with div better). Ok - got that.
2. Frames are EVEN worse. [-X You can do most with CSS...

Ok - thats one of my last 2 points now...

If you want this

"The difference is that frames allow the designer to maintain some material on the screen while other material scrolls."
http://html.megalink.com/webmaster/intranetstuff/whenframes.html
(I know - its from 98 - haha)

how would you do this with CSS?

As I understood you can have things fixed with CSS but - then it seems not to work yet properly - especially on Explorer (see quote above).

In my little universe I dont care too much about the reasons why you should not use frames because

a) the framed content is members only. Search engines SHOULD not even find it.
b) Not bookmarkable (well - thats a point)
c) "Back" does not work properly (yes - THATS the biggest issue!)

Don´t get me wrong - since I will use a CMS on my sites in the future frames will be a thing of the past anyway once I migrated - but I want to understand...

CAN CSS simulate a frameset where left and top frame navigation would not scroll but the content would float?

Or is it like this. Webdesigners just don´t do this anymore because it can't (yet) be done with CSS - although it is still a good idea. :oops:

The examples you gave me so far are not really what I want.

And then - the last question regarding Tools.

I have Dreamweaver MX now (Mac OS X).
When I would convert to CSS would I use DW at all or are there better tools?

Now with my new understanding of Tables, Frames and Div I find Dreamweaver HIGHLY confusing suddenly.

a) it gives you WYSIWYG tools to do bad old things (frames, tables)
b) It has some new CSS functionality - but I don´t use it yet. Should I bother or just switch to a new tool?

thanks

gfisch

gary.turner
gary.turner's picture
Offline
Moderator
Dallas
Last seen: 12 hours 32 sec ago
Dallas
Timezone: GMT-5
Joined: 2004-06-25
Posts: 9743
Points: 3822

plain html vs css

Much in the way frames work, you can wrap the non-header, non-menu content in a fixed dimension (explicitly height) div with {overflow: auto;}. Any excess content will cause that one div to scroll, the same effect as frames would give.*

With light weight, semantic, well structured html there is no penalty for loading an entire page as opposed to only the content doc, as in frames. The header and menu will contain only text without the weight of table markup. Ditto the content except for new images. All the display instructions and images are cached on the client machine.

*Personally, I have long disliked scrolling areas and prefer to scroll the page as a whole. A good design will offer an alternate menu/nav-aid at the bottom should the page be very tall.

cheers,

gary

If your web page is as clever as you can make it, it's probably too clever for you to debug or maintain.

bigredX
Offline
Regular
Delaware Valley, PA
Last seen: 14 years 32 weeks ago
Delaware Valley, PA
Joined: 2005-03-06
Posts: 15
Points: 0

plain html vs css

Okay, the short answer. Yes, css can simulate frames. You use overflow: scroll; on a div, though since I don't use it I can't give you any warnings about what to expect. I did find a couple links for you.
http://www.fu2k.org/alex/css/frames/
http://home.comcast.net/~rob.freundlich/css/noFrames.html I think you can take any two or three column layout that suits you and make it into one that simulates frames-- I'm guessing only the "content' area would need overflow: scroll; , and none of the other divs, though I did see one awful layout that had scrollbars going every which way . . . yes, it can be done. Should it be done is another question entirely.

I use dreamweaver mx 2004, and it supports css very well as long as you know "how to find it" Smile You're right, a lot of the stuff on the main interface does stuff the "bad old way" so I don't use a lot of it. But dreamweaver mmx2004 does have good css support (the earlier mmx version doesn't, so check your version.) I will tell you one thing-- If a page seems to be misbehaving in the dw wysiwyg window that you think should be looking okay, check it in firefox before you start pulling your hair out. DW's wysiwyg has not caught up to the better browsers, ESPECIALLY when rendering floated layouts. According to one of the MM engineers they've realized that is a sore point with developers and the team is planning on correcting that, but I don't know if it'll make it by the next upgrade. Some people swear by handcoding in notepad, some swear by topstyle for the css. I just use dreamweaver and I muddle along okay. I'm hearing there aren't a lot of good tools out there besides DW.

I suggest first going through any of the dreamweaver doc/help stuff on css. I also remember reading a couple articles at macromedia when I was first getting started with it, and they shortcutted me considerably.

Oh, I forgot to mention-- TEST first in Firefox or Opera, then when the design is nailed, hack it to work in IE if needed-- sometimes it'll surprise the hell out of you and not need it *wicked grin*

Hugo
Hugo's picture
Offline
Moderator
London
Last seen: 4 years 40 weeks ago
London
Joined: 2004-06-06
Posts: 15668
Points: 2806

plain html vs css

bigredx wrote:
I'm hearing there aren't a lot of good tools out there besides DW.

You are kidding aren't you ?

You need to look around and also understand why so many of us are so disparaging of the weaver of dreams and prefer to engage our brains and hand code.

Hugo.

Before you make your first post it is vital that you READ THE POSTING GUIDELINES!
----------------------------------------------------------------
Please post ALL your code - both CSS & HTML - in [code] tags
Please validate and ensure you have included a full Doctype before posting.
Why validate? Read Me

Chris..S
Chris..S's picture
Offline
Moderator
Last seen: 7 years 4 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT+1
Joined: 2005-02-22
Posts: 6078
Points: 173

plain html vs css

Hey, I like DW.

It has pretty colours.

Seriously, its helpful for managing sites. I like having, source site (my pc), test site (my linux box) and real site (where ever its going) and being able to sync to which ever when ever.

Sometimes I use designview to quickly get lots of element skeletons on the page. But (now) everything gets done in code view. I like having copies of the O'Reilly books to hand as well. Though mostly I have them to hand anyhow.

Out of curiousity, are there other tools which do the above?

bigredX
Offline
Regular
Delaware Valley, PA
Last seen: 14 years 32 weeks ago
Delaware Valley, PA
Joined: 2005-03-06
Posts: 15
Points: 0

plain html vs css

Quote:
You are kidding aren't you ?

You need to look around and also understand why so many of us are so disparaging of the weaver of dreams and prefer to engage our brains and hand code.

I handcode. I just choose to do it in dreamweaver. So you go ahead and type 50 to 100 characters while I'm adding a library entity which I CREATED and use over and over again by simply doubleclicking on it. You go ahead and type 4 characters while I hit control-2. Dreamweaver saves me time and lots of it. Now, who's engaged their brain???

gary.turner
gary.turner's picture
Offline
Moderator
Dallas
Last seen: 12 hours 32 sec ago
Dallas
Timezone: GMT-5
Joined: 2004-06-25
Posts: 9743
Points: 3822

plain html vs css

bigredX wrote:
<snip=Hugo's words>
I handcode. I just choose to do it in dreamweaver. So you go ahead and type 50 to 100 characters while I'm adding a library entity which I CREATED and use over and over again by simply doubleclicking on it. You go ahead and type 4 characters while I hit control-2. Dreamweaver saves me time and lots of it. Now, who's engaged their brain???
That's just good text editor stuff. At least Emacs can do all that, if not using those terms. DW is kinda expensive for an editor, isn't it?

I don't think Hugo's remarks, and he can speak for himself, disparaged DW as an editor. I think he meant, and I know I mean, that DW and other wysiwyg html generators turn out crap-for-code. If you want to use it as a substitute for a good editor and as a poor man's cvs, no problem. I just never want to have to maintain anything created in DW in its code generator mode.

cheers,

gary

If your web page is as clever as you can make it, it's probably too clever for you to debug or maintain.

Hugo
Hugo's picture
Offline
Moderator
London
Last seen: 4 years 40 weeks ago
London
Joined: 2004-06-06
Posts: 15668
Points: 2806

plain html vs css

Gary was correct I didn't disparage DW as an editor as such, if you know what your doing then I'm sure it's a half decent editor , I just have the horrors when people without sufficient knowledge get sucked into it's seductive hand holding ways, and wonder after a while why they seem to struggle with it especially where it may purport to aid in things like CSS editing when in reality the best and simplest way of coding stylesheets is in a plain editor that lets you decide whether to use a shorthand property or where you can utilise the latest method of writing a rule or hack.

As for editors other than Gary's estimable Emacs ( which does look rather interesting) two spring to mind that offer all that you mention or very close to it.

HTML-kit is very feature rich and can do anything from templating/snippets colour coding for any script type, ftp, batch actions, Unix format and active plugin development extending it's functions.

tsWebEdtor is simplified but still offers templates/snippets, extensive scripting support , Dos/Mac/Unix formatting ,ftp, project management, syntax/error checking for php, html-tidy etc.

Both really great editors when you consider that they never mangle code and that they both are entirely free ! which is a bit different to forking out some £500 pounds for a copy of DW Shock

Hugo.

Before you make your first post it is vital that you READ THE POSTING GUIDELINES!
----------------------------------------------------------------
Please post ALL your code - both CSS & HTML - in [code] tags
Please validate and ensure you have included a full Doctype before posting.
Why validate? Read Me

gfisch
gfisch's picture
Offline
Regular
Last seen: 14 years 33 weeks ago
Joined: 2005-03-04
Posts: 21
Points: 0

plain html vs css

Hugo wrote:
Gary was correct I didn't disparage DW as an editor as such, ...

Both really great editors when you consider that they never mangle code and that they both are entirely free ! which is a bit different to forking out some £500 pounds for a copy of DW Shock

Hugo.

impressive knowledge you have.
Amazing - the coding must be not too easy.

But a "good" visual editor can be fun too. I am a very grafic person and love visual software. So I am more productive (for the things I do) to work with such a tool. Curious how good the transition from DW to the new CSS tool will be. I think they should start a new line which is CSS only.

gfisch

larmyia
Offline
Elder
London
Last seen: 11 years 5 weeks ago
London
Timezone: GMT+1
Joined: 2005-01-25
Posts: 1060
Points: 0

plain html vs css

I used to use DW but after stumbling about in the dark I finally managed to turn on the light and realised that it was necessary to handcode to be in control of the site I was developing. as I started using DW to handcode my sites it seemed v expensive for just that. So I'm currently trying out UltraEdit-32 which I'm enjoying.

although I did like the DW feature when you don't have to type the whole word, and I can see how it'd save time. I think it made me (personally) lazy to comit the code to memory, and now doing 100% handcoding I really have to think. for me it's made me a better coder definatly.

but at the end of the day everyone has to work with what suits them best.

larmyia

DCElliott
DCElliott's picture
Offline
Leader
Halifax, Canada
Last seen: 2 years 23 weeks ago
Halifax, Canada
Timezone: GMT-3
Joined: 2004-03-22
Posts: 828
Points: 0

plain html vs css

I'm reasonably graphic, but when I start a project I sharpen some coloured pencils and get out some grid paper. I then add my #ids and draw boxes around parent child relationships and add some basic CSS-P code. I then code the div relationships into a basic html page with the #ids and then start layering on the CSS-P. At this latter point, I often work in FF with the editstyles bookmarklet or edit styles feature of the web-developer toolbar that allows me instant visual feedback on code changes. This is WICIWIS (what I code is what I see) editing at its best Laughing out loud

DE

David Elliott

Before you ask
LearnXHTML|CSS
ValidateHTML|CSS

euio
Offline
Enthusiast
Last seen: 14 years 33 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT+8
Joined: 2005-03-03
Posts: 71
Points: 0

plain html vs css

gfisch wrote:

impressive knowledge you have.
Amazing - the coding must be not too easy.

But a "good" visual editor can be fun too. I am a very grafic person and love visual software. So I am more productive (for the things I do) to work with such a tool. Curious how good the transition from DW to the new CSS tool will be. I think they should start a new line which is CSS only.

gfisch

DW is good only for people who's not into designing but needs to have a website up... but the use of that by a full-time designer or somebody whose career is designing websites is surely a disadvantage and may even turn off clients... Laughing out loud

what if the time will come when u have to design a website using notepad?! Laughing out loud thats my self-motivational question... haha funny but who knows...

larmyia
Offline
Elder
London
Last seen: 11 years 5 weeks ago
London
Timezone: GMT+1
Joined: 2005-01-25
Posts: 1060
Points: 0

plain html vs css

my only question is what about clients who want to update their own websites using DW or FrontPage. I have one atm and he's a really hands on kinda guy.

obviously he's not going to open my code in notepad and make changes.

any suggestions?

larmyia

thepineapplehead
thepineapplehead's picture
Offline
Guru
Last seen: 1 year 9 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT+1
Joined: 2004-06-30
Posts: 9668
Points: 801

plain html vs css

If you use Dreamweaver, consider using Contribute.

If you've used Frontpage, there's no hope for you Laughing out loud

Verschwindende wrote:
  • CSS doesn't make pies

Chris..S
Chris..S's picture
Offline
Moderator
Last seen: 7 years 4 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT+1
Joined: 2005-02-22
Posts: 6078
Points: 173

plain html vs css

Contribute or a CMS.

larmyia
Offline
Elder
London
Last seen: 11 years 5 weeks ago
London
Timezone: GMT+1
Joined: 2005-01-25
Posts: 1060
Points: 0

plain html vs css

I was thinking about contribute. but I've not seen it. is it any good?

thanks

larmyia

gfisch
gfisch's picture
Offline
Regular
Last seen: 14 years 33 weeks ago
Joined: 2005-03-04
Posts: 21
Points: 0

plain html vs css

euio wrote:
gfisch wrote:

impressive knowledge you have.
Amazing - the coding must be not too easy.

But a "good" visual editor can be fun too. I am a very grafic person and love visual software. So I am more productive (for the things I do) to work with such a tool. Curious how good the transition from DW to the new CSS tool will be. I think they should start a new line which is CSS only.

gfisch

DW is good only for people who's not into designing but needs to have a website up... but the use of that by a full-time designer or somebody whose career is designing websites is surely a disadvantage and may even turn off clients... Laughing out loud

what if the time will come when u have to design a website using notepad?! Laughing out loud thats my self-motivational question... haha funny but who knows...

I belief handcoding is a thing from the past. Some people might prefer that - but it is not mainstream.

There WILL be good visual CSS editor over time. Dreamweaver is pretty good now to produce outdated code - haha - but it works nicely. BUT - HTML is a thing of the past - CSS is the future...

Do most of you really prefer to keep on handcoding? Inly a handfull of "true" experts can code down to the ground and be creative - so to speak - designers. That is very very rare.

I learned that there are different kinds of combination.
But most often they are those...

1. Programmers who are bad designers and know that.
2. Programmers who are bad designers but dont know/accept that.
3. Designers who are bad programmers...
4. Designers who are... (same pattern)
5. A person who is good in both
6. Add yourself...

But I belief that everybody can benefit from intuitive, visual production tools.

So what's your point? Do you handcode because there are no good tools yet or do you actually prefere it?

Do you want Visual tools for CSS?
Do you think they are unnecessary?
Do you think they are actually bad?

What company will bring us the first good visual CSS tool?

gfisch

DCElliott
DCElliott's picture
Offline
Leader
Halifax, Canada
Last seen: 2 years 23 weeks ago
Halifax, Canada
Timezone: GMT-3
Joined: 2004-03-22
Posts: 828
Points: 0

plain html vs css

Not sure what you mean by a "visual tool for CSS" The FF edit styles bookmarklet or the Web developer toolbar both allow real-time CSS editing capabilities although without any handholding in terms of syntax or error checking.

There is an inherent difficulty in having a visual CSS-P editor since the same appearance can be created by wildly different CSS-P with different functionality and behaviours (as well as different advantages and problems). You can't just mouse in a block on the canvas and have <div id="xyz"></div> appear in an HTML file and #xyz {position:relative; width:auto; margin:0 10%;} in a CSS file - how would the visual editor know what positioning context you want, or whether you want content offset with margins or padding and so on.

The best tool I have is a library of base CSS-P layouts (like those found at CSS-Discuss or Ruthsarian or Position is Everything) that I may draw upon plus a collection of 'affordances' (menus buttons and behaviours) that I generally apply. I also have a section that I use for color schemes and fontography. Designing one's CSS in a modular fashion allows some mix & match. In fact, if one completely separates CSS-P from the general styles, you have a perfect vehicle for style switching. (an illustration of this can be seen at: this example )

The best I can see DW or similar product producing is a good annotated CSS-P design library with a browse function. Having an editor with simultaneous real-time preview based on CSS and HTML editing windows would be gravy. (and a loud horn to go off when non-valid code is entered, just for hugo)

DE

David Elliott

Before you ask
LearnXHTML|CSS
ValidateHTML|CSS

gary.turner
gary.turner's picture
Offline
Moderator
Dallas
Last seen: 12 hours 32 sec ago
Dallas
Timezone: GMT-5
Joined: 2004-06-25
Posts: 9743
Points: 3822

plain html vs css

gfisch wrote:

I belief handcoding is a thing from the past. Some people might prefer that - but it is not mainstream.

There WILL be good visual CSS editor over time. Dreamweaver is pretty good now to produce outdated code - haha - but it works nicely. BUT - HTML is a thing of the past - CSS is the future...
Not mainstream? Possibly. I can tell you that I hand code, and I hand code faster, and turn out easier to maintain code than I ever could in a wysiwyg generator. I suppose if I worked in a large production shop, I could turn my code into DW compatible templates for the less skilled to use for cranking out pages.

Maybe the hand coder is a thing of the past in the production shop, but even there someone has to know the down and dirty of html+css if anything but schlock is to be turned out.

Borland has a line of programming tools, Delphi, Kylix, C++Builder, and JBuilder. I can sit down on any of them and turn out some amazing programs, considering that I know next to nothing about Pascal, C++, or Java. But if I run into a problem or want to change an object's methods or whatever, I'm well and truly screwed. The same will be true no matter how good something like DW might get.

HTML a thing of the past? Maybe in favor of xml, but css is nothing without the markup language.

cheers,

gary

If your web page is as clever as you can make it, it's probably too clever for you to debug or maintain.

Hugo
Hugo's picture
Offline
Moderator
London
Last seen: 4 years 40 weeks ago
London
Joined: 2004-06-06
Posts: 15668
Points: 2806

plain html vs css

Oh dear gfisch, you really are missing the point here.

Handcoding cannot be a thing from the past as you put it , to hand code does not mean that you never use an editor but it does imply that you have reached a level of competence and understanding of the code that you are writing, something that someone using a WYSIWYG editor is never going to have It's a pure form of laziness to use such visual aids and most certainly does not enhance your design/coding abilities in any way.

Once you have grasped the fundamentals of X/HTML layout and CSS then really the next step is to get comfortable with working with that code in it's pure form; it becomes second nature to start laying out divs and applying CSS styling to them if you have created a graphic layout and sliced it up then equally you should have a pretty good idea of how and where you need to apply these graphics and a simple check in a running browser confirms whether you have indeed got it right or need to adjust your CSS rules.

To say this is not mainstream is an absurd statement; as I can assure you that a lot of the regulars working in a professional capacity will be coding by "Hand" which doesn't mean that they eschew editors they are convenient and do help to speed up monotonous repetitive tasks but it means that they have studied their craft and have reached a level of understanding that releases them from the constraints of helper programmes.
I'm sorry to have to say it but using a WYSIWYG just marks someone down as being uninterested in actually understanding how code really works, they just want to be shielded from it , they are looking for shortcuts, sadly this type of individual is on the increase.

Your starting to make some very inaccurate statements here, to say "HTML is a thing of the past - CSS is the future" tells me that you haven't really grasped what your dealing with HTML is not dead, CSS was introduced to separate presentation from markup.

"Only a handful of true experts can code down to the ground and be creative" oh I think that you will have a lot of people disagreeing with you, and what is a true expert I'm not I can assure you, yet I have been been able to produce a fairly complex fluid layout with complex nested div layout to accommodate fluid graphical boxes in notepad I'm not sure that a WYSIWYG editor could have handled the coding for that and it most certainly couldn't produce the CSS rules needed to get this to work.

I choose to work this way because I know that each time I do this I get stronger and more confident as a coder.

To answer your last question I handcode because I would like to be taken seriously and I know that it is how you gain proper competence in this craft and also the fact that I like code, I want to write it not to have some programme do it for me. tools are there to make life a bit simpler and are always best utilized by someone who has already learnt their craft, tools should not be regarded as something required in order to get the job done.

Visual tools for CSS ? why ! learn to write it, it's got a very simple syntax and only requires the simplest of text editors .
Don't always be looking for the easiest option start to put a bit of work in and you'll find that the rewards are immense, a tool in this respect will never be better than your own knowledge in this area.

I grow very tired of this debate between handcoding and WYSIWYG editors and will make this my last utterance on the subject

Handcoding is not some mystical art it is the natural by product of reaching a certain level of competence, I never set out to become a handcoder as I learnt more I began to find that looking at code was becoming like a second language I understood what I was reading and started to get a mental visualization of what various lines of code would look like and it became gradually easier and easier to write directly in a source code view I needed visual layout tools less and less. The more I learnt the more I needed to handcode for it's speed and immediacy and because it's how you connect with what your doing.

There is no debate as to which is better, if you care for what your doing you will naturally fall into pure coding if you wish to forever debate Handcoding vs DW then you mark yourself down as not really that interested in the craft.

Hugo.

This thread is starting to drag on somewhat, and may be reaching a natural conclusion. Smile

Before you make your first post it is vital that you READ THE POSTING GUIDELINES!
----------------------------------------------------------------
Please post ALL your code - both CSS & HTML - in [code] tags
Please validate and ensure you have included a full Doctype before posting.
Why validate? Read Me

thepineapplehead
thepineapplehead's picture
Offline
Guru
Last seen: 1 year 9 weeks ago
Timezone: GMT+1
Joined: 2004-06-30
Posts: 9668
Points: 801

plain html vs css

My $0.02

Quote:
BUT - HTML is a thing of the past - CSS is the future...

If HTML becomes obsolete, what will we use CSS to style?

Visual CSS editors are unnecessary. What's wrong with notepad?

Verschwindende wrote:
  • CSS doesn't make pies

gary.turner
gary.turner's picture
Offline
Moderator
Dallas
Last seen: 12 hours 32 sec ago
Dallas
Timezone: GMT-5
Joined: 2004-06-25
Posts: 9743
Points: 3822

plain html vs css

Hugo wrote:

This thread is starting to drag on somewhat, and may be reaching a natural conclusion. Smile
[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law]So who are you, the thread Nazi? Who elected you the modern day Hitler?[/url]

oops :oops: Laughing out loud

gary

If your web page is as clever as you can make it, it's probably too clever for you to debug or maintain.

Hugo
Hugo's picture
Offline
Moderator
London
Last seen: 4 years 40 weeks ago
London
Joined: 2004-06-06
Posts: 15668
Points: 2806

plain html vs css

Laughing out loud that's brought a moment of amusement to an otherwise frustrating evening, ta Gary.

Nice try, but ....

Quote:
there is also a widely-recognized codicil that any intentional invocation of Godwin's law for its thread-ending effects will be unsuccessful.


Hugo.

Before you make your first post it is vital that you READ THE POSTING GUIDELINES!
----------------------------------------------------------------
Please post ALL your code - both CSS & HTML - in [code] tags
Please validate and ensure you have included a full Doctype before posting.
Why validate? Read Me