TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Alternative to Front Page? From:Barry Campbell <barry -at- WEBVERANDA -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 4 Dec 1998 11:38:56 -0500
At 08:22 AM 12/4/98 -0800, John Nesbit wrote:
> We use Front Page here at work to create our web pages, but I'm finding
>it way too limited and too buggy. I continually have to go in and
>correct it with basic HTML code.
> Any recommendations out there on really good web authoring tools?
FrontPage has its uses, particularly if you are in an all-Microsoft
shop with a lot of Office users. In cross-platform environments,
you must be very, very careful about the FP features you use, because
it's easy to use FP to create a web site that won't work well in
the Netscape browser. I agree with you that it is buggy and unstable,
but some of the site management features are rather well thought out.
One option: use FrontPage Explorer to manage your site, but use a
different editor! (See the Help files in FrontPage 98 for how to
set this up.)
I've been designing web sites since 1994. In my opinion, the best
authoring tools are code-based editors which support macros. These
tools help you write solid, valid HTML without adding spaghetti code
like FrontPage or most other WYSIWYG tools.
On Windows, the best-of-breed code-based editor is Allaire HomeSite;
on the Mac, BBEdit. Virtually every professional web designer I know
uses one or both of these tools, depending on which platform(s) they
I have, however, finally found one good WYSIWYG editor that does not
alter the code I write by hand: Macromedia Dreamweaver. It's the only
truly useful WYSIWYG HTML editor I've ever built sites with.
DreamWeaver 2.0, which I've just downloaded but haven't had much time
to play around with, even offers XML support. I've been using the 1.0
version heavily for prototyping, although I still sometimes wind up
hand-tuning the HTML before we go into production.
NOTE: If you buy the full DreamWeaver package, a copy of the HomeSite
or BBEdit editor is included.
Hope this helps.
Barry Campbell | barry -at- webveranda -dot- com
Web Architect | (list/personal mail)
Summit Systems, Inc. | bcampbel -at- summithq -dot- com
22 Cortlandt Street | (business mail)
New York, NY 10007 | http://www.summithq.com