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Mac In School
Jun 6, 2008, 09:23 AM
If you think about it, this job of Web design is a lot more difficult than it should be.

Designing a site should be like working in Pages (at least for fixed width designs)... Put your stuff where you want it, set a preference for alignment, and publish.

Sorta the way NetObjects Fusion used to do it, but with much better coding practices. Theirs wasn't even good for the standards at the time.

I guess I'm okay with the way things are. It's job security for people like us. I just find it odd that nobody has come up with a solution like this that generates descent code yet.

I guess sometimes I'd just like to spend more of my time being creative, and less time working in code. Or, when working in code, be doing advanced stuff (server side languages, etc.) rather than basic layouts and formatting.



emorydunn
Jun 6, 2008, 10:00 AM
There is an app that is shokingly similar to Pages, it's called iWeb. You put things where you want them and then export, that simple. OF course, iWeb is very limited, you can control very few things, and most iWeb sites have a very... distinctive look and feel to them.

OR... if you are looking for something a little more free, try RapidWeaver. It allows you to (with relitive ease) build a fresh new website in mere hours. But it isn't like pages at all.

angelwatt
Jun 6, 2008, 11:30 AM
There is an app that is shokingly similar to Pages, it's called iWeb. You put things where you want them and then export, that simple. OF course, iWeb is very limited, you can control very few things, and most iWeb sites have a very... distinctive look and feel to them.

Suggesting iWeb ignores OP comment on "decent code" as iWeb is very bad here, though at least it doesn't use tables.

I think some apps provide decent code (e.g, DW, KompoZer), but I still find myself most comfortable and productive in a text editor. I think one of the big hurdles is that the standards have a bit of flexibility in what it can be used for, and with that freedom it's hard for a application to provide a code structure that makes everyone happy. Developers have their own coding styles that they like and they hate it when some app reformats that code (I know I freak).

It's not to say it can't be done, but software makers are trying to please the most people and so end up not being able to accommodate everyone. We'll get there though. And it's like you said, it's job security for now, though technically I volunteer my skills rather than it being my day job.

ChrisA
Jun 6, 2008, 12:41 PM
Designing a site should be like working in Pages (at least for fixed width designs)... Put your stuff where you want it, set a preference for alignment, and publish.

The trouble is that no one wants those kinds of pages. Pages should adapt to the screen space.

SrWebDeveloper
Jun 6, 2008, 02:33 PM
Developers have their own coding styles that they like and they hate it when some app reformats that code (I know I freak).

Yes, as a fellow developer I wholeheartedly agree. Of course the name of this forum is "Web Design and Development", and although most developers consider themselves decent enough designers, the truth is it's a completely different set of standards, practices, skills and guidelines. So the OP is asking for perspective.

Any professional designers willing to offer advice?

Otherwise, developers like me won't mind suggesting things that make our lives easier although we prefer to tinker under the hood and tweak to perfection so many of the design tools we use are not entirely WYSIWYG editors or tools that automate code, as mentioned by angelwatt and others.


Adobe PS - so long as the designer knows how to slice properly and export slices as div's and not HTML
Macromedia Fireworks MX - excellent for animation, button or icon rollovers, text overlay onto images without server side scripting (i.e. GD and PHP) and
Moyea Flash Video MX - So good, in fact, we should all be using it for creating custom Flash video including the presentation interface, no coding skills needed.
Macromedia Flash - hey, developers, cool off - we've all seen the replies, "I hate a 100% flash site!" - but for designers, it rocks.
-jim

ChicoWeb
Jun 6, 2008, 02:42 PM
I don't think there is an app than can compare with human intelligence. There's no magic box that you can run a jpeg through and get a perfectly coded HTML page. I wouldn't call it job security. I'd prefer it. It would allow more time to be spent on design, however it still doesn't substitute for good design.

7on
Jun 6, 2008, 02:48 PM
Haha, I hate coding. But here's me, doing HTML :p

I actually have a BFA in Visual Communication and my strength is in print design. But I follow enough tech stuff to at least know proper coding and such.

But it would be nice to have an app that designs good code. Dreamweaver is just plain awful. Because of Dreamweaver we have CSS that is full of text1, text2, text3, color2, color3, et cetera. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh... but I've made it my personal mission to correct that ;)

(we even have a span.emphasis that has only font-style:italic applied to it :/)

SrWebDeveloper
Jun 6, 2008, 03:06 PM
Not in response to any comments or folks here, but this thought popped into my head...

A good designer can make a great art show, but it takes good designers working with good developers to make a web site people can interact with and do something productive. I don't claim to be expert at both, and anyone who does is talking through their [expletive deleted]. Truth is, the best web sites out there always seem to have both departments on their project working in tandem.

-jim

snickelfritz
Jun 6, 2008, 10:33 PM
Designers that are willing to learn Actionscript should be looking at FlashCS3.
IMO, this is a good as it gets in terms of true WYSIWYG web design, and you can pretty much do everything in the Flash IDE.
It's a lot like working in Illustrator or Photoshop.

BTW, I realize that a lot of old-school web developers say that Flash should not be used for entire websites, but there is a HUGE market for exactly that.
Skilled Flash developers make good money, and clients are almost without exception, blown away by the results.

IMO, Flash is a good companion for stock HTML sites.
ie: create a simple standard HTML site in Dreamweaver for accessibility, search engines, old browsers, secured networks, etc..., and offer the Flash site as a "Rich Internet Application" alternative on the index page.

Mac In School
Jun 7, 2008, 01:53 AM
I've always taken great pride in my hand coding. I guess that, after 14 years in this business, it's starting to get old. I still greatly enjoy creating my images in graphics apps. Still enjoy coding server-side stuff. I just no longer enjoy hand-coding layouts.

I don't think there is an app than can compare with human intelligence. There's no magic box that you can run a jpeg through and get a perfectly coded HTML page. I wouldn't call it job security. I'd prefer it. It would allow more time to be spent on design, however it still doesn't substitute for good design.

Good design and the app(s) used are completely independent of each other.

Mac In School
Jun 7, 2008, 01:55 AM
The trouble is that no one wants those kinds of pages. Pages should adapt to the screen space.

I think "no one" is a bit of a stretch. As I mentioned on one of the other threads, with uber-high res, enormous widescreen monitors becoming common, I'd say fixed-width pages are more popular than they've ever been. Especially on content-heavy sites. I don't think people want to read paragraph text when the lines are 18" long.

ChicoWeb
Jun 7, 2008, 07:34 AM
Designers that are willing to learn Actionscript should be looking at FlashCS3.
IMO, this is a good as it gets in terms of true WYSIWYG web design, and you can pretty much do everything in the Flash IDE.
It's a lot like working in Illustrator or Photoshop.

BTW, I realize that a lot of old-school web developers say that Flash should not be used for entire websites, but there is a HUGE market for exactly that.
Skilled Flash developers make good money, and clients are almost without exception, blown away by the results.

IMO, Flash is a good companion for stock HTML sites.
ie: create a simple standard HTML site in Dreamweaver for accessibility, search engines, old browsers, secured networks, etc..., and offer the Flash site as a "Rich Internet Application" alternative on the index page.

What market is that? The businesses that don't want SEO, security, flexibility, maintainability, and want poor security? Where is this huge market?

rhett7660
Jun 7, 2008, 11:37 AM
The problem with the web is there are very few standards.. w3c comes to mind for the few standards. But then you look at the following:

Monitors screen resolution 800, 1024, 1200, 1900 etc..
Browsers, IE6, IE7, Firefox, safari.......
Coding: html, ruby, ruby on rails, php, asp, css, python, cfm, flash, flash action scripts 2-3, java, flex etc.........
Server setups.....sun, ms, ibm, etc
Backend, mysql, sql, oracle, etc
Video, flash, qt, wmv, etc..

There are to many variable to have a set standard. This isn't the print world by any stretch.

I don't think there is one application that can be used to do all of the above.

I don't think there is an app than can compare with human intelligence. There's no magic box that you can run a jpeg through and get a perfectly coded HTML page. I wouldn't call it job security. I'd prefer it. It would allow more time to be spent on design, however it still doesn't substitute for good design.

Couldn't agree more.

snickelfritz
Jun 7, 2008, 04:53 PM
What market is that? The businesses that don't want SEO, security, flexibility, maintainability, and want poor security? Where is this huge market?

Ironically, I tend to concur with your assertions.
HTML/CSS developers should not "dabble" in Flash.
It is a wholly separate development platform that requires training and dedication in order to implement such that the valid concerns you've expressed here are partially or completely mitigated.
These concerns exist for all web development platforms; they are not specific to Flash.

SEO in particular is a completely separate issue, and best handled by a specialist in this area.
FLash designers can do their part though;
http://www.hochmanconsultants.com/articles/seo-friendly-flash.shtml

The market is any business that wants RIA for their web presence.

werther
Jun 7, 2008, 07:33 PM
BTW, I realize that a lot of old-school web developers say that Flash should not be used for entire websites, but there is a HUGE market for exactly that.

I wouldn't really say 'old school'. When I see a fully flash site I think old school.(like so 2005).

Skilled Flash developers make good money, and clients are almost without exception, blown away by the results.

Yes the clients are blown away and the designer has a certain sense of satisfaction when the job is done. However, neither the designer nor the client are the target audience.

Designers that are willing to learn Actionscript should be looking at FlashCS3.

Learn Actionscript? Wasn't that the sorta thing the op was trying to avoid?

BillyBobBongo
Jun 8, 2008, 04:03 AM
If you think about it, this job of Web design is a lot more difficult than it should be.

It's only difficult if you don't know how to do it, as with any job. If a set of standards exist where we all cut n' past and follow a set group of rules, the web is gonna get real dull real fast!

Flash designers can do their part though

Thanks...we Flashers don't get many nice comments on this forum! :D

I think 100% Flash sites still have a niche however. If you think about movie and game microsites these offer the perfect opportunity to go Flash crazy. Well....at least I do since that's what pays my bills these days.

snickelfritz
Jun 8, 2008, 04:11 AM
I wouldn't really say 'old school'. When I see a fully flash site I think old school.(like so 2005).

IMO, 2005 is not old school. 1998 is old school.

Yes the clients are blown away and the designer has a certain sense of satisfaction when the job is done. However, neither the designer nor the client are the target audience.

I disagree; the client is the target audience until he says different.
It is not my place to "school" my clients with regard to their business goals and target constituency.
It perfectly acceptable (and quite common) for a client to order a website for no other reason than to satisfy a latent desire to have one.

Learn Actionscript? Wasn't that the sorta thing the op was trying to avoid?

No.
He stated quite clearly that he objects to the tedious and often arcane aspects of HTML page formatting and site set up.
Designing a site should be like working in Pages (at least for fixed width designs)... Put your stuff where you want it, set a preference for alignment, and publish.
I guess sometimes I'd just like to spend more of my time being creative, and less time working in code. Or, when working in code, be doing advanced stuff (server side languages, etc.) rather than basic layouts and formatting.
Clearly, he is trying to find a WYSIWYG design environment similar to Pages. Actionscript is not that difficult to learn, especially for those who have some experience with javascript.
This is due to the unique linkages to the Flash IDE, and the ease of setting up the class and XML structures in AS3.

Flash/actionscript is extremely liberating for designers who have spent any time at all setting up HTML sites.
It is definitely my favorite application in the CS3 suite; I often build new projects to help others, or just as a challenge to try new things.

alphaod
Jun 8, 2008, 10:35 AM
I know some people hate it, but I use Dreamweaver; works for me.

kingslod
Jun 8, 2008, 02:23 PM
I know some people hate it, but I use Dreamweaver; works for me.

I already miss GoLive. Sure it was buggy, at times uncooperative, but it was (imho) a very nice bridge between print and HTML. Which is why Adobe killed it instead of selling it, of course! :mad:

ezekielrage_99
Jun 9, 2008, 07:20 PM
I tend to disagree, there are plenty of good web design applications Rapidweaver, iWeb, Dreamweaver and Flash (sorry to all the coders out there) to name just a few. But I really an a firm believer that if you are designing a web site then the code must go with be well developed like the overall design.

However a well designed web site is more than just a pretty picutres, it is a good balance between good code, well developed navigation/orientation and a aesthetically pleasing layout.

angelneo
Jun 10, 2008, 01:41 AM
I think all of you have miss that part that Flash is slowly moving beyond the realm of simple websites. Adobe has come up with Adobe Air, Flex for enterprise with desktop clients, Flash lite for mobile, the community (and in CS4) has came up with their own 3D engine in actionscript etc.

Adobe has also reworked actionscript to be more robust in AS3 and I'm pretty sure it will be better in the future revision.

For OP question, I think it's impossible to come up with a know-it-all program for designers to do up a website, the web has evolved to an extent that there are too much functionalities and standards to be packaged in a software.

snickelfritz
Jun 10, 2008, 02:15 AM
OP is looking for something like sitegrinder (http://www.medialab.com/sitegrinder/), that converts a WYSIWYG Photoshop layout into a high quality website.

I'm not sure how well this actually works, but it might be worth a try.

ChicoWeb
Jun 10, 2008, 08:13 AM
OP is looking for something like sitegrinder (http://www.medialab.com/sitegrinder/), that converts a WYSIWYG Photoshop layout into a high quality website.

I'm not sure how well this actually works, but it might be worth a try.

Site grinder is identical to iweb. Not flexable, images and css for every page, big pain.

angelwatt
Jun 10, 2008, 08:44 AM
Site grinder is identical to iweb. Not flexable, images and css for every page, big pain.

Agreed, though admittedly, my experience is only through people on this forum that have used it and requested help.

snickelfritz
Jun 10, 2008, 09:50 AM
Site grinder is identical to iweb. Not flexable, images and css for every page, big pain.

I didn't realize iWeb can convert a layered Photoshop file to a functional website!
I'll have to give this a try.

ChicoWeb
Jun 10, 2008, 03:06 PM
I didn't realize iWeb can convert a layered Photoshop file to a functional website!
I'll have to give this a try.
Sorry, I was referring more to the code it produces, not the process.

wolf359design
Jun 11, 2008, 01:22 PM
Fortunate for print designers that Microsoft does not make paper. If they did you would understand the hoops web developers have to go thru with IE.

Fireworks CS3 is the best layout software to me. But I still do not use it to develop my web sites. I use it to design my sites. Then I hand code in Dreamweaver CS3 ( Coda is great also ) to get my site to look a close to as possible as the mockup I made in Fireworks CS3.

Until Microsoft goes out of business, or they get on board with REAL standards, not their own, there will be no software that can design web pages as print pages. Too many variables currently.

Ed

HV Media Solutions

SrWebDeveloper
Jun 12, 2008, 12:15 PM
Sidebar question to wolf359design:

In DW MX 2004 when editing code with complex switches (i.e. PHP, CF or even JS using switch or case select) it ran VERY, VERY slow. Has this been fixed in DW CS3, at long last? Anyone?

-jim

doug in albq
Jun 12, 2008, 04:32 PM
OP, it is a conspiracy to keep coders employed!

However, after all this time that the internet has been the internet, I am also surprised there are not better applications to get the job done–without needing to be a computer programmer.

I remember in the earliest days of print design on computers using wysiwyg applications (1988-1993'ish) there were all types of "issues" that sometimes required someone to look at/deal with code. However, because of standards and other reasons, all these "issues" were quickly figured out and dealt with. Not sure why we cannot get closer to this situation with the internet.

I do not need to be told that the internet is interactive, and a piece of paper is not...hence, the difficulty. We are also 20 years further along in the evolution of software programming.

There should be more strict standards implemented, IMHO.

wolf359design
Jun 14, 2008, 07:54 AM
"I do not need to be told that the internet is interactive, and a piece of paper is not..."

You missed my point or my dry sense of humor. Standards is key, except Microsoft refuses to play well with others. Wait until IE 8 comes out. I read you have to add special tags just to get your website to render properly in IE8.

As far as Dreamweaver CS3 being any faster. It's still sluggish but workable. I am using Coda now and find it much better.

Ed

angelwatt
Jun 14, 2008, 08:45 AM
Wait until IE 8 comes out. I read you have to add special tags just to get your website to render properly in IE8.

That's outdated news, thankfully :D !! IE8 will default to web standards mode rather than IE7 mode. (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080303-sanity-prevails-ie8-will-default-to-standard-compliant-mode.html)