Who likes to code HTML/XTHML using text editors...

ChicoWeb

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 16, 2004
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like BBedit...

I'm just curious because people brag about this. I think it is cool and all but for me, I can't be profitable hand coding and re-inventing the wheel everytime I start making a webpage. It would take me 15 mintues to write the code out that I can make in 30 seconds using Dreamweaver. Don't get me wrong, I think it is very important to understand HTML and be able to write it, but what is wrong with a good mix?

What are your thoughts. WYSIWYG or hand code?
 

Apple Hobo

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2004
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A series of tubes
This thread discusses this issue a little.

I hand-code my pages because that's how I learned. For me, it's easier than trying to mess with a complex WYSIWYG app. However, I don't make huge sites on a professional level; I'm just a hobbyist coder. Can you imagine trying to code and maintain a site like Amazon.com with a text editor? :eek:

I personally don't brag about hand-coding, and I certainly don't flame anyone for using a WYSIWYG app, but I do have personal pride when I look at a nice page and realize that I did it all by hand.

I can't be profitable hand coding and re-inventing the wheel everytime I start making a webpage.
That's understandable if you build pages for a living. I often copy and paste chunks of code and modify it to fit whatever new project I'm starting. Code re-use. :cool:

I think WYSIWYG and text editors both have their places. Use the tool that best suits your current needs. Use what you are most comfortable and efficient with. This also works with the Mac vs. PC argument; use what you like, like what you use. ;)
 

jsalzer

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2004
607
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AppleWorks

I like using code - granted, I'm not doing it 40 hours a week, but I like it for the side jobs I do.

Why? Well, I "sat in" on a DreamWeaver course being taught at the facility where I work. I found it needlessly and hopelessly complicated to use. And the code it produced was needlessly and hopelessly complicated, as well! It produced approximately 3 times as much code as the same page coded by human hand!

With code, I know what every character is, and every bit of it has a purpose.
 

RacerX

macrumors 65832
Aug 2, 2004
1,504
2
jsalzer said:
I found it needlessly and hopelessly complicated to use.
Some people say the same thing about HTML/CSS

And the code it produced was needlessly and hopelessly complicated, as well! It produced approximately 3 times as much code as the same page coded by human hand!
Why would this matter? Web browsers generally display the formatted pages... not the code. Something like that would only matter to people who spend more time viewing the raw pages than how they are displayed in the browser.

If you want something that is not needlessly and hopelessly complicated, type out a plain text document with no code at all.

The point of HTML is web layout within a browser. Hand coding HTML is very much like knitting your own clothes, while it is an admirable skill, it is also time consuming.

Sure I can hand code, but why would I want to? I can hand sew too, but I'd rather use a sewing machine. I'm more than fit enough to bike everywhere, but I still use a car (specially in the weather we have here in Minnesota).

From what I've seen, the people who are most proud of hand coding are those who invested a lot in learning hand coding. It was the same mentality that users of DOS or non-GUI Unix have. They took all this time to learn to be productive via command line, and then the world moved on. They are struggling to hold onto this skill that they mastered even in the face of newer tools that are easier to learn and help people be more productive.

I mean, even at the beginning of the World Wide Web HTML was being made in a WYSIWYG app (the original browser/editor worldwideweb.app for NEXTSTEP). The need for hand coding came on other platforms as they didn't have anything to do that (they were lucky back then to even have a web browser to view what they had written).

:rolleyes:

I don't think it'll be too long before hard core hand coders are looked upon the same way we look at the Amish today. ;)
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
HTML, CSS and PHP and Perl are very easy to learn, so it's good just to have the fundamentals down so if you require editing a webpage, you don't always have to rely on Dreamweaver or Coldfusion to edit pages. Just understanding the underlying code makes maintaining web pages easier.
 

jayeskreezy

macrumors 65816
Mar 3, 2005
1,134
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i do both actually....i like editors because I can see when I forget to close a tag or typed something wrong that wont work....

I prefer to hand code it, but I have no problem with assistance from dreamweaver...we work together ;) ...i dont see what's wrong with that

...actually the only reason why I probably do hand coding more is for control and because a few years ago when I first looked into web design I taught myself how to do it through online editorials straight up BECAUSE i didnt know about dreamweaver and frontpage until about a year later and by then I'd already taught myself a thing or two (frontpage is horrible by the way)

...i dont create sites for a living or even on the regular basis but I know how to, but the only code I like is html/xhtml/css......everything else is too complicated... i.e. vb, php, and especially javascript...i would like to learn actionscript though
 

jsalzer

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2004
607
0
Trust Issues

RacerX said:
Why would this matter? Web browsers generally display the formatted pages... not the code.
I'm not a "hard core" coder. The part of me with trust issues is always afraid that some browser on some OS will mess up its interpretation of the code. The less code and the more stable the code, the better.

The webmaster at my work uses DreamWeaver. I worked there for 6 months before finding out that there were popup menus on the front page. Why? Dreamweaver produced code that only worked on Windows+IE. Bad. ;)

If you want something that is not needlessly and hopelessly complicated, type out a plain text document with no code at all.
Come on, now. *Someone* out there can make a powerful WYSIWYG editor that's at least half-way intuitive. (Apple???). Dreamweaver goes out of its way to be tough to wrap your head around. I hear Claris, at one point (before I got online) had one that was intuitive, though lacking in power. Ah, if only Claris hadn't dropped its non-FileMaker projects. :)

Sure I can hand code, but why would I want to? I can hand sew too, but I'd rather use a sewing machine.
If you're sewing a coat from scratch, sure. But if you're fixing up a little hole in your pants, why lug out the machine and thread it? Overkill, don't you think? Now, pulling out a hand stitcher might not be bad. The size of the job certainly plays in to the size of the most efficient tool.

I'm more than fit enough to bike everywhere, but I still use a car.
But think how cute you'd look with your new calf muscles!!!! ;)

From what I've seen, the people who are most proud of hand coding are those who invested a lot in learning hand coding.
Not proud - just don't do enough of it to invest in a program. If I weren't into using the best tool for the task, I wouldn't be a Steve fan. ;)

I don't think it'll be too long before hard core hand coders are looked upon the same way we look at the Amish today. ;)
Still trying to figure out why we don't just consider the Amish a conquered people and make them pay taxes like the rest of us. ;)
 

RacerX

macrumors 65832
Aug 2, 2004
1,504
2
jsalzer said:
I'm not a "hard core" coder. The part of me with trust issues is always afraid that some browser on some OS will mess up its interpretation of the code. The less code and the more stable the code, the better.

The webmaster at my work uses DreamWeaver. I worked there for 6 months before finding out that there were popup menus on the front page. Why? Dreamweaver produced code that only worked on Windows+IE. Bad. ;)
If a browser is going to screw up HTML, then it is going to do it if you write it or some app does.


If you're sewing a coat from scratch, sure. But if you're fixing up a little hole in your pants, why lug out the machine and thread it? Overkill, don't you think?
True... I do all my quick changes in OmniWeb's code editor. It is faster than firing up anything else as I'm already looking right at what needs changing.

But think how cute you'd look with your new calf muscles!!!! ;)
But I already have cute calf muscles. :p
 

plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,969
3
RacerX said:
Some people say the same thing about HTML/CSS
Not really. The source of a well written HTML/CSS is beautiful to see and can be a fraction of the size of one produced by a WYSIWYG application. Since a CSS file is downloaded only once, you cut down on the amount of HTTP traffic. If you're writing a professional web application which is supposed to deliver x pages per second, you'll take whatever route you can to reduce the amount of traffic.

Not only that, but you can easily separate the style from the content, so someone like me, who has no style, can get on with writing the content, leaving it up to web designers to write the CSS.

Look at http://www.csszengarden.com/ for a hint of what CSS with HTML can do for you.

Why would this matter? Web browsers generally display the formatted pages... not the code. Something like that would only matter to people who spend more time viewing the raw pages than how they are displayed in the browser.
Large pages take longer to download and render on the browser, and put an unnecessary load on the server, not to mention being a nightmare to maintain.

By the way, I /do/ use vi for all my programming needs, writing HTML, JSPs and Java code.
 

rendezvouscp

macrumors 68000
Aug 20, 2003
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Long Beach, California
When I bought Dreamweaver MX, I used the WYSIWYG editor exclusively. Now, about a year later, I still use Dreamweaver, but exclusively in the code view because I know how to code now. However, I find its templates feature and other small things like that quite handy. So, I use Dreamweaver as my text editor.
-Chase
 

jywv8

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2003
322
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Chicago
I hand code in BBEdit. Like a previous poster, I find Dreamweaver to be needlessly and hopelessly complicated to use, as well. Then again, I'm not churning out enourmous, complicated sites for a living. For me, hand coding is the fastest and most efficient way to do what I want to do. Do whatever works for you.
 

Mitthrawnuruodo

Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
13,590
141
Bergen, Norway
RacerX said:
I don't think it'll be too long before hard core hand coders are looked upon the same way we look at the Amish today. ;)
I don't think the desire to control the output on your websites quite can be compared to being amish... it's not like we don't use modern technology, he...y, I even learned how to code HTML using Claris Homepage (now that's a long time ago) but soon got tired of the WYSIWYG editors adding abundence of unecessary tags and lines to my pages. :(

And it doesn't take that long to code a framework (in htlm or php) to a site from scratch, compared to whipping Dreamweaver/GoLive into submission, which takes much longer... :D
 

RacerX

macrumors 65832
Aug 2, 2004
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Mitthrawnuruodo said:
And it doesn't take that long to code a framework (in htlm or php) to a site from scratch, compared to whipping Dreamweaver/GoLive into submission, which takes much longer... :D
...for you.

I, personally, would rather not work on developing carpal tunnel by trying to aspire to some coding esthetic which no one is going to see anyways.

Besides, it sounds like you are fighting these apps rather than trying to learn to work with them. I've heard the same arguments from terminal jockeys about why a GUI on a computer is a waste of time.

The end product is designed to be read by a browser. As long as the browser displays what you wanted, how you get there is personal choice.

I just see people acting like coding is the only way (or best) to do web design and find it... sad.

At the rate I get thrown work, I can't afford to type out large amounts of characters needlessly. My clients want their pages up as I get the content.
 

ChicoWeb

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 16, 2004
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California
There are some really good points. Pretty much kinda what I figured. I was curious to see if there is anyone out there who actually hands code HTML.

Good discussion.
 

Knox

Administrator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2002
1,259
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UK
RacerX said:
At the rate I get thrown work, I can't afford to type out large amounts of characters needlessly. My clients want their pages up as I get the content.
I suspect the best tool will depend on the type of site as well. I primarily work with dynamic sites, written in PHP, and so I don't use anything other than hand-coded HTML/CSS. A lot of the time, the point of including PHP in the sites is to let the client update their pages themselves without me being involved, however, if the site is small and/or doesn't have content suitable for such a system then I can see how Dreamweaver or similar might be useful.
 

jsalzer

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2004
607
0
You said it

RacerX said:
At the rate I get thrown work, I can't afford to type out large amounts of characters needlessly. My clients want their pages up as I get the content.
That's exactly it - most of us who use code have specifically said that web design is a hobby, a side job, or a small fraction of our jobs. I think we've seen a nice spread - those who do more taking advantage of the larger tool, which is more convenient for those jobs - those who do less taking advantage of the smaller tool, which is more convenient for those jobs.

Just goes to show how reasonable us fine Mac folks are. (And, yes, how sexy our calf muscles are.) ;)

I've actually just spent a year GUI'ing up our database at work. There are people who cling to old ways, even after being shown that now all they have to do is click a button in the GUI to do it. I don't see that stubbornness here - I see people who acknowledge all the tools that are around them and choose the most appropriate for the work that they do.

I'm proud to be a Mac person. :)
 

Mitthrawnuruodo

Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
13,590
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Bergen, Norway
RacerX said:
At the rate I get thrown work, I can't afford to type out large amounts of characters needlessly. My clients want their pages up as I get the content.
Yes, I know, that's why I, from time to time, hand code a php/html/css framework for my girlfriend, who is a webdesigner, when she needs dynamic pages. Then she fills in her design and content of the site (an example in Norwegian, but you'll get the point)... so that I don't make a large amount of needless characthers, just the ones that's needed... :rolleyes: :D
 

kettle

macrumors 65816
ChicoWeb said:
like BBedit...

I'm just curious because people brag about this. I think it is cool and all but for me, I can't be profitable hand coding and re-inventing the wheel everytime I start making a webpage. It would take me 15 mintues to write the code out that I can make in 30 seconds using Dreamweaver. Don't get me wrong, I think it is very important to understand HTML and be able to write it, but what is wrong with a good mix?

What are your thoughts. WYSIWYG or hand code?
hand coding isn't from scratch every time, with time you can build your own tool box of shortcuts, you can save loads of time over wysiwig because you know exactly what to cut and paste from your tool box. I know exactly how different chunks can be utilised for different projects and how they will need minor changes to fit together in their new positions.

I have a whole scrapheap of code that can be scavenged for just the right parts and whip together valid, cross platform and multi browser code quicker than wysiwig. You just have to know what your looking at, which means plenty of practice looking at raw code not graphic approximations.

It just takes time to develop those advantages. :)

so yes, wysiwyg is quicker for some people who build web sites.
 

mnkeybsness

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2001
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Moneyapolis, Minnesota
Summary of the following post: Hand coding is not dead and never will be. It is so much faster to use a text editor, whether it be BBEdit, emacs, vi, pico, whatever than using a WYSIWYG editor like Dreamweaver or GoLive.


Sorry I wrote a lot and it is probably all 'blah blah blah', but if you are bored... read it.

First off, I actually am a Web Designer. I go to my design office every day and sit down in front of a computer and work on graphics and web pages. TMy co-workers include a web programmer and the web design manager. The programmer is a computer science major and sort of old-school and can't get himself away from emacs. The manager majored in computer science and was hired when he was a student (the first student web designer in our department of the university). After having himself and the previous web programmer, the office found a need to have someone onboard who was not just a programmer, but more of a mix between graphic designer and programmer. So that brings myself to the job. We work in the marketing level of an area of the school that overseas many retail entities and student programming.

When I went to apply for the job, the first thing became evident that they would not even accept applications from people who could not write html and if they weren't able to write valid xhtml and css the applications were put on the "only if we are in desperate need of someone" pile.

Sure, I know that many of you don't want to spend your life making websites and just do it for fun, but if you are considering making it you future, it is almost imperative that you completely drop the WYSIWYG editors and buy a copy of BBEdit. Once you learn how to code html, css, php, asp, jsp, etc... then you will be much faster and more efficient that using a 'tool' to do it for you. It takes so much more time to sit there and look for the button to drag onto your project to place an image or to highlight some text and start filling in a form for where you want a link to go to. They also give you options that you don't understand what they do if you don't know the code. But that is the problem--they have to give the options for all of the extra stuff because sometimes they are needed--and it creates too much clutter and a bulky interface that takes more time to work with than just quickly typing out
Code:
<a href="/mypage.php">My Page</a>
racerx
I don't think it'll be too long before hard core hand coders are looked upon the same way we look at the Amish today.
You have got to be kidding. There will always be a need for people to code and program. Dynamic languages like php can't be written by a program because there are so many different ways of doing the same thing. There are too many different ways to make something function and so many personal needs to be met while coding something. And while someone is writing php and they need to format output, they have to write their html by hand. Formatting documents by hand gives a person so much more control over how it is actually going to work in a much faster way that trying to make the WYSIWYG do it the way that you want.
 

ChicoWeb

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 16, 2004
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California
mnkeybsness said:
Sure, I know that many of you don't want to spend your life making websites and just do it for fun, but if you are considering making it you future, it is almost imperative that you completely drop the WYSIWYG editors and buy a copy of BBEdit. Once you learn how to code html, css, php, asp, jsp, etc... then you will be much faster and more efficient that using a 'tool' to do it for you.
I don't agree with that. I have made it my future, I own my own web design business and do work for national companies and local companies, and I don't code by hand. I would be a fool to hand code everything from scratch. It's just not profitable in my makret to write all the code from by hand. Granted my developer does everything by hand, but from a design aspect I do everything using Dreamweaver and will continue to.

If I can lay out an HTML page in DW in 5 mintues, why would I want to write it by hand which could take up to 30 mintues when I can spend my time doing other things and moving the project further along. It just doesn't make business sense for me.

So I think you made a pretty blanket statment.
 

berns19

macrumors newbie
Jan 10, 2005
9
0
How many of you use BBEdit Lite? I've used it for a moderately large website for a few years (at first I think I used SimpleText). In order to reuse navigation elements and so forth, I use some really convoluted JavaScripts. The only advantage of a WYSIWYG program for me would be to get rid of those weird JavaScripts and change recurring page elements automatically, but I concur that the current editors all seem to be really overcomplicated and counterintuitive, so I have no intention to change in the near future.
 

Mitthrawnuruodo

Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
13,590
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Bergen, Norway
berns19 said:
How many of you use BBEdit Lite? I've used it for a moderately large website for a few years (at first I think I used SimpleText). In order to reuse navigation elements and so forth, I use some really convoluted JavaScripts. The only advantage of a WYSIWYG program for me would be to get rid of those weird JavaScripts and change recurring page elements automatically, but I concur that the current editors all seem to be really overcomplicated and counterintuitive, so I have no intention to change in the near future.
BBEdit lite is, more or less, discontinued. Use Textwrangler (also from Bare Bones) which basically is a free, scaled down version of BBEdit, with just about everything you really need...

I'm also (after getting a recommendation on these forums) trying Taco HTML edit, which seems promising, because you can preview PHP code in the editor... could be I start using that, eventually, still "hand coding", but not having to check everything through localhost... ;)
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
I'd like everybody to know that I create my web graphics one pixel at a time. Meaning, instead of your "traditiional" drawing, I will create a blank canvas, from which I fill in each individual pixel with a color, until I have painted the entire image. This provides a much nicer and smoother, more robust image from which to design web graphics.
 

Rower_CPU

Moderator emeritus
Oct 5, 2001
11,111
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San Diego, CA
Lacero said:
I'd like everybody to know that I create my web graphics one pixel at a time. Meaning, instead of your "traditiional" drawing, I will create a blank canvas, from which I fill in each individual pixel with a color, until I have painted the entire image. This provides a much nicer and smoother, more robust image from which to design web graphics.
Yes, because hand-coding:wysiwyg :: pixel-by-pixel graphic design:"traditiional" drawing. :rolleyes: