Why can't there be a web design program like DVD Studio Pro?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by rawdawg, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. rawdawg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #1
    I use DVD Studio Pro to author DVDs. It's very simple, dragging in objects and linking them to the respective media. You can very easily create whatever you want however you want it to look. Want a nice moving background and then interactive buttons pop up?--you got it! How about having it loop every 13 seconds, in fact let's have it pause first and then go, and instead of looping lets go to a dynamic still image. No problem, done and done, it's already an option just waiting to be selected.

    I just don't understand why web design programs are so terrible in comparison. I sometimes read people applauding certain programs saying, "it's incredible, does all the coding in the background". Well no duh!-- it should! Every program 'works' in the background. That's the whole point!

    </rant>... or is that :"</rant"></object>
     
  2. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #2
    Designing a DVD menu is a lot different from a website. Websites need to be usable by people using all sorts of different browsers, operating systems, screen resolutions... you get it. That takes very sophisticated coding, and making it accessible by everyone limits what the coding can do.

    You can create drag-and-drop websites, but in simple programs they look like crap, and in complex programs they look great - in a given browser. In someone else's browser they might look completely different.

    Unless everyone adopts the exact same hardware, easy drag-and-drop websites will never happen.
     
  3. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #3
    Why can't we all just get along...

    No, I hear you.. :( I guess I just got a little worked up.

    I'm sure Dreamweaver would get me close it's just so frustrating this isn't standardized. It would make life a lot easier and ultimately web viewing much more pleasurable.
     
  4. samwich macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    #4
    Looks like you are the target market for adobe's new flash catalyst.

    http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashcatalyst/

    It is currently in beta, and is developed with designers in mind, so all of the "coding" is done in the background for you. I'm not going to get into whether or not making a site completely in flash is right or wrong, just throwing out the option of this new software.
     
  5. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Alpine, UT
    #5
    DVD Studio Pro is fantastic, and it would be awesome if you could build a website that easily. And honestly, if not for IE, you almost could. Maybe. Someone could build it (Apple). Unfortunately, IE isn't going away and despite growing numbers from Safari and FF, it's still dominate. :(

    Anyways, you just gotta learn the standards, and learn how to use CSS. With CSS they sky is literally the limit when it comes to designing. I don't think Flash is the web of the future, and I wish Adobe would stop pushing it. It's bad for SEO, a pain for updating, CPU hogging and I grow tired of the 'loading' bars despite how pretty they may be.

    I know it sounds a little Matrixy, but if you wanna dive into web development, soon enough you 'see' design in the code. At least you get to the point where you can spell out in code what you see with your eyes. Knowing the code gives YOU control, instead of the program, which can sometimes do what you didn't intend. (Think Terminator! Ahhh!)

    Happy coding! PS - Try Coda + CSS Edit if you really wanna learn. DW is bloated garbage.
     
  6. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #6
    My sentiments exactly.
     
  7. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #7
    Just like you can't create a program using drag and drop methods, you can't program a website using drag and drop.

    Sure, basic websites could use a drag and drop method, but anything more advanced and you get into programming, which just isn't drag and drop.
     
  8. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #8
    What I think the OP is looking for is adherence to agreed-upon standards, which we would all love in web design. We are making progress, but still have a way to go.

    I also wanted to note that while Flash Catalyst *could* be used for building out a site, its real strength is the ability to create interface states that can be seamlessly connected to algorithms written in flex4. Adobe still sees a strong separation between designers and developers, and catalyst was built to serve as a front-end "interface builder" for flex applications.

    So in modern web design you can't escape them algorithms! And thats why the drag and drop metaphor hits its limitations pretty quick.
     
  9. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #9
    Interesting views everyone. I guess I needed to vent and it sounds like you all can relate in some way!

    Thanks for the encouragement, I'll keep on pushing through!
     
  10. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #10
    Because real people use a text editor :D
     
  11. Cabbit macrumors 68020

    Cabbit

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #11
    I would love a web developer tool that has components, basic layout, and of course hand coding but all the layout is done visually the same way one would build a desktop app where there is no worries about how it will look on different systems and allow me just to work on the code and not the design.

    This could then be tweaked to ones hearts content with CSS without requiring the developer to worry about such nonsense.

    I feel very much that current web development tools are dreadfully primitive at making basic application layouts quickly so that i can work on the code when i am working on the code and the design when i have finished the code.
     
  12. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #12
    well, in many ways, you just described Flex... or, as Adobe has just renamed it: Flash Builder. Of course, it is for web apps, not web pages.

    The new skinning features in Fb4/Catalyst are really powerful and clearly split the roles of designer and developer.
     
  13. Cabbit macrumors 68020

    Cabbit

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #13
    I program in PHP/AJAX/Sproutcore i would not touch Flex, Flash with a barge pole i have no interest in making non standards compliment web applications and sites that are limited to only Adobe users.

    I have no like for Flash nor Flex as there just absolutely dreadful applications that require the use of a property plug in that may or may not be supported on different platforms dependent on Adobe's whim. Though i do like some of the tools Adobe produce such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, and Flash(only for producing animations). I would never create a app that depends on Flash Player especially when there is no need as things like Ajax and more specifically Sproutcore have removed such dependence to build a rich internet application.
     
  14. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #14
    I completely understand the reasoning behind your arguments, and apologize for offending you by suggesting Flex! :)

    As a professional web developer I am forced into being a bit more "platform agnostic". I often jump from PHP/AJAX to AS3 to Java/processing depending on the needs of the project and the budget of the client. All of these technologies have their strengths and I often am asked to build things that fall outside the sphere of AJAX -- HD video-serving, large-scale real-time algorithmic visualizations, physical installations with tangible interfaces... to name a few recent projects.

    I have also found that, from a business perspective, AJAX simply costs more to develop and test.

    So, I am not ready to write off the flash player just yet. With elements of the flash compiler going open source and Tamarin being built into Firefox's Spidermonkey engine, the whole "plug in / proprietary" argument is getting a lot more murky.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you regarding web standards. Therefore, I am surprised at your support of Sproutcore, with its lack of progressive enhancement, limited browser support and its known semantic and accessibility issues compared to other AJAX frameworks. While Sproutcore can be really useful for creating desktop apps that run in a browser, my clients would not be comfortable with such an app functioning as a publicly-accessible website.
     
  15. Cabbit macrumors 68020

    Cabbit

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #15
    While i agree that sproutcore is not yet where it should be i remind you that it is still a 0.x release and not yet intended for prime time though Apple have successfully used it to create mobileme i would think that by the 2nd or 3rd full release never mind a 1.0 release that it would be more ready for prime time i use it mainly as an example of why Flash is not required and in a way the same can be said of Flash(not accessible(i can't use Flash apps as my text reader fails to work with it), relies on the user having a plugin, and my clients would be most confused why half of there clients can't use it due to said accessibility.)

    Other factors i take into account are that i buy the Adobe suite well Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign. Every 2nd edition as i am on CS3 for them and CS4 for Flash as i was required to make a Flash application for University which i required a lot of assistance from fellow students to test due to being unable to read the text out of the IDE.
     
  16. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #16
    I'll totally agree that Flash takes a bit more work to make accessible (but it can be done)... All I was doing was pointing out that Flash and Sproutcore suffer from many of the same problems! That was my primary criticism of it. If you add up the lack of opera support, mobile device support, and the number of people who leave javascript off, the amount of people who can't see a Sproutcore app is about the same as those who do not have the flash plug in! (both groups hover at approx. 93% to 95%).

    Flash is certainly not right for every project. This is why I am a proponent of other, more accessible, AJAXs frameworks.

    This is a really important comment in this thread, which started with the OP looking for "drag and drop" programming. Such IDE's cost a lot of money to develop. Perhaps some day there will be an open-source type of drag and drop app, but it would be a HUGE undertaking. So, if you want an interface like flash or catalyst, you need to pay your "adobe tax". No matter the type of development you are looking to do, a polished visual IDE will most likely be a commercial product.

    Keep in mind that the flex compiler (which can be used to write AS3 applications) is free to download. You do not have to pay any money to make SWF files. Load the compiler into Eclipse and you are good to go. Or use a text editor and terminal.

    Also, the Flex application is free for students (and employees) of any education institution ... and anyone who has been laid off recently. So, if you are forced to make another swf project for your school dump flash and get a free version of flex instead!
     
  17. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #17
    Guess this discussion is making me feel more strongly about my original rant! :)
    Aren't you guys completely fed up with the lack of a set standard? I would go crazy! This stuff is hard and you have to deal with this crap day in and day out. Isn't that insane?

    Maybe I should start doing this professionally because they gotta pay a lot to make someone put up with this.
     
  18. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #18
    I didn't see lucidmedia's most recent reply and I actually do have something to ask (instead of offering just frustrations)

    I'm sure it's obvious I don't come anywhere near the understanding that you all have. I'm really trying to grasp it though. With all the programs you've just mentioned, and all you said about not liking flash. With all these different languages, what do you suggest someone stick with and learn?
     
  19. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #19
    There are standards, browsers are simply trying to catch up. The other larger issue is that web design and development is very flexible and you can use a number of techniques to achieve the same effect. With a program like DVD Studio, there's much less to work with and much less innovation as a result. I actually enjoy the openness and flexibility of the web. I enjoy creating new widgets for my site by hand rather than relying on JavaScript libraries. People tend to make the mistake with web design that they believe it should be as easy as writing up a text document, but it's a much more advanced field. If you want a simple interface, use iWeb, but don't complain about how it can't help you create the next big site on the web.

    Things have actually improved a lot over the years. If you were designing sites 10 years ago you'd understand how far we've come so far. The browsers are all moving in the right direction, including IE (though it's moved much more slowly). We'll eventually get to where you don't need to worry about tricky browser issues that only effect one or two browsers. That will help things greatly, but will still leave open the issue that you can accomplish the same effect with multiple techniques and programs won't understand how you really want to do it.

    iWeb uses a bunch of absolutely positioned elements on a page. It results in a very static page that breaks rather easily, but was the easiest route for Apple. Dreamweaver offers a similar setup, but also offers some more control, and at least lets you access the raw HTML code (unlike iWeb). DW still has other issues for me and a number of people complain about the bloat in the code it creates. DW also supplies some drag and drop items that you can add to your page, but they're limited in their number.

    As far as what to learn, start with the basics, HTML, CSS, JavaScript. When you understand how the pages are structured and what allows the page the flow, you'll be able to better work with pretty much any program that creates the code for you.
     
  20. Cabbit macrumors 68020

    Cabbit

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #20
    Though not directed at me i have my opinion on this matter.
    Learn at least PHP, AJAZ, Actionscript 3, and perhaps ASP.net. And learn each of them equally as well as these are what the industry requires other than of course XHTML and CSS.
    You will not be able to get buy locked into one language as there is no project that will just make use of the one and clients and employers will expect you to be able to do everything and more you canny turn around and say sorry i only know CSS or PHP as in this current field we must be masters of all and the fine folks at Adobe insist on shoving more crap down our throats that employers go "oh wow i want i made in (insert new buzzword) so that it looks like (insert said buzzwords example)".
    I get nonsense like this often and though i go ahead and make it in Javascript/PHP/XHTML/CSS anyway as once it looks exactly the same the client has no clue how it was made anyway and results in much less work for me, however on every project those 4 languages are required and often i have to insert a silly flash animation here and there by the clients requirements though i tend to refuse clients that want to make use of Flash they are not bread and butter customers and often come up with the famous quotes "I want a awesome website with 20 pages, Flash, Ajax, CSS, Flex, Coldfusion and i want you to make it look like one of them cool websites and you will have to make it for $100 because i am not paying a penny more."
     
  21. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #21
    Ha! It all depends on your needs. What type of work are you looking to do?
     
  22. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #22
    Two points here:

    First: Yes, the job involves some hair pulling, but we would not do it if it was not lucrative. People who have these skills are in strong demand. Many of my students move into jobs at large interaction-design firms or advertising agencies at salaries that are quite stunning. (Note that the students I work with are all designer/developers so they are creative and capable of working on both front- and back-end projects.)

    Second: We have to be careful about how and what we define as "standards". Technical standards ease the process greatly (and I am a strong proponent of web standards) but when we start talking about drag-and-drop development we move into the realm of templates -- and such things stifle creative thinking.

    The internet is still an immature medium, and the lack of standards is both a byproduct of and engine for new and creative ideas. So, I can't complain about it... I embrace it (mostly) :)
     
  23. albusseverus macrumors 6502a

    albusseverus

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    #23
    Let's get back to the original question. Web pages are pretty simple really, not much more complicated than a laid out page with hyperlinks. What elements in the original question can't be made with HTML and Java Script?

    In my experience, if you don't want to build an application in a browser - Flash, CSS, Ajax and so on are not only unnecessary, they slow down the web and complicate "browsers" into having to be an entire operating system unto themselves.

    There's a religious belief operating here, that 'the browser is the platform' and after a few years of trying this, we should all agree, in trying to be all things to everyone, it's failed. Given the choice, users will take a desktop application over a web application - witness the rejection of iPhone web apps. And if I remember correctly, it was the developers who led the call for native apps over web apps, so it's strange to see the developers here defending the mess the web has become.

    In fact, users have so rejected the religion of Web 2.0 that they install Flash-blockers in their browsers. Probably the best thing Steve Jobs ever did was eliminate Flash from iPhone. He did the world a favour.

    Back to the original question - What in the original request can't be made with HTML and Java Script? Why can't it be as simple as drag and drop into an app that takes care of 'the coding' for the user?

    The 'browsers are different' argument is a red herring. Browsers aren't any more different than installations of Windows on different hardware setups - an inconceivable cock-up, but 'life' for a majority of users.

    Has the web gotten ahead of itself, trying to be a platform and failing to be the simple democratic information system it was intended to be? Has it become the IBM of the personal computer world - employing a massive amount of developers to produce very little functionality (and quite a lot of annoyance)?

    Case in point - I spent nearly 2 weeks trying to beat a CSS 'standards compliant' web site into existence, then gave up and built everything I wanted in iWeb in half an hour!

    Rawdawg, I recommend iWeb. It's needlessly bloated code for what you want to do, but WAY simpler than a professionally developed nightmare.
     
  24. Cabbit macrumors 68020

    Cabbit

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #24
    Right now the easy bit is development, all the server side code kinda just works the issues come when you make a perfect CCS and XHTML strict valid web site and it works braw on Opera, Firefox, Safari, Konquer, Shirra, Google Chrome, Mobile Safari and every other browser then you open it up with any version of Internet Exploder which excuse my language fraks up the site differently on each version and this is where 90% of my work comes from and 100% of my frustration and lack of being able to fully follow web standards as i have to break it in order for it to work in IE 6, 7, and now 8.
     
  25. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #25
    Thank you all for taking the time to add to this thread (including you babyjenniferLB:), your experience and knowledge is very helpful--in my earlier post I was just saying I didn't see lucidmedia's other post) As I read your replies (as beyond me as it is) it has been an informative look into what web design has become. Something I am interested in but also realize unless I really want to dedicate myself to this as a full-time profession I may never realize the abilities I desire.

    Yeah, I understand that as with everything, it's not as easy as it looks. I'm a filmmaker/videographer and depending on what I'm trying to do something could take 30 minutes or days. And it's funny because as simple as it seems, if someone were to ask what kind of problems I encounter I can go on and on and make my job appear so much more complicated than it really is (to me since I understand it).

    What I'm saying is, for web design it seems like it should be very simple, but truthfully I don't understand the workflow enough or have the knowledge base as a professional.

    And funny, albusseverus, after growing frustrated with DW awhile back I did give iWeb another shot. It isn't the look I wanted in the beginning, but it gets me closer to the professional look that I'm ultimately going after in the end. I found a great site called www.iwebunlimited.com that has helped me insert flash video in thickbox fashion into my site. (don't laugh you pro's out there, this has proved very tough and I've *wasted* over a month trying to understand this :)--this coming from someone who needs to make a living but is too busy trying to build a website for my portfolio)

    In my head I feel I could build the site I want in DVD Studio Pro easily. Even someone new with the program can build a beautiful interactive DVD menu in a day or two. So it's frustrating such an excellent tool can't be used for web design--because iWeb is hugely limiting comparatively.
     

Share This Page