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Microsoft Expression vs. Dreamweaver 222

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the drink-the-kool-aid dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Informit has a quick look at Microsoft's Expression suite consisting of Graphic Designer, Interactive Designer, and Web Designer in comparison to Dreamweaver. It seems that Microsoft got tired of relying on FrontPage and is actually going after professionals. From the article: 'What designers might not realize is that Microsoft finally drank the Kool-Aid. The Expression Web Designer application walks the Web standards walk. One caution: Web Designer currently only supports ASP.NET. Microsoft built the ASP.NET platform; it isn't a surprise that Expression Web Designer was designed to support that platform. This is obviously a drawback for those designers who work with PHP, JSP, and other non-ASP.NET platforms, making it difficult for Microsoft to expand its reach beyond the ASP.NET users.'"
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Microsoft Expression vs. Dreamweaver

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  • hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by macadamia_harold (947445) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @02:49PM (#16030485) Homepage
    It seems that Microsoft got tired of relying on FrontPage and is actually going after professionals. ... This is obviously a drawback for those designers who work with PHP, JSP, and other non-ASP.NET platforms

    Yeah, it really sounds like they're going after professionals. (rolleyes)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by FyRE666 (263011)
      Well if a "developer" is dumb enough to lock themselves into ASP.Net, then I hope they use this. Serves them right... The problem is that there really are plenty of Microsoft trained drones out there who have absolutely no idea what exists outside of Microsoft's nice soft world for dummies, and no interest in learning anything ourside of Microsoft either. Which is the way MS likes its monkeys - dumb, and uninterested in expanding their skill set.
      • Re:hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ClosedSource (238333) * on Saturday September 02, 2006 @05:42PM (#16030963)
        "Serves them right... The problem is that there really are plenty of Microsoft trained drones out there who have absolutely no idea what exists outside of Microsoft's nice soft world for dummies, and no interest in learning anything ourside of Microsoft either."

        My idea of a "dummy" is someone who doesn't use every advantage to get it done better, faster and cheaper because they fear they might be doing it the "soft" way. You can't live on programming "manliness".

        If you think non-MS tools achieve that goal better, more power to you. But if those non-MS tools start looking "soft" someday, don't let that scare you from using them unless you find a more effective alternative.
        • Re:hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @11:57PM (#16031720)
          The problem is this: if you use MS tech, they would prefer that you use only MS tech, to the point that interop is often neglected. MS tools may work for one off solutions, but they limit you to MS tech for the future, unless you want to spend a lot of effort to change.
      • Re:hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

        by guibaby (192136) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @06:20PM (#16031055)
        Umm....I can program in perl, C++, TSQL, and C#. I do 99% of my programming in C#/TSQL/ASP.NET. The reason is simple. It is the quickest way to get the job done. I like C# so much, that if I were going to do UNIX work (and I am qualified to), I would probably use mono. I enjoy bashing microsoft as much as the next guy, but they do some things right.
         
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Nataku564 (668188)
          C# as a language itself isn't so bad. Its just Java with a bit more C and some tags. The tool they pair it with, however, is absolute crap. Visual Studio's designer, in particular, generates abysmal code. Plus, its near impossible to get Visual Studio to work with _real_ source control - you are locked into their crappy tools for life. Give me Java's, Perl's, or C++'s freedom and community over that any day.
    • Re:hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by foniksonik (573572) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @05:09PM (#16030885) Homepage Journal
      As a professional I can follow up on this remark. "Whatever tool fits the job." MS in some cases is best but rarely. Most often is is a LAMP platform or LAPP platform unless the requirements dictate a more serious DB, DB2 or Oracle fit the bill in which case it is a LAOJ (Linux, Apache, Oracle and JSP) solution.

      Again, rarely, rarely is it ever a MS, IIS, MSSQL, .NET solution (MIM.N for those in the know)..... simply because those systems/apps don't provide anything substantially better than the license free options (dependent on whether the client has ignorantly already paid for them, in which case they are fine solutions).

       
    • Professionals (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @07:12PM (#16031189) Homepage Journal
      Well, if you want to focus to writing for the largest installed software base, with the largest company on the planet.. Lots of money to be made there, dont see much of a long term drawback for the average coder.

      Professional, is a relative term.
    • by $calar (590356)
      Professionals? I thought pros just use text editors. That's what I use. :)
      • Well, although I can view images in Dreamweaver, I cannot actually *edit* the files, so therefore, Dreamweaver *is* a "text editor".
  • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @02:49PM (#16030486) Homepage Journal
    "This is obviously a drawback for those designers who work with PHP, JSP, and other non-ASP.NET platforms, making it difficult for Microsoft to expand its reach beyond the ASP.NET users.'"

    I think what this is designed to do is ensure that other Open (or even not so open) standards are used in decreasing frequency as MS pushes people to this package that's designed to work with their server platforms. After all, if you are running a MS web server on Windows Server 2### or XP Pro, designing pages with this is "ideal", so why spend the time using/learning/running PHP/JSP/etc when you have an all in one app to integrate it all for you?

    My opinion is its another attempt by MS to leverage their market share (in installed servers) to gain a bigger foothold in other areas (ie: kill PHP/JSP/etc).

    -Robert

    • by mdhoover (856288) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @02:54PM (#16030500) Homepage Journal
      Most likely it is there to keep their current fanclub happy in an attempt to try to stop the developer bleed off to JSP/PHP/etc.
    • by mkiwi (585287) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @05:30PM (#16030934)
      I worked this summer in an all-MS company. I left it using PHP, MySQL, and Apache.

      Businesses have this "comfort" mindset that if it is MS software, it will integrate ok. They won't be 5 years down the road saying, "I wish we had done it the other way."
      The company I worked for does just under $100M USD per year, so they are not especially small, but also not especially large. MS's main selling point is that a business like that can use MS products because they integrate everything together. There were fears about going onto other platforms because you might (oh my god!) have to hire an employee who knows how to run an enterprise-class software operation. This costs lots of $$ and people who can do that are few and far between.

      ASP.NET was brought alone to keep developers in these mid-sized corporations from going to technoligies like JSP, servlets, etc. The problem is no one at the company wants to hire anyone who knows how to do either the open source or windows. It's a catch-22: Can't get the nice customer-integrated website because we don't know Java or C#, but we are taking an awful risk if we hire several people at 70K-120K per year to get this thing for us.

      Thus Microsoft has a vast untapped user base that they are trying to persuade to businesses hire those software engineers who can write the killer apps for the company. ASP.NET was the MS answer to JSP, but what MS didn't realize when they spend hundreds of millions of dollars developing .NET that companies like the one I worked for are too small to hire a dedicated Java or C# programmer for web programming. I don't think they're trying to kill JSP- they will never succeed in doing that. Java has many advantages over C# and large corporations that run in heterogenious environments are going to choose Java.

      So, with untapped user base = untapped money for MS. They saw a "hole" in their solution for businesses when JSP came out, and they are trying to plug it right now.

  • So In Other Words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by colonslashslash (762464) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @02:50PM (#16030488) Homepage
    Designer currently only supports ASP.NET. Microsoft built the ASP.NET platform...


    So in other words, it's completely useless to many of us web developers, and isn't directly comparable with Dreamweaver? Thought so.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by YrWrstNtmr (564987)
      So in other words, it's completely useless to many of us web developers, and isn't directly comparable with Dreamweaver?

      Or, in other other words, it's another tool to put in your kit, that may be useful if you ever have to build or maintain an asp.net site.
      • by colonslashslash (762464) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @03:16PM (#16030547) Homepage
        Duplicating functionality that is already in Dreamweaver at the expense of an additonal license fee? What's the point?


        Seems like this would be akin to having Adobe Swiss Army Knife and then going out and paying for Microsoft © Spork © ® XP © Pro Corporate Ultimate Extended EULA Edition. ;)

        • by Dadoo (899435)
          What's the point?

          The point is to make more money for Microsoft by allowing them to expand into another market. Watch: in a year or two, there'll be DreamWeaver/Expression wars all over the place, much like Linux/Windows wars, today. A year or two after that, DreamWeaver will be gone.

          I've said it before and I'll sat it again. I can't understand why people still develop software for Windows. People who do will have one of two futures: either Microsoft will buy them, or Microsoft will come out with a competing
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Threni (635302)
            > I can't understand why people still develop software for Windows. People who do will have one of
            > two futures: either Microsoft will buy them, or Microsoft will come out with a competing product
            > and put them out of business. It's just crazy.

            I get paid to develop software for Windows. I do this because ~everyone uses Windows. There are millions of applications out there, and probably tens of thousands of companies creating them; there's only a tiny chance that a fraction of those will be bought
            • by Dadoo (899435)
              there's only a tiny chance that a fraction of those will be bought by or competed against by Microsoft.

              I would argue that those products don't have a huge amount of value. I'm sure Microsoft will go from the largest targets to the smallest, so those will be last on the hit list.

              Some of those companies will be put out of business indirectly - Microsoft will (probably not even deliberately) add something to Windows that will make the smaller company's product irrelevant, much like they did with Novell Netware
          • by Firehed (942385)
            I think you just said why people develop for Windows - MS will buy them. Which means you get a nice fat payoff for your work. There are plenty of startups who are doing nothing but HOPING to be bought out by a larger, richer company. Though when it comes to web stuff, I don't know if the normal rules will apply - I do all my webdev work in a text editor with syntax highlighting, and nothing more. I'd rather have written the actual code so I can fix it or do it effeciently, rather than have something gen
            • by Dadoo (899435)
              There are plenty of startups who are doing nothing but HOPING to be bought out by a larger, richer company.

              I'm sure that's true and, if they are successful at it, more power to them. However, that's a pretty risky model on which to base your business, isn't it? After all, it's not really not up to you, the smaller business owner. If you start negotiating and your price is too high, or your product isn't quite ready, or the buyer is just in a bad mood that day, the deal could fall through, and the larger com
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mblase (200735)
      So in other words, it's completely useless to many of us web developers, and isn't directly comparable with Dreamweaver? Thought so.

      I've stopped being surprised at how little most intranet managers care about this. When a company's web server is using Microsoft servers anyway, and you don't have a choice about that, why shouldn't you use Microsoft's development software?

      What's that you say? You have more experience with Dreamweaver, and you're already comfortable with that? Hmm. Too bad your employer doesn'
  • Other browsers? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by debilo (612116) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @02:57PM (#16030508)
    "Walking the web standards walk" sounds nice at first, but Microsoft has a history of creating rather varying definitions of standard compliance that often didn't relate to web designers' own experiences. I skimmed the article, but didn't see a comparison of how well the code is supported in non-IE browsers.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SoSueMe (263478)
      The code will be as good as the support in their browser. See how this stacks up in a Browser comparison [webdevout.net]
    • Well, the irony of course is that if they do "walk the web standards walk", then their web-design package will make pages that don't display properly in their web browser.
  • by notnAP (846325) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @02:58PM (#16030510)
    The Expression Web Designer application walks the Web standards walk. One caution: Web Designer currently only supports ASP.NET.

    The same attitude that leads MS to believe they can ignore standards (essentially, writing their own) is what leads them to believe they can ignore other "standard" practices, like using a variety of tools, platforms, and development schemes.

    In other news, Microsoft has decided to start releasing to the world "air," which will be an alternative to whatever it is you are presently inhaling. MSAir will not contain any oxygen, so it may not be of much use to some users.
  • From my experience most designers who do web stuff wouldn't get near Expression; alot of that having to do with Macs being prominent in the design field. Not to mention MS's blatent disregard for standards, as mentioned many times here already.
    • by daeg (828071)
      .NET 2.0 and 3.0 can fully support standards, actually. I believe the final releases of 3.0 will enable standards by default rather than require the programmer to enable them.

      Of course, there are plenty of other reasons why ASP.NET sucks. Namely the horrid support for non-JS-enabled browsers, cookie requirement even for the simplest of forms, etc...
  • If M$ really wants to walk the standards walk, fix Internet Exploder already. I hate it when I design my website to work fine with Firefox and Safari and some IE user comes along and it doesn't work.
    • I'm all for standards, but are you saying you don't check to see if your site works with the #1 web browser?
      • by Soong (7225)
        Yes. I don't have IE or any M$ software. M$ doesn't exist in my world.

        With some searching I did finally find a windows box lying around at work and test a couple pages. And now my website serves a crippled minimal feature version unless your user-agent string says "Firefox" or "Safari", and it adds a "Get Firefox" button.
        • by Quantam (870027)
          In other words, you think that if you close your eyes nobody can see you.
  • Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @03:18PM (#16030551)
    "The Expression Web Designer application walks the Web standards walk. One caution: Web Designer currently only supports ASP.NET."

    Aren't these two statements sort of, you know, contradictory?

    Look, I know it's de rigeur for us to trash Microsoft and talk about "MS Fanboys" and all that - but even just reading this summary, it's obvious that 1) MS really HASN'T drank the Koolaid; and 2) This really isn't a professional tool by anyone's standards except some fanboys who don't know any better. It's just a repackaging of FrontPage - they're prettied it up and maybe added a few meaningless tweaks.

    What's the old saying... you can put lipstick on a pig, but in the end it's still a pig.

    • by fm6 (162816) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @03:54PM (#16030630) Homepage Journal
      Where's the contradiction? ASP is just a server-side scripting language. W3C specifications describe what the HTML and CSS is supposed to look like once it reaches the brower. It would be absurd for them to specify where that markup comes from!
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Aphrika (756248) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @04:04PM (#16030656)
      They're not as contradictory as it first appears really.

      Web standards pretty much determine the markup output server-side and how that markup is rendered in the browser. ASP.NET 2.0 is a server-side technology that outputs XHTML compliant code that will work in any browser - no ASP.NET stuff ever gets near the browser.

      In that respect, ASP.NET is as web standards compliant as any other server-side technology - PHP, JSP, anything - it's virtually irrelevant to what gets output and arrives at the browser.

      However, you're right in that Expression looks and feels half-baked. Visual Studio.NET is just fine for putting together 'professional' ASP.NET stuff, so why you'd want to release a product that overlaps is beyond me, especially when pages adhering to web standards can be put together in notepad if you know what you're doing (which from experience a lot of web designers don't).
      • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by nhavar (115351) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @05:48PM (#16030974) Homepage
        DING DING DING... give the man a prize for... "a lot of web designers don't." There's a difference between web designers and web developers in a quite a few of the people I've met. Some call themselves web developers and yet rely very heavily on the tools to do all of the work for them. Not in one of those "work smarter not harder" ways, but in the "what's wrong with the font tag" way. They're really designers. Most of the time they might as well be using Photoshop or Illustrator to mockup the site and then hand it off to a web developer to figure out the code. Of course, I've also met my share of dipshits in that camp too. They're too eager to use buzzword-de-jour and end up relying on Sun/Oracle/IBM's tooling and create double the amount of work for themselves.

        MS knows that there are plenty of people out there who are willing to fork over good money for a tool that is just adequate so that they can output content, applications, documents, etc., that is just adequate. That's where the real money is. It's not in producing the best product or service it's about appealing to the mass audience of neophites and apathetic designer/developers.
      • Visual Studio.NET is just fine for putting together 'professional' ASP.NET stuff, so why you'd want to release a product that overlaps is beyond me

        I do production development with Visual Studio and ASP.NET 2.0 and I agree with this sentiment completely. The professional ASP.NET developers are 99% likely to be using Visual Studio anyway so why not further enhance the Visual Studio product by adding the additional web development functionality as an optional download? The people who just want to 'do a web
        • Here's what you're missing:

          Most of the time, Developers are happy to create a crappy looking, but highly functional web page for their application. Visual Studio has pretty poor HTML Designer support anyways. What will happen, more often than not, is that the developer will create the application and then he'll hand it off to a web designer that will make it look pretty. Expression is designed for the Web Designers to play around with the ASP front-end code without needing to use Visual Studio (which the
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BRSQUIRRL (69271) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @05:15PM (#16030896)
      Good grief, have any of the commenters here actually USED ASP.NET 2.0? Or are you just basing your statements on some half-true rant you read three years ago in a PHP forum somewhere? ASP.NET 2.0 actually does a pretty good job of rendering standards-compliant XHTML to the client browser. In fact, the only required piece of the ASP.NET toolchain that is made by Microsoft is IIS. I can use any page/code editor to build a site and any (current) browser to view them. Before someone objects...yes, it is possible to build horribly noncompliant pages in ASP.NET (just as it is in PHP), and yes, it is much easier to do some ASP.NET tasks in Visual Studio, but...come on people.

      And when they say that "Web Designer currently only supports ASP.NET", they only mean that if you want to do some kind of server-side development using Expression, it is going to be ASP.NET. You are perfectly free to develop XHTML/CSS/JavaScript to your heart's content. But what's that? Microsoft didn't include PHP/JSP/Rails support? Oh, nevermind. It's a toy for "fanboys". Sheesh.
      • by DannyO152 (544940)

        Haven't used ASP.NET. I've been doing some small apps and web apps on non-Microsoft platforms in a platform agnostic way; call me crazy.

        I do think you miss a point. If ASP, or JSP for that matter, had been all that why would there be PHP and MySQL and Ruby solutions? I think my question circles back to "right tool for the job" territory, which I accept as an appropriate comment whenever someone flames someone else for choosing a Microsoft tool.

        Wasn't there a problem a few years ago about people who were r

  • by Eric Damron (553630) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @03:23PM (#16030558)
    ...how clean is the code from Microsoft's product. I've used both FrontPage and Dreamweaver and I can tell you that most of the time Dreamweaver produces some pretty clean HTML etc. Frontpage not so much.

    If the code is clean enough I could run it on my Linux Apache server using mono.

    Better not hold my breath...
  • Peh. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jez9999 (618189)
    Who needs Expression? I have a text editor.
  • Kool-aid? (Score:5, Funny)

    by fm6 (162816) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @03:34PM (#16030579) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft finally drank the Kool-Aid.
    Why is "drink the Kool-Aid" such a popular expression for "leap of faith"? Isn't anybody put off the orgin [infoplease.com] of the phrase?
    • by rduke15 (721841)
      Why is "drink the Kool-Aid" such a popular expression for "leap of faith"? Isn't anybody put off the orgin of the phrase?

      I didn't know the connection betwen "Kool-Aid" and that massacre. For me, it always reminds me of the much older "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test [wikipedia.org]". Definitely NOT something that would put me off.

    • I want to believe (Score:5, Informative)

      by alienmole (15522) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @04:48PM (#16030818)
      The Jonestown incident is the whole point: drinking the Kool-Aid is an act of unquestioning blind allegiance, with no critical thought involved. The reason it's such a popular expression is that you see so many people behaving this way, towards all sorts of things not worthy of such behavior, like companies, politicians, cars, you name it. As Mulder might put it, they want to believe... in something, anything.
      • by fm6 (162816)

        ...drinking the Kool-Aid is an act of unquestioning blind allegiance, with no critical thought involved

        That's a very logical definition, but I have never heard "drink the Kool-Aid" used that way. It always means "accept a new idea". That's certainly the case here: when the writer said "Microsoft has drunk the Kool-Aid" he certainly didn't mean that Microsoft has sword "unquestioning blind allegiance" to web standards. That would make no sense, since Microsoft has resisted web standards for years!

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Reaperducer (871695)
          That's a very logical definition, but I have never heard "drink the Kool-Aid" used that way. It always means "accept a new idea".

          You might think that if you're under 30, or poorly educated. But the Jonestown link is the correct one.
        • by alienmole (15522)
          The usage you describe is just a dilution of the original usage. If you've never heard it used that way, and you live in the U.S., it may be because you already had a preconception about what it meant. In the tech context, for another definition aside from the Wikipedia one someone pointed to, see the Jargon File [catb.org].
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mdhoover (856288)
        I thought the origins of the comment was from Tom Wolfes "the electric kool-aid acid test", concerning Ken Kesey and his crew in the 60's setting up parties with LSD laced Kool-Aid...
    • by ElephanTS (624421)
      Jeez - I didn't know that.

      According to "The Truth About Jonestown" by Sheila Yohnk (see external links), on November 18, 1978, a large vat of grape-flavored Flavor Aid was prepared; the brew included potassium cyanide, Valium, Penegram, and chloral hydrate.

      I always thought it was the Grateful Dead/LSD thing. Still, if MS drank the fruity potassium cyanide solution a lot of people would be in favor of that too.
      • by fm6 (162816)
        I'm beginning to think that most people don't know about the association with Jonestown. Which goes a long way to explaining why the expression is so popular. Still doesn't explain how people who do know about the connection (and there seem to be a lot of them) using mass suicide as a positive metaphor.
        • by cduffy (652)
          I've known the background for as long as I can recall -- but never considered it a positive metaphor.

          One who drinks the kool-aid is acting in a manner desired by those who would manipulate them, contrary to the good sense they might have were they not in a situation where they're prone to such manipulation. One who works at a start-up and puts in insane hours with no additional compensation has drank the kool-aid. One who works at a massive corporation with a particular variety of groupthink and who accepts
        • I'm beginning to think that most people don't know about the association with Jonestown. Which goes a long way to explaining why the expression is so popular. Still doesn't explain how people who do know about the connection (and there seem to be a lot of them) using mass suicide as a positive metaphor.

          It's not meant to be positive. It's meant to illustrate blind, illogical, destructive faith. The fact that you don't know many people who understand its origin does not mean that "most" people don't know
  • by v3xt0r (799856) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @03:41PM (#16030598)
    It's not a drawback for developers, it's a limitation for Microsoft.

    Why would any (sane) web application developer want to pay for and use a windows-only IDE, when you can develop on a free operating system, with free software, and do (virtually) anything you want with the source code??

    As a perl/php web application developer, and someone who sometimes helps HR interview/test candidates to see where their technical skills and abilities are... I wouldn't recommend hiring someone who only uses IDE's such as dreamweaver, simply because they generally lack programming and software-design skills.

    I might recommend them for a Web 'Designer' position, as they may be great at making graphical interfaces, but Web (GUI) Designers should not be confused with Web Application Developers, and in an assembly-line process they should never be exposed to the server-side source code.

    Another drawback of using IDEs such as Dreamweaver in an assembly-line web application development environment, is that there is always a poor soul who has to clean-up all the nasty WYSIWYG-generated HTML code from the IDE. This is can sometimes be a huge set-back for resources and time allocation.

    It's simply counter-productive.

    Since most Web Designers who use IDEs only view from the 'Design' view, they generally don't realize how much sloppy code is being generated, or how to clean it up. (not all, but the majority of the mass)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lego-Lad (587117)
      Dreamweaver doesn't create sloppy code any longer. Adobe.Macromedia has done a great job of improving Dreamweaver, including CSS support. One can create strict or transitional xhtml right in the code view - no more garbage is inserted. A lot of the JS snippets haven't changed, but if you do that, you probably have your own library already developed. DW is a tool for rapid application development. It's faster than hand coding, and produces excellent code when used correctly. This wasn't always the case, b
  • Uh, oh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by creimer (824291) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @04:06PM (#16030665) Homepage
    Microsoft seems to be lost in the web design field. Can someone hand them a LAMP [wikipedia.org] and a good text editor so they can find their way?
  • by Anamanaman (97418) <jc@co m i c j u n kie.com> on Saturday September 02, 2006 @04:06PM (#16030669)
    As a long time dreamweaver user (Since 4.0), I tried Expression web designer last week and really like it. The interface is better laid out than Dreamweaver and it has a really great HTML View (where I spend most of my time). The css support is also top notch.

    ASP.NET really has nothing to do with this editor. Its focused on HTML and CSS. If you are an ASP.NET developer, it will let you drop in server controls and thats about. You'd be crazy to use this instead of Visual Studio.NET for real coding. This is purely an HTML editor.

    All developers (including PHP/JSP) can use this to build their HTML comps before making the site dynamic. Once it stabalizes it will definately give Dreamweaver a run for its money.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FyRE666 (263011)
      All developers (including PHP/JSP) can use this to build their HTML comps before making the site dynamic.

      Yeah, because obviously the syntax hilighting will be fantastic with an MS app that only understands VB/C#... Makes me wonder what sort of bastardised CSS this thing generates to support MS' horrendous line of web browsers. I'm guessing it'll actually generate IE specific CSS, and render badly on anything else, as per MS standard operating practice.

      Unless you have "Owned by Microsoft" stamped on your ass
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by cbhacking (979169)
        You REALLY didn't read the parent post, did you?

        Parent is talking about using Expression suite for HTML/CSS editing. As with frontPage, it isn't intended to write dynamic pages. Unlike FrontPage, you CAN write dynamic pages with it, but the primary purpose is for creating and editing static pages. This doesn't involve any C#, VB.NET, or any other functional language except JavaScript. If you want to add tags for other active server languages, you can probably do that just fine, then use Eclipse or Vim or
  • Or does the original poster not understand the meaning of 'drink the kool-aid'?
  • So, if the css support is good with this product, then what rendering engine does the preview use? Certainly not the IE engine if the claim for good css support is to be beleived. If it's not the IE engine, then why aren't they using it for IE?

    My guess is the preview is IE-based and therefore a worthless tool if you're designing clean CSS.
    • Actually, it's not so trivial to replace the rendering engine in IE for a lot of reasons, including legacy application support (think Quicken or Quickbooks). My guess is that the rendering engine of Expression *WILL* actually end up as the basis for the rendering engine in IE in some future version. They can develop an all new engine and use Expression as a test bed before they spend the effort to integrate it into IE.
  • I'm sorry... How is following a set of standards "drinking the Koolaid"? Using MS tools for everything because management says it's "good policy" instead of using the right tool for the job is drinking the Koolaid (or at least management drank the Koolaid).
  • ASP.NET? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gettingbraver (987276)
    Anyone see this? [oreillynet.com]

    Maybe you sat down to help grandma sign up for the new Medicare Prescription Drug plan this year? If you and gramps ended up staring at a HTTP 500 response code, you weren't alone. The Medicare website, a mishmash of Microsoft ASP and ASP.NET pages, has been overwhelmed by activity, and, from most reports, is suffering from frequent outages.

    I don't know how many saw the site [medicare.gov] last year (helping a relative enroll in Medicare D, maybe), but it damn near impossible! I can't even imagine some

  • Wrong app. (Score:3, Informative)

    by adolfojp (730818) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @06:13PM (#16031036)
    To make ASP.NET programming you use Visual Studio Express or better. This app is nothing more than the evolution of Front Page. Yes, you can use it to insert ASP.NET controls but nothing more. You can use it to insert PHP server tags if you want. However, the purpose of this app is to make web pages, not web applications.

    Using Dreamweaver's built in functionality to insert PHP snippets is not only foolish but discouraged. Using the Expression web designer to make ASP.NET apps is futile at best.
  • It doesnt matter if I am doing PHP, ASP.NET, or just some table-less page, they all start in Dreamweaver. Most of my pages end up as Master Pages within Visual Studio, since most of our work is done in ASP.NET, but we would be crazy to try switch to another designer at this point, unless it is miles better then Dreamweaver to the point where we would be more productive with it right from the start.

    With any designer, once you are comfortable and productive, it doesnt make any sense to learn something else

  • by merlin_jim (302773) <James...McCracken@@@stratapult...com> on Saturday September 02, 2006 @07:36PM (#16031239)
    Did you really expect Microsoft to build a Web Designer that didn't target their platform? Expressions is part of Visual Studio - it was unveiled at Professional Developers Conference 2005. Of course it's going to target ASP.NET - that's the web development language for Visual Studio .NET.

    What I don't understand is why anyone would think they would do anything different? You may think the "right" way to make software like this is to target multiple platforms - but that doesn't make it the right way. Microsoft does not build software that way. Arguably they have proven that their way is more "right" - by the Heinlein test that it is the way that is most succesful. They've built a multinational corporate entity, producing software that runs the vast majority of the world's computing equipment, and they built this empire by writing software that was meant to work well together - and didn't really care how well it worked with other software.

    They've made great strides in this area lately, showing a willingness to support alternative standards and open specifications, and even recognizing that interoperability is a value proposition to their customers - but I think it's idealistic dreaming at best to hope they would build a development tool for a competing platform.

    I don't do PHP, Perl, CGI, J2EE or any of the "slashdot-approved" server-side scripting languages. I don't really care if my development environment supports any of them. I've tried them all, and had paying customers for most, and honestly prefer ASP.NET. I'm not trying to start an argument about which is better - merely stating my opinion. As such, Expressions is the perfect web designer for me, and I don't think anyone doing ASP.NET development would argue with that, if all you want to do in the world is ASP.NET development, then Expressions is clearly superior to any 3rd party tool - and no secret why, Microsoft has the expertise in their own API, and most likely a deeper understanding than is available in public documentation.
    • I don't do PHP, Perl, CGI, J2EE or any of the "slashdot-approved" server-side scripting languages. I don't really care if my development environment supports any of them. I've tried them all

      Uh-huh. You've tried them all? Really?

      If you did, then you should really realize that neither CGI nor J2EE are scripting languages... assuming you have half a developer.brain.

      If you didn't, then are standing up on slashdot, thumping your chest about something you have no clue about. Which should really surprise me, pa

      • If you did, then you should really realize that neither CGI nor J2EE are scripting languages... assuming you have half a developer.brain.

        Technically, neither is ASP.NET, it being compiled to IL in much the same way Java is compiled to bytecode (and with similar server container object models, as well). But the point wasn't to nitpick the finer points of technical naming of strange and varied runtimes - the point was to voice my opinion about the relative merits of these choices, particularly with regards t
  • Gah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by atokata (872432) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @08:28PM (#16031361)
    I just read all the comments on this story. Even the reall stupid ones that people posted anonymously.

    Here's a personal anecdote:
    I was something like, maybe 16-17 when Frontpage came out. I tried it out, thought it was pretty cool.... except.. why doesn't that table justify properly? And, WTF is the deal with inconsistant fonts when I click the little button..?

    So, fast forward five or six years, and now I'm a freelancer, doing all kinds of different stuff. About two years ago, I forgot to close my sunroof, and my carbon paper book that I'd used for invoicing basically melted into my passenger seat. Pretty, as you can imagine.

    So, I said to myself, "I should really put together some kind of web-based thingamajig to take care of that shit for me."
    Since I'm not a pro web guy, I muddled around with FP, Dreamweaver, Bluefish, etc. Fucking frustrating. Finally, I bit the bullet and spent about two months reading as much from w3schools.com and php.net as I could handle. For windows, I started using Crimson Editor (www.crimsoneditor.com) and Jed in Linux.

    And, you know what? The *learning* was the real prize of that project-- and the top-notch custom built invoicing system was just icing. Yes, it took a long time, and yes, I did some dumb stuff (like the thousand-line nested if statement that a buddy rewrote to five lines). Yes, it's tedious to look up code examples and documentation. But, I know for a fact that had I been using tools like Dreamweaver, Frontpage, and whatever else you might throw at something like this, it would never have gotten done, I'd still be using that damn carbon book, and I wouldn't have learned an entirely new set of skills to aid my business.

    (Though, for the record, I wouldn't be a professional web designer if my life depended on it. I've had so many customers try to get those guys to do P = NP problems that it's lost its hilarity.)
  • by blueZ3 (744446) on Saturday September 02, 2006 @10:14PM (#16031577) Homepage
    <html xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:expression:expr ession"
    xmlns:w="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:expression:expr ession">

    <head>
    <meta name=Title content="Microsoft Expression">
    <meta name=Keywords content="">
    <meta http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=windows">
    <meta name=ProgId content=Expression.Document>
    <meta name=Generator content="Microsoft Expression">
    <meta name=Originator content="Microsoft Expression">

    <!--[if gte mso 9]>
    <xml>
      <o:DocumentProperties>
        <o:Template>Normal
        </o:Template>
      < o:LastAuthor>Bob Bobson</o:LastAuthor>
        <o:Revision>1</o:Revision>
        <o:TotalTime>0</o:TotalTime>
        <o:Created>2006-09-03T02:48:00Z</o:Created>
        <o:LastSaved>2006-09-03T02:48:00Z</o:LastSaved>
        <o:Pages>1</o:Pages>
        <o:Lines>1</o:Lines>
        <o:Paragraphs>1</o:Paragraphs>
        <o:Version>11.0&lt/o:Version>
      </o:DocumentProperties>
      <o:DocumentSettings>
        <o:AllowPNG/>
      </o:OfficeDocumentSettings>
    </xml><![endif]-->
      <w:ExpressionDocument>
        <w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayH orizontalDrawingGridEvery>
        <w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayVer ticalDrawingGridEvery>
        <w:UseMarginsForDrawingGridOrigin/>
      </w:ExpressionDocument>
    </xml><![endif]-->

    < body bgcolor=white lang=EN-US style='tab-interval:.5in' >
    <div class=Section1>
    <p class=MsoNormal>
    Expression is teh roxor
    <p>
  • Front Page was pretty good when MS first acquired it. Easier and cheaper than InterDev, but still needed those pesky FP Extensions. It just failed to keep up afterwards, as if it just wasn't important enough to MS for regular updates. Much like IE6.

    Now does Expressions start that same cycle of neglect all over again?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by billeger (642250)
      There is such a thing as "appropriate technology" in web design, too. Out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean -- in a predominately rural area -- not everyone has a modern computer. Many of us can only get modem speed with DSL and up simply unavailable.

      So I use FrontPage for commercial webs in that situation. Never knew until now that it isn't perfect which surprises me for a MicroSoft product but we get along. I've used every edition since the first. The newest 2003 iteration is harder to use than
  • by cartel (845256) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @01:12AM (#16031825)
    I make web sites for a living, and I will not use Dreamweaver. Every single time - without an exception - anytime I have come across a web site developed using Dreamweaver (or any WYSIWYG editors for that matter) it is based on junk code.

    When I make web sites, they are always 95% - 100% XHTML 1.0 and CSS compliant, so I now what I'm talking about. At work it slows us down tremendously when a web designer decides to deveop a site in Dreamweaver. It takes more time to fix things than to develop the whole site by hand. And I'll not even mention how long it takes to edit or add something new into the pages.

    Until computers can literally think like humans can - and I truly believe they will, they will NEVER be able to produce web sites or computer programs at the same level of quality that a human can because it does not understand what the person is trying to do (e.g., establishing user-defined CSS classes).

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum

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