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Old 28th June 2004, 11:01 AM   #1
Linda
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Default What HTML software or books do you recommend?

Hey guys,

I am curious what software you use to develop your web pages. Is there any certain html software or books you recommend? I am talking about anything from learning from the beginning to advanced development. Any info would be of great help...

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Old 29th June 2004, 03:00 AM   #2
SteveO
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Linda, This is going to sound nuts but I use notepad,... I learned html the old fashoned way - (I read a few books) if I could tell a new person where to start (I know your not new) I would say go to the local library and read up on html and its tags - learn how to code a page and format it the way you want by hand. This lets a person avoid code bloat and it lets a person know how to change things on the fly just by clicking (view)(source) in IE and saving to their HD, then you can upload to your server - man I sound like a caveman, I know but I think your better off in the long run if the program you use to code html, Shtml or edit javascript is the program between your ears. Only thing lacking is spellcheck and I just copy and past the copy into word to test that - am I nuts or what? Be honest.



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Old 29th June 2004, 03:41 AM   #3
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SteveO is right Linda, there's no substitute for knowing HTML. I too code by hand, but I use Homesite (was Allaire ... now Macromedia). For those who code directly in HTML it is a godsend, it completes tags for you, suggests the correct properties for each tag, colour codes your work so you can easily find the correct area you are looking for, has a spell checker (SteveO ), validates your code and much more. These aren't necessarily user-aids, but more time saving features for the hand-coder.

However, if you are not au fait with the language, the best WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get) has to be Macromedia's Dreamweaver. I have used most of these programs at one time or another and Dreamweaver produces the cleanest code by far. It also has much better support for CSS than most of it's competitors and a vast amount of add-ons available from the Macromedia Exchange. That said, it is still better if you know HTML. I can almost guarantee that if you create a page in Dreamweaver which consists of, say 800 lines of code, I could whittle it down to probably 700 or possibly less, meaning the page is more optimised and will load quicker.

One thing I will say, is to avoid FrontPage like the plague FP produces horrible code, adding all sorts of unecessary rubbish and overheads. You'll also find that most of the pages you create can only be viewed *exactly* as you created them in IE whilst getting strange results in other browsers.

Understanding how HTML works will only help in the design process even if you do use a WYSIWYG editor. If you find you have time go buy a book or two, or search for some online tutorials because HTML is an easy language to learn - heck, if I can do it......

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Old 29th June 2004, 07:10 AM   #4
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Yes, I would recommend Dreamweaver MX as well. I usually start by working up the basic text in Notepad, then copy and paste this into whatever parts of the Dreamweaver page I have created.

One important skill in Dreamweaver is switching between the Design view and the Code view to use whichever view is most effective for the particular task. However if you know you want to tweak a piece of the code, it is usually much easier to find the position in Design view then switch views to locate yourself at exactly the point in the code you need to work on.

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Old 30th June 2004, 04:21 PM   #5
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Default Microsoft FP

I started with FP simply because the learning curve was faster and easier. Yes, you stll need to learn html and yes, FP bloats code somewhat, but the newer updates of the program are aggresively fixing this. The important thing is what results you get - does the page worK? Is it highly indexed? In other words, the authoring program is not nearly as important as a site that gets results - and that's what's between your ears, not a piece of software. Don't get overly fixated on Dreamweaver vs FP vs whatever - learn what the search engines want for high rankings and what makes a page convert visitors into sales - then you are on your way to sucess.

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Old 30th June 2004, 04:28 PM   #6
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Hi donp, welcome to the forum!

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Old 30th June 2004, 04:30 PM   #7
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I use Frontpage 2003. It has a lot more features than previous versions. As far as the bloated code, Frontpage 2003 has a code optimizer which takes out a lot of that code. It also has the split view (code view, page view) which makes it a lot easier.

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Old 30th June 2004, 04:37 PM   #8
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Welcome P Page!

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Old 30th June 2004, 04:43 PM   #9
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Thank you Robert. Glad to be here.

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Old 30th June 2004, 06:37 PM   #10
mars
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Smile Web site development

Hi, Linda:
I started out with HTML and a book call "The Complete Idiot's Guide" to Creating a Web Page. It's written by a guru software genius named Paul McFedries.
I believe I got the book through Amazon. It has a CD, and a lot of goodies on the CD that help you along. Absolutely worth the $24.95 I spend.
Now I had to find an HTML editor -- I wasn't happy with not having help on that end also. After searching I found an editor called KOALA - and it's a great package. Not expensive (I don't remember how much), and I really learned the coding of HTML between these two sources. KOALA lets you test your HTML, provides all the tags, and will upload to your ISP when you're ready.
Then after about a year (takes awhile) I moved on to Adobe GoLive, a tremendous web site development software program -- it builds web sites; this program has a sharp learning curve, but it also has an advantage.
You can buy a book called Classroom In A Book, that's developed by the Adobe development team. Great Book. By the time you work through the 15 or so assignments and lessons, you know Adobe GoLive, and you're on your way to becoming a fairly competent web designer, ready to move on the such as CGI, PHP, whatever.
When you get ready to do that, check out ed2go.com. This is an on line educational serve whose classes (I took Intro to SQL) are excellent. And they're pretty cheap -- usually $59.00 for a 12 week course.
That's about all I have to say.
It's a lot of fun, developing web pages and sites. Creative for the not particular creative, like me.
Good Luck.
Mars

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