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[web] Dreamweaver?

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Who uses Dreamweaver for web development? Is it one of the best options? I'd like to create a website that is updated almost daily, with some sort of a news "blog" on it. Could anyone point me in the right direction for dynamic web pages?

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Well I use Dreamweaver and IMHO it is the best I'v eever used. There are definitly some quirks that I have with it, so it is not by anymeans perfect - but I do like it over Front Page.

For your dynamic site - you need to worry about the language you use - not the IDE. If you are using a lot of dynamic pages or as you say a site that will be updated daily - I'd use something like PHP. It may not be the best tool for the job - but it is my reccomendation because I've started using it for a page and I like it a lot. It has serious potential for what you are doing.

Another chocie is ASP. I have not yet had a chance to use it - but GameeDev uses it and look how much it is updated! I say it is quite succesful in making it easy to maintain - GD staff correct me if I'm wrong [wink].

If you have Windows XP - you can actually use IIS to start programming your web pages and test them out. That's what I am doing. Basically, you just install the web language you want to use, in my case PHP, configure it for IIS (should be done auto for most isntallers), than start! All i had to do was install PHP, make a index.html in the correct folder (C:\Inetpub\wwwroot) then type in localhost for the url and everything was ready.

I'm sure if you took the time with PHP - you could write you a little interface to easily add your comments for the blog and what not. I am currently working on a sort of Small Business Solutions design for a page that would allow easy managment of a business's products as simple as possible, so if you need some design ideas - I can tell you how I'm approaching my task.

I hope this helps some!

- Drew

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Is ASP related to C# and .NET? If so, how so?

If I used ASP.. would I still work inside Dreamweaver? Would I use HTML anymore?

Sorry if those questions seem lame.

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Quote:
Original post by Khaos
Is ASP related to C# and .NET? If so, how so?

If I used ASP.. would I still work inside Dreamweaver? Would I use HTML anymore?

Sorry if those questions seem lame.


To answer your first two questions, ASP is not related to .NET, but ASP.NET is part of the .NET development platform. ASP.NET allows you to integrate .net programming languages into your asp code, as well as allow you to create web-services.

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I'll go ahead and put forth another vote for Dreamweaver. I don't do nearly as much web work as I did two years ago, but I still use it for the occasional page generation and whatnot. Great app.

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Dreamweaver is a great app if you're not doing any real serious web development. However, if you're serious about web development and are attempting to create a professional and standards compliant site, I would urge you to stay away from dreamweaver, or any WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) HTML editors for that matter.

Dreamweaver often outputs messy, non-standard code that is not guaranteed to render correctly in every webbrowser. Many professional web development firms won't even hire you if you tell them that you use WYSIWYG editors.

For your application, I'd suppose dreamweaver would suit you -- but you may just want to try learning XHTML and CSS and take a shot at that first, as if you know what you're doing with CSS, you can create a nice layout in notepad faster than you can in Dreamweaver ;)

As for dynamic content, the server side scripting language you must use is dependant on the server your site is hosted on. If it's a linux box, you'll want to go PHP. If if's on a Windows box, ASP would suffice. Both ASP and PHP can be configured on either operating platform however, though the Chilisoft ASP package for linux is not quite as functional as the true windows one.

I would suggest using PHP and a MySQL database as they're both quite easy to learn and PHP has a similar syntax to C++. Here's a great tutorial on implementing MySQL database functionality in PHP.

Good luck!

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Quote:
Original post by Xtremehobo
Dreamweaver is a great app if you're not doing any real serious web development. However, if you're serious about web development and are attempting to create a professional and standards compliant site, I would urge you to stay away from dreamweaver, or any WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) HTML editors for that matter.
I don't agree with this. I've build numerous standards-compliant websites with Dreamweaver. I would even go as far as to say that it is really hard to build a non-standards-compliant website from scratch with the latest version of Dreamweaver. In any case, a tool is only as good as the person who uses it.

My main reason for using Dreamweaver is the excellent PHP integration.

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Quote:
Original post by Michael Tanczos
Dave uses Homesite I believe, as do I. I like it better than Dreamweaver for ASP editing.


Doesn't Dreamweaver ship with a copy of Homesite? I know version 5 used to.

I tend to use Context (on Windows) or SciTE (on Linux). I'm still looking for a decent HTML editor with syntax completion on Linux if anyone knows one.

Dreamweaver is good, at least the versions I've used have been. The rendering engine can lead to some problems, especially when doing layouts in CSS - so it's often best to fire up a browser anyway. The integrated FTP and synchronisation features are some of the best features, IMHO.

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Dreamweaver may get slagged off by the people who use text editors to edit HTML (as I do), but let's face it, it's the best.

The other WYSIWYG editors don't even come CLOSE to DW in their ability to produce correct code, usability, legible code, or any other attribute you care to name.

Slag it off you may, but DW OWNS Homesite / Frontpage / everything else.

Mark

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Just to be redundant.

Dreamweaver is excellent. I highly reccomend it. Not only can you create web pages with great ease, it also has built in support for many different page formats (i.e. ASP, JSP, PHP, ColdFusion, CSS, etc...). It will even write the scripting for these, allow you to connect to a database with a few clicks, and so forth. Thus I felt it also aided me greatly when learning PHP, as you can have it generate the code and work backwards. You can create very nice and envolved sites with great speed.

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What about the ASP.NET Web Matrix program.. is that like DreamWeaver? Is it used similarly to build web pages?

Also, I'll need to know of any REALLY GOOD web page programming books. The only one I have is HTML Goodies, and a very old copy at that.

I know C# and am considering using that form of ASP.NET.

ColdFusion.. how is that related? I know it has something to do with the server, I am just confused with the terminology.

Any tips welcome. I'd like to have a site running in January.

And what's that FTP program that I'll need? Any free ones? Thank you.

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ColdFusion is another server-side technology like ASP or PHP.

My opinion on Dreamweaver is less positive. I started doing HTML in text editors, then was eventually amazed by the power of Dreamweaver 2. In time I upgraded to 4, and then MX. But now I'm back to text editors, typically EditPlus. Why?

- Dreamweaver is pretty sluggish compared to a text editor, but this may not be a factor on your ninja pc.
- It seems to like embedding a load of style information in the elements that I didn't ask for. eg. If I ask for a new 'layer' it gives it an absolute position, a width, and a height. Is there an easy way to get an arbitrary div?
- It still works on the old word processor style 'highlight text, then click your formatting option' paradigm. Bad. This just encourages lots of inline formatting and no logical document structure. By comparison, changing CSS style for an item is not as obvious.
- Half the CSS options don't show up in the WYSIWYG editor, so I have to keep Firefox open to check the page anyway.

In the end, I figured I was gaining little benefit from Dreamweaver so it wasn't worth the effort of opening it. It's not that I think it's bad, it's just that I think it's a tool that allows mediocre developers to produce decent code and people who are already good at web development don't get much use out of it.

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Quote:
Original post by Khaos
What about the ASP.NET Web Matrix program.. is that like DreamWeaver? Is it used similarly to build web pages?


ASP.NET Webmatrix is a WYSIWYG designer for ASP.NET websites. It's not directly comparable to Dreamweaver, probably more like a very cut down version of the ASP.NET editing components in VS. I've used it and it does have some features that you'd see in DW, like the database connection wizards and drag-drop editing. WebMatrix also runs a cut down version of an ASP.NET webserver, which is useful when testing your pages - do do a similar thing with Dreamweaver you'd need IIS to be running (or Mono & XSP).

Quote:
I know C# and am considering using that form of ASP.NET.


I'm making the transition from ASP to ASP.NET and I must say, I love it. From a programming point of view, the web 'site' feels more like the application it's supposed to be. You could code an ASP.NET page as if it were ASP (without much need for syntax change) but I feel the benefits of using codebehind and a true OOP system really make you want to break away from embedded scriptlets within a page.

Something that excites me too is that ASP.NET is starting to look like a viable platform for web applications on Linux and other servers than Windows/IIS. Mono already supports many features of ASP.NET (with XSP or via apache/mod_mono) and I can only see the support, stability and speed increasing in the future.


Quote:
And what's that FTP program that I'll need? Any free ones? Thank you.


CuteFTP is a decent FTP browser, but it's commercial software. If you're after a free FTP client, you could try FileZilla, an open-source client that also has a free open source server too.

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I'd like to use 1portfolio to host my website, since they seem quite cheap and highly talked-about. However, they have no support for ASP, since they are running on Linux (right?). Are there any really good hosts that are cheap and reliable that offer support for ASP?

Or should I bite the bullet and go for PHP instead?

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What kind of web page programming book are you looking for?

-One that will teach you HTML and things like CSS?
-One specific for the type of scripting you will use?
-One to teach the best methods of creating an informative USEFULL page as opposed to one that looks real neat and has a lot of fun Flash stuff but has no real purpose (as many sites, especially personal home pages, are)?
-Do you plan on incorporating a database to the site for any reason?
-What type of OS and server are you going to host this on (your own box or a server that you pay for somewhere)?
-Are you interested in the graphic aspect of it?

Well, just ask your self these questions before spending any money. Also there are a lot of resources on the net that will tell you how to do many of these things (I myself like books better because I read them in bed at night and use them for reference while coding, but that's beside the point and kinda off topic).

Anyway, find out exactly what you want your site to be about (as you probably have) and what you will need to reach your goals. If you want to go with ASP.NET, it would probably be best to buy a book on that subject. They probably even have ones that also incorporate different servers and databases into the books for a complete professional site creation. (I know PHP does, as I have read a few books on PHP & MySQL with setup info for different servers, or PHP, MySQL, and Apache, and seen books on Perl with MySQL, etc...) You get the idea.

If you want a decent book on general design, making the page easily accessible, things to avoid in design, and just making a well laid out page (without any presentation of ANY HTML or other language). I would suggest checking out 'Shaping Web Usability' by Albert N. Badre. Keep in mind that this is the only book I have read on this subject, so there may be better ones out there. Also note this is a very dry and boring book in my opinion, but does contain a lot of very useful information to make your site available to the widest range of viewers.

Bottom line. What I would do is:

1. Know exactly what you want in your site before you start.
2. Pick a technology (i.e. ASP, ASP.NET, PHP, JSP, etc.)
3. Go to your local Borders or Barnes and Noble, pick a book on the subject you have chosen, have some coffee and read it, take notes if you want. It is free (well except for the coffee).
4. Download the 30 day free trail of Dreamweaver. FINISH your site in the 30 days. Again this would be FREE.

Hope I helped. Good luck and have a good new year.

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Well I caught your latest reply after I finished mine. Anyway, I like PHP. I had looked into other options before I chose to use it and for what my goal was (pretty much a database driven web site for my previous employer to allow employees all over the US and UK to access information on the products we produced and links to all the information on them (MSDS's, raw material specs, COA's, etc..)) the LAMP model was very appealing (Linux Apache MySQL PHP (or Perl) because it was all FREE. Well I had to go with Windows instead of Linux (I assume you will be using one of these OS's and will not be purchasing a new one) because that is what my company had and there is no problem there. Also after looking into PHP and Perl, PHP seemed a lot simpler and more specifically designed to do what I needed to. (That, and at the time the PHP-MySQL combo was becoming very popular, so it was easy to find a lot of material on).

Lastly, I had the company buy me Dreamweaver (even though I had the site done within my 30 day trial, companies worry about all that legal stuff), as it had built in support for PHP, which as I said earlier, helped me learn the language faster and did a lot of the work for me (yup, I'm lazy), but it did need to be modified in some areas (I do not know if MX 2004 has better support than MX did as I have not played with it yet - no need, no longer at that company. By the way IS ANYONE HIRING IN NJ?). Well I'm starting to rant so I'll end here. If I can be of any help let me know: billevp@optonline.net

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Quote:
Original post by Khaos
I'd like to use 1portfolio to host my website, since they seem quite cheap and highly talked-about. However, they have no support for ASP, since they are running on Linux (right?). Are there any really good hosts that are cheap and reliable that offer support for ASP?


Have you looked at Brinkster's educational package? It has limits on it though, but the upgrade price isn't too much. I also like 7Host, it's pretty cheap (EUR 40 pa) and you get ASP.NET thrown in.


Quote:
Or should I bite the bullet and go for PHP instead?


PHP hosting is certainly cheaper and readily available. I prefer ASP, but many like PHP - it's really down to preference.

I can't wait until Mono is ready for stable production ASP.NET servers on Linux, I can imagine quite a few people using it then as the cost of hosting for ASP.NET should (hopefully) start to drop.

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