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whats up with dreamweaver

The problem with programs like those (WYSIWYG programs...What You See Is What You Get), at least in my experience, is that they create bad HTML when someone does things in design mode (click-and-drag mode). Frontpage, in particular, generates horrible code. Dreamweaver is much better in this regard, but still not perfect. This isn't to say that the code won't work. Pages will still be visible and all that. But they just won't be streamlined (again, especially in Frontpage's case), and sometimes what appears in 'Preview' mode won't be what the browsers actually render.

From a web design philosophy standpoint, I don't see any reason why someone wouldn't want to learn at least HTML and the basics of CSS. It's easy, and you can find a billion free tutorials and websites on those subjects online. That way, if something doesn't appear right in your pages, you can at least debug them yourself.

I, personally, also like having complete control over the sites I build. Knowing how to code takes most of the guesswork out of creating a site. I can line things up perfectly with a few quick property declarations instead of trying to align pixels on a screen.

To summarize, I don't think there's anything 'wrong' with using those programs as a tool, but I think that it's in a web designer's best interest to learn the technologies they're using. It certainly can't hurt.


Here's a comparison between code generated by Frontpage and code I wrote myself (view source on each of them)....


My code:

My code isn't as streamlined as it could be (I have some spans I could eliminate), but it's more than two and a half times smaller than the code generated by Frontpage.
It depends on what the purpose of your site is. If is a simple site which won't have lots of hits then learning html may not be the best use of someone's time. They just want to get things up and running and move on with the rest of their life.

For others visualising what code does is hard as they aren't very visual people and as such they find it much easier to work in wysiwyg environment.

In simple sites clean code isn't really an over-riding concern as it is unlikely that the code will be that great in any case and as such the site on a modern connection will render pretty quickly any way.
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