[thelist] Dreamweaver versus Frontpage versus Notepad

Christian Heilmann codepo8 at gmail.com
Mon Apr 11 13:23:39 CDT 2005

> Something of note
> is that, in order to become a "Certified Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004
> Developer", you need to
> be aware of Javascript, HTML, CSS, some core usability and more. I'd say that
> it's hardly something simple that anyone who is intending to be a WYSIWYG
> developer for life, but then again, there's a point where someone stops
> becoming a designer and starts becoming a developer, too.  And somewhere in
> there was where you made the leap--there are loads of people still eeking out a
> living doing design work.
> No, not me.  That's not my bag, but it happens, and even the ones I've worked
> on, I've found that Dreamweaver is a really nice Site Management tool with some
> great functionality.  I almost never use it as a true WYSIWYG editor, but I do
> use it to have a general idea as to where my includes are, where my content is
> and how it plays out--it works well for what *I* do.  I can see it wouldn't
> work in all areas and have struggled with it some of the different languages,
> but then again...  It works for a lot of the tasks, and you're right:  People
> planning on being a WYSIWYG designer/developer... well, they shouldn't.

Getting a certification is another thing than wondering which  tool to
use though. You  are some steps ahead then.
You can do wonderful things in Dreamweaver - once you know what you are doing. 
In the end, the output is what counts, and a web site that looks grand
and is tagsoup that makes the backend engine choke is not worth its
It is so much easier these days to learn HTML, now that browsers
finally allow us to use the specs without keeling over (Netscape
Communicator / MSIE 3 comes to mind), and  anyone mastering the first
hurdle of HTML can be easily trained on XSLT, PHP, Cold Fusion and so
on and so forth.
The main obstacle is understanding that it is about syntax and
structure, not about looks. We can spend a lot more time on usability
and accessibility  when we don't need to hunt for bugs in unreadable

> > It is the industry standard editor, I venture to say, but I strongly
> > advise against believing all macromedia wants to make us believe. No
> > editor can replace proper understanding of markup and code, and pure
> > HTML is not here to stay.
> I'm not sure you're following their thinking, then.  Otherwise, they'd not
> focus on the code parts of their own exam to become certified.  At least,
> that's my humblest opinion.

Could be. Whenever I read "certified web developer" I'm starting to
moan. I will take a look at what you mean  though. On the other hand,
code is something that can be easily verified in tests, how to  use a
WYSIWYG tool isn't, unless you take screencams, that might be another
reason :-)

Chris Heilmann 
Blog: http://www.wait-till-i.com
Writing: http://icant.co.uk/  
Binaries: http://www.onlinetools.org/

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