[thelist] real men code by hand...

Liorean Liorean at user.bip.net
Sun Mar 17 07:03:01 CST 2002

At 01:02 2002-03-17 +0100, Nick Wilson wrote:
>Yes, it's an inflamatory remark.
>I do not desclude women, it's just an 'attention grabbing' title.
>I'd be interested to start a thread on the virtues and vices regarding
>our coding preferences.
>Personally I feel that coding by hand offers more control and a greater
>degree of satisfaction but I'd be interested to hear the groups opinion
>on thes.....

Well, My personal opinion is that hand coding is the only way to get
control of a page. Besides, I'm faster with hand coding than I'm with
Dreamweaver, and since I never used tables for design, that makes all
benefits go to hand coding.

WYSIWYGs generally don't produce very nice-looking code at all, the pages
generally aren't liquid but pixel-controlled, which of course makes things
look different in different browsers, they often don't output fully
standards compliant code without manual tweaking, and the scripts that they
output for behaviors and menus - for instance - don't work in that very
many browsers. Some are even causing errors when you switch from IE5 to IE6.

Hand coding on the other hand, much relies on the knowledge and experience
of the webdesigner, and the amount of testing that is done through all
platforms. Often Moz/Ns6, Opera and even IE5Mac are completely absent from
the testing of an inexperienced webdesigner, and in those cases WYSIWYGs
are often better - their creators in general had some notion of
platform/browser inconsistencies and differences. However, in general hand
coded pages are smaller, source is nicer to look at and as long as they are
validated the output is more consistent across platforms/browsers.

As for what programs I'm using, TextPad is my preferred editor. It's got
syntax highlighting/colouring, tabbed multifile interface, and if I would
ever begin to use them, clip libraries. Throw in macros for tag completion
and HTML-->xhtml tensition and you have it all.

Another editor I like, though, is SciTE. It's got the same syntax
highlighting/colouring potential as TextPad, it's got source folding
(meaning you have a declaration of a function, and indents the contents of
it. Then you can skip displaying the function contents when you're writing
on another function, thus making it easier to get a good view of the entire
scripts), and it's got a nice bracket matching, comment creation/matching
of different kinds, word completion and abbreviation expansion. On the
negative for SciTE is the lack of tabbed interface - you have to change
between files through the menu - the lack of macros, clip libraries and
most irritating of all the lack of a save-at-exit functionality for
preferences. (You have to edit the preferences files instead.)

As it stands now, SciTE is the best scripting/programming language editor
of the two, mostly thanks to it's folding, while TextPad is best when it
comes to markup editing and also tops as the best general editor of the two.

And then there's a bunch of more editors that I don't use that have the
same kind of functionality, HTML-kit and UltraEdit to mention two.
// Liorean

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