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J. Clayton Stansberry January 31st, 2004 05:47 PM

Mac Webpage Software
 
As a former PC user (still at work), I have no idea what the "big" program is that mac users design web pages with. I have worked with Frontpage in the past on PC, but now need something for my mac. I have looked at several different programs, but was wondering if you mac guys could give me some advice on which program you use and why? I will be using the software for personal applications only. Thanks much in advance...

Clay

P.S. If this is in the wrong place and should be with the DVD and Web delivery forum, please move.

Keith Loh January 31st, 2004 06:05 PM

Start fresh. Learn HTML and CSS and use a text editor. :)

Aaron Rosen January 31st, 2004 06:07 PM

You can use:

Adobe GoLive

or

Macromedia Dreamweaver

Keith Loh January 31st, 2004 07:17 PM

Yeah, Aaron is right. Use Dreamweaver.

What I find I'm doing most often is designing in Illustrator, cleaning up and exporting to HTML and web images using ImageReady, and editing using Dreamweaver. :)

Aaron Rosen January 31st, 2004 07:43 PM

You can also use Photoshop to design then export it in Image Ready to HTML and fix it all in GoLive.

Depends on what program you like best. I'm an Adobe fan so I use all their imaging products to make web stuff. Some people like Macromedia. It just depends on what program you like best and what it offers you that you need most.

Bottom line: dowload the trials to both and give them a spin. Buy what you like best.

Chris Hurd January 31st, 2004 08:01 PM

Clay, be sure to look into BBedit.

Adrian Douglas January 31st, 2004 09:28 PM

I use Dreamweaver MX and recommend it highly. The MX version has a number of different interfaces you can choose from, I use the old Homesite one which gives you a very powerful text editor with buttons to automatically add code for almost anything you might need.

The other thing that makes Dreamweaver such a powerful HTML editor are the extension plug-ins. The Dreamweaver Exchange on Macromedia's website has hundreds of downloadable extensions to improve your workflow. The extensions are sometimes written by Macromedia but 90% are written by Dreamweaver users and are free to download. There are some you have to pay for but they are generally commercially developed extensions for creating dynamic content.

Kevin Lee January 31st, 2004 11:07 PM

For wysywyg Mac web design, Macromedia and Dreamweaver are Kings Of The Hill. Forget about Golive (extremely buggy and not as feature-filled). For good old pure source code editing and web design, BBEdit is Mother of It All.

Frontpage and Golive have a habit of writing a lot of dead proprietary code.

J. Clayton Stansberry February 1st, 2004 12:40 PM

Thanks for all the recommendations! I'll definately check them out.

Keith,

Being an extreme novice at web design, what is a text editor? I assume it is simply something that you can write code in and then publish it that way. Would it be possible to simply design something in Frontpage (that I already have on my PC) and copy the code from there, and enter it into a text editor on my mac? Is this feasible or am I just going around my elbow to get to my hand? I need a cheap way to just mess around with it not a $400-$500 program with all the bells and whistles. Thanks again...

Clay

Kevin Lee February 1st, 2004 12:51 PM

Try Netscape Composer (bundled with the free browser).

Boyd Ostroff February 1st, 2004 12:56 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Keith Loh : Start fresh. Learn HTML and CSS and use a text editor. :) -->>>

Works for me. I have built all my websites by hand coding html using the unix vi text editor which runs right on the server. You can also run it from the command line under OSX. This approach definitely isn't for everyone, but it suits my personal style...

Keith Loh February 1st, 2004 01:11 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by J. Clayton Stansberry :
Being an extreme novice at web design, what is a text editor?
-->>>

This is any program that will output just straight text such as Notepad on the PC - THE most basic text editor. Others have mentioned more advanced code editors like Homesite and BBEdit. Dreamweaver also has a built-in text editor.

HTML is just a page of text so anything that will output just straight text (note: NOT Word) can output a page that a web browser will understand. When you look at a web page and view source on it, it will just give you a page of text with a bunch of code. To edit that page, all you need to do is fool around with that page of code. To do that, you need to learn some basic HTML and, further on, .CSS. HTML is quite EASY.
example:
<html>
<body>
This is a web page.
</body>
</html>
There: a web page. You can open up Notepad (on a PC), paste everything between <hmtl></html>, save it as a .html file and drop it onto a web browser.

WYSIWYG editors such as Frontpage are for designers of which I am one. Basically, you use a graphic illustration program like Illustrator or Photoshop. Both of them have output modules that will create HTML pages out of the graphics. But to actually make them usable you have to go into the HTML that the programs spit out and edit the code. (never EVER use Microsoft Word to create a website)

Dreamweaver can take the HTML and graphics created by ImageReady/Photoshop/Illustrator and make it usable so you can edit them, add text, links, create a website hierarchy. But you can NEVER get away without knowing any HTML. Most of the time, I use Dreamweaver's code editing window to edit the HTML but occasionally I just want the basics and use Notepad.

.CSS is a markup language that works with HTML for large (or small websites) that make the maintenance easier. Some use them for layout as well as it is very powerful. The more you get into building websites the more you will want to look into this.

Keith Loh February 1st, 2004 01:23 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Boyd Ostroff : <<<-- Originally posted by Keith Loh : Start fresh. Learn HTML and CSS and use a text editor. :) -->>>

Works for me. I have built all my websites by hand coding html using the unix vi text editor which runs right on the server. You can also run it from the command line under OSX. This approach definitely isn't for everyone, but it suits my personal style... -->>>

God, I remember VI from my university days. And I have to say, I can still remember the frustration of learning such a bizarre program. Sure, you can code almost everything in your text from your fonts to your formatting but I jumped for joy when they actually created WYSIWYG word processing programs. Writing something in VI is like Shakespeare having to carve his own writing quills and then mill his own paper before writing "To be or not to be".

Keith Loh February 1st, 2004 01:29 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by J. Clayton Stansberry : Would it be possible to simply design something in Frontpage (that I already have on my PC) and copy the code from there, and enter it into a text editor on my mac? -->>>

The Web is agnostic to platforms on that basic level so it wouldn't make sense for you to design something on Frontpage on the PC only to open it up on a text editor on the Mac. The page outputted by Frontpage will be the same page you open up on the text editor. You might as well just upload the page made by Frontpage. When I recommended a text editor, it's just because you will need to get into the code at some point, not just relying on the WYSIWYG aspect of Frontpage.

I guess the question we should be asking you is how you like building pages. Are you a graphic artist who wants to paint a pretty picture, hit a few buttons, and then upload the output to the web? Or are you more of a text-oriented person who wants to put up pages with lots of text and information? In my job I'm responsible both for designing and for maintaining. I find Dreamweaver has the proper balance for both these jobs.

Boyd Ostroff February 1st, 2004 02:31 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Keith Loh : Writing something in VI is like Shakespeare having to carve his own writing quills and then mill his own paper -->>>

I'm sure it would be for some people. But it's second nature to me, and there is a certain advantage to a completely character based interface. I never have to take my hands off the keyboard to pickup the mouse, never have to pull down a menu, etc. It's actually a very efficient way to hammer out lots of text if you're a touch typist.

But I certainly wouldn't recommend this for anyone unless they're already comfortable with vi. The only problem with the WYSIWYG web creation tools is that they generally write really inefficient, ugly, code. This isn't so much of an issue anymore with faster internet connections and computers. But hand-coded HTML is much more efficient and is more understandable if you need to look at it and figure out what it does.


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