WYSIWYG or hand coding? And why?

Discussion in 'Fan Sites' started by Rox, Dec 4, 2002.

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  1. Rox Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2000
    star 6
    I prefer WYSIWYG programs to hand coding my sites now a days. Back in the dark ages of the internet(way back in 1988) when I first learned to use HTML I thought great I can make background colors and tables, too sweet! Over time I expanded my skills to other things like CSS and some PHP but I still prefer to use Dreamweaver. For one it is ten times faster and more convenient for me to use Dreamweaver because I can just sit done and form a site right there on the screen and make it look exactly like my thumbnail sketches and I get to see it come to life step by step rather than type, save, reload when hand coding. Sure I have to rely on Dreamweaver's not so tidy code, but that is where learning HTML comes into play. After I am finished with a project I can take a quick look around in the code and clean up any unnecessary code made by Dreamweaver.

    There are obviously advantages to both, which do you prefer?
  2. MaxVeers TFN FanFilms Staff, Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    I always code by hand (in Notepad, no less). I have access to Dreamweaver (and Frontpage, but Frontpage is awful) at my university, but I haven't really been able to get into it. I guess I like the control of hand-coding even in the face of inefficiency. I think that if I made a particularly large or complicated website, however, I would probably give Dreamweaver a fairer chance, but that situation hasn't really come up yet.
  3. jedi-mind-trick VIP

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2001
    star 5
    Hand coding all the way baby. For me personally, it is faster and easier for me to just write the code myself - I use either notepad or a program called "Edit Plus," which is basically Notepad on steriods. I am not knocking Dreamweaver, because it is a great program, it is just a preference thing. Furthermore, I do not like the "extras" that many WYSIWYG editors insert in your code ("MS Frontpage Poo"), so because of that, I just got in the habit of writing the code myself. The only program I use that generates some code for me is Adobe Image Ready, and I ususally end up editing the life out of what is produced anyway. :p
  4. merlin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 1999
    star 4
    [color=663300]I think I'd rather code using a program like Dreamweaver and then if I need to edit some junk out, I'll do that manually. But I am afflicted with "Typoitis" and I'm affraid coding by hand would be fatal to me.

    ;)
    [/color]
  5. Kadue Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2000
    star 5
    Personally I hand code, with the exception of jobs where I'm altering large sections of a page that are repetative, where it's just as easy to copy and paste 50 times in DreamWeaver, than to find those separate sections across a couple of lines in the actual HTML.

    Part of it's a trust thing, in that I don't always like the extra stuff that's put in, or the methods used at times. The other is that it is a challenge to do it by hand. Anyone can do something through interfaces like those that DreamWeaver or FrontPage (devil spawn it is), but to be able to code it by hand, and get it exactly right in relation to everything else on the page is something to be happy with.
  6. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    I do about half and half. The Homestead editor is WYSIWYG, and I have so far not figured out how to make a hand-coded page go up in the front directory. I'll admit, the WYSIWYG saves some time on complicated pages. But I've also seen a few times when a computer reads it all wrong and jumbles up the whole format (it's no wonder; I've peeked at the code, and it's fairly scary). Hand coding gives me more control.

    On a related note, my boss sent me to Front Page training. This was Front Page for Beginners, with lots of reference to what might be learned in more advanced classes. Um, I'm sorry, but six hours on Front Page, with teasers for another twelve? It's a WYSIWYG editor. The whole point of WYSIWYG editors is that, well, they're uncomplicated and intuitive!

    That said, I never did master scripts, so any time I want to put some effect on my page, I have to do it in a WYSIWIG editor. I know, I should practice. But oh, well. :)
  7. Night4554 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2000
    star 5
    I always hand code no matter what I am doing. The only time I didn't was when I was writing up a large guide to JO server rcon in Dreamweaver, and even then I spent most of my time in the code part.

    I like handcoding for a few reasons:
    [1] I know what's in the page. If they use something that might not display for another browser, I don't know that, but if I hand code, I do.
    [2] Stubbornness. I was brought up on hand coding.
    [3] Speed. I can right click and choose Send To -> Notepad and it opens in a flash. No wait time.
    [4] Down-to-Earthenness. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with WSYIWYG, but writing the code myself makes me appreciate the page more. I know what went into it (in terms of coding difficulty and time).

    ¤Night
  8. malducin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4
    I used to hand code all, since I was doing it a long time ago before GUI tools became available. Now I mainly use Dreamweaver because of work. I just get sometimes tons of text in Word files (uuugh) so Dreamweaver it's easy to clean and format the text. I might still do some hand coding to fix a few things but it's minimal. I could probably hand code all if I wanted but why ;-). With a little customization you can produce very nicely formated and standard compliant HTML with Dreamweaver. On the opther hand I once tried Frontpage and it was horrible.

    For hand coding I use Textpad, a very nice text editor which can do HTML syntax highlighting and a few other things, like nice deiting tools.

    As to why, well I guess I've become accustomes and too lazy to go back to pure and 100% hand coding ;-).
  9. PadmesHairstylist Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2001
    star 4
    I work with other folks that are dedicated to doing lot of complicated coding and therefore, don't have much time for the graphics. They use a combination of programs as well as hand-coding. That's where I step in. I now spend the bulk my time dealing with the graphics side of websites. Any HTML that I deal with is usually done with the Dreamweaver. That's not to say I haven't tweaked a few things manually, just not very often anymore.
  10. merlin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 1999
    star 4
    [color=663300]"but writing the code myself makes me appreciate the page more. I know what went into it (in terms of coding difficulty and time)"

    I appreciate the hours of sleep I get after using frontpage or something rather than hand coding. ;)[/color]
  11. xie Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 5
    I hand code everything I do. I look at Want-Ads that ask for web developer, and I see stuff like "Must be able to use Microsoft Frontpage and Macromedia Dreamweaver," and I just shake my head. When people can't even type out their HTML, that's getting sad.

    Though I have been tempted by Dreamweaver recently. At least to try it. :_|
  12. YodaJeff Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2001
    star 7
  13. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Yeah, I always do my stuff by HTML. I might have a script here or there, but I don't know, I just don't like Frontpage, etc. They seem like you're cheating. I like to show off my HTML skills ;)

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  14. foxbatkllr Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2001
    star 6
    I'm not a programmer, I'm a graphic designer. So I use Dreamweaver.
  15. citizen-tom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    Hand-Coding because, like manual sigs and the nation of Canada, Dreamweaver is, simply put, evil. Like other people have said, hand-coding just gives you a feel of more control and if you've been doing it for awhile it seems more natraul and yes, sometimes it even seems easier.
  16. Daughter_Of_TheForce Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2001
    star 4
    Hand coding. I did everything for my site on SimpleText. First, because this was the very first time I had used HTML extensively and I was still learning a great deal. Second, because right now I can't afford anything like Dreamweaver or FrontPage.

    Plus, I'm a total control freak. :D
  17. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    I used to hand code back in the day. But thesedays, what with nested tables & imagemaps and rollovers & the like I use Frontpage2000 generally, and occasionally macromedia fireworks for rollovers & popup menus.

    I also hand insert Javascript routines when necessary. I can't write a javascript routine from scratch, but have enough programming background to, uhh, "utilise" javascript routines from others sites and adapt them for my own needs.

    So for me it's a blend of WYSIWYG and hand coding. It's certainly helpful to be able to go in "by hand" when necessary, but it's the exception rather than the rule when I'm making a site these days.
  18. Rox Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2000
    star 6
    I'm not a programmer, I'm a graphic designer. So I use Dreamweaver.

    That is how I feel, since I am a designer and not a programmer it is easier for me to wrk program to program. But I'm sure if I had a programming background I would think the other way around.
  19. ADONIAH32 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2002
    star 4
    I use Notepad, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I've only used Frontpage on a few occassions, and when I have I've hated it. Frontpage can seriously mess up your pages in the strangest ways.

    When I handcode I know what's going to be on the page and I feel that I have more options than if I were to use Frontpage or some other program.
  20. malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 7
    I am not a computer expert by any means.
    I use Dreamweaver all the way :)

    [image=http://www.notepad.org/notepad.gif]

    it always cracks me up when I see that image on people's webpages.

    Sometimes I feel that people use notepad just to prove a point :p

    I going to embark on a new project soon, I'm thinking of creating an R2D2 site as there are few out there :) I'm going to try and learn FLASH to have an.....erm....flashy intro and nav bars.

    wish me luck

    malkie
  21. merlin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 1999
    star 4
    [color=663300]" Sometimes I feel that people use notepad just to prove a point"

    Amen to that!
    Look at me, I've got Carpal Tunnnel cuz I don't like Dreamweaver. :p[/color]
  22. JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 1999
    star 5
    I going to embark on a new project soon, I'm thinking of creating an R2D2 site as there are few out there

    Just as a thought (a smidge off-topic here), but this forum would be a great place to meet other people who might like to do an R2 site, and you could go in together on costs and material gathering/creation.

    Anyway, like I said, I took a Front Page training class for work last week. I kept switching over to the HTML tab to monkey with the code, then back to "regular" view to see what it did. That's handy.

    I also love hex codes for colors. That's one freedom I don't really have on Homestead's pre-programmed choices for background and text colors. While the teacher at the Front Page seminar droned on about how, yes, you can make tables without visible borders (don't we all feel empowered now?), I played around with the hex codes on the colors in the HTML view and made my sample page clash until it hurt. :p
  23. malducin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4
    I think I once saw a few pages with the Vim logo, you don't get more grizzled than that ;-).

    I would avoid Flash. First it's not a standard. I wouldn't be able to navigate if I was using Mozilla or doing it from Linux. If you must use Flash make sure you either create an HTML site, or use fancy code to detect the presence of Flash and then either display the nav bar as Flash or HTML accordingly. And if you do and intro, please have a link to skip it and get into the content. I've seen way too many sites with Flash intros that I can't get into because of this.
  24. Kitt327 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2000
    star 4
    I have to handcode, usually. I'd use Dreamweaver if I could afford to buy it. I've got a version of frontpage, but it's always crashing, for some reason.
  25. stateless Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2002
    star 4
    I agree about the flash; sometimes people use it just because they can and it ends up being annoying, especially if there isn't a non-flash alternative.

    I do everything in notepad, mainly because I'm a control freak. I have a need to understand and control every single thing in my code.
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