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Ask Slashdot: Best Open Source Answer to Dreamweaver?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the there-should-be-one-called-vision-quest dept.

GUI 300

An anonymous reader writes "I've been looking for an open source alternative to Dreamweaver, and haven't stumbled upon anything that works the way I need. Aptana and Bluefish are fantastic tools, but I cannot work exclusively with them, since Bluefish doesn't have that WYSIWYG functionality that is so important when you're also dealing with design, and Aptana doesn't have classic ASP support. I don't care much about the classic ASP support, but, even though I'm a PHP developer, I give support to classic ASP code on a daily basis. What open source tools are you guys working with out there? I'm really not looking for a Dreamweaver clone, just a tool that gets closer to cover my needs: WYSIWYG, PHP, HTML, CSS support, and less important, classic ASP support."

cancel ×

300 comments

It's not open source, but here it goes (-1, Troll)

TechGuys (2554082) | more than 2 years ago | (#38723990)

SilverLight. They technology behind it stunning. You can also use C# to developed. For video sites there's also a HUGE difference compared to flash - with SilverLight the client and server will adjust to the available bandwidth the user has.. in flash this would just show up the loading icon and stop playing. SilverLight is technically much better than Flash.

Re:It's not open source, but here it goes (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724030)

Read his requirements - SilverLight doesn't fill any of them.... FAIL....

Re:It's not open source, but here it goes (4, Informative)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724142)

How can it? In terms of car analogies, the comparison for the GPs answer is:

Question: "Hey, I need to buy a new vehicle. I need a dealer with a good price, stands behind their warrantees, doesn't have high pressure sales people, and sells Toyotas."
GPs Answer: "I really like the Subaru Impreza."

Re:It's not open source, but here it goes (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724190)

Actually, in terms of car analogies, Silverlight would be more like this:

Question: "Hey, I need to buy a new vehicle. I need a dealer with a good price, stands behind their warrantees, doesn't have high pressure sales people, and sells Toyotas."

GPs Answer: "You should get a lawn mower."

Re:It's not open source, but here it goes (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724320)

Actually, in terms of car analogies, Silverlight would be more like this:

Question: "Hey, I need to buy a new vehicle. I need a dealer with a good price, stands behind their warrantees, doesn't have high pressure sales people, and sells Toyotas."

GGPs Answer: Here, have a sandwich! It's packed full of vitamins and nutrients and it will make your belly full. Look at the nice presentation on this sandwich. It's cut into tiny triangles.

Re:It's not open source, but here it goes (2, Funny)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724046)

Silverlight targets flash, not Dreamweaver, it is a framework not dev tool - the dev tool would be Visual Studio or MonoDevelop). The former is closed source, the latter won't do what he wants.

Don't worry, I'm sure you'll recover from your lobotomy soon.

Re:It's not open source, but here it goes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724116)

He probably gets paid per mention, even if the mention makes no sense.

Re:It's not open source, but here it goes (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724178)

More likely he's just a troll. I can see MS wasting money, but not like that.

Re:It's not open source, but here it goes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724052)

What? Did you even read the question?

Re:It's not open source, but here it goes (1)

knuthin (2255242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724278)

These are the kind of guys that make me feel ashamed to be a 7 UID person.

It's not at all what he's asking, but here it goes (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724570)

SilverLight. They technology behind it stunning. You can also use C# to developed. For video sites there's also a HUGE difference compared to flash - with SilverLight the client and server will adjust to the available bandwidth the user has.. in flash this would just show up the loading icon and stop playing. SilverLight is technically much better than Flash.

Makita. They power drills let me build anything. So why not web sites? You can also use your hands to use them. For tables built with power drills there's also a HUGE difference compared to hammers - with Makita the carpenter and sitter will adjust to how quickly they can drill.. with a hammer this would just show up as unfinished nailheads sticking out on the surface. Makita is technically much better than a hammer.

*picks up his fat paycheck from Makita* Welp, my work here is done.

Re:It's not at all what he's asking, but here it g (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724650)

Dear eldavojohn,

we also make hammers now. Your paycheck has been cancelled.

Signed,
Makita.

notepad++ dude. (0, Redundant)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724000)

And good html knowledge. really, wysiwyg editors are not that professional in level.

Re:notepad++ dude. (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724050)

Really?
I use HTML toolkit for raw HTML editing but notepad++ is also good but he is not asking for that.
He wants a dreamweaver replacement. I would like one as well. Sometimes fast beats hand codeing everything. And you always have an option to put it in your editor and edit it.

Re:notepad++ dude. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724674)

Want a Dreamweaver replacement? Post your job up on Craigslist and Monster. There are plenty of people around that actually know how to code and don't need a WYSIWYG editor to accomplish their tasks.

If you 're doing anything more than a blog post, you should not be using a WYSIWYG editor.

Re:notepad++ dude. (5, Insightful)

drmitch (1065012) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724066)

Agreed. WYSIWYGs like DW only seem to muck up all the hard work I put into making my html look clean and concise. They add their own stupid DIV tags and ugly CSS code making it impossible to understand what's going on should you need to make edits without them. Think of it like writing source code, then trying to edit the assembly code when you make edits.

Re:notepad++ dude. (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724784)

WYSIWYGs like DW only seem to muck up all the hard work I put into making my html look clean and concise.

You understand that not everyone has the same goals and requirements that you have?

As a piano player, I always felt that the ukulele was a terribly limited instrument. The range too small, only four notes at a time, not a lot of projection. Until I played the ukulele and realized that an entirely different level of expression was possible with an instrument where you could manipulate the sound-creating elements directly with your fingers. But of course, neither a ukulele or a piano is a chromatic harmonica or a hammer dulcimer.

Just because you value certain attributes of a tool for creating a web page doesn't mean everyone does.

Think of it like writing source code

No. I don't want to think of it like writing source code. I want to think of it like placing objects on a blank page. I want to be able to manipulate the elements directly, and think of shapes and locations and colors as shapes and locations and colors, not hex code.

The guy asked a simple question, and as usual he is told, "No, you mustn't want what you want, you must want what WE want!"

So, let me repeat the question: What's the best open source replacement for Dreamweaver? Points off if your answer is a text editor.

Re:notepad++ dude. (3, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724074)

WYSIWYG is not professional for many programming tasks, but for designers, unless you are in the scientific community, and sometimes even then, WYSIWYG is pretty much the professional standard. You'd probably have better traction saying OSS isn't professional (which might have worked 10 years ago... but isn't so true now).

Re:notepad++ dude. (2)

ilsaloving (1534307) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724274)

And that's why Designers have no business doing programming tasks. Designers *design*. They focus on looks. That's their job. The last time I saw a web page built by a designer, it took 30 seconds just to load the page because they added so many wordpress plugins to make their site look "just so".

People seem to have this bizarre notion that just because one is able to make a computer do something, that makes them a programmer. I can wield a hammer. Does that make me a carpenter? No. I have a drill with a selection of very fine drill bits. Does that make me a dentist? I sure as hell hope not.

Re:notepad++ dude. (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724308)

Not everyone has the luxury of a large, diversified staff. Some people have to wear a lot of different hats.

Re:notepad++ dude. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724690)

People who have to wear the hat that says "programmer" should either figure out how to do that job, or find someone else to wear the hat.

Re:notepad++ dude. (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724858)

A full-time designer does not have the time to learn how to program. The good ones end up having to work 12 hour work days, seven days a week, as it is. And many design firms do not spend the money required to get a good coder to help the designers.

Re:notepad++ dude. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724700)

Agreed.
I've worked for several companies over the years - some large and some small. A common line of interview questions seems to revolve around whether I'd prefer a big company or small company, what the difference is as you work for one of these companies, etc. My answer is along the lines of:
An advantage of working at a small company you get to do everything.
An disadvantage of working at a small company you have to do everything.

Designers should code, or at least know how to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724838)

A web designer should know how to code, should know the nuances of CSS, and should know what load times mean.

Re:notepad++ dude. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724362)

I consider myself a professional web-designer, and when it comes to HTML/CSS/JS/PHP, I haven't touched a WYSIWYG editor in aaages. The only thing I use a WYSIWYG application for is for the initial mock-up of a design (in Inkscape or Illustrator etc), after that I craft a clean and semantic HTML page (in vim, but obviously any text-editor works for that), then I start styling, adding extra DIVs along the way if needed. Then I start moving the HTML over into templates and move on to the server-side bits.

I find that writing the HTML is very trivial and a WYSIWYG editor just gets in the way of producing clean and semantically correct HTML, and I'd be surprised if using that for authoring fully featured websites is actually a 'professional standard' these days.

Re:notepad++ dude. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724380)

Professional web designer here, no other web designer I've ever met uses the wysiwyg features of dreamweaver, they use the code view exclusively.
I personally use sublime text 2.

Re:notepad++ dude. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724466)

A web page isn't WYSIWYG... the content is supposed to flow depending on the size of the browser window. Any tool that abuses tables for screen layout is hopelessly fucked. I've probably cursed one of your websites trying to view it on a smartphone. I suppose you use Word because TEX or LATEX isn't WYSIWYG...

Re:notepad++ dude. (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724758)

A web page isn't WYSIWYG... the content is supposed to flow depending on the size of the browser window. Any tool that abuses tables for screen layout is hopelessly fucked. I've probably cursed one of your websites trying to view it on a smartphone. I suppose you use Word because TEX or LATEX isn't WYSIWYG...

LOL!

I agree 100%, too bad you have described 80% of the web.

Re:notepad++ dude. (2)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724182)

Yup. I keep my webpage loaded in Chrome and just refresh whenever I make changes. That is my WYSIWYG.

And I can always use the Chrome Developer Tools to quickly see what a CSS or HTML tweak will do to my page before I go into my code and change it for real to test it.

Re:notepad++ dude. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724590)

I use dreamweaver in *code* view...I like the syntax highlighting and syncing with my dev/test/prod servers. I have only rarely used the WYSIWYG capabilities of Dreamweaver because DW does not render many server-side scripts in the Design view, even if Live preview is on. For simple HTML or CSS changes, I still find DW Design view inadequate. I code in DW, if I want to see the output I use a *browser* (usually several browsers). DW is great for professionals and novices, but don't rely on the WYSIWYG...for web design it is all about what it looks like in the browser.

To really troll this topic, I have now been forced to use SharePoint Designer 2010...and it is actually not that bad, even though I am a back-end developer, I still have to do UI/UX and tweak look&feel...it's the best tool for the job for SharePoint.

Re:notepad++ dude. (5, Insightful)

Divide By Zero (70303) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724268)

Way to really not even try to be helpful.

WYSIWYG editors are wildly helpful when it comes to saving time and opportunities to typo your code. If you can put together an error-free 7x9 table in Notepad++ in five seconds, get off Slashdot and get back to your hyperproductive life. (Also, I call BS.) If time and accuracy are no object, it's a hobby or you're learning. In those cases, by all means, use a straight up text editor, because you're writing web pages for the joy of doing it, or you need to do it more to practice and get better at it.

For the rest of us, who do this sort of thing for a living, or as a time-sensitive project, we need pages coded quickly and accurately, which is why we (convince our employers to) pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for products like Dreamweaver. The split view in Dreamweaver is really useful for doing tricky layouts. Let the program do the heavy lifting by dropping in whatever blocks/tables/whatever that you need, tweak the code as necessary to get the desired result, push the changes up to pre-production, and get on to the next thing that needs to be done ALL WITHOUT SWITCHING WINDOWS. It doesn't leave out tags, it doesn't typo parameters, it doesn't forget the name of that one variable you need to change to get what you're looking for.

If you're shunning tools to make you more productive in the name of intellectual purity, you're just being difficult and spiteful to yourself, your boss, your employer, your client, or any number of other stakeholders, people who need to see the work done for a reason other than to demonstrate you can do it.

tl;dr: No.

Re:notepad++ dude. (5, Insightful)

LordThyGod (1465887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724488)

Great advice for novices or amateurs. I do work in a web shop, and all the designers here have access to Dreamweaver licenses if they want it. I can't remember the last time any of them actually used it. They all have Creative Suite Web premium or whatever it is, photoshop, etc. They are more productive without Dreamweaver. You want to see what your code looks like in browser? Then look at it in a browser. Editors are for editing, and browsers are for .... browsing. Works great.

Re:notepad++ dude. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724572)

Oh shush, you. There's fine alternatives if you have to have your eyecandy. Just not in combination with support for a certain commercial product. In that case, you're still stuck to a commercial program. OH BOO-HOO. Watch me weep and play a very tiny violin. Really now.

'Sides, if you're so pro, what's wrong with paying for good tools? The only really bad thing about adobe is that they're very bad indeed about supporting anything but windows. Complain to them, start your own enterprise, that sort of thing.

tl;dr: We don't do that 'round here.

Re:notepad++ dude. (1)

diodeus (96408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724730)

WYSIWYG editors are never true representations of what you're going to see in a browser (choose which one) anyway. You're far better off simply previewing in the browser and using Firebug Etc. to be your "split view".

There are some things that are useful in DW - such as table manipulation, which I found indispensable when doing online annual reports and similar work. Paste-from-Word is also useful. Aside from that, the WYSIWYG is a bit of a crutch. DW the right tool.....sometimes.

Re:notepad++ dude. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724814)

table>tr*9>td*7

zen coding ftw

Re:notepad++ dude. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724860)

7x9, sure
<table>
<?php
$tablecontents=array(
        array(1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9),
        array('a','b','c','d','e','f','g','h','i'),
        array('j','k','l','m','n','o','p','q','r'),
        array('s','t','u','v','w','x','y','z',0),
        array('A','B','C','D','E','F','G','H','I'),
        array('J','K','L','M','N','O','P','Q','R'),
        array('S','T','U','V','W','X','Y','Z',0),
        array(9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1)
);
foreach($tablecontents as $key=>$row) {
        $output='<tr class="'.(($key%2 == 0)?'even':'odd').'">';
        foreach($row as $ckey=>$cell) {
                $output.='<td class="col'.$ckey.'">'.$cell.'</td>';
        }
        echo $output.'</tr>';
}
?>
</table>

Re:notepad++ dude. (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724904)

Way to really not even try to be helpful.

WYSIWYG editors are wildly helpful when it comes to saving time and opportunities to typo your code. If you can put together an error-free 7x9 table in Notepad++ in five seconds, get off Slashdot and get back to your hyperproductive life. (Also, I call BS.) If time and accuracy are no object, it's a hobby or you're learning. In those cases, by all means, use a straight up text editor, because you're writing web pages for the joy of doing it, or you need to do it more to practice and get better at it.

For the rest of us, who do this sort of thing for a living, or as a time-sensitive project, we need pages coded quickly and accurately, which is why we (convince our employers to) pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for products like Dreamweaver. The split view in Dreamweaver is really useful for doing tricky layouts. Let the program do the heavy lifting by dropping in whatever blocks/tables/whatever that you need, tweak the code as necessary to get the desired result, push the changes up to pre-production, and get on to the next thing that needs to be done ALL WITHOUT SWITCHING WINDOWS. It doesn't leave out tags, it doesn't typo parameters, it doesn't forget the name of that one variable you need to change to get what you're looking for.

If you're shunning tools to make you more productive in the name of intellectual purity, you're just being difficult and spiteful to yourself, your boss, your employer, your client, or any number of other stakeholders, people who need to see the work done for a reason other than to demonstrate you can do it.

tl;dr: No.

I can produce an error free 7x9 table in microseconds if I generate it. Using an editor, 5 seconds? No.

I switch windows a lot too. I'm also shunning tools to make me more productive. (Couldn't resist)

WYSIWIG tools create shite. I love the little band of content that decorates the middle of my huge web browser. Yeah, that's why HTML was designed to flow, so you could pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to use a tool that produces that stripe, not to mention automatically including 87 XSS scripts to track my every move. I actually don't know that they do that, it's an empirical observation on crap sites. It could be similar to the "research causes cancer in rats" model.

Re:notepad++ dude. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724528)

Haha. This one got funnier over the decades. Oh wait, no, IT WAS NEVER FUNNY!

KompoZer (4, Informative)

symes (835608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724024)

Is quite nice, not sure if it meets your ASP needs though

Re:KompoZer (1)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724404)

It's a terrible code editor.

WYSIWYG mode isn't all that... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724032)

Just a comment on WYSIWYG, I'd recommend opting for the browser instead. I've found that most tools that put a WYSIWYG mode into their UI end up mis-implementing parts of the rendering engine, and you end up opening 3-4 different browsers to figure out javascript and css "bugs" (more like oddities in how the browsers render code) anyway. It's convenient for simple things, but if you're doing anything sufficiently complex on the front-end, there's no substitute for good old fashioned cross browser compatibility testing.

100% agree. (4, Interesting)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724480)

Anyone who thinks WYSIWYG means anything when dealing with HTML is sadly misinformed.

CSS support has gotten better, but I'd still think this classic sums it up pretty well:

http://www.i-marco.nl/weblog/archive/2006/06/24/time_breakdown_of_modern_web_d/ [i-marco.nl]

I'd link to the original source (http://poisonedminds.com), but the URL no longer works.

Not sure if there are any.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724038)

I'm not sure if there is any good alternatives. You've listed them really.

Ignore the "lolz code htmlz by yourself" people. WYSIWYG is useful in many situations.

Aptana Studio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724056)

Aptana is the only IDE I've found to even come remotely close to Dreamweaver.

BlueGriffon (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724060)

BlueGriffon [bluegriffon.org] , developed by the guy who gave us Nvu is well worth a look. It's a free open source WYSIWYG HTML editor.

Re:BlueGriffon (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724374)

The main problem with BlueGriffon is that he's extensioned out many of what I'd consider key features and charges money for them- things like the project manager. I've a problem with that kind of thing. It's one thing to charge for things like the mobile device viewer. It's another to charge for what was a key function of the Nvu and Kompozer editors.

This is the state of Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724432)

Where the only two mentions of the best open source WYSIWYG editor out there are anonymous cowards, because they can't be bothered registering on a site with shrinking relevance. Ditto.

jEdit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724062)

When you render the html+css in your head, what you see is what you get.

VIM (0, Flamebait)

Lumpio- (986581) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724070)

Or if you prefer graphical software, gvim.

waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724076)

First person mentioning vi will get shot.

Re:waiting... (2)

jekewa (751500) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724524)

Post before yours (in my stream anyway) was for VIM. I think that counts.

Amaya (3, Informative)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724120)

You should definitely try Amaya [w3.org]

Firefox (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724130)

Code the page manually in Firefox using something like Firebug -- you can edit the DOM and do anything you want, and see the results instantly. That is true feedback.

Eclipse? (1)

erktrek (473476) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724152)

I'm starting a django project and have decided to try and use Eclipse. I'm a newb with that dev platform so am not sure if it will meet all your reqs. The plugins are quite extensive though.

Re:Eclipse? (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724266)

I would not really recommend Eclipse. I used it for a few months at my webdev job, and it was really buggy. Also, AFAIK, it does not have WYSIWYG.

No such animal? (4, Insightful)

assertation (1255714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724160)

It has been years since I checked, but I don't think there is such an animals.

Last time I asked I got pointed to html/text editors and got a pious sermon about how I didn't really need a WYSIWYG editor.

I didn't, but when the web designer for my company showed me what his work was like I was convinced that he could use a text/HTML editor, but it would take him 5 times as long to do his job.

That is the problem with the OSS community....developers working without a layer of people who are willing to listen to users to find out what they need instead of arrogantly telling them what they will find useful.

Re:No such animal? (5, Insightful)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724304)

I couldn't imagine how you could keep your code to any real standard and keep it readable while using WYSIWYG product. On top of that, modern websites use javascript and dynamic content all of which those editors just don't handle.

A better solution is a nice theme and a nice CMS system.

Re:No such animal? (5, Insightful)

dejanc (1528235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724316)

I didn't, but when the web designer for my company showed me what his work was like I was convinced that he could use a text/HTML editor, but it would take him 5 times as long to do his job.

That is the problem with the OSS community....developers working without a layer of people who are willing to listen to users to find out what they need instead of arrogantly telling them what they will find useful.

Most web designers don't go near HTML/CSS. The workflow is that usually designers produce their work in Photoshop. CSS folks then produce (X)HTML/CSS templates which are later implemented into the web application / CMS. Even those designers who do both usually don't actually design in their browser.

Re:No such animal? (4, Insightful)

lahvak (69490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724326)

Traditionally, people wrote free software that they themselves found useful. A developer would decide he or she does not like any existing html editors, so they would write a new one. They would release it as free software, since they were not interested in marketing it, and getting feedback and code contributions from users was more valuable for them than getting money for the product. That's how what you call OSS community works. If a developer is telling you "you don't need a wysiwyg editor", what they are really saying is "I don't need a wysiwyg editor, I believe you don't either, but if you think otherwise, go and write one." They are not being arrogant, they are trying to be helpful. You are the arrogant one, for thinking everybody has to write the software you find useful, and give it to you for free.

Re:No such animal? (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724388)

What you wrote is true, but it left out how people from different OSS projects gripe when their software gets abandoned for software that appeals to users.

They may give a pious speech about how their software is for their own satisfaction only, but they get upset when users criticize it or abandon it for something more useful.

Re:No such animal? (1)

lahvak (69490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724662)

C'est possible. People will be people, and their random personality quirks will be, well, random. I personally never experienced that, but as they say, YMMV.

Re:No such animal? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724390)

Anyone who thinks a non-WYSIWYG editor is as efficient as a good WYSIWYG editor should try laying out a complex table in one sometime. Sure, WYSIWYG code isn't as clean as doing it by hand, but you can't beat it as a timesaver (when your boss wants it done yesterday and doesn't give a shit whether your code is clean as a whistle or not).

Re:No such animal? (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724546)

You are repeating a basic point I was trying to make in my comment which you replied to. I think you may have done it better.

Someone who makes only a few html files a week can afford to be an esthetic purist, scrupulously arranging tags with a text editor.

That doesn't work so well for design professional cranking out tons of screens a week.

It would be like a writer putting several magazine articles a week, while insisting on on manually putting in the MS Word or OO writer formatting tags manually, instead of kicking out content.

What OSS developers don't realize, being programmers and not designers, is that NOBODY CARES how well arranged the tags. NOBODY looks at them. Just the way people who read an authors book, the publishers etc don't look at the reveal codes from his word processor.

Re:No such animal? (3, Insightful)

Saint Fnordius (456567) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724922)

Now now, if all you are doing is static HTML for some Mom and Pop store, your point *might* be valid. But websites done for money nowadays rarely are straight HTML. All have some CMS on the server, mostly PHP or JSP, and there no WYSISYG software dares to tread. Dreamweaver is hopeless when trying to make a Drupal theme or modify a Magento web shop.

If WYSIWYG has a place, it's in letting designers crank out prototypes. One man shops are better off investing in something like Coda for Mac OS X (I know, it's not open source, but it has served me well) or Eclipse or BBEdit. That, and complex tables really should be avoided unless you are presenting an actual table. CSS layout is what matters. Relying on a WYSIWYG editor will leave your site looking clunky and bloated.

As for your assertion that no one looks at the underyling code? I do, all the time. Especially when debugging/refactoring my own. ;)

Sublime Text 2 (2)

wholypantalones (2554958) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724164)

Design in the browser and use Sublime Text 2 it's free to use but you can buy a license and it supports most any language.

web development edition of eclipse (4, Interesting)

jperl (1453911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724166)

For 8 years now I use eclipse for all my web development. With additional plugins development is pretty easy and I have never ever thought of using Dreamweaver again. I am pretty sure that there will be a plugin for ASP support too.

Being a software architect... (1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724168)

... I have no opinion, for lack of knowledge. One of my best friends, however, regularly builds websites for advertisement campaigns. He *swears* by Dreamweaver, maintaining there is no real good replacement or alternative. And his requirement #1 is, you guessed it: WYSIWYG.

Any editor + firebug (3, Insightful)

dejanc (1528235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724192)

I'm on the server side of web development, but HTML/CSS gurus I work with mostly use Firebug for all their WYSIWYG needs. They need to test in plethora of browsers and produce high-quality code, so relying on any individual IDE for visual design would be impossible.

That being said, maybe take a look at Komodo Edit (choice of many HTML/CSS coders I know), or figure out how zen coding works by trying it with one of the supported editors here [google.com] .

P.S. What I am trying to say: if you are serious about your work, you don't need WYSIWYG. Even if you are a hobbyist, you don't need it.

Re:Any editor + firebug (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724306)

If WYSIWYG is out as a requirement, I, too, would plug Komodo. I moved to that after a few frustrating months on Eclipse.

vi (1)

chipperdog (169552) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724196)

I would recommend using vi, or the graphical gvim for creating static web pages...Instead of WYSIWYG, teach structured documents - which is what HTML and CSS designed for...

Does it have to be open sourced? (1)

carlhaagen (1021273) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724216)

Do you absolutely need this? Is it not enough if the software is free of charge and functional?

Re:Does it have to be open sourced? (1)

carlhaagen (1021273) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724348)

Just to elaborate on what I mean, and try not to get me wrong with this example:

"We understand that a non-muslim doctor would do the job just as good, but we really prefer that a muslim doctor treats our daughter's injury."

You see the problem here, right? My point is that maybe your priorities aren't what they should be.

Quanta Plus (1)

SavedLinuXgeeK (769306) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724230)

If you are using KDE, Quanta Plus might be an option: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quanta_Plus [wikipedia.org]

Re:Quanta Plus (1)

chipperdog (169552) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724280)

I'll second the recommendation of quanta...I use it for HTML, CSS, PHP, PERL, and C/C++ development

Depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724232)

Notepad++ is a good option with color syntax and many many plugins but IntelliSense code is not good, but if u see for a complete ide Netbeans or NuSphere PhpEd, ok there is something to checkout http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/05/07/35-useful-source-code-editors-reviewed/

Try DreamWeaver (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724260)

Other than not being open source, it sounds like it has everything you want.

Blue Griffon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724276)

I've used Blue Griffon a bit. Not sure how much it does compared to Dreamweaver, but it has the Gecko engine built in so you'll really get what you see.
http://www.bluegriffon.org/

Web Developer Toolbar + Edit CSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724310)

I have not found WYSIWYG editors useful since I started avoiding table tags. When I need to create something I build very simple HTML and style everything with CSS. My favorite tool for this is the Edit CSS feature in the Web Developer Toolbar because the results of the edit appear as you type. It lets me experiment and quickly design CSS that works well.

How about Visual Studio Express (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724318)

Seems to have all the things you're looking for....

WYSIWYG (4, Insightful)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724330)

There's no such thing as a good WYSIWYG any more. Unless there's something out there that will generate previews using Chrome, Firefox, IE and Safari all in the same tool, and that tool is also an IDE that you're looking for.

Find a good text editor or PHP IDE and use tools like Chrome DOM Inspector or Firebug for Firefox to tweak your CSS and view its results in real-time.

Re:WYSIWYG (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724604)

There's no such thing as a good WYSIWYG any more. Unless there's something out there that will generate previews using Chrome, Firefox, IE and Safari all in the same tool, and that tool is also an IDE that you're looking for.

Find a good text editor or PHP IDE and use tools like Chrome DOM Inspector or Firebug for Firefox to tweak your CSS and view its results in real-time.

I know its sort of taboo to mention it here, but Microsoft's Expression Studio Pro does that -- its both text, contextual and WYSIWYG editing for HTML, ASP, Silverlight, Javascript debugging, etc ... and it has a feature "SuperPreview" that does some pretty nifty things including alpha blending the results of the various browsers so you can see exactly how each browser lays things out differently. I'm not sure it does Chrome.

Anyway, its not open source, and its not cheap, but a couple hundred bucks to save that kind of time is an investment that someone doing this professionally likely would find worthwhile, unless opposed on a theistic basis. If there's one thing MS does well, its tools.

Re:WYSIWYG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724618)

I'm going to hell for saying this... But take a look at Microsoft Expression [microsoft.com]

I tried Dreamweaver and just didn't like it. Played around with several other WYSIWYG editors and got frustrated with them crashing or making buggy code. On a whim I tried MS Expression (I was really doubtful being that is was the successor to FrontPage). I about shit myself when I tried it, it was awesome!!!

Granted, I don't do much web development, which is why I like WYSIWYG editors, but I showed it to my friends that are web developers (text editor gurus) and they dropped their jaws, they liked it!

Question: why? (5, Insightful)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724338)

I've been looking for an open source alternative to Dreamweaver, and haven't stumbled upon anything that works the way I need.

You've given a couple of criteria, but the question that I think needs to be asked/answered is why are you looking for an alternative? Is it for ideological reasons, or are you hoping for a cheaper product, or does Dreamweaver not measure up somehow, or...? Knowing the answer to that question could take the discussion on a different path.

This question crops up a lot on Slashdot ("I want an open source alternative to ...") and it always generates some interesting discussions, along with mentions of products that may be new to people, and that's good. But it often seems (or is blindingly obvious) that the questioner is really just looking for an open source product "because I want to support open source". And that's fine as far as it goes, but at some point you have to go with "the best tool for the job is abc".

Depending on your context, "best" may change. For some people, the most important criterion is it's affordable. Open source sometimes meets that requirement better than closed source. But just realize that if you go for open source software just because it's open source, you may get something that's inferior in terms of feature set, ease of use, or other measures. If it's for personal use, and you're okay with that, dandy. If it's for business use, however, and you're trying to proselytize, this may not be the way to do it.

To each their own.

Just Learn... (1)

Kwayzu (2550882) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724382)

I taught myself HTML when I was in grade 9... its not hard, just learn it you won't regret that. I don't know how you are a PHP dev and don't know HTML. I echo out HTML lines all the time.

Re:Just Learn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724698)

Yeah, and I taught myself TeX at a young age, but for laying out a decent looking document for my co-workers, it is far faster to use Word.

Also I love the assumption that because someone wants to use as WYSIWG editor means that they don't know the underlying nuts and bolts rather than simply not wanting to deal with them. This is probably one reason that the Linux user experience sucks balls. The folks who use it are more interested in proving their intellectual superiority instead of getting work done.

Perfect combination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724450)

Try using Netbeans as your IDE, and Firebug for that WYSIWYG feature that you need. Just a suggestion, no ASP support though AFAIK.

Spend the $300 (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724458)

Trust me, unless you are a die hard philosophical "open source or nothing" kind of guy, you're a lot better off spending a little money. Open source HTML/PHP editors are a goddamned mess. I've always gotten a lot better results (in that particular genre at least) by spending a little money.

Here is the list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724540)

http://alternativeto.net/software/adobe-dreamweaver/

Quite a few alternatives or partial alternatives

How about NVU? (1)

jkyrlach (1076609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724558)

It will never be Dreamweaver (I don't think anything free ever will be) but it tries. I will echo above opinion that as great as Dreamweaver is, the html/css that it generates is horrible inefficient, the only worse one i know is Microsoft's WYSIWYG. Once you have done it enough, you can be quite fast as HTML/css from scratch in a text editor. Let us know what you pick and why. http://net2.com/nvu/ [net2.com]

SeaMonkey Composer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724614)

Have you tried SeaMonkey Suite with SeaMonkey Composer? It has a nice WYSIWYG editor and at least some of the things you are looking for.

Blue Griffon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724722)

What about http://bluegriffon.org/ ?

Basically (1)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724820)

The only real reason to use Dreamweaver is because it's far and away the best css editor on the market, in my opinion. It has a lot of asp/php code generation in it, but you're not going to find that anywhere. There was a code generator called Codecharge that was pretty good, had the code generation, but I didn't like the wysiwyg on it. If you want a pretty good css editor, there's Amaya from the W3c. It's clunkier than Dreamweaver, but it uses a lot of the same parts. If you like the css editor in Dreamweaver, you'll find the wysiwyg and css editor in Amaya workable, but you don't want to put anything other than markup into it. I wouldn't put php code in Amaya. As far as source code editors: Netbeans is still my favorite source code editor. It's better than Dreamweaver, and more powerful than Eclipse, in my opinion. Good luck on the transition.

BlueGriffon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724834)

Take a look at BlueGriffon [bluegriffon.org] . It's powered by Gecko (the Firefox engine) and has support for new(er) HTML5 form tags, etc. It's a relatively young application, but it's coming along nicely.

WYSIWYG = local web server (2)

jduhls (1666325) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724854)

Use Notepad++ and have a web server running on your local machine. Code, refresh, code, refresh. Dreamweaver was a dead-end evolutionary branch of web development.

Focus on the tool, not OSS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724864)

Seriously; why does it have to be open source software?

If you're developing with PHP and a slice of ASP, as such also aiming for Microsoft environments then why not get their Expression Studio 4 Web professional [microsoft.com] ?

First its affordable; hardly as expensive as Dreamweaver is. Second; it allows for some "WYSIWYG"-like editing but focuses on using an editor where you can get a good view of what your result is going to look like. Third; it ships with a graphical editor. Not as extensive as Gimp or Photoshop, but its very usable for getting contents ready for the web.

And the feature I like best is the option to check up on how your webpage will look like in different browsers. Obviously all strains of their Explorer but they also included support for Firefox and Safari as well. Make no mistake here; its fully using the engine of the browser to render the page. Even allows you see the differences side by side.

It supports HTML, PHP, and obviously ASP as well. Granted; its not open source and also not freely available. But why does that have to be a requirement if all you want is get a job done?

vim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724870)

vim

Slashdot blinders (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724882)

Good luck asking this sort of question on Slashdot. Almost all of these responses evade the question. "You don't need it", be a real programmer type responses aren't helpful, useful or warranted. If you need a WYSIWYG editor, for whatever reason, and want an viable alternative to Dreamweaver, open source, you're pretty much out of luck. I clicked the suggestions given (for those who weren't completely dismissive) and guess what, every one of those (except the one based on Firefox, which looked like a reasonable start) showed a screenshot with the code editor window open. Whatever the actual capabilities are, these aren't applications geared toward the audience that would be served by a WYSIWYG editor.

I too would love to deploy a working open-source WYSIWYG editor instead of proprietary solutions from Adobe or Microsoft, but sadly, there is no one willing to serve that need. In a world where say, Gimp, didn't exist, and the question was about Photoshop, most of your responses are in the format of, well geez, why don't you just use ImageMagick, then, hey what are you using JPG for, it's lossy, just open vim (no use Emacs) and you can make your own X pixmaps all day long. (i.e. complete ignorance about what need is being served by these tools, or how a busy user might benefit by the removal of a layer of abstraction.)

It's already been said (5, Insightful)

james_van (2241758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38724910)

but it bears repeating - WYSIWYG IS BAD. Learn to write HTML, it's very easy. I know, I know, I'm bordering on flamebait here, but I'm gonna say it anyway. And I'll readily admit that Dreamweaver's WYSIWYG helped me quite a bit when I was learning HTML, but most editors that use WYSIWYG have quirky implementations and don't render quite the way a real browser will. I ended up spending more time troubleshooting and digging through generated code trying to make things work than I would have it I had just sucked it up, put on my big boy pants and wrote my own code. It's fine for a beginner as a tool to help learn, but nothing more. If you have a dual monitor setup, open a browser on one screen and the editor (if you insist on open-source, I recommend Notepad++) in the other, and every time you make a change in the editor, hit refresh in the browser. I promise, if you take the time to learn HTML properly and invest a little time and energy up front, it will be well worth it in the end. --Potential DBag comment-- I own a small web dev shop, if you walked in and applied (even as a "designer") and you couldn't hand code basic HTML/CSS and needed a WYSIWYG editor to do your work, I would drop your resume in the trash on the spot. I don't expect designers to be code masters, but in this day and age, there is absolutely no reason why a designer shouldn't be able to take their images and turn them into decent HTML. --End DBag comment--

Another vote against WYSIWYG (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38724916)

While I DO have Dreamweaver at the office, I myself don't use the WYSIWYG portion of it. I have a dev server running that I do all my visual testing on, and do the rest of my coding by hand. I've developed sites for smaller individuals as well as larger clients, such as hospitals. At home I use Geany, and find it's code editor to be superb (and the console integration in the Linux version makes it almost completely unnecessary to alt-tab away from the software).

What you might want to consider is adjusting your workflow; mine works like this:
Mockup in Photoshop
Export graphics, get dimensions and colors
Write template files (just the XHTML)
Write stylesheets
Test templates to ensure layouts are golden
Split out templates into PHP files (or whatever else you're using) for includes
Code back end, working from files loaded onto dev server, and test.
Then, go live.

I've been doing web design/dev for approximately 11 years now. When I started I did use Dreamweaver's IDE and WYSIWYG editor for stuff such as tables, but eventually (about 8 years ago) I made the switch to hand coding everything. Once I got comfortable with it, I found that I was working MUCH faster. It helps if you attempt to visualize your markup while you're doing mockup. Also, ensure that you're only using tables to display tabular data (if it makes sense to put it into a spreadsheet, then it makes sense to put it into a table, typically). Tables for layout create unnecessary headaches and can slow development time down significantly; Good CSS markup can accomplish pretty much anything with a fraction of the code, also reducing load time.

I myself can code the layout for a moderately sized site in a day, typically. The two slowest parts for me tend to be mockup (waiting for inspiration to hit) and content migration (fighting with clients to get content). Also, I don't code the site until I get signed approval for the mockup, to avoid wasting time redoing a layout. Minor tweaks obviously aren't an issue, but many clients have a hard time understanding what's minor and not (not their fault, but a headache none-the-less).

Hopefully this helps. If not, feel free to ignore my ramblings and keep soliciting more advice :)

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