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Free or Open Source Web Design Program?

Cliff posted about 9 years ago | from the wonder-if-elves-will-get-into-web-design dept.

Software 108

TheZorch asks: "I'm looking for a good Freeware or Open Source web design program. Right now, I use Web Dwarf but its features are a little limited. I love the ability to put text and graphics wherever I want, which is also how Dreamweaver works. The main problem with Web Dwarf is that I can't insert Macromedia Flash items onto a web page. I've tried Mozilla's web page composer, FrontPage Express, and OpenOffice. None give me the freedom to do what I want to be able to do. The program has to be FREE, no adware, no turned off features until you buy it, and I have to be able to format the page freestyle similar to how Dreamweaver and Web Dwarf work. Can you recommend one for me?"

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best tool (4, Funny)

yagu (721525) | about 9 years ago | (#13883394)

vim

Re:best tool (1)

n0d3 (708403) | about 9 years ago | (#13883421)

I personally prefer gvim over vim : )

NVU btw isn't that bad either however if you MUST have a wysiwyg editor.

Re:best tool (3, Informative)

Eric Giguere (42863) | about 9 years ago | (#13883492)

Nvu [nvu.com] (note spelling) is indeed a great program. It's an open source project that supports Linux, Win32 and Mac OS X [nvu.com] . You can use it in a WYSIWYG mode or you can edit the source of the page directly. Besides being free, it also includes support for editing CSS styles (including external style sheets) [memwg.com] , a must for building sites today. Plus you can get extensions that add neat new features. Definitely worth a look.

Eric
Invisible Fence Guide [ericgiguere.com] (CSS to make it fancy is still coming...)

Re:best tool (3, Informative)

fean (212516) | about 9 years ago | (#13883637)

nVu may be a great tool, but it is severly limited... it re-writes code, has a horrible local/remote interface, and has many many many features to implement before it can even think about replacing frontpage, much less Notepad or Dreamweaver.

That said, I highly recommend you try it, hopefully it's limitations aren't specific to your application. nVu is somewhat patchy, so some users may have everything they need, while others (like me), can't do a thing (the re-write code thing is HUGE)

Re:best tool (3, Informative)

Eric Giguere (42863) | about 9 years ago | (#13883736)

It's true, there are limitations. For one thing, Nvu is really about editing single pages, one at a time, not about creating "projects" of pages. And yes, there are other problems, like the way it rewrites references to external JavaScript when you publish the page up to the website. I don't find the code rewriting to be too bad if you turn on the option to retain the original formatting, though.

Of course, because it's an actively-supported open source project, there's always hope that these bugs will be fixed over time. (Well, not sure about the file-oriented nature, that seems architectural... not that it's necessarily bad, I actually like working that way...)

Nvu is particularly excellent for someone just getting started with building web pages, which is why I recommended its use in my book. And the price is right for most people!

Eric

Re:best tool (1)

lilmouse (310335) | about 9 years ago | (#13883554)

No you fool,

emacs!

</troll>

--LWM

Re:best tool (1)

BigTimOBrien (203674) | about 9 years ago | (#13883669)

emacs

Re:best tool (1)

alta (1263) | about 9 years ago | (#13883697)

Everyone always says emacs, or VI, and sometimes vim.

Am I the ONLY person in the world that uses pico/nano DAILY?

It's notepad for me!

Lets me search, cut, paste, has line numbers... and when using putty I can copy/paste even better. (hmm, better copy... yeah, that's accurate)

Re:best tool (1)

digidave (259925) | about 9 years ago | (#13883862)

"Am I the ONLY person in the world that uses pico/nano DAILY?"

Yes you are. You're also a weenie.

Re:best tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13885436)


I'd fake a +funny mod point here.

But, that would make me a weanie also.

Re:best tool (1)

alta (1263) | about 9 years ago | (#13890910)

Nah, a user number like 259925 makes you a weenie ;)

Re:best tool (1)

schon (31600) | about 9 years ago | (#13884393)

I too prefer pico, and use it daily.

Re:best tool (1)

gandy909 (222251) | about 9 years ago | (#13886638)

I use nano/pico all the time! It's small, fast, has NO learning curve, and perfect for editing small files, which is 90% of all I ever edit anyway.

Re:best tool (1)

WgT2 (591074) | about 9 years ago | (#13885562)


Despite how funny the parent post has been mod'ed, Vim, and Emacs as well, become very powerful when used on a very regular basis; there is just so much more that can be done with keyboard shortcuts and macros (macros set up via keyboard input and not openning window after window and then typing something in). In fact, just this morning I literally saved myself thousands of keystrokes by using Vim macros on a project of mine.

Especially if your job depends on it like it can with *nix webserver support and system administration.

But, if I did web developement much more often, like it was my job, I would at least use Quanta Plus. Again, a *nix product, but very, very good for a free, OSS product.

netbeans it (1)

saurabhdutta (904490) | about 9 years ago | (#13883417)

netbeans it if u wanna stay to JSP. for ASP and stuff theres no open source alternative.

Re:netbeans it (2, Informative)

MudButt (853616) | about 9 years ago | (#13883699)

ASP.NET Web Matrix at http://www.asp.net/ [asp.net]

That, and I want a pony too. (3, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 9 years ago | (#13883424)

What is the constriction preventing the use of commercial software?

Re:That, and I want a pony too. (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 9 years ago | (#13883754)

Shhhhh...You'll disturb the groupthink! Slashdot can't stand people who don't go with groupthink!

Re:That, and I want a pony too. (1)

Enrico Pulatzo (536675) | about 9 years ago | (#13883866)

How is the parent a Troll? The poster provided absolutely no reason for why it has to be FREE (or even what kind of free was implied, my guess is $$$ since they were looking for a tool, not a library or other) and it's an important thing to know.

Re:That, and I want a pony too. (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 9 years ago | (#13883924)

In my opinion, I think it was the subject line, but the problem is that I thought there is some truth to the sentiment when I wrote it, and I still do. My thinking is that someone wants the advanced features found in a $400 program, but is willing to pay $0 to get it.

While I think OSS is a great thing as it offers more choices, but I simply don't think it is necessarily capable of solving all problems in the best possible way.

Re:That, and I want a pony too. (2, Insightful)

aminorex (141494) | about 9 years ago | (#13886102)

It is capable of eliminating the ability to sell software without source code for a profit, and will do so in time. Some of us don't buy closed-source software because we consider it immoral to so do, barring some overriding need, and are willing to pay in money, features and even time in order to avoid it.

Re:That, and I want a pony too. (1)

Carik (205890) | about 9 years ago | (#13889055)

" Some of us don't buy closed-source software because we consider it immoral to so do, barring some overriding need..."

Ah, situational ethics.

Sorry, folks; if it's immoral, it's always immoral. You may decide to do something immoral when you think it's justified, but it's still immoral. Killing is immoral. Killing someone who is trying to blow up a busload of children is immoral, but (in my worldview, anyway) justified. If you find closed-source software immoral, fine. That's your right, and I respect your belief even if I don't agree. But either it's immoral or it's not -- you don't get to say "Buying closed-source software is immoral. Except for the newest Doom. Or GTA. 'Cause those are really cool games."

Re:That, and I want a pony too. (1)

aminorex (141494) | about 9 years ago | (#13890556)

If you consider defending victims against murder to be immoral, I think your vocabulary is very idiosyncratic. There is nothing immoral about using deadly force to prevent a deadly crime. If I were to refuse to save a life because I would have to use proprietary software to do it, that would be immoral.

Re:That, and I want a pony too. (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 9 years ago | (#13891629)

Some of us don't buy closed-source software because we consider it immoral to so do,

Buying closed source software is IMMORAL?!?! I've just gotta hear the reasoning behind that...

I have a very hard time believing that I'm going to burn in hell for eternity as a result of stopping by CompUSA and picking up a copy of Quicken.

Re:That, and I want a pony too. (2, Funny)

dtfinch (661405) | about 9 years ago | (#13884200)

Not every seasoned web developer in their mid-30's can spare $200 or so for web development software. Oh, wait, err, nevermind.

Re:That, and I want a pony too. (1)

YowzaTheYuzzum (774454) | about 9 years ago | (#13884310)

What is the constriction preventing the use of commercial software?

That would be money.

Re:That, and I want a pony too. (2, Informative)

DaoudaW (533025) | about 9 years ago | (#13884316)

What is the constriction [google.com] preventing the use of commercial software?

I was worried for a moment but I believe you mean constraint.

New rule (2, Insightful)

booch (4157) | about 9 years ago | (#13884739)

Here's a thought. Anyone asking for free (as in beer) software should explain WHY they think they are entitled to software at no cost. For example: they've contributed significantly to the community, they're running a non-profit for underpriveleged youth, or Mommy hasn't given them their allowance this week.

As other posters pointed out, you can't realistically expect a $0 program to be equivalent to a $1000 program. You have to be willing to give something up. Sometimes if you've contributed to the community, or are working for a non-profit, people will see that you are giving something, and help you out. Other times, they'll see that you're just being a selfish jerk. It would help us out a lot if you could provide us with some more details to help us make that determination.

Re:New rule (2, Insightful)

skryche (26871) | about 9 years ago | (#13888065)

Entitlement? What the hell are you talking about? That's the great thing about free software: everyone's entitled to it!

“As other posters pointed out, you can't realistically expect a $0 program to be equivalent to a $1000 program.”

“Equivalent” is too tricky a word to argue with, but Apache and Linux easily compete with $1000 products.

Re:New rule (1)

booch (4157) | about 9 years ago | (#13889655)

I won't argue with the fact that Apache and Linux are competitive with (and in many ways better than) expensive proprietary programs. But in many ways, they are GIFTS to the community. And you shouldn't expect people to give you gifts. Even the hard-core Free Software folks don't necessarily believe software should be no-cost; just that people be free to modify it and share it. (The no-cost falls out of the sharing bit.)

Visual Internet (-1, Redundant)

hubertf (124995) | about 9 years ago | (#13883426)

AKA "vi"

bluefish and nvu (3, Informative)

ubiquitin (28396) | about 9 years ago | (#13883427)

Two to consider are:

bluefish [openoffice.nl] which is available for MacOSX [darwinports.com]
and nvu [nvu.com] which is also available for MacOSX [darwinports.com] .

Re:bluefish and nvu (3, Funny)

grub (11606) | about 9 years ago | (#13883489)


re: your sig, THANKS! Abortion pictures are cool. Makes me want toast for dunking.

Re:bluefish and nvu (1)

lpcustom (579886) | about 9 years ago | (#13883520)

I use NVU when I'm feeling lazy. Best open source web development would be to open yourself to learning html. I know where you are coming from though. Dreamweaver is nice. I installed it with cxoffice on Linux. Really though everything that you can do with it can be done with a text editor if you know what you are doing. Plus you'll actually have more control over it. It is easier to use Dreamweaver or something like it. It also numbs your brain to solving simple problems when they occur
NVU is a good open source program. If you can't make it do what you want, then you should probably buy Dreamweaver or learn a bit more about html.

Re:bluefish and nvu (2, Informative)

TheZorch (925979) | about 9 years ago | (#13883531)

It looks like Nvu is what I'm looking for. Thanks for the help. The reason why I can't use commercial software is due to a lack of funds. I'm on a restricted budget right now and I need a good web design program but can't buy one.

What you really want is... (2, Informative)

leonbrooks (8043) | about 9 years ago | (#13885893)

...Quanta Plus AKA KDEwebdev [kdewebdev.org] , but I'm betting that you're also too lazy to change from MS-Windows. (-:

Re:bluefish and nvu (1)

holy zarquon's singi (640532) | about 9 years ago | (#13886512)

I'd recommend (in this order), a good text editor, a wysiawyg thingy like nvu for basic templating and testing, and using the view source facility of a browser to plagiarise^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H get ideas from other websites.

Excessively integrated tools are over rated in my opinion.

OT: sig comment (0, Offtopic)

(Score 5, Flamebait) (915262) | about 9 years ago | (#13884186)

Nice sig. I'm thinking of putting up a site with up-close photos of women who died during a legally-forced childbirth -- with blood everywhere, and the infant as well (preferably dead as well, or alive but with no living guardian is okay as well). Also photos of unwanted and/or abused & neglected children born to drug addicts, rape victims, 13-year-olds, etc.. They sure are shocking, and there's no better argument against forcing a woman to carry an unwanted fetus to term.

Oh no, I'm sorry -- visceral photos aren't an argument at all. I forgot for a second there.

Seriously, abortion is a big topic. But you have to discuss it -- I don't convince people to be vegetarians by leaving glossies of slaughterings on their kitchen table.

Re:OT: sig comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13887132)

Nice post. I'm thinking of putting up a site with close up photos of trolls, flamebators and silly little wankers, like yourself, whom have blood all over their faces from beatings they get in the real world for acting out like the pricks they are online. Seriously though, if you have a problem with a sig, maybe a post to a journal, blog, or an email to the site would be in order... it sure as heck beats being a jerk ass on a news forum about it.

Re:OT: sig comment (1)

(Score 5, Flamebait) (915262) | about 9 years ago | (#13894097)

Umm; I *did* clearly flag my message as both offtopic (that's the "OT") AND a sig comment in the subject of my post.

This seemed like the simplest way to make a response WITHOUT forcing lots of people who would be totally uninterested from reading it (more so than any of the methods of response you mentioned).

Read my other posts if you want; I'm no troll. Trolling means *trying* to waste people's time (by writing intentionally "misguided" opinions, etc), and flamebaiting means *trying* to get other posters to flame you.

Re:bluefish and nvu (-1, Flamebait)

agraupe (769778) | about 9 years ago | (#13884846)

Hey, you dumb pro-abortion fuckface, have you ever considered that just because something looks gross doesn't mean it's bad. I hope if you encounter anything that requires surgery (cancer, heart disease, whatever) that you turn down the treatment, because it will look gory. Go suck a dick.

Re:bluefish and nvu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13885866)

(yea this is off topic too, but I ran out of mod points)
How is the parent a Troll? You can say whatever you want in a signature. If you have a problem with it maybe marking them as a foe and leaving a comment in their journal would be a better way to go about a response. But since the parent provided the most relevant information so far (Seeing as how the poster replied to it saying that it was what he was looking for..) I would think that the parent should be more along the lines of "Informative" than 'Troll'.

Re:bluefish and nvu (1)

mpmansell (118934) | about 9 years ago | (#13887297)

Personally I don't think commenting about inappropriate modding and abusive and juvenile comments is offtopic in a discussion. You are not the one derailing the discussion, but someone attempting to correct some half-witted moron's hijack attempts.

I agree with you. The parent's poster had compiled and presented information pertinent to the OP's request. Unlike the twats who were belittling him.

What he had in his sig is his business. It is not as if he was hiding porn or anything else offensive behind a misleading link. The URL made it pretty damned obvious what was behind the link. If people clicked through and were upset then they are bloody idiots. They deliberately jumped in front of the truck so that they could sue the driver!

Whether or not you agree with the sig's sentiments, they are honestly presented and their viewing is optional. That is far more honourable than his detractors seem capable of.

Unfortunately, it is this kind of twattish behaviour that has had me neglect /. for the last few months. I have been an avid reader, almost daily, almost from the start. Frankly, because of this kind of behaviour it is becomming more "News for Turds" than "News for Nerds" and this is sad. It used to be a good, respectful and enjoyable community. Some people just need to grow up and get a life, preferably of their own!

um (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13883465)


You want free and/or open source stuff but you're using it on a proprietary OS? (your mention of DreamWeaver suggests that)

Re:um (2, Insightful)

DA-MAN (17442) | about 9 years ago | (#13883507)

You want free and/or open source stuff but you're using it on a proprietary OS? (your mention of DreamWeaver suggests that)

Perhaps he doesn't want free/open source for ideological reasons. Maybe he's just cheap, broke or both! Maybe he was using dreamweaver with Crossover Office.

Whatever it may be, he has his reasons. Why not obstain if you have nothing useful to say.

Re:um (1)

MudButt (853616) | about 9 years ago | (#13883765)

"Why not obstain if you have nothing useful to say."

If everyone took this advice then Slashdot would see their posts cut by 90% =P

Re:um (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13884160)

If everyone took this advice then Slashdot would see their posts cut by 90% =P

you say that as if it were a bad thing. . .

No, instead you would see a metawar over... (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | about 9 years ago | (#13885869)

...what constitutes "useful".

Re:um (1)

hatrisc (555862) | about 9 years ago | (#13885608)

I use free software as much as I possibly can. However, I like to get the most of my hardware, and the last time I checked, if I want to use my airport extreme card on my Powerbook, I have to use Mac OS as there are no drivers to support it (please correct me if I'm wrong). I also like to be able to use my scanner to it's fullest potential and other hardware that I have, which are only supported with Windows and Mac OS. Thus, my operating system of choice on this powerbook, _must_ be OS X.

Re:um (1)

mpmansell (118934) | about 9 years ago | (#13887364)

And how, on Earth, is this a problem? There are many reasons why this should be amd it doesn't have to be a purely ideological issue.

I earn my living from writing commercial systems and software. In doing this I use both commercial and OS software. I have also produced code that I've released as OS and PD.

This is the real world and there are lots of reasons, choices and options. There is nothing wrong with wanting to use free/Open Source sw on an proprietory OS. Esp if it is an OS that is so pervasive as to be impossible to ignore.

What OS are you using? (1)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | about 9 years ago | (#13883495)

Can you recommend one for me?

What Operating System are you using? This makes a big difference... there are dozens of free/OSS web development apps for Linux, but there are only a handful which run on Windows. Not sure about MacOSX.

You mentioned "Frontpage", so presumably you are running on Windows. But you need to be more clear.

it has to be said... (4, Interesting)

anderiv (176875) | about 9 years ago | (#13883497)

I love the ability to put text and graphics wherever I want

Hrm - sounds like vim [vim.org] would be the ticket. ;-)

All joking aside - my understanding of html/css has shot up through the roof since I ditched Dreamweaver and started coding by hand. Code cleanliness has also improved greatly, as you'd expect. If you've never tried, give yourself a week with a text editor and a good html/css book. It's quite freeing to not have to worry about anything other than the code. No application updates, no program idiosyncracies to deal with, etc.

Re:it has to be said... (1)

lilmouse (310335) | about 9 years ago | (#13883646)

Ah, but what's a good html/css book? I've seen amazing things done with css, but I wouldn't know where to start with it.

--LWM

Re:it has to be said... (2, Informative)

greywire (78262) | about 9 years ago | (#13883839)

This will get you started: Eric Meyer on CSS [amazon.com] .

A Survey of Open Source Web Development Tools (2, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | about 9 years ago | (#13883501)

Newsforge ran a story about web development tools.They approach it as "web development tools for Linux," but most are available for win32 and OS X. I have almost no experience with commercial web development tools (except when trying to tidy up their ugly code). I use content management systems/wikis/etc. where possible (so others can add content & no one need worry about the code or an editor) & a text editor (vim!) when not. That being said, Bluefish, Quanta, and Nvu are all nice. All of these options are discussed in the NF article, as is Screem, which I haven't seen first-hand.

With Links (4, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | about 9 years ago | (#13883532)

Forgot the link to the article...have included all relevants links in this one.

Linux.com ran a story about web development tools. [linux.com] They approach it as "web development tools for Linux," but most are available for win32 and OS X. I have almost no experience with commercial web development tools (except when trying to tidy up their ugly code). I use content management systems/wikis/etc. where possible (so others can add content & no one need worry about the code or an editor) & a text editor () when not. That being said, [vim.org] Bluefish, [openoffice.nl] Quanta, [sourceforge.net] and Nvu [nvu.com] are all nice. All of these options are discussed in the article, as is Screem, [screem.org] which I haven't seen first-hand.

Re:A Survey of Open Source Web Development Tools (1)

krakrjak (227602) | about 9 years ago | (#13885441)

I'd fully recommend Quanta [kdewebdev.org] . It is hands down the best that I've used. I used to think that Dreamweaver couldn't be beat, but quanta does it all very well and has a great interface. I'd say give it a shot if at all possible and try to give it a full day or two and read the docs. This is one Open Source project that has good docs.

nvu (2, Informative)

mshiltonj (220311) | about 9 years ago | (#13883503)

nvu.com [nvu.com]

Do you NEED Flash? (3, Informative)

crimethinker (721591) | about 9 years ago | (#13883514)

The main problem with Web Dwarf is that I can't insert Macromedia Flash items onto a web page.

You say that like it's a problem.

I know, I know, I've got that "I know what's best" attitude that everybody loves to hate, but really, Flash is a craptastic piece of software, known mainly for bloating download times, making it impossible to bookmark a specific page, and generally being annoying. ("Punch the fucking idiotic monkey and win a piece of spyware!") Not to mention that it OWNZ0RZ screen-readers that blind or nearly-blind people use.

Seriously re-evaluate your requirements. Do you really *NEED* Flash?

-paul

Re:Do you NEED Flash? (1)

vga_init (589198) | about 9 years ago | (#13883596)

I hear you, comrade. Flash is a major component of what's wrong with the web.

Re:Do you NEED Flash? (4, Insightful)

Bastian (66383) | about 9 years ago | (#13883654)

Seriously. I have a 300kbit internet connection (not as fast as standard cable modem service, but faster than 2/3 of Americans), and I hit the "stop" button and take my surfing somewhere else when I encounter Flash sites. I'm sick of the load times. I'm sick of the craptacular web design that seems to be endemic to Flash websites. I'm sick of overdone Flash sites that run poorly on my three-year-old computer. I'm sick of Flash sites bitching that I don't have the latest version installed. I'm sick of sites with text that's too small to read and that I can't make larger because they did the text rendering with Flash. I'm sick of sites that force me to make my browser window larger when I'm using a small window or that only fill a small portion of the window when I'm using a large browser window because Flash sites run one size and one size only.

Businesses that have Flash-based websites with no non-Flash option usually lose my business. I won't even stick around to see the sales pitch. I'll go find a competitor who didn't start their relationship with me by annoying me with some animation-rich but content-deprived piece of self-absorbed fluff.

Flash is for Homestar Runner, not overdesigned menu sets and half-implmeneted-and-mostly-broken re-implementations of things that are already built into HTML such as the button and the scroll bar. It's a toy for web designers who think their primary job responsibility is mucking around with Flash, not making websites that don't suck.

Re:Do you NEED Flash? (2, Informative)

dubl-u (51156) | about 9 years ago | (#13883836)

Flash is for Homestar Runner, not overdesigned menu sets and half-implmeneted-and-mostly-broken re-implementations of things that are already built into HTML such as the button and the scroll bar.

It doesn't make useless sites workable, but if you just want to stop being annoyed by intrusive multimedia, there's a great solution [mozdev.org] .

Re:Do you NEED Flash? (0, Flamebait)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 9 years ago | (#13884930)

Why don't you not view the site *and* not bitch about it to everybody here as if we gave a crap? Then everybody would be happy.

Re:Do you NEED Flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13886724)

I, for one, agree with you.

Mod Parent UP! (1)

gandy909 (222251) | about 9 years ago | (#13886686)

I couldn't have said it better myself! Flash blows. Period. I avoid it like fresh cowpiles. Businesses that use it lose out twice with me. I don't buy from them, and they had to buy the horrid product.

Re:Do you NEED Flash? (1)

avi33 (116048) | about 9 years ago | (#13887377)

You are describing poor system architecture. You said it yourself, "Flash is for Homestar Runner..."

That is to say, Flash has a use, it's just not being used correctly in many cases. You could say the same about java. I mean, applets...hello? A 200k download to display a scrolling news bar?

Everything you describe is a symptom of poor design, not of the Flash environment. Sorry to say, but a little motion gets people's attention, and can be used to illustrate information that would otherwise be one-dimensional.

Web sites are allowed to have a little sparkle. So yeah, go off on the bad implementations, but Flash itself can be irreplaceable when used appropriately.

Not excusing fixed viewports, inaccessible content, unnecessary load times, etc. but there's a mentality around here that says "Flash sux. It won't run on my linux watch." you're complaining about poor design and bad system architecture.

I manage a site that has a tiny bit of flash. By passing a couple parameters, it lets me:
-select one of four subjects to highlight
-select one of 13 languages to use
-dynamically load one of 12 photos that can be changed without editing the .fla
-select the appropriate set of copy
-send the user to one of 52 possible destinations based on these variables
-it moves a bit, and looks smooth
-requires less of a download than a typical image
-manage all these parameters with a text file
-if you don't have the plug-in, you get a flat image and accessibility-friendly alt tag

If I did this in ruby or php, it would warrant a sourceforge fan page and would get props from the h4x0rs. Flash, like any other tool, can be wielded properly and well.

Re:Do you NEED Flash? (1)

FreshlyShornBalls (849004) | about 9 years ago | (#13883666)

Inserting a piece of flash on a page is FAR DIFFERENT imho than designing an entire site with it.

Re:Do you NEED Flash? (1)

FLEB (312391) | about 9 years ago | (#13885097)

Another plus-point for not having Flash: I've been unable to afford Flash for quite some time (plus Macromedia's licensing is completely counterproductive in some cases). From that limitation alone, I've learned to do ten times as much in HTML/CSS/JS than I would have if I could just whip it up in Flash. Although there're no vectors or synchronized sound, you can do quite a few interesting and rich "unweblike" interfaces using just the core web languages.

Re:Do you NEED Flash? (1)

abxpacketloss (851419) | about 9 years ago | (#13885789)

Not that I am for the heavy use of flash in websites but they have improved accessibility in its latest versions... "Flash content created with versions 5 and earlier is not accessible. However, Macromedia has integrated support for Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) into Flash MX, released in early 2002. MSAA serves as a bridge between Macromedia Flash Player and assistive technologies such as screen readers. To help designers and developers create accessible Macromedia Flash content, a new Accessibility panel has been added to the Macromedia Flash MX application. This new panel allows text equivalents to be specified for elements of Macromedia Flash movies and provides control over how the screen reader handles these objects." http://www.unc.edu/webaccess/flash.html [unc.edu] While flash is abused it can sometimes be the best solution.

Sad about the non-Microsoft visitors though (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | about 9 years ago | (#13885854)

What standards exist in the field?

Re:Do you NEED Flash? (1)

cei (107343) | about 9 years ago | (#13886049)

For that matter, what's to stop the original post from dropping in a sized image as a placeholder, then copying and pasting in an embed or object tag in its place? I mean, if the app is generating the layout for an object (image in this case), it really doesn't take rocket science to do a search and replace...

Re:Do you NEED Flash? (1)

HappyDrgn (142428) | about 9 years ago | (#13887168)

I sure as heck don't need flash, and recomend alternatives where possible, but when it comes down to it if the customer wants flash that's what they are going to get. Although with CSS, DHTML, Javascript and AJAX going the direction that they are, flash use in common web apps is becoming more obsolete by the day. Macromedia's suite is hands down the best there is out there for flash however... it's a good thing it runs under Crossover Office.

Re:Do you NEED Flash? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 years ago | (#13888357)

Flash is a craptastic piece of software, known mainly for bloating download times, making it impossible to bookmark a specific page, and generally being annoying.

That and for ending up with pages in which no less than seven separately moving, flashing, blinking, and twirling imagescan all dance around on your screen as each advertisement uses it.

You could cause an epileptic seizure with something like that. (No, I'm not kidding.)

Re:Do you NEED Flash? (1)

ameoba (173803) | about 9 years ago | (#13888890)

I agreee.

Any webmonkey who lacks the intelligence and skill to say "Hrmm... this software won't let me place Flash on the page - maybe I should put in a filler image & then link in the Flash by hand later" shouldn't be allowed to use Flash in the first place.

Freeware (2, Informative)

dtfinch (661405) | about 9 years ago | (#13883542)

All the good open source programs have already been mentioned. Here's something from the other side of the camp:
ASP.Net WebMatrix [asp.net]

I never used the thing beyond the first day I tried it, but some people may find it useful. I use text editors for all my serious web development.

Re:Freeware (1)

mpmansell (118934) | about 9 years ago | (#13887316)

Its actually a pretty fair little tool if you're working with .Not. I've used it a bit, although I generally prefer to use gvim, Dreamweaver or HTML-Kit when on windows. I think that if I used more ASP though, I would use it more seriously.

On a related note, though, it has one of the best online helps/docs for the .Net class hierarchy :)

Re:Freeware (1)

Decker-Mage (782424) | about 9 years ago | (#13887584)

I agree and you don't have to be doing anything related to .NET to use it and get standard code as it will do compliant code just fine. I used to work professionally, especially on database-driven web designs, and have pretty much every tool imaginable and a more than a few out of any reasonable price range here and frankly ASP.NET WebMatrix is a sweet little tool. The documentation, the fact that you can get a free Wrox Press book on it, and the sheer amount of code on the ASP.NET web site are all pluses in my book. [CodeProject is another good source, btw.] Sure, it's against the orthodoxy here to say anything good about a Microsoft tool but sometimes they get it right. Okay, rarely, but it does occur. I certainly won't say that about what Office/FrontPage generate. Blech!

As a professional website developer.. (3, Informative)

SocialEngineer (673690) | about 9 years ago | (#13883583)

I'd suggest Jedit for any platform with Java support, or HTML-Kit if you use Windows, and want some different features.

Handcoding is the way to go, in my opinion. You can supplement your work with IDEs such as dreamweaver, but do NOT rely on them. If you can't develop a website in an efficient manner by hand, you need practice.

Re:As a professional website developer.. (1)

pffffffff (885984) | about 9 years ago | (#13887862)

I agree. Jedit is great!

ASP.NET Web Matrix (1)

MudButt (853616) | about 9 years ago | (#13883681)

I'll probably get ripped a new one for recommending something M$ but if you're coding anything in .NET, the Web Matrix is pretty good.

http://www.asp.net/ [asp.net]

I use several (1)

VolciMaster (821873) | about 9 years ago | (#13883770)

I use emacs, nvu, (not free) textpad, and homesite. I haven't had any rewrite issues with nvu, but I also haven't had to much tuning of what it generates. Homesite I have had to do a bunch of reformatting with to get the code to my level of comfort and readibility. Emacs, or any other straight-up text editor with syntax highliting is still my preferred way of creating pages and sites.

I'd suggest dreamweaver. (-1, Troll)

SharpFang (651121) | about 9 years ago | (#13883879)

Dreamweaver. Free on http://thepiratebay.org/ [thepiratebay.org]

best editor? (1)

sakura the mc (795726) | about 9 years ago | (#13883901)

my friends, that would be ee.

Learn to code by hand! (1)

sootman (158191) | about 9 years ago | (#13883944)

Not to sound like an elitist snob, but you say "None give me the freedom to do what I want to be able to do" and the fact is, the rules of how HTML arranges things on a page are not that hard to learn. Coding by hand gives you absolute control over what goes where.

Of course, in the process, you may learn that what you're used to building is not how HTML should be written in the first place, but that's a whole other issue. Get over the idea that you can control exactly how it looks on everyone's screen. Everyone has a different platform and the whole point of the web is that it'll work OK everywhere.

"Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another computer, another word processor, or another network." Tim Berners-Lee in Technology Review, July 1996

Re:Learn to code by hand! (1)

Aldric (642394) | about 9 years ago | (#13884802)

Well, it won't look ok anywhere without testing. CSS and JavaScript vary wildly (IE is the worst by a long shot, though I've come across quite a few inconsistencies between Gecko browsers and KHTML browsers too).

emacs sgml-mode (2, Interesting)

namekuseijin (604504) | about 9 years ago | (#13883966)

Nothing beats it in handling sgml-based content, like html or xml. It's not WYSIWYG: it's powerful.

As for Flash: dump the old thing and embrace an SVG + XForms future...

Re:emacs sgml-mode (1)

FLEB (312391) | about 9 years ago | (#13885119)

As for Flash: dump the old thing and embrace an SVG + XForms future...

If only browser manufacturers would. As it stands, it seems to be a perpetual "future" just past the horizon.

Re:emacs sgml-mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13888817)

Are you referring to psgml-mode [lysator.liu.se] ? It's included as standard in Xemacs, but not in GNU emacs. I like it better than sgml-mode since it can autocomplete end-tags (C-c /).

Be a professional (1)

Arandir (19206) | about 9 years ago | (#13884202)

Are you a professional web developer? Then use a text editor. Sheesh. A web developer who can't handle plain text HTML, CSS, Javascript and some sort of shell scripting, is about as silly as a software developer who can't handle C/C++ and make.

<elitism>

Re:Be a professional (2, Insightful)

HappyDrgn (142428) | about 9 years ago | (#13887314)

Are you a professional web developer? Then use a text editor.
 
Are you serious? I can't remember the last time I sat down with a professional and had them open a terminal with VI or whatever. Professional web developers are hardly the static HTML page designers of the early 90's. Sure for a personal site, a couple pages, a text editor would work fine. But these days professionals develop code in PHP, ASP.NET, CFML and Java. Professionals write websites like Amazon, Google, MSN and CNN. These websites are mostly an HTML framework powered by databases and endless lines of code created by teams of professionals. VIM, GREP, AWK and SED are hardly a match for a full blown IDE like ZendStudio or VisualStudio. For example, try tracking down an object you can't remember (or never knew) the name of in a full blown web application using a text editor. Having trouble? Open an IDE and browse the objects tree! Want to bug test a couple of functions without uploading a whole application? Use the run from here command, the built in interpreter or compiler will handle the rest for you. IDE's certainly do have their place, and more often than not it's with the professionals.

Re:Be a professional (1)

Arandir (19206) | about 9 years ago | (#13890404)

If you think Google was written with Dreamweaver, please share whatever you've been smoking.

Re:Be a professional (1)

HappyDrgn (142428) | about 9 years ago | (#13892645)

Did I mention Dreamweaver? No, that's because Dreamweaver is not an IDE, it's a beefed up HTML editor that contains none of the functions one would expect from an IDE. Was Google written with Dreamweaver? I doubt it, but I'm willing to bet it was written using the programs I *did* mention. I'll still share what I've been smoking with you however.

Re:Be a professional (1)

mpmansell (118934) | about 9 years ago | (#13887342)

And I have to ask the same of you.

  "Are YOU a PROFESSIONAL web developer?"

I like hand coding, I like the freedom it gives me. I like knowing that my code is properly 'generated' and conforming. I DONT like that it can take so long. I DONT like that it is easy to make bad mistakes. I DONT like having to wade through code to correct said mistakes after I've validated the code.

Yes, a PROFESSIONAL web developer should have the appropriate WebFu skills. Running dev teams I have no patience for alleged developers who cannot. They have no place saying they are web developers unless they can handle these things. However it doesn't mean that they shouldn't use IDE's. I don't need to wear nice cotten and silk shirts, but I'll be damned if I'll wear sack-cloth just to look hard and keep people like you happy.

The true PROFESSIONAL knows when to use the appropriate skill and tool for the task at hand. If I want a new cellar built, I would consider the block with the backhoe more professional than the guy with a beach spade and bucket. He may be able to do the job, eventually, but it would be a long slow process. The guy with the machine minght have to hop into the pit to finish by hand, but he will be using the right tool at the right time and he will get the job done quickly. Professionally. Cheaply.

Re:Be a professional (1)

Arandir (19206) | about 9 years ago | (#13890503)

I want my bookkeeper to know how to do long division. He may use Quicken instead of paper and pencil to crunch my numbers, but damnit, if he can't do long division, I don't want him near my money!

It's the same thing with professional web developers. I don't care what tools they use, as long as they *know* HTML, CSS, scripting, etc. But I've actually met "professional" web developers that didn't know HTML.

errr, what about Screem? (1)

Goeland86 (741690) | about 9 years ago | (#13886614)

I seem to recall there is a comptetitor to Dreamweaver based on QT called Screem. I'm not too sure how easily it would be to run it on windows.
I know there's a linux emulator for windows but I forget the name.
ANyway, I remember it as being really quite nice to use, interface close to dreamweaver, but without the obvious proprietary integration of flash and all that Macromedia jazz. You can still include flash animations though, unless my memory is failing.
Hope this gives you a start.

Re:errr, what about Screem? (1)

Decker-Mage (782424) | about 9 years ago | (#13887593)

Actually given the fact that Screem is text-editor based I'd call it a competitor to HomeSite+ not a competitor to DW.

HTML-Kit (1)

Tofurkey (738883) | about 9 years ago | (#13886627)

http://www.chami.com/html-kit/ [chami.com]

Lots of ways to customize, many plug-ins, write your own.

Re:HTML-Kit (1)

mpmansell (118934) | about 9 years ago | (#13887350)

A brilliant tool. I may not use it for complete site development, but it is certainly one of the tools in my workshop. Anyone with an OS capable of running it should have it, in my biased opinion :)

stick with the editor/site manager you prefer and (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about 9 years ago | (#13887229)

use placeholders for your flash content, they do a find and replace or some such method to switch them out for testing...

Even in Dreamweaver it's not like you get a preview of your flash content... it shows you a grey box with the flash icon, not very useful for anything really, so what's the point? Flash itself exports all the html that you need for embedding your object and it does it better than any other tool.

So... just drop a jpeg comp of your flash object in the layout and do a find/replace when previewing.

Quanta! (1)

neves (324086) | about 9 years ago | (#13892394)

See all kde webdev [kdewebdev.org] package. Quanta is the best html editor.
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