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Better tools for creating web sites?

Hey Folks,

Are there are any better but lesser known tools for creating DB-driven websites?  I don't want to hand code HTML and Perl, nor do I want to use DreamWeaver or FrontPage.  Are there any killer tools out there that are running "under the radar", so to speak?

NeedATool
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Have you heard of a product called "CityDesk"?

KayJay
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Since you ask,  I assume citydesk doesnt work for you.

The only thing I can think of is scanning the code repositories for opensource PHP or perl CMS'. There are quite a few out there.

Eric Debois
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Could you be more specific about *why* you don't want to use Dreamweaver or FrontPage?  What are you looking for the tool to help you do?

Personally, I think Dreamweaver MX is one of the best software products on the market.  Each new feature I learn to use instantly makes me 5% more productive.

Ryan
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Not sure how Ryan measures his productivity, but I do agree that Dreamweaver is one of the best pieces of software out there.

More and more, it plays very well with ASP and PHP. Throw in the numerous addons available, and you can build a database backed, standards compliant site without writing any code.

Edit php within dreamweaver, connect to the database, use the templates feature, reuse components, edit CSS, etc etc.

Can you tell us a bit more about why you don't want to use Dreamweaver?

Tapiwa
Thursday, May 20, 2004

By way of "under the radar" you might look at my own product, miniCMS at http://www.lazarusid.com/minicms/

Yes, that is a shameless plug.  Hopefully it will also fit your bill.  If it doesn't, there are a number of very good systems written in PHP and even Perl (much as I hate to admit that)

Clay Dowling
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Probably you're looking for something like this:

http://www.xlinesoft.com/db2html/overview.htm

Green Pajamas
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Hi,

what about like Visual Age, it uses Java... and runs over  websphere... you can then build the  "mask" of the web pages with  frontpage etc.

CLK.

CLK
Thursday, May 20, 2004

You can use Visual Studio for ASP.Net, but this is a shot in the dark since you didn't mention platform or price. :)

Philo

Philo
Thursday, May 20, 2004

I'm not sure if I'm on the right track but this is what I do to avoid doing the same base thing time and time again. I have a core set of files which I put in CVS. They are a controller, libraries to set config info, get input and return assoc array/hash, big ball of mud class to handle requests from the controller and it returns a datamodel to the controller, smarty to then receive the datamodel from the controller and return the view to the user.  So if I'm on a server I just retrieve the latest version from my cvs server and in about 2 minutes I've got a database backed site up and running. I need to change the config (some paths, username/password for database, database name) and that's about it. I then start using the big ball of mud class to handle requests ...  99% of the html page look and feel are controlled by CSS and the code always validates according to the standard it delcares to follow.  I now begin to customize for what I need to do, I don't need to do the same thing again and again ... what I do now is specific to the current project.  I use emacs as my editor.

me
Thursday, May 20, 2004

look here http://directory.google.com/Top/Computers/Programming/Languages/PHP/Scripts/Content_Management/ and here: http://directory.google.com/Top/Computers/Software/Internet/Site_Management/Content_Management/

blaZiT
Thursday, May 20, 2004

In reading the description page for CityDesk, it does not tell me that it handles sites with a database backend.  In fact, it makes it sound like its advantage is that it does NOT use a database so as to keep things uncomplicated for less In reading the description page for CityDesk, it does not tell me that it handles sites with a database backend.  In fact, it makes it sound like its advantage is that it does NOT use a database so as to keep things uncomplicated for less technical users.  It sounds like it uses client software to create actual static HTML files that are then FTP'd to your server.

If it in fact does work with database-driven websites and content, the marketing pages don't do a good job of expressing that.  CityDesk sounds like a great product for maintaining a site that has no reliance on dynamic information, and the owner does not want to spend a lot of time mucking with technical details.

For those who are familiar with CityDesk, maybe they can clarify if I got the wrong impression (again, if so that would be a marketing problem).

As for Dreamweaver MX, I haven't taken advantage of the dynamic connection features because I've gotten into using classes and wrappers for my database stuff, rather than inline code.  But I do enjoy having project file management, FTP, nice code formatting/coloring, a code editor that doesn't write anything I don't type unless I ask it to, and the best WYSIWYG editor on the market to handle time wasting basic HTML coding.  I don't have to use anything outside of DW (other than Photoshop to make graphics) during the entire process of building a website.  OK, I guess I have to use a seperate tool to model my database and another to manage the database.  That'd be sweet to integrate that into my IDE, but its no biggie.technical users.  It sounds like it uses client software to

Clay Whipkey
Thursday, May 20, 2004

What the heck happened to that post?  Sorry for the wierd paste mangle.

Clay Whipkey
Thursday, May 20, 2004

If you're looking to pull data out of a database and use it on your site, you're going to have to do some programming unless what you want is pretty basic content management.  If you're wanting to publish timetables or the current status of customer orders, you need to write some code.

If all you're wanting is for your pages to be stored in the database before display, and CMS (including mine) will do nicely for you.

Clay Dowling
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Homesite

Ben R
Thursday, May 20, 2004

>> You can use Visual Studio for ASP.Net, but this is a shot in the dark since you didn't mention platform or price. :)

Philo, again we catch you spreading your propaganda w/o revealing your true identity...must be nice to have Joel in your right pocket.

Anon-y-mous Cow-ard
Friday, May 21, 2004

Jeez, lay off Philo, guys.  Did this forum turn into slashdot when I wasn't looking?

Anyway... Clay, I use CityDesk to manage sites with a mix of active and passive content.  It's pretty straightforward; I just have my template use the appropriate extension (.php, .asp) and then I'm free to stick a script on a specific page when I need to.  Of course Joel plays up the ease of use for n00bs in his marketing, because they outnumber us... but ease of use makes it that much nicer for us, too.  (=

As for the OP, let's see if I understand this correctly:  you want to create a DB-driven website, but you don't want to hand-code HTML and you don't want to use a WYSIWYG tool.  Which basically leaves a DWIM editor, a.k.a. "code monkey."

(And +1 for Dreamweaver; it's easily half again as useful as any other tool I've used.  The table features alone are worth the interface annoyances.)

Sam Livingston-Gray
Friday, May 21, 2004

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