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What's the best way to create web pages nowadays?

Hi All,

Back in '98 - '00 or so I wrote a lot of static html and dynamic ASPweb pages for various sites, but haven't had to since. I now need to put together a medium size website, but I'm not sure where to begin. I pulled out a copy of FrontPage XP to put together tha basic layout, and while t renders perfectly in IE, Mozilla, Netscape, and Safari, it isn't even close to passing any of the validators, and is all straight html with only local css elements.

So, what programs do people use to code web pages nowadays, with proper support for css/xhtml, etc? Also, any pointers to a breifing on the current state of the technology  and/or any tips would be much appreciated.



Sunday, July 25, 2004

I had the same background writing HTML sites.  I recently have had to do a simple web entry db entry form.  I used dreamweaver and I can’t tell you how impressed I am with it.  It scalable with extensions, great support for db work.  From what I have seen so far with it, it has taken about 90% of the grunt work out of writing html pages.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Dreamweaver MX2004 is the way to go.  It had some serious performance issues until a free update came out a few months back. The "2004" version improves the CSS handling over the old "MX" version.  I use it for PHP/MySQL pages, and find it great for building forms/queries/etc, but I tend to tweak and reorganize some of the auto generated code, such as where it stores db connection info.

You might also like to look at TopStyle by Nick Bradbury. Haven't used it for anything dynamic, but really easy to use for static content and styling.  Inexpensive.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Pretty much like in 1993 : Notepad.exe

Sunday, July 25, 2004

FrontPage 2003 seems to create standards compliant HTML and CSS and stuff for me, but I can't say I care enough to make sure. Every time I've had to update a Dreamweaver site without a copy of Dreamweaver it's been a horror, so bear in mind the people who'll inherit your code (it amazes me the number of people who think it's really important to create valid XHTML 1.0/1.1 when no browser could care less, but who don't mind spewing out crap on the server side).

SharpDevelop and Web Matrix are both free and aimed at the .NET side of things, so might be worth a look. To be honest, if you've got a database sorted and you or a colleague have a decent sense of design, the inbetween bits are pretty easy to work out on all but the most complex of sites. Go with whatever interface you feel most productive in, just spare a thought for the next guy. :)

Thom Lawrence
Sunday, July 25, 2004

Sunday, July 25, 2004

TopStyle -

Walter Rumsby
Sunday, July 25, 2004

I've always used Notepad, NoteTab, TextPad, or more recently Eclipse for JSP, and I've always been typing it in by hand, along with liberal cutting and pasting.

It can be as fast as FrontPage or DreamWeaver, but only if you're disciplined about templating and trying to create very logical, strict HTML.  Personally, I like that, since it enforces good design discipline on the site.

Justin Johnson
Sunday, July 25, 2004

TopStyle and UltraEdit32 are my weapons of choice.

Jack of all
Monday, July 26, 2004    with      to edit    sources

Max Belugin (
Monday, July 26, 2004

I use EditPlus ( ), the best text editor out there.

Monday, July 26, 2004


Monday, July 26, 2004

me, too.  homesite.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Dreamweaver MX for what you are trying to do.  Probably the latest version - 2004?.

Excellent support for standards compliant (X)HTML, use of style sheets.  The templates and library items are excellent.

Ken Ray
Monday, July 26, 2004

Hmmm.  The people complaining about Dreamweaver auto-generated code are missing the fact that whoever used Dreamweaver to create those files just used it wrong.  I use Dreamweaver MX and I have tweaked the preferences (and not very much either) so that it does not rewrite my code, and the auto-generated HTML I get from the WYSIWYG editor is always just plain and simple HTML.  No extra CSS, all tags are closed and even nicely indented.  I have noticed also that you really just get what you ask for, or what you make it give you.  If you want alt attributes, you must choose to put in an alt text for that image.

I've never used the dynamic DB connection features, which seem like they could be cool, but just won't work for what I do.  Perhaps they auto-generate some gnarly code, I don't know.  When I do PHP/MySQL, I use my own classes so I just use DW in the text view because I have become really comfortable with the interface and the syntax coloring.

I'm not a fan of Dreamweaver templates though.  I added an authentication system to a friend's site that was done with DW templates and that code was really messy.  Again, I don't use them so there may be some way to control the output for that, too.

Clay Whipkey
Monday, July 26, 2004

DW templates are pretty cool, but I never use them beyond a handful of pages before giving up on them.  Just too much having to figure out how to get it to do what you want. But you can get it to produce clean code for templating if you can step back & try to figure out how to get it to do what you want, which isn't always easy.

But I think this is true for any templated/auto generated code... What if what you want is


(stuff that changes from page to page)


That's a mess because the parts aren't seperate, discreet units, but sometimes that's what you have to do to get the desired result - not just in DW, but any time you seperate content from presentation.

I guess it's part of the problem of HTML. In CSS it probably wouldn't be so hard.
Monday, July 26, 2004

oops, I hoped a TH and closed a TD, but you get the idea.
Monday, July 26, 2004

I have always used notepad but I'm not _entirely_ sure why.  Am I a masochist or just overly controlling?

Based on this thread I'm going to give DreamWeaver a shot.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

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