View Full Version : Coding between Frontpage & say Dreamweaver

John W
20-03-2006, 02:27 PM
I have read disparaging remarks about the coding used by MS Frontpage as opposed to others (never mentioned) and wonder what they are talking about.

Looking at the source code both programs produce, they appear very similiar.

Can someone please explain what the debate is all about, and how to compare examples.

Thanks John in Mosgiel.

20-03-2006, 03:28 PM
My experience with FrontPage is somewhat dated, so you should take it with a grain of salt.

Time was if FrontPage didn't understand something, it would mangle or delete it. It didn't play well with other non-Microsoft solutions.

Dreamweaver, and probably others, rightly assumes if you doing something it doesn't understand, you probably have a good reason and is more likely to leaves it in place.

The second complaint that I'm aware of is Microsoft Frontpage server side server extensions are not popular with ISP's, and other service providers.

You may create a wonderfully sexy site using Frontpage on your localhost copy of IIS, but when it's time to redeploy it, "cool" features may be disabled.

Microsoft is, of course, very keen for ISP's to accept Frontpage extensions, so don't expect unbiased information on their website.

20-03-2006, 03:28 PM
Looking at the source code both programs produce, they appear very similiar.

Really? The code produced by frontpage is very different, and has a lot of unnesessary code in it, which bloats the webpages and makes them bigger than they need to be. Dreamweaver also can create unneeded code, so the best thing to do is to go through the code at the end and remove it.

20-03-2006, 03:54 PM
It depends what you make in Frontpage. I just use it for holding my page and stear clear of any frontpagisms such as shared navigation and the appalling rollovers..

Its those frontpage specific tasks that make it messy, although I think the last version if far better and not really deserving of the critisisms inherited from the earlier versions.

20-03-2006, 04:10 PM
I have heard that the latest frontpage (2003?) is actually pretty good, and doens't play tricks on your formatting and such.

Never used it since 2000 though, so can't confirm

20-03-2006, 04:14 PM
I use 2003, and have no problems with it. The next version that only runs on XP looks good though, there is a thread here somewhere I made on it.

20-03-2006, 04:58 PM
The one that is not called frontpage?

20-03-2006, 05:12 PM
FrontPage is alright, if you don't really care about the code validating successfully. However, version 11 (FrontPage 2003) does produce slightly better code by checking the DOCTYPE and producing code based on that.

Remember that FrontPage was acquired by Microsoft from an application first developed around 10 years ago.

I would recommend you use Dreamweaver (from version 7, MX2004), especially if you're just starting the site. It produces very good code, that most of the time validates. Dreamweaver MX (version 6) produces code that is similar to Microsoft FrontPage's.

Apparently, Microsoft will not be releasing another version of the software under the brand 'FrontPage', it will be called something like 'Sharepoint Designer'. Microsoft has developed/acquired another product, which is going to be released sometime this year. They call it the Microsoft Expression (http://www.microsoft.com/products/expression/en/web_designer/default.mspx) suite.

Here are samples of code generated when no DOCTYPE is specified:
Dreamweaver 8

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<title>Untitled Document</title>
<style type="text/css">
.style1 {
font-family: Tahoma, Arial, Verdana;
font-size: 12px;
<span class="style1">Sample text</span>
FrontPage 2003

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
<title>New Page 1</title>
<p><font face="Tahoma" style="font-size: 12px">Sample text</font></p>
Notice that styling (the font properties, in this case) is done by CSS instead of using the "font" tag.
Sorry about the long post :thumbs:

20-03-2006, 05:47 PM
The one that is not called frontpage?

Err typo, I meant the next version that only runs on VISTA looks good

sorry :) :)

Sure Dreamweaver is the ultimate package, but for a hobbist or a newbie is it worth $1300?

I very much doubt it.

20-03-2006, 06:12 PM
FrontPage would be a good option for starters who don't really need a editor that supports stuff like code that validates. It has features, which easily generate buttons and photo galleries, especially in FrontPage 2003.

If you want something more advanced, you can always try something free like Mozilla's Nvu (http://www.nvu.com/download.html) .