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Expression - Part Four: Web

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In the final part of today's four part series on Expression, we look at Expression Web.

Expression Web can most easily be thought of as the replacement for FrontPage. But, although FrontPage wasn't terribly popular with developers back in the day, it was really a tool for the casual or business user - devs had other tools to play with.

While Web can be thought of as the next iteration of FrontPage, it really is a very different product. A business user could still put together a site very easily using Expression Web, but this application is significantly more advanced than what you might expect.

Web has support for many industry standards, outputs XHTML, has some fantastic CSS editing capabilities, and generally just rocks.

It's also back-end agnostic. While it plays very nicely with ASP.NET sites, it can be used to edit markup for other types of dynamically rendered pages.

Overall, I was very impressed by the product. As soon as I was done shooting the video, I actually went and grabbed a copy for myself. As someone who has done plenty of work with ASP.NET, FrontPage, and other web editing tools, I can tell you that this one is very much worth looking at. I've been experimenting with it over the past few days on my blog, and it makes editing CSS-styled sites a very pleasant activity (where it used to drive me absolutely nuts).

Enjoy.

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  • Well this seems a bit more exciting than FrontPage.  To be honest, none of the business users I've ever dealt with used FrontPage...they always used Word to edit web pages.  As for developers....well, we know what they think of FrontPage.

     

     

  • Yea, I'd rip the whole frontpage bit out of the description... it is like an insult almost Wink

    Seriously, I've tried expression and it doesn't mangle anything if I decide to do stuff with the designer after I've done work in the code editor.

  • I sure hope you have the best of breed CSS editor.

    How good is your JavaScript debugger?

    Can you debug the code in Expression web or do you have to go to Visual Studio.

    How good is you tool for menus such as those you can now do in Adobe Macromedia Fireworks?

    Compare Expression Web with Adobe or Macromedia Dreamweaver and Fireworks.

    What does Expression Web have that Dreamweaver and Fireworks do not?

    Please more demos of Expression Web creating content.

    The day FrontPage messed with my code was the last day I used it by accident, many years ago.

    Cool
  • Can someone explain to me why Expression Web which is a replacement to FP 2003 is not being made available to MSDN subscribers?

    And don't tell me it's because it's a designer tool and not a development tool - that is crazy - the line between the two is very thin - and it's as much as a development tool as Office is.

    Please have the powers to be reconsider this decision.
  • odujoshodujosh Need Microsoft SUX now!
    Looking at pricing for the Web SKU. They  want another grand. I see the code base as synergistic with expression. I would expect Orcas will use WYSIWYG code base from expression web and the WPF tooling from Blend. I am not sure why they would fork code base that should behave the same. For example why wouldn't Visual Studio use the same rich CSS support. Maybe Orcas will leap frog the capability of Expression Web? If so why not  allow people who pay about a grand a year for your tools also have the right to download the stepping stone Expression could represent?

    This has been a silent issue for example channel 9 interviewers have avoided these issues in videos. Whether it was intentional is still to be shown as they now have heard it from at least one watcher who is a little peeved.

    I agree saying it is a disigner tool renigs on past offerings in subscribers downloads like: Office, Frontpage, Acrylic (the alpha verson of Design)

    I think MSDN subscribers deserve an explanation in a very public way. Maybe you could interview the marketing genius that decided this sudden depature from past offerings? I remember grinding my teeth a little when Rory said he would have to try it soon for his website. If Developers are suppose to work with designers. And the Developer pays for a perpetual liscense to yout prime dev tools why not let them try what their counter parts are going to be using just for familiarity sake?
  • odujoshodujosh Need Microsoft SUX now!
    In response to Raymond:
    Macromedia and Adobe products are no where near as standards compliant as Expression. I have had to work with both in the past.

    Examples:
    Go live still uses Font tags.

    Macromedia has a glorified text editor for CSS.

    So they offer quite a bit more. If sanity is important to you:)
  • Kevin DalyKevin Daly Because.
    BillP wrote:
    

    Well this seems a bit more exciting than FrontPage.  To be honest, none of the business users I've ever dealt with used FrontPage...they always used Word to edit web pages.  As for developers....well, we know what they think of FrontPage.



    To be honest, if you'd asked me one thing that would be worse to use for creating web pages than FrontPage, I would've said "Word".

    <Shudder>
  • As a light-weight script debugger check out the MS Script debugger and IE developers toolbar - while not targetted to Expression specifically they're great resources for testing/fixing issues in IE

    (though I guess for regular vistors here this is very old news)
  • mYYzomYYzo Nerdish

    Interesting product!! By all means!

    But my question is: Where would dreamweaver go now?

    Anyone got a quick comparison in mind?

  • I got pretty excited about being able to offer this app to my clients to enable them to design UI's for my code...

    ...until I tried to open a fully operational .Net 2.0 site and discovered that it would not render any of my server controls or user controls and just complained about the controls throwing exceptions -- even through the same pages would open fine when selecting "preview page"...

    And I cannot find ANY documentation about any requirements or config required for ASP.Net support...   Has anyone found any worthwhile resources to help understand how to get this thing to work?

  • Great video!

    Couple of points:

    You edited a div using WYSIWYG and it updated a CSS declaration in a css file. Although cool; it seems error prone to me due to the complicated nature of CSS. My point is that the div could have a background based on a complicated "cascade" of rules i.e. 20 things could directly or indirectly reference it so what is EW supposed to update when you make the change from design view? Perhaps you standardised on some kind of 1-1 mapping?

    Another point was that in Sharepoint designer (this is the other half of the product split from frontpage); there is a very cool CSS feature that lets you identity the effective style applied to an element i.e. due to inherited, explicit and indirect rules. Do we get that here?

    Take care guys

    Tim Scarfe
  • You seem to be missing something that is very important.

    Yes in very large corporations and organizations there are two categories of people: "creative professionals" such as web designers, and developers. Each category has with their own tool sets.

    However, for most small to medium size corporations and organizations, you have one person that must do both jobs.

    I guess the term coder-designer fits as well as any for this persona.

    Part 2 : Saving the World - One Click at a Time!
    http://www.uidesign.net/2000/interviews/cooper2.html

    Therefore, the person must be able to easily switch from the designer tool set to the IDE, Visual Studio, as well as SQL Server.

    This needs to be addressed if not in version 1, ASAP.

    Also found this article to be very interesting:

    Can Microsoft Expression Web Designer Touch Dreamweaver?

    http://www.informit.com/articles/article.asp?p=602975&rl=1

    Great video!

    Cool

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