Coffeehouse Thread

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FrontPage thread..

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  • User profile image
    jamie

    Is anyone on the FP team on channel nine?
    This would be for them.

    Ideas for next version:

    1. Could we have better style sheet support/creation?  Many clients want CSS based sites - which I can do - but using css throws you into code land - as the sites get more and more complex, you end up with content layers - wherein the entire site is now almost all css - all needing editing by hand.

    I would love to see a css based design mode
    *ps - current FP opens css great - but theres no easyediting really

    ( in css mode perhaps the app would work exactly the same - but if i make something verdana - it doesnt write <font=verdana> it writes it to the style sheet. - not sure - this would be great though.


    2. Collect for output. like Quark Xpress.  Any file graphic avi mp3 gif htm asp all - to a folder.  No publishing nessesary.


    3. WAY more stuff in Behaviours and Layers taskpane.  That stuff is great - put more options / free code

    4. Option to search every single file - especially .js etc that current new and improved search inores when replacing within source code

    5. a photo album equivilant to the one use guys use on msn.. the one in there is a joke Tongue Out

    keep on making FP the greatest web app out there

    Smiley

  • User profile image
    jamie

    PS...

    * ive used frontpage since Vermeer days
    never ever could use anything else..

    dreamweaver is too Mac for me - pallettes everywhere - all over my desktop! akkk! lemmie out!

    haha


    *** oh ya one more thing...***

    Ever since you removed FP from office - you removed my number one reason for being able to use it..

    I like that your going after dreamweaver and all - feature wise - but please - throw it back into office. It was the ultimate winner " well, sure you could go buy dreamweaver ($$) - but you already have Frontpage - so - we'll use that then"

    VERY important.. i need that excuse back! Wink

    > FrontPage - An essential part of a balanced Office System.

    (bean counters: - make it "feature lite" and sell the "Advanced" version  Best of both worlds - we need our excuse back! Tongue Out)

  • User profile image
    jonathanh

    The FrontPage team have just started a blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/frontpoint/ - ask 'em to come over here and join in!

    I've also started putting together a page of your FrontPage feedback on the Channel9 wiki, at http://channel9.msdn.com/wiki/default.aspx/Channel9.FrontPageFeedback

  • User profile image
    lars

    jamie wrote:
    PS...
    dreamweaver is too Mac for me - pallettes everywhere - all over my desktop! akkk! lemmie out!


    I think there is a setting for that in Dreamweaver MX. The default MX setting keeps everything in one application window.

    I tried one of the first versions of Frontpage and dumped it when it messed up my code. But a few months ago I tried very hard to give Frontpage 2003 a new fair chance. I worked with it for a couple of weeks and I think it has improved alot. And it's a bit underrated as far as its reputation go. 
    Still, when it came to building a larger site it felt like Frontpage somehow ran out of steam. The whole theme / navigation / borders package felt abit klunky somehow. I had to reapply it over and over to get it to update properly. So it was a major pain.
    Now I'm trying Dreamweaver instead. But I haven't used MX enough to say if it's any better. I only know that the hand-coding has to go, and Frontpage isn't a replacement that works for me.

    /Lars.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    The issue with Frontpage, IMO, is that most people don't realise that it was designed as part of the Office package. It's not really for designers. It's for secretaries. As such it does a fantastic job. Really. Love it in that environment.

    The feedback given above is top notch by the way Smiley Of course, I'd love it if there was a Server Extension to produce RSS (or even a Blog Server Extension).

  • User profile image
    Alex Malek

    Hey all, my name is Alex Malek, I'm a Program Manager with the FrontPage team.

    Jamie, thanks for the great feedback, I've passed it on to the product team. Better CSS support is definitely something we hear people asking for Smiley. Could you also give me a little bit more detail on suggestions #2 and 4? I haven't used Quark Express, so I'm not sure what 'collect for output' should do. Regarding #4, Searching and replacing with .js files should work. Does it not for you? 

    Lars, I'm glad you found FP2003 to be a better experience. We've worked hard to protect users' code in recent versions. It sounds like the Shared Borders gave you some trouble. Did you try our new Dynamic Web Templates feature? It allows you to similarly share content across pages and easily make global changes, but doesn't require the server extensions and is quite flexible. Let me know if you have a chance to play with that. Any other feedback on areas that let you down would be appreciated too!

    Thanks,
    alex

  • User profile image
    jamie

    Hi Alex

    re:2.
    Collect for Output in Quark - is much the same as Publish in FP.  Just wish there was an option to "Collect all to folder" - rather than needing FP extentions on certain webservers for certain clients.
    "Collect all to folder" would look for all linked objects and files and miedia and images and css and js et all, and place them all in a new folder specified/named by user.  Then I could just zip it up and email to client.  ( I currently will use Publish to accomplish same thing..but i need to create a new web - when i should be able to go - "I dont need a new web - i just want all the files and components gathered in a folder"

    re;4.
    Search and replace - I should have also incuded rename.. more examples:  If i rename a JPG inthe folder view pane, FP does a great job of getting MOST instances of that file in the site, and renaming it. But it seems to omit many things - especially javascript based anyting ( flyouts / mouseovers) as well as images used in CSS - for background tables cells.  THe Replace function - again - works great ( much better in 2003 ) but it still seems to omit certain files ( maybe its just me) but example - Search for and replace all instances of "images/back.jpg" to "images/back.JPG" it will do it on most all things - but again in css and java flyouts - escpecially stuff with in <script>  bla  </script> seems to go unchanged.

    * i may be wrong - but i no after doing such a replace - i almost always have to hand fix most of the scripts and css..

    thanks again


    re: Jeremy - Actually FrontPAge was designed for Pros by Vermeer not secretaries- and retrofitted by MS to look and work more like an office app.  FP is very powerful, and ive found it to open and edit anything you throw at it.

    Some would say this is why its no good - as it will not bomb and allows "errors" to work ( open tables etc.. silly stuff Netscape will stop rendering over)
    I take that as a feature..  The inline IE tab, the draw and errase tables, the positioning and dhtml are great in FP - and the new behaviours and layers task panes are the best thing yet.

    * I use to go "hack" cool mouseover / flyouts to work from free code sites or elsewhere. When FP2003 and came along - and I viewed my old sites - those 2 task panes actually SHOWED me what the code did.. now i can make my own - like a REAL programmer would Wink

    FP rules!

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    Jamie, I've been a Frontpage user for nearly a decade. Don't worry, I know FP's power. Personally I think it's the most powerful Site Management tool out there. It's IDE and developer tools definitely need work though Smiley

  • User profile image
    jamie

    Couple more requests:

    php
    I dont use php - but every now and then im forced to deal with it ( clients) FP seems to treat php like the anitchrist Wink can it not display this crap like it can do with asp - in most cases?

    Vectors
    - this may be more of an IE thing, but id like to be able to use WMF files - that will scale and render like flash SWF - only be treated as a graphic would (gif/jpg) - so it would work with Background or mouse over images etc.( not "About flash player" on right mouse click) 

    Perhaps Avalon fixes this ( but all I hear is SVG (bleaugh) and PNG (bleaugh)

    Vectors = .wmf .emf  .ai  .cmx  and  .cdr (corel).

    Currently IE/FP suppot Windows Meta Files - but they render like a dog - all jaggy.

    It would be so cool to make vector backgrounds that can scale - at literally 1 or 2k..

    Id love to have this feature above all else - as I design vector based icons /site layouts in CorelDraw12 - or Illustrator for some things..

    Thanks again Jamie

  • User profile image
    lars

    As a whole PF2003 was a pleasant surprise and as a tool for smaller jobs I think it's great. I still use it even tho I'm looking at Dreamweaver for the larger projects.
     
    Sometimes however the design view gets a little confused when I've made changes in the HTML view. It looks okey in the preview and in browsers (MSIE, Opera). But when switching to design view it moves everything around horisontally for a couple of seconds and sometimes leaves part of the page out of reach.

    Another thing is the publishing process that is very slow. Even to local webservers. I think the server extensions is the single thing that gave me most trouble. It's very comfortable when they work. But when they don't it's very hard to figure out why they fail.

    I second the request for better PHP support.

    It's clear that Frontpage has come a long way. And I'm happy I tried it again.

    /Lars.

  • User profile image
    jamie

    ..to add to what lars has said re; fp extentions.. it would be great to see more code..

    Example: Frontpage search.  OK - insert / search component - cool.  K - lets remove all the space around it, change the button, change the.. oops - wait - you cant change anything.

    Ok so we view the source - maybe we can play in there.. nope - its like its own little app - cant customise it - use it as is, or dont.

    ( this stands for photo album too and inserting an mp3 or video should be much easier than using - insert/advanced/activex controls / bottom of list / winmedia9/  - then you get a hard to configure list box..  why cant there be a "Sample" tuner - with all the pieces and parts - and you can specify what to show and not to show in the inline tuner.. provide a volume bar and every piece i need to make my own tuners inline or in WM9.  If you did this i think alot of users would customise the graphics and there would be ALOT more wm9 themes out there for sure. *XP should do this as well..)  

  • User profile image
    Alex Malek

    Hey guys, sorry for the delay in responding. Last week was crazy busy.

     

    Collect for Output

    If you could copy from the FP folder list and paste into Windows Explorer, would that solve the same problem?

     

    Search and Replace

    Jamie, when you are doing search and replace, are you setting the ‘Find in Source Code’ checkbox. That’s required for it to work on Javascript. I’ll look into the rename from Folder pane ‘link fix-up’ issue.

     

    PHP, Vectors support

    I’ll pass these suggestions on to the team.

     

    Server Extensions

    You may not have heard, but the FrontPage team is actually no longer investing new features into the server extensions (apart from security fixes). We will continue to support using them (e.g. 2002 extensions), but most of our new features are either server-agnostic or targeted at the new SharePoint platform. We think of it as a good/better/best approach:

    1)       Good - Design features such as ‘Dynamic Web Templates’ that work regardless of the platform.

    2)       Better - Maintain support for best things that server-extensions give you, e.g. link-fixup, remote authoring

    3)       Best - Enable new scenarios that are made possible with Windows SharePoint Services (WSS)

     

    If you haven’t had a chance, you might want to check-out WSS. It offers many of the things the server extensions did, and a whole lot more, particularly if you need to create 'data-driven' websites. If you have any questions about SharePoint, I can take a stab at those or point you in the right direction.

     

    Thanks,

    alex

  • User profile image
    Alex Malek

    This Office Online article should be of help in getting FrontPage to work with PHP:
    http://office.microsoft.com/assistance/preview.aspx?AssetID=HA011092991033&CTT=98 

    Thanks,
    alex

  • User profile image
    jamie

    Collect for Output

    If you could copy from the FP folder list and paste into Windows Explorer, would that solve the same problem?

     

    Perhaps - but what if its not a "Web" just a directory - with tons of gifs and jpgs - and you only want -say the 5 htm pages - and any files they use.  Currently - even publish doesnt do this.  Publish will still grab all the images in "Images" folder - even though i may have only used background.gif.  So all im asking is if ive got a site - and it may have 5000 images and 200 videos and 50 mp3s all in the folder - BUT the site is actually only linked up to say - 1000 images, 100 videos and 3 mp3s, i want FP be provide the option of "Collect all things this website uses" and not "Collect all things in the folders"
     

    Search and Replace

    Jamie, when you are doing search and replace, are you setting the ‘Find in Source Code’ checkbox. That’s required for it to work on Javascript. I’ll look into the rename from Folder pane ‘link fix-up’ issue.


    yes i am doing that - seems to ignore <script>dfsdf</script> and anything in external css 


    PHP, Vectors support

    I’ll pass these suggestions on to the team.


    THANK YOU! - especailly for regual vectors ( wmf / emf = no jaggies) 


    re: at the new SharePoint platform:

    Sharepoint to me means - YOU NOW HAVE TO PAY FOR FRONTPAGE EXTENTIONS as my webprovider charges more for .Net and doesnt support that feature.  From what i understand - sharepoint is your business portal - with CHARGES.. if i am mistaken - disregard

    thanks again Alex!

  • User profile image
    jamie

    small request

    when i insert a horizontal line in FP it automatically appends <p> and </p> after it.

    Can it not just put in the <hr> and let me decide about spacing - <br> or <p> or in most cases none?

    The worse part is if you manually fix it - ie; remove the <p>'s or change <p align"center> so it has no spaces.. then you cut and paste the HR somewhere else its puts the spaces back

    on a side note - make an ie specific new feature <VR> - for vertical rule.  would come in handy

  • User profile image
    Alex Malek

    Jamie,

    Collect for Output

    I think I get what you are asking for J - do you want to be able to ‘collect’ a given file and only the resources it depends on in one operation, as opposed to always grabbing the whole set manually?

     

    Search and Replace
    I am not able to reproduce the behavior you describe. When I do a search and replace, it does find things in <script> tags. Could you send a screen shot of your the find/replace dialog to alexma@microsoft.com - I want to make sure we're doing the exact same search.

    Horizontal Rule

    When I insert a horizontal rule, either from the Insert Menu or via code view, I do not get <p> tags around the <hr> tag. How are you inserting the rule? And if you don’t mind telling me, what version of FP are you using?

    Thanks,
    alex

  • User profile image
    jamie

    Version 2003:

    Horizontal rule:


    type this:
     
    This is some sample text
    This is some sample text
    This is some sample text
    This is some sample text
    then view source:

    <font size="5">This is some sample text<br>
    This is some sample text<br>
    This is some sample text<br>
    This is some sample text</font>

    <hr>

    so far so good.  Now type a word under rule:

    This is some sample text
    This is some sample text
    This is some sample text
    This is some sample text

    word


    * see its down? now view source:

    <font size="5">This is some sample text<br>
    This is some sample text<br>
    This is some sample text<br>
    This is some sample text</font>

    <hr>
    <p>Word</p>

    K - so now lets remove the <p>'s in the source: and the "Word" is now right under the <hr>.  Cool - OK - now lets fix the rule - make it one pixel, red, solid line.  Cool.

    So now lets assume i want to copy that a few times:

     This is some sample text
    This is some sample text
    This is some sample text
    This is some sample text

    Word

    This is some sample text
    This is some sample text
    This is some sample text
    This is some sample text

    Word

    This is some sample text
    This is some sample text
    This is some sample text
    This is some sample text

    Word



    OK now view source:



    </p>

    <hr noshade color="#FF0000" size="1">
    Word

    <p>

    <font size="5">This is some sample text<br>
    This is some sample text<br>
    This is some sample text<br>
    This is some sample text</font>

    </p>


    Perhaps i should have said - the areas before and after the rule - not nessesarily on the rule itself.

    As you can see above - so now i gotta view source, and delete all the P's again.

    If i copy just the Rule - and insert it anywhere - you get the <p>'s

    I guess im requesting to make the default behavior <br>

    So you always would have it like:



    This for default Hello





    Not like this for default





    Hello





    ** i had to add spaces manually to illustrate this as this online editor is based on Word which does the same thing



    **** i will do a sample of the searching other files issue later - gotta run

  • User profile image
    CDW

    I hope Microsoft does not change the behavoir of a horizontal rule as you suggest. A horizontal rule is a block level element. What you are suggesting is to make it act as an inline element.

    If you want the space around the hr to go away the correct way to do it is with CSS. Define your hr as follows:

    hr {font-size: 1px; height: 1px color: #FF0000; margin: 0; padding: 0;}

    You may need to adjust the padding/margin on the surrounding text to get rid of the default spacing there as well.

    An alternative that would not be supported in all browser would be to change the hr to:
    hr {display: inline; height: 1px; color: #FF0000;}

    Cheryl Wise
    Microsoft FrontPage MVP

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