Dreamweaver - the draft letter to Ralph that stayed a draft

DW screen

 

The above split view in Dreamweaver shows the horrific code on the left and the result on the right, which I got from using a design application that prides itself on creating web pages.  I loaded the file into Dreamweaver to let it sort out the bad coding and result with it HTML clean-up tool (and it fixed everything with a mouse-click).

And here is what the code and page looks like today in Dreamweaver 2017. While looking at the screen grab today in on this page, I noticed that an error had crept in when fixing the mess two years ago. The second section started with "Peter the photo ...". All fixed now.

DW fixes code

 

4 aug 2015

The big problem is what to do about Dreamweaver. It's what I used to create jthonline.com and there isn't an alternative as far as I can find that would enable me to continue with that site. That is, unless I took up HTML coding and used an editor. I use Dreamweaver CS5 which is part of the Adobe CS5 Design Suite, but I would have to install the whole suite on my new PC, some 9GB. The alternative would be to get the latest version CC, but that is only a subscription these days, for $19.99 a month. That's far too much for the little use it would get. It only costs $9.99 a month for Photoshop + Bridge + Lightroom and I use them many times a week, if not every day.

Of course, I haven't changed anything on jthonline.com except for the home page since I added WordPress and made my first blog post on 28 July 2009, so perhaps that says it all. But I do like being able to do things to the site if I want to. It took a lot of learning to work out how to do it.

Meantime, I have downloaded a free 30 day trial of Dreamweaver CC.

6 aug 2015

I can get the latest DW CC for $19.99 a month on annual subscription. Or pay up front almost $240. If I don't renew when the year expires, then the software no longer works. Or I can buy DW CS6 on its own for $607, but its unsupported and who knows when Adobe will pull the plug on its activation server.

In the last couple of days I've been trying all sorts of other software and it's been sending me up the wall in frustration with things not working as they should. No doubt about it, DW is the best. Certainly for a non-coder like me. Tonight I tried the latest version of Xara Designer and the code it generates is bizarre. Some browsers can't interprets it (things are out of place and the text is jammed up on top of each other. I might do a blog post on it as it's so bad, anyone can see it when compared to DW code.

So, I'm thinking my choices might be,

1. Subscribe to Dreamweaver on the basis that life is too short to be driven crazy by trying to use other methods.

2. Just leave my website as it stands. This is how it has been since 2008, except for the home page centre area.

3. Apart from the home page, with links to WordPress and Pics, ditch the website altogether - it's all very old and quaint (and a bit embarrassing for me) and in some places uses old technology no longer supported (the videos for example).

However, there is another alternative, and this is where I'd like your views on it all. I'm thinking of going with option 3, but copying as best as I can, the substance of the pages to WordPress. For example, I would put an item in the menu called Old Site, with a drop down menu listing the best of the existing pages. I think I'd add a cover page explaining that it old site material. Some pages are not really worth the effort as they are of little use or interest in 2015.

For tonight only I've published a quickly created (one hour) sample of how the iPhone Apps page on the old site would look. But could be improved a bit with more time. It's the first item on the blog site menu. Oddly, DW CC trial was huge help in doing it, it has a new feature where with one mouse click it selects all the main content, so all I do is copy it to WordPress admin and paste it in a new page as text. It would also help to use a free HTML editor to paste in first and do global replaces as required (such as to insert the correct links to all the images. In this case I did it by hand. And delete excess line spaces.

more 6 aug 2015

I suppose the thing is I enjoy having a play with the website now and again, such as the colourful update that I made today with the old Ashes pics. The huge advantage of doing it in Dreamweaver is that it is really geared to everything, For example: I added the first image in KompoZer and all looked well, but the program has no idea how to send it all to the server. Nor did I. In Dreamweaver I started afresh and the first thing it did when I tried to add the image it told me it was not in the site and it asked if I wanted to add a copy there, which I did, to the folder it needed to be. Same for the second image. DW knew how to put it all to the server. A great feature now is that I can load images that are not resized to fit the post and I can just change the sizes by typing in a new width (or height).

I think it all comes back to the bit you liked last night, about life is too short. So I think it will be DW CC or just leave the site as is. Or move it gradually to WordPress.

There is also the fact that I spent a lot of time learning Dreamweaver, and spend money on books and upgrades. Read at least one book from cover to cover, and had to learn CSS as well. So I suppose I'm a bit reluctant to let all of that go (and I like using Dreamweaver too). On the other hand, I spent a lot of time learning how to use the Wang OIS, and then the Wang VS, but I had to let all of that go when CUB moved us to PCs. And so on with other things.

WordPress takes care of all the HTML and CSS, although one can tweak it if one likes. One reason I like the Headway Theme is that it is designed to allow great flexibility in design.

For the record, the site stats for my server indicate that of the top25 so far this month only one was for an old site page (Bookmarks), the rest being to WordPress. These stats don't reveal how long the visit was. A lot of visits are only for 1 to 30 secs.

Anyway, I don't have to make a decision yet, I still have 27 days left in my DW trial, and I can just let it slide and see what happens as time goes on. I ought to be spending my time on other things, including getting to be earlier, and my WordPress site if I want to make a post. Lately I've been looking daily at a few Facebook pages, such as Colin Pearce (in India) and Karen Tregonning.

9 aug 2015

Last week I told you that I had been using Dreamweaver for years, and was reluctant to let it go. In my mind I imagined it was about 8 or 9 years, but I looked up my records and found that I purchased Version 1.2 on 25 Feb 1998, for $455.00. I had bought it as soon as it came out for Windows. Version 1.9 was released in Dec 1997 but was for Mac only. The fact that was prepared to pay so much reflects how much I was fed up after using MS Front Page and trying other WYSIWYG web editors for two years and having to spend hours sorting out the mess they made with their coding. For example, MS Front Page was particularly annoying when I made a change to the text style or layout. MS didn't remove the old code but put the new code around it - and it didn't take long for browsers to get completely confused.

Over the years I upgraded DW, but not every version. I skipped V3 and upgraded to DW3 in Mar 2000 for $247.00 and 1 year later to DW4 for $339.01 (can you believe the .01). And so on. My last upgrade was in 2010 when I got Design Suite CS5. So DW CS5 is actually DW11 and the latest, which I have on trial, is DW CC 2015, DW 16.

After trying KompoZer, a free alternative to Dreamweaver, and Xara Designer X11 (not free), I've come to the conclusion that It's either Dreamweaver or just let the site go. I'll give you an idea why,

In your browser, and IE is good for this, open jthonline.com and then open JT's Web Site. Right click to view source. All the black text on that page is actual content on the page. Everything in colour is code. Horrors. I've attached a screen grab to show how part of the JT's Website page looks in Dreamweaver Design view if I want to alter the text. I've also attached view 2 to show you how the lower part of the page looks. Dreamweaver doesn't like the faulty code. It shows the page OK in Live view but that is not for editing. JT's Web Sure home page was created a few years ago in Xara (v7 I think).

Last Thursday night I made changes to jthonline home page in KompoZer, and it was very easy. All was going well until I tried to publish it to the web and I couldn't get it to work. I later found out how to publish to the correct folder on the hosting site but it was a ridiculously convoluted task compared to Dreamweaver. But just look at the code it created as seen in Dreamweaver (DW easy add). So I deleted it all and added the two photos the normal way in Dreamweaver.

Well, there you go. In the meantime I've made a few changes to jthonline.com including deleting a couple of pages and having a look at a page I began in 2009 or earlier, and didn't proceed with. I added a video to the first item, and widened the page, but haven't had time to do anything else yet. www.jthonline.com/Movies/Movies.html

19 aug 2015

Tonight I made changes to my JTHonline home page using HTML5 in Dreamweaver, doing things that were not possible with HTML4 (which was state of the art when I created the site). I also changed the Music page (it now has music that doesn't rely on Flash) and best if all, the Boyle page, which now has an embedded YouTube video instead of a link that no longer worked.

I have tried KompoZer again as an alternative to Dreamweaver and it once again made a huge mess of my neat HTML code. I couldn't believe what it did to the code, and all I did was open the HTML file in the program to have a look. But KompoZer decided the code was lacking and took it upon itself to complicate the code horrendously, change the CSS stylesheet linked to the file, put its own name at the top as Created in KompoZer, and save the file.

On another matter, I tried a Times subscription back in 2010 or 2011 and it was about $13 a month when there was a good dollar rate, but later it rose to about $26 a month (the costs vary each month based on the dollar and conversion rates). I've kept it up as I enjoy reading some of the articles. But at the weekend I see that it is now $57 a month. Not on. So after the big event in September I plan to cancel the subscription.

10 sept 2015

The troubles with the post and the extremely slow motion WordPress design topped off my day, with a shitty haircut experience (Korean hair salon) and not good news when I saw the optician on my annual visit (my cataracts are getting to the stage of needing surgery).

Tomorrow morning I hope to be off to have my fasting blood tests and get that out the way before I see my overall cardiac specialist on Tuesday week.

Well, those were my thoughts two years ago in 2015


Dreamweaver - the decision

9 aug 2017

In the past three years, since I switched to using my new PC in mid-2015, I've had the choice of taking out an annual subscription to Dreamweaver or not be able to use it, even though I had been buying Dreamweaver every other version since it first came out for Windows in early 1998.

Thinking about the Adobe subscription pricing is enough to stir up my blood to write pages of vitriol, so I'll skip all that, and simply say that in the past three years I've tried to find an alternate to Dreamweaver that suits me just as well, but to no avail. Despite cancelling my subscription each year, I've ended up renewing it again on the basis that life is too short to mess around with the frustrations of the alternate programs I have used in place of Dreamweaver.

The problem has been that nothing was as easy for me to use as Dreamweaver. Last year I tried Serif WebPlus Pro for six months, and all was going well until all my project files disappeared (see 27 December 2016) and I was back to square one.

Last week I decided to make a determined effort to find a way to write and maintain this page (and my other HTML pages) as easily as I could in Dreamweaver.

The difference this year, is that I realised that Dreamweaver is easy for me because in 2009, after having it in various versions for about 10 years, I finally made a serious effort to study how to use Dreamweaver with CSS code. I even wrote an online diary about my experiences (see CSS Diary in the menu).

I did some Google searches to find what was the latest and greatest that suited my needs, and finally decided that my best approach was:

1.   to remove the mystery from using BlueGriffon bought last year, now Version 2.3.1 Build 20170223104907; and

2.   buy CoffeeCup HTML Editor ($29) which was first released to the public 21 years ago this month, and is now up to Version 15.4 Build 801.

Both editors have the great Dreamweaver feature that if I click on where I want to write or edit on a Preview page, the cursor will jump to that point in the Code view. In BlueGriffon I can write and edit as if I were in Dreamweaver - fully WYSIWYG. In CoffeeCup I can do the other things, mainly editing code, that I did in Dreamweaver but BlueGriffon is not well suited to do.

The bottom line is that this year I feel comfortable with using the above two alternatives to replace Dreamweaver when the current subscription expires. If I run into problems, such as the HTML code getting into a mess I can turn to HTML Pad if all else fails.