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Thread: A lost art..

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    Question A lost art..

    It seems that chat rooms and forums these days are filled with people talking about dreamweaver and coldfusion rather than html or javascript skills (and other langauges of course). In the work place, does coding by hand mean anything to an employer?, you guys would have to verify this, but i was talkin to someone on the net who was useing dreamweaver to make his site and i asked him how long it'd take by hand, and he said about 3 months. If that was true, then it seems to me that eventually coding by hand will not be important anymore, or of muchless value compared to someone who has skills in programs such as dreamweaver...

    what do you guys think?

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    The dream of automatic code has been, well, a dream for decades. I remember all the hype about CASE tools (Computer Aided Software Engineering). ...

    I write web pages but I don't use dreamweaver - not my choice. I think dreamweaver would be very helpful for complex page layout, and I know it's companion program Fireworks is good for optimizing graphics for the web.

    Certainly dreamweaver will help layout things quickly but it can't save bad design and it cant read your mind and write customized code.

    I can really see where some automation is very helpful, but ultimately someone has to know how to put it all together. Powerful tools in the hands of amatures yields less that optium results.

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    In my opinion, there are mutliple reasons for not using an ide such as Dreamweaver, when it comes to designing a website.

    • I take pride in being able to say that the work I do is mine and doesn't belong to some external source.
    • I love simplicity, notepad is the king of it.
    • When you view the source of a website that you have created in Dreamweaver, there is a enormous chance that you will not understand half of it.
    • When it comes to standards, css, and tableless design, ide's are like ie is to browsers, poorly lacking.


    Many other reasons that I don't use them, I just can't think of them right now LOL

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    We wouldn't be talking like this right now if we didn't have CASE tools.

    Lots of progress in terms of computing was made by programs which were made to make tasks of making other more advanced programs easier in one way or another.

    I am even developing a CASE tool. I guess, sort of similar in idea to dreamweaver. With the exception that it generates code for a gui in any language or api you want ( any language ever ).
    Omnis mico antequam dominus Spookster!

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    With all due respect, Antoniohawk's perspective is anacronistic I think.

    "It's the journey, not the destination" is what AH is saying. For anyone who enjoys his or her craft, performing that craft is where it's at. It's true for me as well.

    But then reality sets in. The reasons for getting good software products out (relatively) quickly are too compelling and can't be ignored - certainly not by the guy paying your salary.

    Tools like dreamweaver, not so much IDE's, give the novice a way to play the game, like the fouth of July let's all of us be pyrotechnicians for a day. You can blow your hand off. But for the professional coder it's something that raises the bar in productivity and expectations. It becomes another tool on our bat utility belt. It's not always appropriate to use them, but refusing to do so is giving away the competitive edge to the other guy.
    Last edited by RadarBob; 03-05-2004 at 02:10 PM.

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    It largely depends on your setting.

    Most IT departments will use some sort of codegenerator. But few of them will be enthousiastic about it. I've seen it numerous times: high licensing costs, high getting started cost (training, initial failures, consultancy in first project(s)) --> so in the end, not cheaper then handcoded + when changes need to be made to the code, nobody dares to alter the generated code (understandable since it mostly is (made) completely unreadable for non-consultants and everything tuches everything with long complicated chains etc) so they generate another piece of code to add to the existing one. But it was expensive and manager X liked it ('It has such a nice colour scheme etc' and that sort of fundamental arguments) so it has become 'The Standard'. (When products or branches become The Standard, instead ot the real industrial standards, then your on the road to 'Dramatical Rework')
    After a few years nobody realy knows what goes on inside this generated code, nobody dares to cut aways pieces (event if they are thought to be useless), and nobody dares to dump it altogether because it overs some critical function and it has costed so much by then, that only carier-suicidal managers would dare to pull the plug.
    But for the next project, they will bring in another codegenerator!

    Now i don't mind codegenerators, as long as they generate valid, efficient, readable code.

    I've also wrote some codegenerating modules, but they are for specific functions only (generating computationscrips, generating script to dynamically build a PDF, ...)

    The real 'problem' is that clients have gotten used to these magical tools that create all these wonderfull pages if you know what buttons you need to push, that they think there should/are tools for every part of their dream-site.
    To be honest, i almost always write tools that create applications or parts of applications, instead of writing classical applications because clients usualy want an end-product that enables them to modify/expand the applications and features themselves. It's just another logical step. From static webpages --> to dynamic webpages that are created by server side scripting on the fly --> to generic tools that on the fly compose the php code that you need to dynamically build the webpage. By writing such tools, i've made it possible for non-programmers to make complex database-driven webapplication in less then a day, where experience coders would need weeks to get it coded and tested.
    It takes me months to write a meta-tool since it's all handcoded...

    So for myself, i swear by handcoded code, but I understand that a client wants some tool with a minimum of developmenttime and costs. And then you need to have some meta-tools ready. These two are still the most important advantages you can have over competiters (not how standardcompliant your code is etc )

    Fot the regular personal website; I doubt it intrest anyone how they are made or how efficient the code is. so whatever crap a codegenerator would produce is fine and why shouldn't these people use a codegenrator.
    It doesn't threaten professional coders, since there is hardly any money to make in this segment of the market. In this segment, being able to handcode indeed became as important as being able to use DOS for your filemanagement. It just follows evolution, and today, everyone can manage a PC (thanks to OS's), everyone can make stunning slideshows and spreadsheets etc (thanks to office packages), anyone can create impressive websites (thanks to html-generators). Currently, almost anyone can include database drive apps like forums etc into their websites and it wount be long until everyone can set up a full blown database-driven website.

    So there is hardly any point in hardcoding straight html in notepad. You still need to be able to write it, so that you know what code your application should produce, but it has become a side-product of most development-projects.

    But in other settings and segments, handcoding is still as important as ever. For business-wide applications, handcoding (and good dcumentation)is still the best alternative. And there are numerous 'new' technologies that are still only being used at the 'handcoding-level'. But every technologie that becomes polular, gets his metatools to simplify development to such extend that every intrested user can handle it.
    Posting guidelines I use to see if I will spend time to answer your question : http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

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    I've seen a lot of companies giving web design and maintenance to admins or just giving a random employee, qualified or not, the task of keeping up the website. Web Programming has definitely fallen down the prestige ladder. There are too many automated ways to get a web page up and running these days. This of course changes if you want to incorporate ASP or database connectivity, but a lot of IDEs make it easier.

    On the other hand, what I've found is that people whose knowledge is limited to IDE web programming cannot "wow!" other the way someone who can get into the code can. Simply because I know the code I can go in and do things that leave Front Page experts baffled. When they ask me "How can I do that?" I open up the code page, and immediately their faces drop.

    Ed

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    I've seen a lot of companies giving web design and maintenance to admins or just giving a random employee, qualified or not, the task of keeping up the website. Web Programming has definitely fallen down the prestige ladder. There are too many automated ways to get a web page up and running these days. This of course changes if you want to incorporate ASP or database connectivity, but a lot of IDEs make it easier.
    Tell it to amazon.com

    Amazon is perhaps the quintisential commmercial web site. THIS is how to design, how to meet customer needs and wants. I'd bet money they use plenty of tools like dreamweaver, but there absolutely is talent, skill, and lots of hand-crafted code behind it.


    From another angle;
    Automating the coding craft has the same reasoning as why "big digs" (like open pit mines) use muli-million dollar trucks, each with a single highly-paid driver, to move earth rather than 5,000 minimum wage illegal aliens.

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    The internet is a very large place with lots of room for people from the ones who can barely spell HTML to those who can craft the most exquisite html. The real key decision here is not whether such tools should exist but rather where should they be considered the tools of choice and where should their use be prohibited.

    For a personal website or small business with a low traffic volume such tools reasonably allow entry by people who'd otherwise we shut out but if you've got a site with thousands of hits a day it's foolish to use anything but the most carefully crafted code.
    Check out the Forum Search. It's the short path to getting great results from this forum.


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