New Expression Web forums

by cdwise 6. September 2010 08:30

Now that we’ve had a chance to test the new Expression Web Forum we recommend using them for your Expression Web questions. At least 5 of the Expression Web MVPs have agreed to help answer your questions when posted there along with other folks.

Boards have been opened on the following topics:

  • Newbies
  • Expression Web – General
  • FAQs
  • Add-ins & Extensions
  • FrontPage to Expression Web – migrating
  • Dreamweaver & other web editors
  • Beginning CSS
  • Templates
  • Display issues
  • ASP.NET
  • JavaScript & jQuery
  • PHP
  • and a place for off-topic and social conversations

We are looking forward to seeing you there.

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Our Mail List

by cdwise 31. August 2010 04:49

Even though we have closed our forums pending the migration to the new platform I wanted to remind people that we have a companion mail list over on Google at http://groups.google.com/group/by-expression-web-designer/ if you want to join the discussions there.

Instead of re-opening our forums we’ll be joining with other Expression Web MVPs and Expression Web experts in posting at and supporting those who post over at http://expressionwebforum.com

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More on Expression Web v4

by cdwise 9. July 2010 04:32

Here are a few things you might want to do when you migrate from Expression Web 3 to Expression Web 4.

1. Expression Web 4 Add-in Friendly In this month’s just released Newsletter has an article by Mike Lissick, Senior Software Development Engineer on the Expression Web team on the new JavaScript add-in model for Expression Web 4.
2. add-ins How to Install Add-ins Go to Tools > Add-ins then click the install button and browse to the folder where you have the .xadd file. 
3. Migrate existing file definitions To fully migrate your sites from version 3 to version 4 you would need to copy just the:%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Expression\Web 3\SiteDatadirectory to the equivalent Web 4 location. From Paul Bartholomew
4. Expression Web fails to load - Kapersky Internet Security 2010 Expression Web apparently has hooks into Internet Explorer, possibly to allow for Preview in Browser & SuperPreview to function. Unchecking “block dangerious scripts in Microsoft Internet Explorer” seems to resolve the issue according to this thread in the EW Forum UPDATE: Apparently this is a variation of a known Kapersky issue that has surfaced with other programs as well. There are a couple of other workarounds in the thread that have worked for others without completely disabling some of the protection.
5. SuperPreviewIf you find an inaccurate rendering or encounter any other problem with SuperPreview rendering send a bug report including the url & browser where the rendering problem is occuring to superbug@microsoft.com

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Expression Web

Expression Web 4

by cdwise 2. July 2010 04:33

I know that I’m running a little late with this post since the launch was hours ago but I have been on the road the last couple of days with limited internet connections outside of my iPhone. Typing a review on my iPhone just isn’t going to happen and I didn’t get a chance to write one up before leaving my office so hopefully this will be worth the wait.

What’s new?

In the order of what makes me happiest about this new release:

  1. A new extensibility model, you no longer have to use Visual Studio to create add-ins for Expression Web. You can now make add-ins with html, css, javascript and a manifest file (xml). This is going to really expand the ability for more people to make add-ins for Expression Web. Since this is a model similar to those used by Dreamweaver extension makers hopefully this will cause more of the to make add-ins for Expression Web. WebAssist has already announced their re-entry into the Expression Web add-ins market place with the return of PayPal and Eric Meyer’s Site Sculpture add-ins (coming later this summer), and new PHP add-ins not available before. They are offering significant discounts of up to 50% off their new extensions. Anna Ulrick has an article on how to create add-ins for Expression Web 4 at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/xweb/archive/2010/06/07/easily-create-an-add-in-for-expression-web-4-with-the-add-in-builder.aspx
  2. SuperPreview Remote, you will now be able to view what your site looks like on a Mac running Safari without having to purchase a Mac. DOM syntax highlighting was added.
  3. Limited toolbar customization, you won’t be able to customize the existing toolbars but you will be able to create your own “Favorites” toolbar. (Add in to create it coming soon per Paul Bartholomew who provided this screenshot in this Expression Web Forum thread.
  4. SEO Reports, I tend to be a believer in organic search engine optimization (SEO) and rely on content and incoming links but there are new tools in Expression Web to help you with search engine optimization. Choose SEO options, display an SEO report, filter the results in the SEO report, and step forward and back through the list of results in the SEO report to see more detail for individual list items.
  5. Changes to publishing, check Paul’s response in this thread on publishing issues which discusses the new changes including the addition of new menu items/keyboard shortcuts for publishing on the Site menu for current file, changed files & all files.

Bug fixes, I wish there were more but overall I’ve found Expression Web v4 to be a little faster and fewer bugs. There are still some issues with slow updating on pages with lots of hyperlinks & tables but they haven’t affected me so I can’t say whether every instance of those bugs have been fixed or not. It would appear not from the thread I referenced in item 3 above.

Should You Upgrade?

If you have Expression Web 3 upgrading is a no-brainer since the upgrade is free. If you have an older version, I’d upgrade as well. If you have add-ins that work only in a specific older version of Expression Web keep it installed side by side so you can still use your existing add-ins.

Any Reason Not to Upgrade?

There is a change to the licensing terms of Expression Web 4 and the rest of the Expression Studio. In the previous versions you could install the application on as many computers as you personally used since it was licensed per user. The license terms have changed and it is now licensed like most other Microsoft applications. You can install on on one computer and maybe a second portable computer but I’m not 100% certain about that. I’m trying to get some clarification on how you would deactivate on a computer you have already activated your copy on so that you can transfer it to say a new computer. I’m particularly interested in this information since I am hoping to get a new computer in the next month or so.

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Expression Web

Amerivespa.org

by cdwise 28. April 2010 04:45

Many of you know that I ride scooters. This year Vespa Club of America is having then annual rally just down the highway from me in San Antonio Memorial Day weekend this year.

I have been looking at their website http://amerivespa.org off and on for a few months. Mostly I've been looking at the daily schedule and lodging pages. Every time I visit I get annoyed. So I just have to vent a little.

Why?

Because this is what I see in IE 8 (same in 6 & 7):annotatedFF

  • Notice the footer overlap?
  • See the huge horizontal scrollbar at 1024x768?

(note these are thumbnails, click to see 750px version)

Here is the same page seen in Firefox on Win 7 (which displays the same as Safari on my Mac:

annotatedIEDoes this look like they ever tested how their Drupal theme looks in IE?

True it is possible to use the site through it is very difficult to read the registration link. At least the link does function and I was able to register but the site poor usability in Internet Explorer 7 & 8 (according to Adobe Browserlabs and MS SuperPreview the same overlaps and horizontal scroll exist in IE 6 as well) leaves visitors using those browser with a broken experience.

Ironically when I look at the code I see a conditional comment for IE that loads a separate IE stylesheet which is what I think is breaking the site since it converts floating divs into absolutely positioned ones:

#main {
   position: absolute;
   margin-top: 20px;
   margin-left: 344px;
}

Position: absolute;

Which moves the entire content section 344px to the left creating the huge horizontal scroll and removing that content from the document flow which brings the footer up directly under the loco causing the overlap.

This is a prime example of why I consider using position: absolute is a bad idea.

Using old hacks creates problems

Other hacks are used as discovered when I pasted the page into Expression Web such as:

#page {
   _text-align: left; /* 2nd part of IE5/IE6quirks centering hack */
}

Why is that hack still in the stylesheet? Simple solution regarding IE 6-  the doctype switch is being used since an XHTML Strict doctype is specified so no quirks mode code should be in the page.  Is anyone really still concerned with IE 5? Get rid of the old hacks and if you are going to use IE conditional code limit it to appropriate versions, in this case LTE IE 5 not all versions of IE.

Using a CMS

Adding an additional layer of complexity is the use of Drupal which seems like serious overkill for this site. Maybe there were plans to add a forum or something that didn’t materialize which is why Drupal was used but so far I haven’t seen it.

Conclusion

I’ve never understood why people create websites that don’t render well in major browsers. To me that means a site needs to render well in the major browsers. My list of must display well in are:

  • Internet Explorer 7 & 8
  • Firefox 3.x
  • Safari (Mac)
  • Opera

Internet Explorer 6 must be functional but it can lose some of the bells and whistles as long as it is functional and reasonably attractive. There is nothing difficult about making this site render properly in IE 6+ and it is ridiculous that the page displays so poorly in IE 7 & 8.

What do you think?

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