Expression Web Add-ons and v3

by cdwise 10. June 2009 12:11

Looks like some information is on what is in Expression Web v3 is beginning to appear.

If you use some of the few Expression Web add-ons you may not want to upgrade to Expression Web v3 when it comes out according to Steve Guttman as quoted in the Expression Web team blog:

This means that a lot of things that worked before won’t work under the new unified UI framework, this can affect quite a few things when the coding of the program itself has to be changed. As Steve states at the end of his comment not everything will be ported into Expression Web 3.0 for this version. It also certainly means that none of the current Expression Web addons will work in EW 3.0 either.

So to my mind, if you like the CURRENT features of Expression Web 2.0 you should upgrade NOW. Since the SuperPreview will also be available as a standalone FREE version, you won’t be missing out on that particular new feature.

So the question becomes will you gain more than you lose with the move to a “unified UI framework”?

Other links regarding Expression Studio v3 you might be interested in:

If you use Team Foundation Server here is what you will need to do to have it work with Expression Studio v3 Does this mean that you will now be able to have versioning and check-in/check-out for those working in teams with Visual Studio users?

Silverlight tools and debugging in Expression Web

Wonder what else we will find out before the July 10, 2009 release date?

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Expression Web | v3

More on Expression Web v3

by cdwise 8. June 2009 13:08

Somasegar posted on his blog today some of the new things in EW v3. He's got more on the version of SuperPreview that will be in EW v3, sftp/ftps, something called "snapshot preview", Silverlight video and Photoshop integration see:

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Expression Web | LiveMeeting

Adobe Browser Lab

by cdwise 3. June 2009 15:33

Browser testing – BrowserLab from Adobe vs SuperPreview from Microsoft.

Today Adobe released their beta of BrowserLab which lets you preview a wider variety of browsers than the current beta version of SuperPreview (small images are linked to full size ones):

Previews are generated via a service which means you can preview on different operating system

  • Firefox 2.0 – Windows XP
  • Firefox 3.0 – Windows XP
  • IE 6 – Windows XP
  • IE 7 – Windows XP
  • Safari – OS X
  • Firefox 2.0 – OS X
  • Firefox 3.0 – OS X

The benefit of using a service like BrowserLab over a locally run instance like SuperPreview does is that you can also see the color differences between OS X and Windows. Enlarge the image on the left and you will see significant differences in how the colors render. Both BrowserLabs and SuperPreview offer an overlay mode that lets you see how positioning maybe different between each of the browsers you are testing.

Looking at IE 6 (XP) and Safari (OS X) shows you just how quirky IE 6 can be.

What I would really like to see is the ability to test out more than a static browser view. See how rollovers work (or not). It will be interesting to see how these tools develop.

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Dreamweaver | Expression Web | v3 | Web Design

Why the Rush?

by cdwise 30. May 2009 22:44

According to  Microsoft has set the launch date for Expression Studio v3 at July 10, 2009 in the Bay Area of California.

Unfortunately, the article is sketchy on details about new features mentioning only Sketchflow in Blend v3 and Silverlight 3 both of which are in public betas. What this means for Expression Design and Expression Media is anyone’s guess. Granted my interest in these programs is somewhat limited but I am extremely interested in what is happening with Expression Web v3.

We saw little bits of Expression Web v3 in the background of Eric’s presentation of Super Preview at MIX 09 but that’s the only feature or change we have any information on. There was a preview release of the standalone version of Super Preview released at that time but nothing since. Eric indicated that the version of Super Preview that will be included with Expression Web v3 will have more features than the standalone version. It will support Safari, Firefox and I believe he said other browsers physically installed on your computer not just IE 6 and whatever other version you have of IE installed. (Not sure if you will be able to run both IE 7 and IE 8 as separate browsers in it as opposed to IE 8 with compatibility mode for IE 7, something I’d like more information on.) No information on any other changes or features for Expression Web v3 is available. I will admit to being somewhat concerned about this lack of information.

Months ago in February we talked about bugs in Expression Web v2, some of which had been carried over from v1 that came up in our November 2008 Live Meeting. In March and April during our MIX 09 Live Meetings we discussed SuperPreview, Seadragon and other stuff from MIX. We have been waiting more or less patiently for a CTP or beta of Expression Web to see which of our top bugs have been fixed, what features besides Super Preview are being added. It has been over 2.5 months since MIX 09 and we are still waiting.

Though now it appears there will be no CTP of Expression Web, Media or Design given the short time between this announcement and the launch date given in the eweek article. This is a departure from the previous versions where there was a long CTP/Beta of Expression Design v1 (over a year) and a shorter preview between two (v2) and five months (v1) of Expression Web. I don’t know about you but I’d like more information on what to expect in each of the Expression products in the version three release which is coming much earlier than I for one had expected. (I expected a November-December time frame based on the time between version 1-2 and the relatively little information provided on version 3 at MIX 09.)

What do you think?

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Expression Web | LiveMeeting

MS Forum Text Size

by cdwise 6. May 2009 00:28

Why 67% font size? Usually when I see something like that it is because the person responsible did so because they believed that 67% was the magic number where all browsers showed text as the same physical size. The idea behind this approach is that you set a base font size then scale items in ems from that. While I think this is an over controlling approach that still allows font sizes to scale in IE using Text > Size > Larger it is a reasonable approach.

 However, the only way this works well is if you then scale every element on the page to a reasonable size. Let’s do some math so you can see what I’m talking about.

Default font size without any scaling is 12pt or 16px on both Windows and OS X systems. So when you do the math you get 8pt or 10.72 (which may be rounded down to 10px). Now if you are on a high resolution screen that is the equivalent of 4.5-5pt print. Not something comfortable for most to read. Even on a “normal” screen 10pt text is the smallest you should use for text that is comfortable to read for more than say a menu item. So if you use 67% as the page level default to get the equivalent of 10pt type you would need to use 1.25em for body text.

So what does MS do? They use 67% with no multiplier or other scaling for body text.

How do I know this?

Because this morning I noticed that the font seems smaller than normal when I went to and discovered that the text seems smaller than before. So I opened it in the page in Expression Web and used its excellent CSS tools to see what is being applied.

So why didn’t MS scale the text so something more readable?

Your guess is as good as mine.

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Accessibility | Expression Web | Web Design

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