Meta Data

by cdwise 22. July 2009 23:14

Today in my Google Alert on web design topics I saw reference to a post that made me think how clueless some “so called” experts can be. There was a post that lead me to a thread where one of the “experts” was ranting

“If the external css file already exists, you don't have to worry about it. I created one for him and he doesn't change it. He used Dreamweaver in the past and it added style code in the head of the page that was not consistent with other pages and would override the external css files. We got annoyed with that. Microsoft Expressions is just another Front Page with extra files that are not necessary. I still edit his files in Notepad and they work fine.”

The person hasn’t a clue, especially since the issue I see in this comment isn’t the application whether Dreamweaver or Expression Web but in failing to educate the person about how to use CSS – both external stylesheets and when to use head section or even inline styles.

The reason people use a program like Dreamweaver or Expression Web is so that they are more productive. One really good example of this is that when you change the name or file path of a page, image or other file in the site all of the links in the site are updated to reflect this change without you having to do a find/replace (and make sure that what you do doesn’t mess up any document relative paths. To do this both of the programs use meta data. Neither will publish the meta data to your server by default.  If you don’t use meta data (which you can choose not to do but is a dumb thing to do) then those links won’t update. You lose the advantage of using DWTs (Dreamweaver Web Templates or Dynamic Web Templates depending on which program you are using) so why would you want to turn off meta data?

Oh and another reason to use Dreamweaver, Expression Web or TopStyle – you write the CSS and choose where it goes BUT you get code completion/intellisense and you don’t get typos like you do (if you are anything like me) with notepad. Think about it.


Web Design

Comments (1) -

Will Fastie
Will Fastie
7/22/2009 11:42:47 PM #

I'll bet if the guy was writing C++ he wouldn't use NotePad. He COULD, but he'd miss all the support provided by the integrated development environment.

That's just what products like xWeb and DW provide - an IDE. And in some sense the challenge is greater because Web development is always a mix of languages, not just one.

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