Which wysiwyg writes the best code?

Hey all,
I posted awhile back about this and ultimately decided to learn to html code myself. I have been at it and making steady progress.
I have a chance to pick up Dreamweaver from a friends computer shop at a decent price. I already have Adobes GoLive ( entire creative suite) and of course Nvu.

I have “played” around with of each of them and see that there is a definite learning curve to each of them.

Any ideas which one will get the best results? Any easier than the others? I also have an account with VTC.com that has tutorials on each of them. Learning 1 of them will not be an issue but I’d rather not invest time in all 3 if one is clearly better than the others.

I do alot of Adobe Photoshop work for a living so I am leaning in the GoLive direction. Seems alot of the Adobe way of thinking is in all their programs and has become alot more integrated with the Creative Suite CS2.

ANy help (opinions) would be appreciated.

I’ll be the first to respond, before others tell you that no WYSIWYG is good and that you are contributing to the downfall of mankind by even entertaining the thought of designing web sites with them.

My vote is for Dreamweaver. It’s very intutitive and doesn’t create a lot of unneccesary crap in the code. You can have your windows open side by side, so if you see something that doesn’t look quite right you can do something about it in code-view (this also serves to help your HTML education by seeing what comes out as you see it emerge on the screen.

NVU is pretty cool and I have to give props to open source technology, but I think it’s one or two revisions away from being what it should be.

And congratulations on taking the plunge and learning the code behind the internets. Good luck!

Actually, it does. Dreamweaver is notorious for adding pointless DIVs and mixing programming logic with content and display.

Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog

Simon, you’re already on the record with your belief that WYSIWYG is evil. We’ve heard it before in another thread that meandered into Jeff shutting the discussion down. We’ve heard you. Please give it a rest.

The OP asked for opinions between 3 particular products. I gave him mine. I don’t like GoLive that much. I don’t think NVU is quite ready for prime time. I do think Dreamweaver is pretty good… the best of the 3 mentioned.

In my experience, I think it codes pretty clean and if someone knows HTML (as the OP said he is putting in his time) they can clean up anything they don’t like.

I vote for Dreamweaver, too.

The pages I’ve seen produced by GoLive have been utterly horrid – it’s often very possible to tell just by looking at / interacting with a page for a few moments that GoLive left its mark. It does a lot of proprietary things. Not so (or less so, at least) with Dreamweaver.

Also, the fantabulous thing about Dreamweaver is the “split” view which lets you see the design and the code – I think that’s an improvement over the tabular design of Nvu (and GoLive, I think, although it’s been a while since I’ve used the CS version of that) because it lets you see the code updated in real-time and can really help you with learning HTML.

Honestly, though, you’ll probably find that once you get very much into HTML, you’ll start using a plain-text editor for everything except stuff like image maps and complex tables, if for no other reason that that you’ll know what’s in your code. :slight_smile:

I was just pointing out the facts, Dude. I have and use Dreamweaver MX 2004, and I’ve found it adds lots of pointless DIVs.

Please don’t act as a board policeman. It is not your job. My comment was just as valuable as yours, given that the question was talking about clean code.

Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog

Thanks alot everyone. I will be picking up the Macromedia Studio MX 2004 and will put energies into that and not GoLive.
My main goal is to learn html so Dreamweaver will just be another tool in that process.
It seems the only thing that anyone on the net agrees on is that hand coding in html is the only way to go in many ways.

I posted the question only for opinions on the 3 applications I listed and Dreamweaver has clearly won. Thanks again as I now can focus my time on Dreamweaver without feeling I may be better off somewhere else.


I generally hate not knowing what every line of code does. I hate stuff that gets added not by my choice.

I’ve been using CUTE HTML lately and finding it really useful. You do have to know some stuff. I don’t think you could LEARN HTML from the program… But if you add that program to what you can figure out pretty easily from Elizabeth Castro’s books on HTML, I’d choose it over anything approaching wysiwyg.


[quote]Simon, you’re already on the record with your belief that WYSIWYG is evil.
We’ve heard it before in another thread that meandered into Jeff shutting
the discussion down. We’ve heard you. Please give it a rest.


I didn’t close the thread in question because of any person’s viewpoints or even the extent/regularity in which they were expressing them. I closed it because a minor war between a couple of users was on the verge of breaking out. If people would just post their opinions and explain them using specific examples, it wouldn’t be a big deal.

In my experience, pretty much all wizzy-wig editors throw out spurious HTML, DIVs, etc. and result in ugly - not to mention often non-standard - mark-up. I will say, though, that Code Warrior tends to be one of the less egregious ones out there.

Also in my personal experience (aka. your mileage may vary), it doesn’t really take long at all to design a page from scratch using a text editor, and I’ve never really understood that argument. What takes the most time is the management of pages. This can be largely overcome by either making your site database driven, using a CMS, or through the use of PHP/SSI includes. The fact that some wizzy-wig editors have site management tools included may be a factor in their reputation for being easier to use.

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

[quote]But if you add that program to what you can figure out pretty easily
from Elizabeth Castro’s books on HTML


I too highly recommend Elizabeth Castro’s books. I used her HTML 4 visual quickstart guide a few years back to teach my wife some HTML, and she picked up it pretty quickly. The writing is light, concise and pretty easy to understand - perfect for anyone who doesn’t really have much background in “computer stuff”.

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

[quote]…that Code Warrior tends to be…


Ha! Where did that come from?

I meant DreamWeaver. :>

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

I wasn’t trying to infer that the discussion was shut down because of anybody’s particular WYSIWYG opinion. I was just trying to say that the anti-WYSIWYG opinion had been strongly expressed already and didn’t respond the OP, but rather just threw bombs at my posting, which is not constructive.