LC --> Website ?

Bernard Devlin bdrunrev at gmail.com
Sat Aug 27 02:53:55 EDT 2011


On Sat, Aug 27, 2011 at 6:12 AM, Timothy Miller
<gandalf at doctortimothymiller.com> wrote:
> My website is a bit too complex for a self-serve website builder. I understand drag and drop web-building apps tend to make really messy code.

That's not necessarily true and many (most?) professional website
designers do use tools like Dreamweaver (or whatever Adobe is calling
that these days).  It is IMO only an elite group of web designers who
produce their pages programmatically.  Between people producing
designs in Photoshop (or hacking pre-designed templates) and people
who hand-code in Notepad, lies a whole sea of people who use
html-specific design tools.  AFAIR Tim Berners-Lee never expected
people to actually hand-code HTML (and that was before the
introduction of 5 major browsers, javascript and CSS).

However, in my experience the "professional" tools are so cumbersome
and have such a steep learning curve that one might as well just learn
CSS and HTML (and choose some particular javascript toolkit/widgets
that suit your need).

If you don't want to go that route, then of all the different drag and
drop tools for building websites, the one that I found easiest to
pickup is the (venerable) NetObjects Fusion.  There is a free version
to be found here: http://netobjects.com/html/essentials.html  Since it
sounds like you already have worked out your design, navigation and
interactions then maybe it will be easiest to translate that in NOF.

Despite the (relative) simplicity of the tool, it does have the
ability to act as a full-blown CSS editor, should you eventually find
yourself going in that direction (although it's not necesary to use
CSS to start with).  Have a glance at the PDFs on that page, and see
if NOF is something that might suit you (it's probably easier to
ascertain how it works by glancing through the docs than just firing
it up).  I haven't looked at the Essentials version (it's something
they released in the last couple of years), but I seriously doubt that
you would need more than that (there are still current users of NOF
who haven't upgraded in a decade).

Beyond the basics of HTML/CSS generation, I do not rate any of the
add-ons for NOF (e.g. the templates, Flash calendaring, javascript
gimmicks etc.)  There are a plethora of great tools (flash,
javascript) to supplement any website, and such third-party tools can
be incorporated into a website generated from NOF with a little
effort.

NOF did come with a SDK way back when, but that has been allowed to
languish.  With that SDK one could actually add features to the NOF
IDE to provide additional functionality or to programmatically
manipulate objects or to alter the generation of the HTML.

NOF is Windows only.  Like Hypercard, it seems like some people had
the right idea a long time back (I think originally NOF was Mac-only),
but that idea never caught on.  Whilst LiveCode has gone from strength
to strength, NOF is an example of a tool that has barely improved
between version 8 (from about a decade ago) and version 12.

I hope that is of some help.

Bernard




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