Hand-coding HTML

  • Posted: 22 March 2002 08:15 AM

    Hello all!  May I be the first person to welcome you to our brand new HTML & Web Development forum!

    I don’t see myself as an expert in HTML in any way shape or form.  I don’t even personally own an Web development program (but I use Dreamweaver sometimes at work).  All the web pages I have ever created have been hand-coded (is that the term?) from scratch.  How many of you out there still practice such archaic methods like me?

    Best regards,


    Brad Smith
    The Mac Observer

  • Posted: 21 January 2002 08:22 AM #1

    wahoo, second post!

    I don’t do a whole lot of web work.  What I do is hand coded, though I am getting better at using perl scripts to generate generic pages.  eventually I’ll sit down and write a good easily customizeable script to create web photo albums as I’m never that impressed by the readymade ones (ala iPhoto)


    All statements are to be taken with a grain of salt

  • Posted: 21 January 2002 10:16 AM #2

    I like to write my own HTML code.  Still, if I’m doing something where it doesn’t really matter, like a web photo album, I’ll usually leave that to a program like iPhoto.  I don’t need to spend extra time on things where it won’t make any difference.

    David Nelson
    TMO Mac Specialist

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David Nelson on 2002-01-21 14:19 ]</font>

  • Posted: 21 January 2002 10:31 AM #3

    100% hand coding: barf.  Sorry, but with the kind of layouts and things I do, I’m not going to sit there typing it all out by hand.  I have no qualms about admitting that.  Besides, I’m a lousy typist, and the <tbale> tag isn’t supported by any browser I know.

    When it comes to cleaning up code and attending to the nitpicky little details, though, I’m happy to get my hands dirty.  I learned web stuff by using PageSpinner which, while being an ‘easy’ tool, laid all the code nekkid and bare.

    I use Dreamweaver 4, Fireworks 4, and recently finally got a hold of Flash.  For aforementioned nitpicking and cleaning up, I either use BBEdit or DW’s built in code editor.  If it’s online already and it’s just something small, I’ll use pico.

    Hurrah for this new shiny forum!


    Evil® takes many forms. Please submit them promptly, in triplicate.

  • Posted: 21 January 2002 10:52 AM #4

    I’ve tinkered around enough over the several years I’ve been using the Web that I can hand code basic stuff from memory.  But I don’t do it all that often, so more complex stuff I’d have to look up or “borrow” anyway.  (One way to figure out how something you like is done is to look at the source in the browser.  That can help you learn, but it may not always be the best code, either.)  If I’m putting up a simple page of pics, I may code it myself (though soon I could probably use iPhoto, etc.)  In doing something complex, I would certainly pick out probably Dreamweaver (though I haven’t used it) or at least GoLive (which we happen to own here at work but also never used it).

  • Posted: 21 January 2002 11:37 AM #5

    I can’t stand the code that Dreamweaver and other HTML programs generate, so I do everything by hand.  I was a proud user of SimpleText for all my HTML needs until I moved to OS X, and began using BBEdit.

  • Posted: 21 January 2002 01:03 PM #6

    I am quite partial to using OmniWeb for my hand-coding needs.  It color codes, it reformats, it checks all the HTML thingys, it previews right in OmniWeb, it slices, it dices, ...  you get the point.



    Brad Smith
    The Mac Observer

  • Posted: 21 January 2002 02:00 PM #7

    If I could find a WYSIWYG editor worth anything, I’d probably use it. For now, I just use BBEdit and code it all by hand. I could use Word, but I’d have to recode it all by hand anyway. Same with FrontPage and Composer. (Does FrontPage even exist in Mac form? I hope not.)

    Not that I wouldn’t love a good WYSIWYG editor though. Trying to figure out semi-complicated table structure hurts my brain.


    Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

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    Posted: 21 January 2002 04:16 PM #8

    For static, brochure - type sites, I’ll pretty much do everything in Adobe GoLive. Once it gets into the more database - driven sites, all the hand-tweaking, changes and server-side coding gets done in BBEdit and GoLive’s source editor.

    Either way, base layouts are done in Illustrator and then chopped up/finessed in both Illustrator and Photoshop.



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    Posted: 21 January 2002 04:33 PM #9

    I am The Master of Tables.  I can hand code the most complicated tables, as it were, but I choose to use GoLive for my layout needs.  The code produced by GoLive 5.0 is fairly clean (though not as clean as hand-coding, of course), and the the app’s site management features blow away everything else away, including Dreamweaver. Until we rolled out our publishing engine, TMO would never have grown as it did had it not been for GoLive.

    There are always times for hand-coding though, and I am not afraid to dive into the source code and figure out what may be wrong.  There is also a time and place for hand-coding from the ground up.  Since I am comfortable in both GoLive and a source editor, I prefer to use my time doing most of development in GoLive.  It’s just way faster. 


    Editor - The Mac Observer

    Favorite (but less relevant than it used to be) Quote: Microsoft’s tyranny lies not in its success, but in the way it achieved and maintains that success.

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    Posted: 21 January 2002 10:08 PM #10

    I hand code. 

    It gives me something to do at work.  Seriously.  I write HTML at work because…well, it’s better than talking to the teacher who sits next to me.  My home page and a page a run for my friend are all hand-coded.  Often causing me to upload, view, the screech and run to fix.  But fun, nonetheless. 

    My tools?  BBEdit and lots of free time. 

    And now, for her next trick…cooking from scratch!  <audience “oooh"s>


    Still evil, after all these years.!

  • Posted: 22 January 2002 02:06 AM #11

    For hand coders using just about any basic text editor, one of the finest companion tools for checking one’s work is iCab.  Setting the View>Automatic Update menu item causes iCab to reload the local page every time you save it, expediting the preview cycle (wouldn’t I like to try that on a 2-monitor setup). Also, its rigidity with html, often a problem on some elaborate sites, and rich, navigable error report helps the coder refine the page so that it will have the broadest support - of course, there are some things, like embedding another page using an <object> tag and many transparent png images, that simply will not work in other browsers, but what a great challenge it is to get a page so clean the little iCab smiley turns green (at which point one option-clicks on it for one’s reward).


    Seemed like a good idea at the time

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    Posted: 22 January 2002 10:51 AM #12

    I used to hand code everything. Even did an e-commerce site with hand code about two years ago.

    Needless to say I was in the Asylum for two weeks following the launch…....

    Now days, I just use GoLive 5 for most of the tedious stuff. Every now and then I bring up Dreamweaver for a SSI or Flash button. I do use Photoshop’s Web Contact Sheet feature for Photo Galleries that are easy to customize.

    I also use TypeStyler 3.7.2 for static pages. Like my personal website is designed in TypeStyler.

    ImageReady I use for Spliced images.

    Any extra stuff….hand code.  Why do all the work I used to?   Though hand coding has it rewards, I get more done with the programs I have now than ever before.



    Remember what Obi-Wan said to Luke: “Oops! There goes your shirt!”

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  • Posted: 22 January 2002 11:03 AM #13

    Yup, SimpleText coding here. I just hate those sources from editors… Never tried GoLive, though. I’ve searched for a hand-coding prog for X, BBedit you say? Mkaaaaaaay…

    *goes sucking BBedit*



  • Posted: 22 January 2002 12:18 PM #14

    I still hand-code the HTML, until I need to start using Perl/CGI. What’s more, I prefer to us vi to edit those files.

    Oh, and in my last contract, in the year 2001, I had to roll my own assembler code because we had speed issues with the database. Believe me, I’m no more proud of it than you are.




    Work is the curse of the drinking classes.
    - Oscar Wilde

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    Posted: 22 January 2002 04:23 PM #15

    wow… i found this thread kinda late, but I do about 99.9% text html-ing..

    Idea + Simpletext + Graphic Converter (sometimes + Photoshop) = website

    I do have dreamweaver also, but i never use it. I think i’ve done one page with it, not even an entire site.

    CODE ON!!