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[sort of YAK] Web authoring with Microsoft FrontPage


#1

I’ve been using Microsoft’s Front Page 98 Beta for a while now,
and I’d like to offer my impressions for anyone considering web
page design:

[1] It is really designed to be used with an internet
provider offering FrontPage accounts. If you don’t have a
FrontPage account, you may find it frustrating to use unless you
know at least a little bit about HTML programming. For example,
whenever you create a link from one of your pages to another,
FrontPage wants to make the link absolute. That is, it inserts
a path statement that directs the page to look on your hard
drive for the linked-to page. In order to fix this, you have to
go into HTLM View and erase all of the path statement except
"filename.htm".

[2] It is an absolute memory HOG! I’m running a Dell
Pentium 90, with 48 Megs of RAM, and FrontPage still manages to
lock up fairly often, invariably due to a “page fault” and
"stack dump". A programmer friend explained that this means the
program is using so much memory it is essentially tripping over
itself.

[3] It wants to do everything its way, not your way, but it
won’t explain why. This is a problem that I am finding
increasingly distressing about Microsoft products in general.
Their programs are written to be used by people who know nothing
about computers, yet their increasingly minimalist documentation
seems to assume a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. They seem to
be going the way of “Big Blue”, i.e., IBM, which nearly killed
itself through “group-think” and self-absorption.

[4] With all that said, here’s the good part. Once you get
used to its ideosyncracies, it functions just like any other
M’soft product (Word, Office, etc.). I assume that the final
released product will take care of some of the memory problems.
I should also state that it probably works much better in its
own envirement, i.e., if you have a FrontPage account. I do not
– I started on a shoestring budget, and couldn’t afford one. I
will probably make the switch in a couple months.

GENERAL COMMENT ABOUT WEB PROVIDERS:

If you plan to create your own pages, I highly recommend my web
provider, DIGIWEB. They are inexpensive, ($15 setup and
$15/month for a 25Meg site with almost all the trimmings –
FrontPage sites cost a bit more), they have super-high speed
connections to the web, and their service is good. You can
check them out through my site.

No, I’m not being paid or compensated by them for saying this.
(Except I do get a $5 discount if my site generates 2000 hits a
month.) There are a lot of ripoffs in the web business, and most
people don’t have the luxury of enough time to research the
issue to death (as I have). Before you go paying $ hundreds to
a site developer, why not pay $45 (for two months) and give it a
whirl yourself?

Hope this is useful,

Tom LaRussa