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RE: FYI: Microsoft Pledges Improved FrontPage

From: Robert Neff <rcn@fenix2.dol-esa.gov>
Date: Fri, 2 Oct 1998 08:39:05 -0400
Message-ID: <01BDEDE0.1E1B3A40.rcn@fenix2.dol-esa.gov>
To: "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Some people have found this article not accessible. Steven McCaffrey wrote, 
"It sounds like there might be multiple columns or frames.  Is there a way 
to convert this into a plain text or a no-frame html version?  I am using 
JFW 3.2 with IE 3.01b."

Therefore I have attached a text copy of the article as well as a text copy 
of a linked article.

Cheers. Rob

Microsoft Pledges Improved FrontPage

FrontPage 2000, the next version of Microsoft's Web-publishing product, 
will share many functions and technologies with Office 2000 and have an 
interface that's easier to use, the company said Wednesday.
Previous versions of FrontPage have two separate windows, one for the 
editor component and one for the explorer component.
Microsoft found that in previous versions, about 40 percent of users were 
unable to find the site-management features and when they did find them, 
they were difficult to use, said Priscilla Mistele, product manager for 
FrontPage. Now the explorer and editor components are integrated into one 
"We're finally delivering on the original vision of FrontPage 1.0, to make 
Web page creation easy enough for mainstream users," she said. At the same 
time, it still has the functionality for advanced users.
The advanced features include database support for websites, for creating 
pages that query and update a database through dragging and dropping of 
links, rather than being forced to write SQL calls. It also comes with 10 
business-ready themes, providing the developer with a template for setting 
up a professional website.
FrontPage 2000 also has HTML preservation. Many HTML editors, FrontPage 
included, have a tendency to take HTML code written in a text editor and 
reformat it automatically. FrontPage 2000 won't change any fancy formatting 
the programmer has used.
As Microsoft has promised, this version will operate with Office 2000, 
which is supposed put HTML and XML on par with its native file formats for 
formatting and document layout. The shared menus and toolbars will make 
FrontPage as much a part of Office 2000 as Word or Excel. FrontPage 2000 
will also come with the natural language help and Windows Installer 
Service, both of which will be in Office 2000.
FrontPage 2000 is expected to ship at the same time as Office 2000 in early 
1999. The price will remain the same as it has always been: $149 for new 
users, $109 for Office users after a $40 mail-in rebate, and $59.95 for 
upgrades. A beta version is planned for release with a second Office 2000 
beta this fall.

Here is the 2nd Article

Visual Web Editors Simplify Programming

Visual Web-page editors have come of age in 1998, with sales of WYSIWYG 
HTML editors finally outpacing the traditional tag-based programs that 
veteran Webmasters cut their teeth on. Considering the sophistication of 
two leading editors, Microsoft's FrontPage 98 and Symantec's Visual Page 2, 
it's easy to see why. Visual tools give you the freedom to be creative when 
laying out a Web page, without sweating out the details of HTML coding and 
tags. Both FrontPage 98 and Visual Page 2 give up virtually nothing in 
exchange for their desktop publishing-like interfaces.
Picking the best package of the two isn't easy. It's sort of like deciding 
between an excellent convertible and an excellent sedan-each has its 
intended uses and users. However, it's readily apparent that one product is 
better suited for the majority of users, and that product is FrontPage 98.
FrontPage 98
Microsoft recently released a patch to its popular FrontPage 98, removing 
most of the minor bugs that kept us from posting it to our WinList last 
year. With this patch (which is available from 
http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage), FrontPage 98 is now clearly the best 
all-around tool for both beginners and experts, for simple Web pages and 
complex, multipage sites. The latest revision takes care of minor glitches 
(such as display problems under Windows 98) and at least one semimajor g  
litch (where tables created by hand or with other programs were rendered 
incorrectly). Whether you're creating new sites from scratch or integrating 
sites into an existing management scheme, FrontPage 98 eases the process.
FrontPage 98 combines a top-notch WYSIWYG editor with a Windows 
Explorer-like site manager (also called the Explorer), a personal Web 
server and an image editor. The Editor performs Word-type tasks such as 
font selection; table manipulation; and the HTML tasks of link, Java applet 
and script embedding. It accomplishes these tasks far more elegantly than 
nearly every other program except Visual Page 2 and Dreamweaver.
The Explorer provides several different ways to view your site, including 
link-to-link, file-to-file and others. Its ultimate trick, however, is its 
ability to easily add site-wide navigation buttons, site maps, 
site-unifying visual elements and CGI script-like programs with just a few 
mouse clicks-no programming and no headaches. If you'd rather build your 
own Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and Dynamic HTML (DHTML) effects instead, 
FrontPage 98 lets you work as you wish without disrupting code that's 
already been generated.
Visual Page 2
Visual Page 2 grows beyond version 1's simple "page-by-page" mode of page 
creation and site management, yet it keeps the intuitive interface that 
made it the best standalone WYSIWYG HTML editor of 1997. While its 
excellent interface hasn't changed, its new and complete site management, 
built-in DHTML layers and CSS support give FrontPage 98 some competition. 
In some areas, Visual Page 2 surpasses FrontPage.
Visual Page's visual editor has been the one most other packages have tried 
to emulate. For the most part, they've succeeded, so Visual Page's elegant 
interface doesn't stand out like it used to. Still, it's among the best 
around. If you prefer many toolbars instead of extraordinarily detailed 
context-sensitive pop-up menus, you'll prefer Visual Page to FrontPage. 
Other neat tricks include a preview mode where Java applets actually 
execute (though, agonizingly, they look slightly different than within the 
major browsers). It also includes intuitive dialog boxes and windows that 
make creating DHTML effects like layers and CSS a matter of clicking check 
boxes and tabs-an extremely significant improvement over FrontPage.
Visual Page's site management is about as advanced as it can be requiring a 
specialized Web server extension (which FrontPage does have). Verifying 
links, site-wide spell checking, search-and-replace, and site uploading are 
handled well with the site manager window (called the Project Window), 
although you may be bothered by the cluttered screen.
Up front
If you like the idea of creating and managing an entire Web site without 
getting bogged down with the complexities of HTML, both products fit the 
bill. FrontPage 98, however, has better tools for maintaining site-wide 
consistency, and for adding features that would otherwise require CGI 
programming. It easily earns a place on the WinList.
--Quick View--
FrontPage 98
Bottom Line: Best tool for both novice and expert Webmasters
Price: $149
Platforms: 98, 95, NT
Pros: Excellent WYSIWYG page creation and site management
Cons: No HTML tag-based tools beyond the editor
Microsoft Corp., 800-426-9400, 425-882-8080. Winfo #735
Visual Page 2
Bottom Line: Slick WYSIWYG editor that's almost as complete as FrontPage 
Price: $99
Platforms: 98, 95, N
Received on Friday, 2 October 1998 08:39:13 UTC

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