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Learning pure html vs using dreamweaver

by superakuma / January 29, 2011 3:30 PM PST

I am a photographer and I am frustrated that I can't customize my page the way that I like it so I decided to take some classes at the local college.

Right now I am enrolled in two classes, one called Web Publishing and the other one called Web site Development. I realized that they are the same class doing the same thing but the Web Publishing class is doing it without dreamweaver, basically using notepad to write the code.

Now I know NOTHING about coding, I don't plan to be a webmaster or anything like that. I just want to understand some of the basics so when I watch a tutorial, I can understand what they are saying.

When I asked my teacher this same question, he said I would have a better understanding if I take both of the classes. His analogy was it is like learning math. With the html class, I am doing it by hand while the 2nd class I am learning math with a calculator.

So my question is, with a program like dreamweaver that makes everything so easy, is it worth taking a class on html without using dreamweaver?

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Your choice...
by John.Wilkinson / January 30, 2011 7:30 AM PST

Dreamweaver accommodates two types of people:
1.) Those who want to drag-and-drop elements, such as images, into place, use "insert table" options to automate the process, select colors from color pallets, et cetera.
2.) Those who want to dig into the HTML for more hands-on coding.

The downsides to using the former option are:
1.) The generated code is often less efficient than it could be, though better than a new web developer's early attempts.
2.) Dreamweaver and similar applications often do not support the full power of web development technologies.
3.) If you wanted to take web development to the next level, such as webpages that pull information from a database or otherwise change dynamically (without manually changing the content in the HTML), you'd have to go back and learn the HTML and CSS basics.

For your purposes, the downsides are not that significant, so using Dreamweaver's 'assisted' approach is sufficient. Dreamweaver does, however, let you switch views, so you can see the 'assisted' view, the code view, or both at once. Thus, once you learn the basics of using Dreamweaver, you could use the combined view to see what HTML is generated when you do what you've learned, essentially teaching yourself what you'd be learning in the other class. You'd just have the luxury of charging yourself what you think is a fair price. Happy

Hope this helps,
John

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You said
by Sovereign Forum moderator / February 3, 2011 12:28 AM PST

"I just want to understand some of the basics so when I watch a tutorial, I can understand what they are saying."

If this tutorial involves modifying code, then you should learn HTML, but if this tutorial involves Dreamweaver specifically, you don't have to. My advice would be to learn some HTML, because then regardless of what editor you use, code is code and if you can modify it, you can do anything. Also if you know code and can logically put it together, you can often apply the same logic to other coding languages... it comes all down to syntax. This knowledge can only benefit you Happy

~Sovereign

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