EW-5 Comming Soon? RRS feed

  • Question

  • From my estimation of release cycles EW5 should be on the horizon. I hope the next release adds some features such as the easy button for FP code repair ( Cheryl has suggested this I think) and things that should be native rather than add-ons. I for one want features such as search, site map, ad rotator, forms and others that can be done without the use of ASP.net or anything like FP extensions. Couldnt they do this with PHP or some other kind of standardized methods?

    While the pro community has scathed FP and WYSIWYG editors in general I see Adobe is going ahead with MUSE and EDGE. I read that their product research people noted a deep demand for them in a growing market. Wait a minute!- is that market possibly created by the Frontpage vacuum? Will MS respond with another FP like product?

    Is the future of EW pinned to these kind of developments?

    DISCLAIMER: I am only seeking opinions here- I do not advocate for a return of FP or suggest MUSE is a good thing. I would rather that EW evolve. I presently use third party add-ons to do things that may be easier ( for me) with them as native features.  

    • Edited by surferbob Monday, November 21, 2011 1:52 PM
    Monday, November 21, 2011 1:35 PM

All replies

  • I doubt anyone on the list has any idea when V5 is due out.

    The ideas you mention are all popular ones on UserVoice, Connect and this forum but I'd suspect they be implemented in jQuery rather than PHP, ASP.Net or any kind of FP-like 'bot' system.

    Adobe's moves are interesting but I don't see these new products moving into the FP vacuum. There are a number of other products attempting to fill the non-pro market already. Xara Web Designer, Web Easy, Coffee Cup, Net Objects etc.

    EDGE may be interesting eventually and may be close to Expression Blend in what it does, whilst MUSE seems to be aimed at pure graphic designers who want to move their designs to the web.

    Ian Haynes

    EW V4 Add-Ins
    EW resources, hints and tips
    Monday, November 21, 2011 2:05 PM
  • Hi Ian,

    I need to learn more about JQuery so I can do my own. Can you think of any resources that you find helpful for beginers?

    I see so many former FPers come here I just thought that Adobe may have been thinking of them as well when they spun Muse. I remember early FP literature talking a lot about print designers as well and even remember MS publisher had a web page exporter that could be used with FP.

    The old saying everything new is old comes to mind- or is it everthing old is new?

    I know no one on the forum has inside info- just musing (no pun intended)

    I also voted for some of the features mentioned. It will be interesting to see what MS does.  

    Monday, November 21, 2011 2:15 PM
  • Some jQuery tutorials:


    http://www.w3schools.com/jquery/default.asp  (with examples in each chapter)

    It will indeed be interesting to see where EW goes. The mobile space is something I hope gets addressed very soon.

    Ian Haynes

    EW V4 Add-Ins
    EW resources, hints and tips
    Monday, November 21, 2011 2:37 PM
  • Yeah, Adobe seems to be going after cash, but I think their model isn't going to be viable in the long (perhaps even short) run.

    To add to the other so-called wysiwyg listed, WebPlus from Serif. I have had to create a couple sites with WebPlus for clients. Now handed over to the clients, they are both in the process of screwing them up. And Muse is actually more difficult to use than WP.

    I look at web software like DTP software in the late 1980s to early 1990s. Ventura Publisher was "too difficult" and expensive for non-pros and so a ton of titles came out. Everyone became a designer. I look at the early 1990s as the beginning of a dearth of well designed materials that has extended to this day.

    WYSIWYG web software seeks to make a web designer/builder out of the everyman. Even the sites I built using WP and one from Xara were in many ways more difficult than EW and DW and the owners sought to make a web version of something best left to print design.

    I don't see MS making EW anymore "easy" to use in this regard than Adobe seeks to muck around with DW.

    I do hope MS continues down the path I see EW has gone. It's a professional tool. I don't know how much I personally desire for MS to build in more functions before other items are added (code folding is high on my list, as is PHP stuff).

    My two-pennies worth.


    Monday, November 21, 2011 2:56 PM
  • While the pro community has scathed FP and WYSIWYG editors in general I see Adobe is going ahead with MUSE and EDGE. I read that their product research people noted a deep demand for them in a growing market. 

    No, 'fraid not. As a user of Dreamweaver who also participates in several Adobe forums/mailing lists (Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc), I assure you that Muse is being met with disdain by professional Web developers, including those who use Dreamweaver. The markup produced is crap; trust me, I've seen it. Any "deep demand" can be found only among users of Adobe InDesign, their DTP/page layout program (competitor to Quark Express, etc.). See http://elliotjaystocks.com/blog/adobe-muse-a-step-in-the-wrong-direction/  , and http://www.netmagazine.com/features/developers-respond-adobe-muse  , which has this summation near the end of the article...

    “As a professional web designer, there’s plenty not to like about Muse: the code it produces is meaningless, Adobe’s marketing is misleading, and it’s treading the same ground as Dreamweaver before it and FrontPage before that. But, let’s be clear: this is not a tool for professional web designers. It’s a tool aimed at print designers who may sometimes need to quickly produce a functional website for a client. Print designers don’t understand, or care about, code,”

    and one of the commenters summed it up with, "The 2011 version of Microsoft Frontpage..."

    So, such demand is equivalent to users of MS Publisher welcoming the availability of a FrontPage equivalent, not exactly something to read deep significance into WRT the overall Web development tool market.

    As mentioned at the end of the netmagazine article, Muse may be a step in the direction of layout tools for the Web. However, it misses on far too many scores, and produces results which are far too print-centric for a Web tool, to represent anything significant for mainstream Web development tools. Look, instead, to Dreamweaver and Expression Web (or a possible unknown not now on the scene?) for further ease-of-use and productivity enhancements, and tools to address the very real and evolving requirements of the mobile Web and other non-traditional display devices, increased accessibility, rich user experience advancements and expectations, and other areas more important to actual professional developers than a WYSIWYG design environment for producing basic layouts, something they are quite capable of handling on their own, thank you.

    The thing is, in the market for professional-level Web development tools, products like Muse are attractive to print designers and novice would be Web developers, and offer very little, well... nothing, actually, to experienced professional developers. You want a WYSIWYG tool for developing attractive sites? Check out Xara Web Designer (I own it, and it's fun ;-). Just don't expect to use it for professional development in any country with accessibility laws, like, say, the U.S., or most of Europe...

    Think I'm kidding? While you're on that page, increase the text size a few times. Well, if you can, anyway. In Firefox, click View|Zoom|Zoom Text Only, then press Ctrl-+ a few times, and watch the layout break. In Internet Explorer, unfortunately, since XWD uses fixed font sizing, which IE is incapable of resizing on demand, vision-impaired users are just SOL when viewing an XWD-built site, since clicking View|Text Size|Largest does... nothing. Oh, and do a View Source on that page to see some truly garbage markup, by anyone's definition.

    The basic, fundamental problem with WYSIWYG is that it unavoidably must presume a fixed output size, like print. Any Webdev app that would appeal to print designers will inherently have fundamental problems, since the Web does not, and will never, conform to that model. Combine that with literally dozens of potential rendering engines, all interpreting the standards in their own way, targeting dozens of hardware output devices, from 30" monitors to 320 pixel handhelds, and you have a recipe for chaos.


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.
    Monday, November 21, 2011 3:47 PM
  • Bob,

    Do you really think anyone here knows what MS is doing for EW 5? Or, that if anyone did since there is the rare post by someone from MS they would be able to comment?

    You should have been at MAX and seen the scating comments about MUSE and the code it generates. I'm not talking only about the attendees. MUSE is intended for a very limited audience of people who use InDesign and create content that PRINT designers can repurpose using a workflow they already know. It is also intended for sites that will be published to Adobe's Biz Catalyst ecommerce and CMS system. If you spend any time with the MUSE beta you'll see that it is not really a WYWIWYG unless you are really comfortable with Adobe print conventions. FWIW, this is almost the exact same market minus the Biz Catalyst component that Adobe created GoLive to serve. We all know what happened to GoLive. In fact, I was strongly reminded of the last two versions of GoLive while I was working with MUSE in the lab. Ironically, the first three versions of GoLive was actually a fairly decent web editor before they decided to tailor it to their print application customers and started using funky behind the scenes bits with extensions not understood by anything but GoLive that would compile itself into something that would display in the browser but not copy or save well without GoLive.

    I took the MUSE class just to see what it did when I was at MAX. While under the step by step guidance of the instructor I had little problem creating the site however when I tried to recreate it for my review I found myself having serious difficulties in using the interface. That is because I am not a print person nor am I familiar with InDesign though I have used it in the past.

    Edge is an animation tool, yeah I sat in some of those sessions as well but relinquished my seat in the lab class because I had determined that while it was interesting it is something that doesn't fit into the type of websites I work with. More of an HTML 5 version of Flash animations (note that is person opinion based on a limted exposure but if you do timeline related stuff it might be worth downloading the beta.)

    I suspect it might have been Tina, Pat or someone else if an "easy button" for FP code was suggested seriousy. Frankly, I don't think it is possible given the wide variety of inline code using depreciated mark-up that FP produced.

    This whole thread is into personal opinion so I'll venture a couple. There are hundreds of WYSIWIG web editors out there of varying quality. The world does not need yet another feature limited WYSIWYG web editor. Muse is included in that feature limited statement. What the world does not have is a lot of professional quality web design tools that are only limited by the skill of the person using it.

    There has been a huge discussion over on my Dreamweaver list about Adobe's announcement that the only way to get upgrade pricing starting Jan 1 next year is if you have the absolute lates version of the Creative Suite prior to the one you want to upgrade to. So in order to get upgrade pricing on Creative Suite 6 when it comes out is to have some version of Creative Suite 5/5.5. So miss one version upgrade and you are looking at $1,799 (yep that's the full non upgrade price on CS 5/5.5.

    As I said in reply to your other thread post, I don't think things like ad rotators, forms processors, etc. really belong as part of the core. I wouldn't mind some MS provided add-ins for them as Adobe did to bring HTML 5 support to CS 5 but those are the sorts of things that evolve faster than new core releases. Plus a lot of add-in makers wouldn't bother with something that is part of core functionality so we'd miss out on alternative implementation and a wider choice of functions.

    Finally, as to your question about EW 5. As you well know, nobody here has any knowledge of what MS has planned for future EW releases. What we do know is that MS has been quite busy working on Windows 8 and as part of the Win 8 preview there is a beta version of Blend 5. So using that knowledge I'd speculate (pure speculation with no knowledge of what MS is or is not doing) I'd say that the earliest there would be any new version of Expression Studio would be when Win 8 is released. I haven't seen anything about a release candidate much less a release date for Win 8 so it maybe some time especially since there was an unprecedented SP 2 for Expression Web 4 released earlier this year.

    I also think that the best thing MS did in v4 was to setting on the new extensibility model. With what Adobe is doing with Dreamweaver and the other Creative Suite products - trying it seems to me to be an attempt to force people to the subscription "Creative Cloud" model there may be a lot of Dreamweaver folks looking for a professional quality alternative. So I'd hate to see MS do anything to weaken Expression as an application that pros would want to use.

    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com
    Monday, November 21, 2011 4:18 PM
  • Our of curiosity, why do you feel that PHP is a standard?

    I seriously doubt that you'll see us scrap ASP.NET and replace it with PHP. ASP.NET is our technology, and we happen to think it's a pretty good one. :)


    Jim Cheshire Microsoft
    Monday, November 21, 2011 9:34 PM
  • I hope the next release adds some features such as the easy button for FP code repair ( Cheryl has suggested this I think) and things that should be native rather than add-ons.

    (I actually missed this the first time around, and puzzled for a moment when I read Cheryl's remark about it in her reply. ;-) Frankly, I can't even begin to imagine the kind of AI required to parse the garbage produced by FP and remove all of the non-semantic structural elements, plus all of the inline presentational HTML properties, plus the junky javascript used to implement behaviors, and the proprietary webbot references, and replace it with standards-compliant, accessible, cross-browser compatible code. Do a "View Source" on http://nservices.com/ or http://www.dyna-veyor.com/products.htm and think about how you might begin to structure the algorithms just to get started.

    And, call me selfish here if you want, I'll own up to it, but I really don't want Microsoft wasting time, money, and development resources creating a bulky feature that would bloat the product and be of use only to those migrating from FP. I have absolutely no need of such a tool, and would much rather see development directed to more mundane, but frequently-requested features such as code folding, improved PHP and javascript/jQuery support, ability to customize ASP.NET toolbox offerings with custom controls, smoother VS/EW round-tripping, persistable/transferable site settings, etc. Not fancy, certainly, but they would contribute to developer productivity, and to a professional developer, that's what matters.

    Oh, and if Adobe actually does persist in their upgrade pricing lunacy, a "Fix FP" button is going to be the least-desired feature prospective defectors from DW are going to be looking for in their replacement tool. Just sayin'...  ;-)


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.
    Tuesday, November 22, 2011 1:47 AM
  • "ASP.NET is our technology, and we happen to think it's a pretty good one. "


    ClarkNK, A.K.A. HomePage Doctor
    HomePageDoctor.com -- Expression Web database tutorials
    Ownertrades.com -- Created with FP, Access, Bots and Wizards
    LawOfAllTheLand.org -- Created with Expression, VWDExress, SQL Express, and ASP.NET.
    Arvixe -- My favored web host
    Tuesday, November 22, 2011 2:15 AM
  • I did not suggest anyone scrap ASP.NET or do I advocate MS development of any FP like products to compete with Muse. I think at least SOME of the features I desire might be reasonable additions to EW in the future.

    In my case we have so many sites that switching to windows servers to take advantage of ASP.NET is just not practical at this time. Perhaps we might try it on a new site in the future.

    I dont think PHP is a standard as such, I should have said OTHER technologies we could use on Apache servers that would not require change over to asp.net. Its not a judgement of asp.net- its just not practical to adopt it now due to limited resources.

    So to clarify and reiterate the disclaimer on the original post I am not advocating anything other then perhaps some features in EW I would like. I will wait and see what V5 brings and continue with the third party solutions we have been using.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011 3:58 AM
  • Were you thinking along the lines of a WordPress button on the EW5 menu Bob?
    Saturday, November 26, 2011 12:12 AM
  • Our of curiosity, why do you feel that PHP is a standard?

    I seriously doubt that you'll see us scrap ASP.NET and replace it with PHP. ASP.NET is our technology, and we happen to think it's a pretty good one. :)


    Jim Cheshire Microsoft

    As far as I can ascertain, PHP is still holding the dominant position in web server systems. About a 60/40 split PHP/Windows (respectively) and has been fairly flat for sometime.

    No one is asking that EW scrap ASP.NET. Rather, because PHP is holding its market share of web servers, fleshing out PHP support seems to me to be good business sense on two fronts. One, from the shear numbers of web servers using PHP. Two, the *only* competitor to EW is DW, which continues to enhance direct support to PHP--and of course dropped keeping up with ASP.NET. Almost like Adobe and MS are two sides of the same mirror.

    *If* MS decided to enhance PHP support in addition to continued growth along the path it is headed with EW, I suspect more DW devs would purchase EW. Just a WAG, though.

    Take care, Mike

    Saturday, November 26, 2011 2:47 PM
  • Mike,

    Have you used our development and design tools recently? PHP is a first-class citizen in our tools.

    • We rewrote the Microsoft Expression Development Server so that it will serve PHP.
    • We include robust support for PHP in Expression Web.
    • We worked closely with the PHP community when developing our FastCGI module for IIS which provides performance parity with PHP on Apache.
    • We have support for PHP out of the box in Visual Studio.
    • We have support for PHP out of the box in Web Matrix.
    • We fully support the CGI and FastCGI modules for PHP developers using IIS Express.

    That's just off the top of my head. I think our investment in this area is pretty clear.

    By the way, my response was aimed at Surferbob who said that he would like to see us implement features "without using ASP.NET" and instead use "PHP or some other standardized method." I thought that statement was pretty clear as well. :)

    Jim Cheshire, Microsoft
    Saturday, November 26, 2011 2:56 PM
  • Time Bandit,

    Actually I was hoping that they could put some buttons on there that would do the following:

    Mow the lawn

    Go to work for me

    Take out the garbage

    Be a proxy for me for anything I dont like to do

    Make it possible to eat anything I want without gaining pounds

    Grow hair (on head) and stop it from turning gray.

    Reverse aging

    And oh yea- build web sites for my just by my thinking of a page.

    Saturday, November 26, 2011 2:58 PM
  • JIM,

    I revised/ clarified my post since you may have got the wrong impession or I failed to express my meaning. NO slam of ASP.NET intended- I just cant use it at present without changing servers on a lot of sites. Therefore I mUST use a lot of third party solutions and I wish there was more direct (easy) way to do some of them without switching to Windows servers. We may try ASP.NET on some future web site however.

    Of course if you want to put an easy button on V5 that will do everything I would be happy :)


    EDIT: Using the Time Tunnel I just got a copy of .NET from the year 2082 and it appears EW-78 CAN build a site just by thinking (brain receptor helmet sold seperatly) so I will just wait for that version.

    P.S. It still cant mow the lawn!

    • Edited by surferbob Saturday, November 26, 2011 3:22 PM
    Saturday, November 26, 2011 3:10 PM
  • Jim,

    Absolutely no offense meant.

    Yes, from the server side of things, Windows servers can perform using PHP on parity to Apache boxes. Yes, I can edit in EW and run PHP stuff. I wasn't saying there is *no* ability or no PHP support inside EW. Just making a few comments that in the area of PHP, EW could be enhanced. That I believe enhancing PHP editing is a commercially viable thing to do. Please read my statements again

    If you have used EW to integrate PHP and html too, and if you also have used other commercial PHP editors (even some of the opensource PHP editors available), which do you find more productive?

    I am a firm believer in EW in the relatively short period of time I have been using it. I have DW going back to 2.0 and stopped upgrading having used EW.

    I have a relatively small circle of developer friends and all but one has purchased a copy of EW--hopefully as a result of me convincing them to do so. But that doesn't mean I think the application is an absolutely mature product. There is room to grow. Code folding, better ... whatever. Or do you believe there is no room for EW growth?

    Respectfully, Mike

    Sunday, November 27, 2011 3:05 AM
  • "Or do you believe there is no room for EW growth?"

    Oh, puhleeze. He never said that. And if there's no room for EW growth, why is there a team of developers working on it at Microsoft???


    The Dalai Lama walks into a pizza shop and asks the guy behind the counter, "Can you make me one with everything?"
    Sunday, November 27, 2011 3:39 AM
  • And I didn't say there isn't any PHP support in EW--and this discussion wasn't about Windows server, WebMatrix, Visual Studio, et al.

    Besides, the question you quoted is a rhetorical one that I think I know the answer to.

    I wouldn't call the present state of PHP dev inside EW as "robust." It, PHP dev, as well as some other general things (like code folding) do need enhanced and or eventually included. Don't ya think?


    Sunday, November 27, 2011 3:31 PM
  • We don't view our development/design platform in the sense of a single product. As a consumer, it makes sense that you would think of it that way. We're just not approaching the topic from the same position because I'm internal and you're not.

    Whether or not support for PHP is "robust" is a matter of perspective. I happen to think we have strong support for PHP in Expression Web. Could there be better support? Sure, but that doesn't mean that what's there isn't strong. We certainly have better support for PHP across our platform than any other platform has for any of our technologies, and that design isn't by mistake. We do that because that's what serves the broadest spectrum of developers.


    Jim Cheshire Microsoft
    Sunday, November 27, 2011 4:32 PM
  • So I guess to answer my original question about extended functionality without using ASP.NET I either continue to use multiple third party add-ons and/or canned PHP or JQuery code or learn more on how to do it myself. O.K.- Fine with that.

    The broadest range of developers would be served with more of the above noted features. Since non-windows servers might be considered by some to be "neutral", and certainly predominate, some might think the "the broadest range of developers" might lay elsewhere. There seems to be a few who shun proprietary technologies and that may include ASP.NET. Regardless I did not want to engage in a debate over technologies I have no expertise on I was only wondering about possible solutions that did not require server migrations of lots of sites, and it seems to me that a broad spectrum of developers may be in a like position.

    We may try ASP.NET on some future new site so we can evalute the worthiness and practicallity of such migrations prior to any consideration of wholesale changes.

    Monday, November 28, 2011 3:11 AM
  • Understand, Suferbob. Makes complete sense. For what it's worth, you're not likely to see us focusing much effort on making it easier for developers to use Apache instead of Windows. We put our focus on getting people to adopt Windows. We prefer it to Apache. :)

    I encourage you to try ASP.NET. I personally believe we are a much better choice than PHP for several reasons. One of those reasons is that we don't box you into any particular development paradigm. With webforms, WFC services, ASP.NET Web pages, and MVC, we have models that suit any development shop.


    Jim Cheshire Microsoft
    Monday, November 28, 2011 3:16 AM
  • Jim,

    I will re-read the chapters on ASP.NET in your book "Expression Web 4 in Depth" in order to get a better understanding. The book has become one of my preferred references on EW. I suggest it to others a frequently.

    Monday, November 28, 2011 11:08 AM
  • Thanks.
    Jim Cheshire Microsoft
    Monday, November 28, 2011 3:10 PM
  • I encourage you to try ASP.NET. I personally believe we are a much better choice than PHP for several reasons. One of those reasons is that we don't box you into any particular development paradigm.
    Do you imply that using PHP somehow boxes developers into a particular development paradigm?
    Monday, November 28, 2011 11:33 PM
  • Absolutely not. You may have incorrectly inferred that, but the fact that I said ASP.NET does not box you in doesn't mean that all other platforms do. I tend to be intentional when writing. If I didn't say it, I didn't intend it.

    I will, however, say that ASP.NET has more patterns to choose from that can help a developer feel more comfortable, and we are working on new technologies for ASP.NET developers all the time.


    Jim Cheshire -- Microsoft
    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 12:12 AM
  • You presented "we don't box you into any particular development paradigm" as a reason for thinking that ASP.NET is "a much better choice than PHP". Can you see why it was so easy to infer that you thought that PHP somehow did box developers into a particular development paradigm?
    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 3:29 PM
  • Yep. My point is that ASP.NET has many design paradigms for developers that you cannot get with PHP. After reading what I originally posted, I agree that my wording did imply that PHP boxes you in. I'm actually not qualified to say whether it does or not because I don't develop in PHP.


    Jim Cheshire -- Microsoft
    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 4:07 PM