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Constructive comments / ideas for EW 3 SP 1 as requested by Paul Bartholomew RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • As the title says. Paul mentioned starting a new thread for constructive comments ideas for an EW 3 service pack.
    Keep it nice please.
    FrontPage MVP
    Friday, July 31, 2009 10:39 PM

All replies

  • - Offer an alternative, light version, UI theme

    --
    Chris Hanscom - Microsoft MVP
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    Friday, July 31, 2009 10:44 PM
  • I'd like the ability to customize toolbars. I'm not a right-click kind of guy; I'm a keyboard shortcut/toolbar kind of guy and I would really liek to be able to creat a custom toolbar AND be able to customize the ones that are there.

    And, of course, a lighter UI theme. 
    Saturday, August 1, 2009 12:25 AM
  • Heh... we could probably start this with "a lighter UI scheme/a choice in UI scheme" by default, I'm thinking. Anyway, that's #1 on my list. Actually, let me restate that. That is my sine qua non for purchasing the upgrade. No usable interface, no upgrade, plain and simple.

    Next, I would really, really like to have the Customize... menu choice back. As mentioned in another thread, I have only added 8 or 9 items to my toolbar, but they are items which, collectively, save me what adds up to be significant time not having to remember which menu, drill down and find them, then activate them. MS saw fit to move Expression into Developer Tools. Fine, then treat productivity with the respect and priority that it would be given in any of your other developer tools, OK?

    Finally, I would like to see at least the minimal extensibility offered by VBA brought back. I have purchased and paid for extensions to EW2 which are unusable in EW3. This does not make Scott a happy camper. In the best of worlds, MS would provide a fully-fledged extensibility model, with a documented API and an SDK. However, I haven't noticed any growth lately in the number of porcine aviators, so I'm not holding my breath on that one. But, c'mon, VBA? That's your baby, MS; let's have it back.

    OK, that's enough. Not all, of course, but the three things I'd like to see addressed first, in descending order of importance to me. Note that the descent is not linear. If plotted on a curve, it would increase asymptotically as it approached having the UI fixed.

    cheers,
    scott
    Saturday, August 1, 2009 12:55 AM
  • #1 a lighter UI scheme/a choice in UI scheme
    #2 customizable toolbars AND menus
    #3 to quote Scott - I would like to see at least the minimal extensibility offered by VBA brought back. I have purchased and paid for extensions to EW1 & 2 which are unusable in EW3. This does not make Pat a happy camper. In the best of worlds, MS would provide a fully-fledged extensibility model, with a documented API and an SDK. However, I haven't noticed any growth lately in the number of porcine aviators, so I'm not holding my breath on that one. But, c'mon, VBA? That's your baby, MS; let's have it back.

    Pat


    Pat Geary Microsoft MVP Expression Web http://www.expression-web-tutorials.com/ http://www.expression-web-tips.com/
    Saturday, August 1, 2009 1:25 PM
  • Hard as it may be to believe I do like the current appearance.
    Friend of mine in Brazil always says; "Good thing Red is not everyone's favorite color".  ;-)

    My "wish" is no doubt far-fetched but "If I could ask"...
       I'd like the option to remove all PHP Options/Features/Menus.

      All the best,
        Mark
    Saturday, August 1, 2009 4:22 PM
  • I'l repeat myself from the other thread:

    1. Ability to change the UI colors,  lighter is a start but choosing my own colors is even better by letting me use my OS settings. I don't use the defaults in Vista either. I tend to work away from my desk at least half hte time and on battery. That means I need a color scheme that is usuable without having full brightness on my screen.
    2. Cutomization baby - to get the items I and my clients who maintain their own sites use most often there must be a minmum of three toolbars (Standard and Format at minimum)  which takes up a whole lot of screen space.  Toolbar customization is essential followed by Task Pane (now called Panels) and menus (least important to me).
    3. Extensibiity, that's one of the biggest reasons I switch over to Dreamweaver (on the same site even) is that I use great productivity extensions from Project Seven, DMXZone and WebAssist. I can build an entire photo gallery in 10 minutes including cropping and optimizing images with a Project Seven Extension, creae a multi level menu thta works from IE 5 to IE 8, FF, Opea, Safari and Chrome in two minutes. I have some add-ins for Expression from WebAssist and Expression Extras but they won't work in v3.  JQuery plugins are available for Visual Studio but jQuery is a very commonly used framework by front-end developers/designers who are the folks using Expression not Visual Studio. I can use an API for jQuery, YUI and MooTools over in Dreamweaver so guess where I do my Ajax type stuff? I don'tuse server side Ajax so the ASP.NET 3.5 capabilities in Expression don't help. (Besides, they are very cumbersome to use in EW and it is better to use VWD Express or Visual Stuido if you are going to use them.)

    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com and online instructor led Expression Classes
    Saturday, August 1, 2009 4:48 PM
  • My "wish" is no doubt far-fetched but "If I could ask"...
       I'd like the option to remove all PHP Options/Features/Menus.

      All the best,
        Mark

    Why? Who cares if the option is there that you don't use?

    --
    Chris Hanscom - Microsoft MVP
    On Facebook | On Twitter | Resource Center | Veign's Blog | Web Development Help

    Get a Complete Website Analysis by Veign
    Saturday, August 1, 2009 4:50 PM
  • I would like to see a real membership administration tool that facilitates site administration on the live site instead of just the website administration tool that you can use locally.

    I believe  the work has already been done by Peter Kellner, so all that remains is to incorporate it into Expression and VWD

    http://peterkellner.net/2007/02/15/membershipodsvb/
    ClarkNK, A.K.A. HomePage Doctor
    HomePageDoctor.com -- Expression Web database tutorials
    Ownertrades.com -- Created with FP, Access, Bots and Wizards
    MyNumbersTracker.com -- Created with Expression, VWDExress, SQL Express, and ASP.NET.
    Saturday, August 1, 2009 6:28 PM
  • My "wish" is no doubt far-fetched but "If I could ask"...
       I'd like the option to remove all PHP Options/Features/Menus.

      All the best,
        Mark

    Why? Who cares if the option is there that you don't use?

    Chris Hanscom - Microsoft MVP
    Yeah, and oddly enough, that reminded me of the fourth item I should have added to my list - enhance the support for PHP. I would love to see bundle support, such as what I have in e text editor (and Mac users have in TextMate, where bundles originated). For those unfamiliar, you can type "func" and press tab and a full function prototype is created, or typing "php" and pressing tab generates <?php  ?> with the cursor left between the brackets, ready to start coding. Very handy. Granted that that is not likely to happen, I'd like to at least see auto bracket completion and better Intellisense. Not a show-stopper, nor a gotta have, but a sure-would-make-it-more-attractive kinda thing.

    cheers,
    scott
    Saturday, August 1, 2009 6:44 PM
    1. Ability to export/import site definitions to save time when moving from 1 machine to another (site files stored on removable media).
    2. Keyboard shortcut to publish file currently being edited.
    Saturday, August 1, 2009 11:45 PM
  • 1. Ability to export/import site definitions to save time when moving from 1 machine to another (site files stored on removable media).
    2. Keyboard shortcut to publish file currently being edited.
    Gee, now where have I seen those before?  <g>

    cheers,
    scott
    Sunday, August 2, 2009 1:47 AM
  • I might not have been clear about that site administration tool. I am talking about being able to administer the website via a browser on the live site -- not by opening the live site with Expression or VWD.  The tool would make creation of that admin page easier.
    ClarkNK, A.K.A. HomePage Doctor
    HomePageDoctor.com -- Expression Web database tutorials
    Ownertrades.com -- Created with FP, Access, Bots and Wizards
    MyNumbersTracker.com -- Created with Expression, VWDExress, SQL Express, and ASP.NET.
    Sunday, August 2, 2009 11:45 AM
  • ...Have you seen all you can do locally with the IIS7 Manager for a remote site? Pretty awesome.
      All the best,
        Mark
    Sunday, August 2, 2009 11:48 AM
  • Hmm -- I am talking about, for example, being on the road, logging into the website via a browser, being able to go to an Admin page where useful membership admin tools would be available.


    ClarkNK, A.K.A. HomePage Doctor
    HomePageDoctor.com -- Expression Web database tutorials
    Ownertrades.com -- Created with FP, Access, Bots and Wizards
    MyNumbersTracker.com -- Created with Expression, VWDExress, SQL Express, and ASP.NET.
    Sunday, August 2, 2009 12:18 PM
  • ...I'll create a Webcast today showing how to do that, Free software you can use on any site.
     All the best,
        Mark
    Sunday, August 2, 2009 12:20 PM
  • ...Have you seen all you can do locally with the IIS7 Manager for a remote site? Pretty awesome.
      All the best,
        Mark


    Do you have a link to something that showcases this?  I have no experience with IIS7 and would be interested in seeing what you're talking about.

    Thanx.

    --
    Chris Hanscom - Microsoft MVP
    On Facebook | On Twitter | Resource Center | Veign's Blog | Web Development Help

    Get a Complete Website Analysis by Veign
    Sunday, August 2, 2009 2:37 PM
  • Hmm -- I am talking about, for example, being on the road, logging into the website via a browser, being able to go to an Admin page where useful membership admin tools would be available.


    ClarkNK, A.K.A. HomePage Doctor
    HomePageDoctor.com -- Expression Web database tutorials
    Ownertrades.com -- Created with FP, Access, Bots and Wizards
    MyNumbersTracker.com -- Created with Expression, VWDExress, SQL Express, and ASP.NET.


    This would have zero to do with a web design tool.

    --
    Chris Hanscom - Microsoft MVP
    On Facebook | On Twitter | Resource Center | Veign's Blog | Web Development Help

    Get a Complete Website Analysis by Veign
    Sunday, August 2, 2009 2:39 PM
  • ..I do create Webcasts on IIS7 as requested, this is one of them and it does a quick job of showing how awesome the IIS7 Manager is:
    http://www.dasptv.com/avc-view.aspx?videoid=9&categoryid=1

    If that doesn't play I can post links to Microsoft servers with the same Webacsts.
      All the best,
        Mark
    Sunday, August 2, 2009 2:42 PM
  • Hmm, OK, maybe I'm just thick today, but just what does creating a custom ASPX error page (the subject of the referenced video) have to do with Clark's question?

    Never mind. It's immaterial anyway. If I read Clark's suggestion correctly, he wants to have the ability to log on remotely from anywhere, including machines that don't even have IIS7 Manager installed, such as hotel computers, inet cafes, client offices, etc. and administer an aspx site. Any solution requiring the presence of IIS7 Manager is obviated by that requirement.

    @Clark, while I like the idea of it, I'm afraid that I'll have to agree with Chris that that really is not a function of a Web development tool. Have you looked around? There may be a purpose-built admin tool like that already on the market. In any event, when I prioritize my list of things I'd like to see included/corrected/modified, I'm afraid that one would come way down the list, if it even made it at all. There are many other design/development features that I would like to see in EW first.

    cheers,
    scott
    Sunday, August 2, 2009 5:11 PM
  • ...There are more IIS7 Videos, that one was just an example of one simple thing you can do from a remote system.
    If you are using ASP.NET Health Monitoring for example you may get an Email from your site and then you can use the IIS7 Manager from your Notebook.

    As I stated I'll be publishing a Webcast today that shows how to manage your entire site from a Web browser.

    Note: I do the best I can to help everyone...free of charge, however I may not be able to please them all. ;-)
      All the best,
        Mark

    Sunday, August 2, 2009 6:06 PM
  • Clark,

    Take a look at the 'Starter Kits' on the MS Asp.net website. They have one called 'Personal Web Site', among others, that has administration capabilities. I don't know if it is exactly what you're looking for, but the kit's files are readily edited in VS or VWD. They are Asp.Net with code-behind VB or C# files, and use a SQL database. Download one a take a look-see.

    -Preston
    Columbia, CA. USA http://www.gildedmoon.com
    Sunday, August 2, 2009 6:17 PM
  • Well, I envision an asp.net control that would do the job. Call it the Adminstrative Control

    Drag the control onto a page and it provides you the automagic ability to create users, add users to roles, create roles, etc  -- all the things that you now can do locally with the Website Admin Tool. It would be available to someone with Admin authority via a page on the website.

    I dont see why you would not think that a useful web design tool

    For my own site, I already made a basic admin page that satisfies my own needs, but I did the back end coding for it, and it just does some basic stuff. It would be nice if it did everything the website admin tool allows me to do locally, and just as easily.

    Like I said in the original post, Kellner has created such a thing already, and it would be nice if it were packaged with Expression and VWD
    ClarkNK, A.K.A. HomePage Doctor
    HomePageDoctor.com -- Expression Web database tutorials
    Ownertrades.com -- Created with FP, Access, Bots and Wizards
    MyNumbersTracker.com -- Created with Expression, VWDExress, SQL Express, and ASP.NET.
    Sunday, August 2, 2009 11:18 PM
  • Thanks for the suggestion Preston.  I looked at the Personal Web Site and its administrative capabilities, and it is somewhat long the lines of what I am talking about.

    But specifically, as I mentioned in my reply to Chris, an asp.net control that provides all the capabilities of the Website Administration Tool is what I am suggesting. 

    As far as I am concerned, that is something that is just plain missing from Expression or VWD.  I have seen numerous posts (not necessarily on this forum) where people are wondering how to administer their live site when they discover they cant get to it with the Website Admin Tool.
    ClarkNK, A.K.A. HomePage Doctor
    HomePageDoctor.com -- Expression Web database tutorials
    Ownertrades.com -- Created with FP, Access, Bots and Wizards
    MyNumbersTracker.com -- Created with Expression, VWDExress, SQL Express, and ASP.NET.
    Sunday, August 2, 2009 11:32 PM
  • Clark,

    I would consider it a dev tool not a designer tool and as such it would be for Visual Studio or Visual Web Devleoper Express not Expression Web.
    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com and online instructor led Expression Classes
    Monday, August 3, 2009 12:34 AM
  • My wish list:
    * inline ('quick'-) search
    * Better PHP intellisense (documentation, own functions or variables included,...) and automatic PHP code formatting
    * Better JavaScript support (see Visual Studio: formatting, script library intellisense,...)
    * Faster superPreview and snapshot
    * No more dialogs each time you save a DWT with attached pages
    * Possibility to choose a fix port number for the website on the development server

    And one last (rather unrealistic) request: PHP debugging

    Thanks for listening to our feedback!
    Thomas
    Monday, August 3, 2009 8:34 AM
  • Requests for EW V3 SP1:

    1) An alternative to the black UI, preferably something better than the 'Expression Light' scheme in ED.
    2) Sort out the silly issues with using pages created from an ASP.Net MasterPage. These have been around since V1 and were fixed in VS2008's version of EW.
    3) Customize toolbars
    4) Open a second instance of EW from the 'Recent Sites' list
    5) Extensibility. Would be great to have the V2 extensions usable in V3 but I appreciate that's a big call. I can always continue using V2 for the ones I most need. We need a fixed extensibility model that encourages developers to produce add-ins for EW without this investment being wasted two versions down the line.
    6) Intellisense/Colour options to display asp.net commented code correctly (in the same way as VS) and also display IE conditional comments.
    7) Option for a vertical split for Code View and Design View
    8) Ability to copy and paste files between EW and VS
    9) Add 'Title' to the Insert Image dialog and also Picture Properties' dialog.
    10) Rename Code Behind files if present, when an aspx page is renamed.

    Ian
    MS MVP Expression

    http://www.ew-resource.co.uk
    http://www.fp-resource.co.uk
    http://www.ew-resource.co.uk/v3  First Impressions of EW V3


    Ian Haynes
    • Edited by Ian Haynes Monday, August 3, 2009 8:55 AM additions
    Monday, August 3, 2009 8:45 AM
  • Ummm, sure. Just like all the database controls and all the membership bits -- what are those dang developer tools doing in a designer's toolbox anyway --
    ClarkNK, A.K.A. HomePage Doctor
    HomePageDoctor.com -- Expression Web database tutorials
    Ownertrades.com -- Created with FP, Access, Bots and Wizards
    MyNumbersTracker.com -- Created with Expression, VWDExress, SQL Express, and ASP.NET.
    Monday, August 3, 2009 11:23 AM
  • 1. Can't believe I'm still asking this - I'd really like the text selection issue repaired!!! This issue has only been hanging around this group for years!!!! You'd think it would have been taken care of by now.

    2. I've asked this on Connect already, but I'd really like a little more flexibility when pasting text, specifically retaining bolds and italics. I can't tell you how often I have to reintroduce them once EW has made everything normal on pasting.

    3. Toolbar customisation a must.


    BTW, UI doesn't fuss me.
    Monday, August 3, 2009 1:35 PM
  • 1. Can't believe I'm still asking this - I'd really like the text selection issue repaired!!! This issue has only been hanging around this group for years!!!! You'd think it would have been taken care of by now.
    It is.  It will be in the service pack.

    Paul Bartholomew
    Microsoft Expression Web
    Monday, August 3, 2009 6:38 PM
    Moderator
  • 2) Sort out the silly issues with using pages created from an ASP.Net MasterPage. These have been around since V1 and were fixed in VS2008's version of EW.
    We're collaborating with the Visual Web Developer team to take some of their code changes in this area.  Unfortunately, the changes are too extensive to take for a service pack.

    Paul Bartholomew
    Microsoft Expression Web
    Monday, August 3, 2009 6:39 PM
    Moderator
  • I maintain about 30-35 sites. When I need to open one, either on the MRU list or by clicking File, Open Site, the list includes the full path to the sites and it's really hard to scan the list since the paths are different lengths...

    H:\Work\MyCompany\RalphSpoilsport\SpoilsportMotors
    H:\Work\MyCompany\SiriusCyberneticsCorporation\BrownianMotion
    H:\Work\AnotherCompany\Maximegalon\MilliardGargantubrain
    H:\Work\MyCompany\MegadodoPublications\HHG

    All my sites are arranged in my data partition, and I don't need to know the full path. I'd rather just see...

    SpoilsportMotors
    BrownianMotion
    MilliardGargantubrain
    HHG

    Much easier to find a site quickly. I'd like to see just the site names listed.

    EDIT: From Cheryl's post, below, I see that my idea seems to have been addressed. I've only played around with EW 3 a very little bit on a friend's computer. I don't have it on mine.

    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 1:17 AM
  • In Expression Web 3's new Site Management section you give each site a friendly name which shows up in the first column. The site path is in the second column, followed by local or remote (file path or ftp/whatever) and last modified date.
    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com and online instructor led Expression Classes
    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 1:37 AM
  • To add to my other requests: Unless it's there already and I'm missing it......


    We have a 'Save All'. A 'Close All' would also be useful.

    Additionally as has been mentioned already, a 'Close' button at the top RH corner of the main work area (as in VS), either instead of or in addition to the close 'x' on each page tab.

    If you want to close half the files you have open, repeat clicking of this is much easier than going through each tab (which appear to want to close in a random order, not the order they were opened).


    Ian
    MS MVP Expression

    http://www.ew-resource.co.uk
    http://www.fp-resource.co.uk
    http://www.ew-resource.co.uk/v3  First Impressions of EW V3


    Ian Haynes
    • Edited by Ian Haynes Tuesday, August 4, 2009 9:07 AM added note
    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 9:05 AM
  • Adding to Ian's request:
    - The ability to right click on a Tab and choose 'Close Other Tabs'.  This would allow you to quickly close all tabs but the tab you are working on - very nice feature to have.
    --
    Chris Hanscom - Microsoft MVP
    On Facebook | On Twitter | Resource Center | Veign's Blog | Web Development Help

    Get a Complete Website Analysis by Veign
    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 1:32 PM
  • This is my request :
    * The workspace is too dark. Give us the choice to select or change the color of UI.
    * The ability to save the workspace with import and export function like visual studio 08
    * The ability to customize the toolbox.
    * The language span tag "<Span lang /> Tag".  This is one thing that can make me crazy with expression web2. It's really dificult to exchange files with collaborators specially if we want to work on a web site with multi-language support. There are different span tags depending of location of each collaborator. I think it will be very helpfull to disable automatic adds of <span lang = " "> by default.
    * Improve the rendering and display of masterpage create with visual studio. Sometimes my masterpage can't display on expression web 3 to resolve that i need to reformat or/and optimize the code to fix that. With expression web 2 no problem !! I don't know what is the problem.

    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 12:05 AM
  • You can get rid of the <span lang> tag by explicitly setting a language for the page either in the html element  or in a meta tag AND using he checkbox to tell Expression Web to ignore your keyboard settings under Site > Site Settings > Advanced tab.
    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com and online instructor led Expression Classes
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 2:07 AM
  • Fix the selected text color in Design View. If you have a white background the current color is extremely difficult to see.
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 4:46 AM
  • You know, I don't want to seem to be one who makes the obvious explicit, but if Microsoft had taken the trouble to come here, where many of the most ardent supporters and users of EW hang out, and asked our opinions to begin with, none of this "What can we do to make you happy?" c.r.a.p. would be necessary.

    If they had taken the time to release a public beta, as they did with EW2, instead of trying to meet an artificial "studio" release time frame (which turned out to be meaningless in any event, since basically nothing was release-ready on the date except Silverlight [Raise your hands, everyone who gives a flying eff about Silverlight. Yeah, thought so.]) they would have already figured out that their interface sucked, that people really, really don't like having their customization choices limited, or in this case, eliminated, that their existing customer base wanted issues that have existed for two versions now fixed before the bloody release, and not in a service pack, and that having the perception that the company who produces the software with which you earn your living is listening, and actually cares what you're saying, makes all the difference, then maybe we wouldn't have to be going through all this angst now.

    If...

    cheers,
    scott
    "If Sarah Palin looked like Golda Meir, would we even be talking about her today?" -- GOP strategist Mike Murphy
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 6:26 AM
  • You said it correctly, Scott, but I am not sure "they" are getting it. I wonder if they will ever admit that they've dropped the ball. It appears EW's entire team is messed up: from depressed designers who came up with the insane UI to project manager(s) who let it fly. They took so much time to produce version 3 and came up with a POS containing few improvements. That's just pitiful.
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 6:58 AM
  • More constructive than that you won't get :-)
    I couldn't agree more Scott. The text selection thing is a case in point. If MS had any sense of where their customers were at, they would AT THE VERY LEAST have repaired that one thing. For MS to say that it will be fixed in a service pack beggars belief - EW3 hasn't even been released for sale yet and MS is already giving us a list about what will be sorted out in a service pack. Hells bells!

    Poor old Paul, having to deal with angry users on this side, and bean-counters from MS on the other - don't want your job buddy, because MS has really got it badly wrong here.

    Mart
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 7:03 AM
  • "came up with a POS containing few improvements."


    I wouldn't go that far. The new FTP client and Snapshot/SuperPreview are major steps forward. (Although arguably you can get equivalent functionality with V2 + external tools).

    I do agree with Scott that the better way forward would have been an extended public beta to flush out the bugs and get customer feedback. And yes, a major effort to clear the bugs we've been reporting since V1, rather than an intermediate release quickly followed by a Service Pack.

    Silverlight 3 and Blend + Sketchflow are major releases too.

    Ian
    MS MVP Expression

    http://www.ew-resource.co.uk
    http://www.fp-resource.co.uk
    http://www.ew-resource.co.uk/v3  First Impressions of EW V3


    Ian Haynes
    • Edited by Ian Haynes Wednesday, August 5, 2009 7:16 AM added note
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 7:12 AM
  • More constructive than that you won't get :-)
    I must have missed the "constructive" part of that post.  :-)

    For MS to say that it will be fixed in a service pack beggars belief - EW3 hasn't even been released for sale yet and MS is already giving us a list about what will be sorted out in a service pack. Hells bells!
    It's not that unusual, honestly.  We wrapped up primary development on EW3 a month or so before we actually made it available, so it's not exactly a surprise that we would already be working on something new.  Would you prefer that we *not* tell you about the service pack?  I just thought you might like to know that we're working on some of these things.  We're working on several fronts now; the service pack is only one of the things that is under development.

    Poor old Paul, having to deal with angry users on this side, and bean-counters from MS on the other - don't want your job buddy, because MS has really got it badly wrong here.
    Goes with the territory.  I've been doing this for 23 years and I have yet to see a release of any software product that users (or developers) were completely happy with.  The grumbling about this release hasn't been any worse than, say, Datastorm Technologies first release of Procomm Plus for Windows or Microsoft Platform Builder 4.0 for Windows CE, both of which I worked on.  Some of the complaints I agree with, some I don't; some of the comments are accurate, some are way off; but, for the most part, I'm just here to listen and occasionally to offer a bit of help or information if I know something about the problem under discussion.

    Posting here isn't officially part of my job, so I'm free to leave any time things get too negative.  So far, though, that hasn't been an issue.
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 11:24 PM
    Moderator
  • Paul,

    Thank you for all that you have done to address the comments users have made regarding EW3. I believe I speak for all the regulars around here when I say that we appreciate you. We know that responding to questions or problems isn't part of your regular assignment, and its a testament to your belief in the product and its users for which we say thanks.

    It is a very good thing when the MS folks come by and offer their expertise. I, for one, would like this to continue.

    Thanks again,

    -Preston
    Columbia, CA. USA http://www.gildedmoon.com
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 11:49 PM
  • Wow...I used Several versions of Procomm Plus. ;-)
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 12:03 AM
  • Not me. I was Telix all the way. ;-)

    I stayed with it up until the first Windows version, which had... issues. That, and the coming of Internet access, which pretty much did in local BBSes, made that the last version I owned.

    I did use the DOS version later in my job as electronics technician in a manufacturing plant, for communication with plant floor test and measurement equipment, but that was about it.

    Ah, the days of AT commands and command line communications... ;-)

    cheers,
    scott
    "If Sarah Palin looked like Golda Meir, would we even be talking about her today?" -- GOP strategist Mike Murphy
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 12:23 AM
  • How about this for an idea...

    If I have something in the code like <strong> or <a href="index.htm"> and I want to delete it, right now if I double-click, it only highlights the word strong or index, leaving the cursor between the <|> after I delete strong or not highlighting everything if I click index. Then I have to hit both delete and backspace.

    If I triple-click, it highlights the whole line (which I almost never want).

    That's okay for Word, but not HTML code editing.

    How about making the double-click highlight everything, including < and >...even if it's more than one word.

    And if it isn't between < >, it would act as it does now, highlight just a word.

    That would be boffo.
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 2:27 AM
  • Heh, heh, if so, make it a switchable setting in Application Options, PEO, or somewhere. I prefer the way it works now. I use end-of-div marker comments for ease in reading and navigating the markup, something like this

    <div id="leftCol">

    ... 20 or 30 lines of markup ...

    </div> <!-- end leftCol div -->

    Once I create the first such marker, for subsequent divs I just copy a previous marker comment, paste it at the end of the div, then double-click the div's id and Ctrl-C copy it, then double-click the id in the marker and Ctrl-V paste to change it to that of the current div. The process goes a lot quicker than it took me to type it, or you to read it. If it worked the way you want, when I double-clicked the id I'd get the whole div declaration, and when I pasted I'd be replacing the whole marker comment. Not good. ;-)

    Different folks, different strokes. Everybody's got his own way of working, especially hard-core coders, and what's gold for one is dreck for another. Which just points up once again the critical importance of permitting as much developer customization as possible in the user interace.

    Hint, hint... ;-)

    cheers,
    scott
    "If Sarah Palin looked like Golda Meir, would we even be talking about her today?" -- GOP strategist Mike Murphy
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 2:46 AM
  • You know, I do treat my middle finger as though it's a vestigial organ some times (except in traffic, of course). I could right click and choose "select tag", so it's not a big deal, it would just be faster. Maybe they could leave it as is but have Ctrl-dbl-click option for selecting the whole tag.

    Or maybe I should just use the right mouse button more.
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 4:11 AM
  • I use the qick tag bar at the top of the window to select tags but as you say, different strokes for different folks.
    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com and online instructor led Expression Classes
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 1:48 PM
  • Me too. It seems the easiest way to me and I still have some problems selecting test otherwise. Looking forward to the service pack to get that fixed.

    pat
    Pat Geary Microsoft MVP Expression Web http://www.expression-web-tutorials.com/ http://www.expression-web-tips.com/
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 2:32 PM
  • I've said some of these before myself, but here's the list again and copied some things from above. Right now, I find myself going back to EW2 more and more even though I have EW3 working fine... I just can't get as prodcutive with it. Feels slower too for some reason. I think a lot of it has to do with the terrible UI colors. Feels so dark and depressing, heavy and slow, cold, tiring.

    1) An alternative to the black UI, preferably something better than the 'Expression Light' scheme in ED.
    2) Customize toolbars
    3) Open a second instance of EW from the 'Recent Sites' list (this is so annoying in EW3) Should be a default to open in new instance if you already have a web open. Don't freeking close the web I already have open. Geeze.
    4) Move entire "Sites" tab next to FILE, or under file or something. It's so unnnatural to "open" a site from way over.
    5) text selection issue repaired!!! Freaking horrible ____. You just TRY and inster in image in front of a paragraph that starts with a word like "Imagine"...IMPOSSIBLE!
    6) Buttons, icons, scrollbars etc all feel too small. It's hard to click on things.
    7) Make the scrollbars NORMAL scrollbars. You're just making this hard to use, stick with standards for godoness sakes.
    8) Allow files to be locked when open. So if you have 5 people working on a single site if someone else has a page open it would prevent anyone else from opening (or at least editing) that open page. Huge new feature here. hint hint

    I maintain about 100+ sites. When I need to open one, either on the MRU list or by clicking File, Open Site, the list includes the full path to the sites and it's really hard to scan the list since the paths are different lengths...

    H:\Work\MyCompany\RalphSpoilsport\SpoilsportMotors
    H:\Work\MyCompany\SiriusCyberneticsCorporation\BrownianMotion
    H:\Work\AnotherCompany\Maximegalon\MilliardGargantubrain
    H:\Work\MyCompany\MegadodoPublications\HHG

    All my sites are arranged in my data partition, and I don't need to know the full path. I'd rather just see...

    SpoilsportMotors
    BrownianMotion
    MilliardGargantubrain
    HHG

    Agreed, make it customizable. So if ALL my paths are d\business\webs\company\website.com let me filter out the d\business\webs\ from the paths so I only see the company name\website. Sure would be easier to scan.

    Additionally as has been mentioned already, a 'Close' button at the top RH corner of the main work area (as in VS), either instead of or in addition to the close 'x' on each page tab.
    If you want to close half the files you have open, repeat clicking of this is much easier than going through each tab (which appear to want to close in a random order, not the order they were opened).

    Thursday, August 6, 2009 4:29 PM
  • Eric, two of your requests are addressed in the Site Manager dialog in Expression Web 3.  If you open that, you'll see your sites listed by friendly name as well as by path, both fields sortable, and with the dialog resizable, so that you can see the full fields no matter how long your paths are.  And if you double-click on a site in that dialog, it opens in a new instance of Expression Web.

    As far as I know, the clickable areas of the buttons, icons, and scrollbars are almost all the same in Expression Web 3 as they were in Expression Web 2. For example, they were 16x16 icons in the prior version; they're still 16x16 icons.

    The text selection issue will be fixed in the upcoming service pack.

    Paul Bartholomew
    Microsoft Expression Web
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 5:53 PM
    Moderator
  • I would like to clarify - 

    We are mainly interested in any bugs that you would like to see fixed. We cannot add new features with a service pack.

    These things are major work items which could not be addressed in a service pack any time soon - 

    1. VBA
    2. Color scheme
    3. Customizability (menus, toolbars)

    We understand that some of our customers are very passionate about some of the above listed items. I do not want to get your hopes up - so I am going to be blunt about it now - none of these three items are planned to return in an update. These are all major work items that likely cannot be addressed during Expression Web 3's lifetime.

    These are things that we do plan to address in a Fall 2009 update - 

    1. Extensibility (.NET, COM)
    2. Some bug fixes (for example, improving text selection on the design view)

    If you have bugs that you would like to see fixed, please make sure that they are filed on Connect (http://connect.microsoft.com). If you want to raise awareness around them, post about them here, and also rate them on Connect.

    We take feedback from our customers very seriously and we are doing everything we can do within our resources to fulfill requests from our customers and to make our customers happy. Unfortunately - we do not have infinite resources and not everything is possible - so please understand that we cannot undertake every request.

    Justin
    Friday, August 7, 2009 1:16 AM
    Moderator
  • "5) Extensibility. Would be great to have the V2 extensions usable in V3 but I appreciate that's a big call. I can always continue using V2 for the ones I most need. We need a fixed extensibility model that encourages developers to produce add-ins for EW without this investment being wasted two versions down the line."

    Expression Web 1 add-ins don't work in Expression Web 2 and Expression Web 2 add-ins won't work in Expression Web 3. This has, unfortunately, always been the case. Developers must adapt their add-ins for each version of Expression Web. This requires very minimal work (just recompiling the code and tweaking some minor things) - but it's still work that has to be done.

    We know that this is not a great experience for our customers or for our partners. We are going to restore add-in functionality in Expression Web 3 with a Fall 2009 update just as it existed in previous versions of Expression Web. There will not be any substantial changes. This is to make life easier for developers that have already written add-ins for Expression Web.

    We understand that add-ins are very important to our customers and partners and we do intend to support add-ins in Expression Web for the foreseeable future - and maybe even make some of the changes that you mention in your comment. Right now, I don't have anything more to tell you, but trust me, we are listening.
    Friday, August 7, 2009 1:31 AM
    Moderator
  • <quote>
    1. VBA
    2. Color scheme
    3. Customizability (menus, toolbars)

    We understand that some of our customers are very passionate about some of the above listed items. I do not want to get your hopes up - so I am going to be blunt about it now - none of these three items are planned to return in an update. These are all major work items that likely cannot be addressed during Expression Web 3's lifetime.
    </quote>

    Not good Justin.
    Not good at all.

    I will give you credit for being honest though.

    FrontPage MVP
    Friday, August 7, 2009 1:57 AM
  • Justin is correct that we will not be restoring the Customize menu option for the service pack.  However, we are currently investigating the possibility of releasing some sort of "power toy" via a download that would provide at least some of the same functionality.  Specific details, obviously, are very much TBD and we're not ready to say what we'll be able to provide or when we'll be able to provide it.

    The jury is still out on the issue of the color scheme.  We're currently evaluating both the development and test costs of doing something here, most likely allowing a fallback to the Windows system colors.  Justin is likely right that it will be too expensive to provide this, but the final decision hasn't been made yet.  As soon as we have made the final call, one of us will post here.

    Paul Bartholomew
    Microsoft Expression Web
    Friday, August 7, 2009 2:20 AM
    Moderator
  • "2. Color scheme"

    If you can't put a light color scheme in a service pack, you will lose many customers for the upgrade, and could frustrate many who buy without trialing first and discover the UI color too late.  While full customization of the color scheme may not be possilble in  a service pack timeframe, even one alternative light scheme (not dark and "less dark" like Blend) would make the difference for many of us.  Otherwise, I, for one, may just wait for Expression 4 when my EW3 trial expires.

    I'm looking forward to hearing the decision.
    Friday, August 7, 2009 2:31 AM
  • What Kathy said. The VBA, frankly, I can live without, especially if you're anticipating having .NET/COM extensibility of some degree. The menu/toolbar customization is a bit more problematic. The customizations I have done are not extensive, but they do contribute noticeably to productivity. Still, I could probably live without them until the next version (and I still can't fathom why in hel it was deemed a good thing to eliminate them).

    That interface color scheme, though, man, that's pretty much a showstopper. For those of us who spend the majority of our time in code view, switching back and forth between that light, high contrast area and the abysmally dark surrounding interface is physically tiring. That would be the case even if some of us hadn't already reached the presbyopia years, but many of us have, and find using the product wearying. Beyond that, as others have mentioned, the U/I is just plain dreary and depressing. It's no fun to work in, and I mean that in the literal sense.

    As far as cost, the expense of doing this, weigh very carefully the nature of that consideration. How much lost upgrade revenue will you have to incur before you balance whatever the development and test costs come to? What about the loss of good will, which is tangible enough to carry on the books, especially when that loss means that those who the marketing folks call "influencers," the ones who talk up your product and help promote sales, the ones who have corporate purchasing influence or full authority, decide to pass on this version? At what point do the goodwill costs balance the dollar cost to fix this issue?

    Look, we didn't screw this up. We didn't forge ahead without so much as a public beta. We didn't release a product before it was ready just to meet an artificial suite release deadline. I doubt seriously that the decision was made by the development crew, either, but in any event, we had no control over or even the most minimal input into the decisions taken. You talk about the costs of fixing this. The corollary if you're not prepared to pay them is that we must, in reduced productivity. I have a problem with that.

    cheers,
    scott
    "If Sarah Palin looked like Golda Meir, would we even be talking about her today?" -- GOP strategist Mike Murphy
    Friday, August 7, 2009 4:15 AM
  • <snip>
    1. VBA
    2. Color scheme
    3. Customizability (menus, toolbars)

    We understand that some of our customers are very passionate about some of the above listed items. I do not want to get your hopes up - so I am going to be blunt about it now - none of these three items are planned to return in an update. These are all major work items that likely cannot be addressed during Expression Web 3's lifetime.
    </snip>

    If the colour issue isn't addresses in the very short term I'd be very surprised not to see a slump in take-up of upgrades and product sales. Obviously this is only a personal feeling, but I've now shown V3 to four customers who do a little web work themselves. One said he could live with it, the other three said they'd stick with what they'd already got.

    <snip>
    We take feedback from our customers very seriously and we are doing everything we can do within our resources to fulfill requests from our customers and to make our customers happy.
    </snip>

    Then why didn't you get feedback on the black UI in particular, far earlier? We could have told you from the outset about the accessibility issues.


    <snip>
    Eric, two of your requests are addressed in the Site Manager dialog in Expression Web 3.  If you open that, you'll see your sites listed by friendly name as well as by path, both fields sortable, and with the dialog resizable, so that you can see the full fields no matter how long your paths are.  And if you double-click on a site in that dialog, it opens in a new instance of Expression Web.
    </snip>

    This is not the same, or as convenient, as opening a new instance of EW from the Recent Sites list, which is the way it's worked in previous versions of EW. I bugged this on 12th June and got a sympathetic response.


    Ian
    MS MVP Expression



    Ian Haynes
    Friday, August 7, 2009 7:55 AM
  • <quote>
    1. VBA
    2. Color scheme
    3. Customizability (menus, toolbars)
    </quote

    I can live without the VBA.
    The current color scheme is NOT something I can live with.
    The lack of customization on the toolbars and menus is NOT something I can live with.

    <quote>We take feedback from our customers very seriously and we are doing everything we can do within our resources to fulfill requests from our customers and to make our customers happy.</quote>

    Ian said it "Then why didn't you get feedback on the black UI in particular, far earlier? We could have told you from the outset about the accessibility issues."

    While I love the increased speed of the new ftp client, it would not be enough in itself to cause me to switch to v3. I will be keeping versions 1 and 2 to work with all of my addons and patiently wait for version 4 and hope that MS has paid attention to our wants/needs in allowing us to work productively.

    Pat

    Pat Geary Microsoft MVP Expression Web http://www.expression-web-tutorials.com/ http://www.expression-web-tips.com/
    Friday, August 7, 2009 12:30 PM
  • <fwiw>
    The first bug about the black theme was posted by Ian Haynes in October 2007.
    He also posted another bug about the same issue in March of this year.
    </fwiw>

    FrontPage MVP
    Friday, August 7, 2009 12:43 PM
  • D ramousin expect expertI would like to clarify - 

    We are mainly interested in any bugs that you would like to see fixed. We cannot add new features with a service pack.

    These things are major work items which could not be addressed in a service pack any time soon - 

    1. VBA
    2. Color scheme
    3. Customizability (menus, toolbars)

    We understand that some of our customers are very passionate about some of the above listed items. I do not want to get your hopes up - so I am going to be blunt about it now - none of these three items are planned to return in an update. These are all major work items that likely cannot be addressed during Expression Web 3's lifetime.

    lf then is no change to color scheme options or ability to customize toolbars then expect that many people will not upgrade to us and unless you continue to make v2 available many people will not be purchasing expression Web until these changes ere made.

    I know that I cannot spend more than 45 minutes at a time working in the black interface. The net effect of which is that I either work more in Dreamweaver.


    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com and online instructor led Expression Classes
    Friday, August 7, 2009 1:33 PM
  • Ian,

    There is such a feature.  Got to windows>close all pages on the menu.  One note, you have to be viewing a page in design/code view or the feature will be greyed out.


    MIke
    Friday, August 7, 2009 2:12 PM
  • I and others complained about the black interface since its very first public appearance at MlX 09. Look of the comments on Soma's blog post http://blogs.msdn.com/somasegar/archive/2009/06/05/expression-web-3.aspx. The reaction to the new interface color scheme was overwhelmingly negative.  In the threads here the color scheme is listed as the number one showstopper why people will not buy the upgrade.

    Several people here have stated that they had pre-ordered the upgrade before the trial came out but as soon as they were able to install the trial they cancelled their pre-order because of the interface.

    I can live without the VBA and my existing add-ins not working if it means a consistent extensibility model in the future. I could even manage to live without the abiity to customize the menus/toolbars (though it won't make me happy) by creating code snippeds and assigning shortcut keys but what I can't do is work in the interface for any length of time.  Which is a pity because I prefer to work with CSS in Expression Web but I can keep using v2 and Dreameaver.

    Scott mentioned the contrast between the interface and code view - if you were really going to be consistent with the black UI then shouldn't code view also be black with light text?  Or have you recognized just how untentable that would be to work in?
    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com and online instructor led Expression Classes
    Friday, August 7, 2009 2:15 PM
  • Thanks Mike, I did wonder whether I'd missed it somewhere!

    I suppose it's logical to have it there but I'd have expected to see it on the File menu.

    When we get customisation back .......


    Ian
    MS MVP Expression

    http://www.ew-resource.co.uk
    http://www.fp-resource.co.uk
    http://www.ew-resource.co.uk/v3  First Impressions of EW V3


    Ian Haynes
    Friday, August 7, 2009 2:19 PM
  • I haven't used EW3, but I have used Blend2. I can say that its very dark UI is very hard on my eyes. I use Photo Shop every day, and have set the workspace to a neutral grey of about 20% reflectance. This color works well for long hours working on images. A similar color, or a choice of schemes (or the ability to use Windows color schemes) appears to be obligatory for EW.

    I only use one add-on for EW: CSS Sculptor from Web Assist. It would be nice if I could use it in EW3. I do understand that the vendor will have to update their add on to be compatible with EW3, however.

    I don't really need VBA.

    I would like ability to customize toolbars and menus.

    As others have stated, a public beta of EW3 should have been put forward so that we could identify bugs and the usablitiy issues early on. Doing so would have saved MS much time and resources in the long run, in my opinion. I think MS sort of put the cart before the horse this time around. Now, it appears that those of us who considered purchasing EW3 will place that purchace on hold until our concerns are mitigated.

    Again, I do thank the dev team for the work they have done on EW, and I hope a service pack is released soon that addresses our concerns.

    Regards,

    -Preston


    Columbia, CA. USA http://www.gildedmoon.com
    Friday, August 7, 2009 2:45 PM
  • I suppose it's logical to have it there but I'd have expected to see it on the File menu.

    When we get customisation back .......
    Ian Haynes
    I dunno, Ian. Logical? Yeah, maybe, I guess. Kinda sorta, but for, oh... 17 or 18 years now I've kinda become accustomed to File|Close All. That is, after all, what is being done. I expect Arrange options under Window, not File options.

    Yeah, when we get customization back. Whenever that is...

    cheers,
    scott
    "If Sarah Palin looked like Golda Meir, would we even be talking about her today?" -- GOP strategist Mike Murphy
    Friday, August 7, 2009 3:25 PM
  • I only use one add-on for EW: CSS Sculptor from Web Assist. It would be nice if I could use it in EW3. I do understand that the vendor will have to update their add on to be compatible with EW3, however.
    You know, I bought that back when it was on sale for $50, and I just don't use it. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with it, it's just that it's in the nature of tools like that to turn out fairly bland results. It's solid CSS, however, so I suppose that it would be great as  teaching tool, or for creating a starting point for a vanilla site, but as a hand-coder I just don't see much use for it. Glad you like it and get some use out of it.

    As others have stated, a public beta of EW3 should have been put forward so that we could identify bugs and the usablitiy issues early on. Doing so would have saved MS much time and resources in the long run, in my opinion. I think MS sort of put the cart before the horse this time around. Now, it appears that those of us who considered purchasing EW3 will place that purchace on hold until our concerns are mitigated.
    What Microsoft did was determine to go forward with what they wanted to do with the program, in what at least appears from the outside to be an arrogant disdain for the wishes of the users. Looking back now, it seems that there was no public beta because they had no intention of listening to users' opinions in any event, so why bother with a beta release when they would have to start hearing all of these complaints even earlier? That may not have been the way it was, but in the current circumstances how does one not have at least a suspicion that that was how the decisions were taken? And in marketing, as with Caesar's wife, perception is everything...

    cheers,
    scott
    "If Sarah Palin looked like Golda Meir, would we even be talking about her today?" -- GOP strategist Mike Murphy
    Friday, August 7, 2009 3:42 PM
  • A Lighter UI Theme - Is number one on my list right. IT's very hard to see things.
    Friday, August 7, 2009 5:34 PM
  • <fwiw>
    The first bug about the black theme was posted by Ian Haynes in October 2007.
    He also posted another bug about the same issue in March of this year.
    </fwiw>



    My bug in Oct 2007 related to V2's new UI colour scheme, at the time. I now find that perfectly acceptable and very much preferrable to V3. Whilst the V2 scheme jarred after being used to FP and V1, the V3 UI is a different issue and is very difficult to work with for extended periods.

    Ian
    MS MVP Expression

    http://www.ew-resource.co.uk
    http://www.fp-resource.co.uk
    http://www.ew-resource.co.uk/v3  First Impressions of EW V3


    Ian Haynes
    Friday, August 7, 2009 5:40 PM
  • Hi all - 

    Just wanted to let you know that we definitely hear you about the color scheme. We've heard you loud and clear. If anything changes on our side, I'll let you know. Thanks for taking the time to write us about this.

    Justin
    Friday, August 7, 2009 6:24 PM
    Moderator
  • Given the reaction to the interface AND the new minimum system requirements for EW 3, is there any thought being given to continuing to sell both ver 2 and 3?

    I've used EW 3 only briefly on another machine; mine won't run it (memory and video card fall short). I use EW 2 easily on my computer for many hours each day, and I'm guessing that there is a world of people out there running XP, Pentiums, with 512 or, 640MB RAM who think (as I do) that upgrading a computer like this just to run EW 3 doesn't make sense. No sense throwing good money away. They may be waiting until Win 7 comes out or just trying to postpone the tsuris that comes with moving to a new computer.

    Any chance of still selling EW 2?
    Friday, August 7, 2009 6:48 PM
  • What Microsoft did was determine to go forward with what they wanted to do with the program, in what at least appears from the outside to be an arrogant disdain for the wishes of the users. Looking back now, it seems that there was no public beta because they had no intention of listening to users' opinions in any event, so why bother with a beta release when they would have to start hearing all of these complaints even earlier? That may not have been the way it was, but in the current circumstances how does one not have at least a suspicion that that was how the decisions were taken? And in marketing, as with Caesar's wife, perception is everything...
    With all due respect, Scott, your speculation is neither accurate nor helpful.

    Paul Bartholomew
    Microsoft Expression Web

    Friday, August 7, 2009 7:26 PM
    Moderator
  • Paul, as I stated, that may not have been the way it was. But, just for a moment, step outside your position, step outside of Microsoft, and put youself in your loyal user's position. Think about it, seriously. Would you not tend to speculate about why there was no beta whatsoever? Would you not wonder why it was necessary to rush the product into a launch date on which it was not even ready to ship? Wouldn't it occur to you to speculate about why, when complaints had been heard beginning as early as MIX, nothing was done to address the UI issue?

    Come on now, not in your current position, but from out here, as a customer looking in, wouldn't you at least wonder why these things were done the way they were? Granted, the speculation above probably isn't entirely accurate. But, OTOH, is any part of it accurate? What the hel did motivate those moves? We're sitting out here like mushrooms, with no indication as to why our wishes were never solicited, why we were never consulted in the most minimal fashion, or why, when we made our wishes known in spite of the deafening silence from Microsoft, we were basically ignored and blown off.

    We're clueless, and disappointed, and a touch POed. As I concluded, my speculation may not have been accurate, and I didn't aver that it was, but we've been given nothing else to go on, and at least the perception of what went on as described above is as reasonable under the circumstances as any other speculation.

    cheers,
    scott
    "If Sarah Palin looked like Golda Meir, would we even be talking about her today?" -- GOP strategist Mike Murphy
    Friday, August 7, 2009 7:48 PM
  • Any chance of still selling EW 2?
    Highly unlikely, for a variety of reasons.

    Paul Bartholomew
    Microsoft Expression Web
    Friday, August 7, 2009 7:53 PM
    Moderator
  • Would you not tend to speculate about why there was no beta whatsoever?
    Not really, but that's because I've been doing this for so many years.  Not every product consistently releases a public beta.  And the narrower the time between releases, the less like it is that there will be a public beta.  In our case, there were two private previews for Expression Web 3, so it's not correct that nobody got to look at it or comment on it.

    Would you not wonder why it was necessary to rush the product into a launch date on which it was not even ready to ship?
    Actually, we held it back for nearly a month from its original planned ship date in order to improve the quality and make it ready to ship.  The fact that we're working on a service pack does not mean that the product was not ready to ship.  The overall quality on this release was at least as high as on any of our prior releases, and higher in some areas.

    Wouldn't it occur to you to speculate about why, when complaints had been heard beginning as early as MIX, nothing was done to address the UI issue?
    It would, if we had not, in fact, done something to address the UI issue.  We tweaked the UI quite a lot between MIX and the final release.  You've asked us to look at it from your perspective; now look at it from ours.  We heard a lot of griping about the UI in Expression Web 2 and we provided the fallback mechanism in that release because it was fairly easy to do.  What we found, though, was that the more people used it, the less likely they were to complain about it, and that very few people actually used that checkbox to change the UI.  Even our harshest critics have admitted that the UI improved between MIX and the final release.  Did we underestimate the pushback?  Yes, but it was a natural mistake to make and it's one we're currently working to rectify.

    But, OTOH, is any part of it accurate?
    Honestly?  No.

    We're sitting out here like mushrooms, with no indication as to why our wishes were never solicited, why we were never consulted in the most minimal fashion, or why, when we made our wishes known in spite of the deafening silence from Microsoft, we were basically ignored and blown off.
    There are two points to make here.  The first is that it's not true that we didn't listen nor that we ignored you or blew you off or that there is "deafening silence."  What am I?  Chopped liver?

    The second is that very few software companies provide any real insight into their inner workings.  I could go into great detail about the discussions we had, the tradeoffs we made, the technical reasons for some of those tradeoffs, the negotiations we had with other teams, the juggling between feature sets for different kinds of users, the conflicts between marketing, money, schedule, resources, and features, and so on, but, at the end of the day, all that matters is whether you like what we did.  I could easily tell you, for example, that the reason we don't have the ability to recognize that a file was changed outside of Expression Web is that I lost a developer for some months because of a family emergency (this is true, by the way), but does that really matter to you?  *Should* it matter to you?  Does it alter your opinion of the product?

    I could also tell you that extensibility got moved to the front of the line once we heard the feedback from users but that it did not make it into the product release because we needed time to work with third-party vendors and could not justify holding back the product release for that one feature.  But, again, should that really matter?

    You'll either like what we did or you won't.  If you do, you'll vote with your pocketbook and you'll buy it.  If you don't, you'll pass this one by and we'll take a hit.  All we can do is hope that, over time, we get it right for enough of you and that enough of you will continue to buy our product, regardless of the inner workings and tradeoffs that led us to the decisions we made.

    Paul Bartholomew
    Microsoft Expression Web

    P.S.  For those of you who were part of the private preview, there's a new message in the preview newsgroup.
    Friday, August 7, 2009 8:53 PM
    Moderator
  •     "What we found, though, was that the more people used it, the less likely they were to complain about it,
         and that very few people actually used that checkbox to change the UI."

    I don't know about anyone else, but as soon as I found out about this capability, I checked it and have never changed it back. My Windows color setting is silver, which makes for a nice light background with black text - amazingly similar to what everyone seems to want in EW3! I'm a longtime Mac user, and really appreciate the attractive standardized interface between apps (coincidentally, also a light gray with black text!). I see no reason to mess with colors unless it is to allow user customization. Even IE, which I despise, allows that.

    As an example of just how cool an app can be, I normally use FF for my browser. I have the Personas add-on installed, which allows me to change the look of it anytime I choose. I can actually scroll down the list of available Personas and preview them in real time! If they can do that , why is it so hard (impossible ?!) to simply change a color from black to something more suitable?

    That said, I can ignore the interface if I have to, as I don't spend too much time per day on web design. My boss will probably buy EW3 for the improvements it does offer. However, this whole issue is irritating to me, and the MS response to it will likely influence future purchase decisions.

    Jim
    Friday, August 7, 2009 9:47 PM
  •     "What we found, though, was that the more people used it, the less likely they were to complain about it,
         and that very few people actually used that checkbox to change the UI."
    The very first thing I did was change the default color scheme in EW2 to my windows colors. It is certainly much easier to work with when you are working on web design for a major part of the day.

    Pat

    Pat Geary Microsoft MVP Expression Web http://www.expression-web-tutorials.com/ http://www.expression-web-tips.com/
    Friday, August 7, 2009 9:55 PM
  • Same thing here. I spent a half an hour trying to fiddle with my monitor settings because the text in EW-2 UI was so hard on my eyes until I figured out how to change it to the Windows Default. I have a high end LCD and it was just too hard on me. I am sure everyone is different but I have heard this comment from people here as well as real Pro's working for a very big firm as well.

    I just can not purchase EW-3 with its present UI and I have not bothered to even get the free trial because I do not want to deal with the irritation this causes. All 6 collaborators feel the same way and say they cant work with it, so thats possibly 6 lost sales right there just in my very small sphere.  


    Cant wait for another service pack or next version either. If its not corrected by the end of September I bet my boss is going to make us go to DW. Major bummer! It will be the first time a non-MS product is used for web work here. Myself- I go all the way back to FP 97. If we change I doubt we will look again for many years.
    Friday, August 7, 2009 10:17 PM
  • "The very first thing I did was change the default color scheme in EW2 to my windows colors. "

    Ditto.  And ditto for my friend who I taught EW2.  And when the ability to do that was pointed out, it stopped complaints about the default UI in this forum and the newsgroup.
    Friday, August 7, 2009 10:31 PM
  • Any chance of still selling EW 2?
    You already have a copy, right? Or are you asking on behalf of other people?
    Friday, August 7, 2009 11:14 PM
  • With all due respect, Scott, your speculation is neither accurate nor helpful.

    Paul Bartholomew
    It could be helpful if you dropped your defense and did what your customers want.
    Friday, August 7, 2009 11:15 PM
  • "The very first thing I did was change the default color scheme in EW2 to my windows colors. "
    That's what I did too.
    Friday, August 7, 2009 11:24 PM
  • I could easily tell you, for example, that the reason we don't have the ability to recognize that a file was changed outside of Expression Web is that I lost a developer for some months because of a family emergency (this is true, by the way)
    And, at the time of increased unemployment, you couldn't find a (at least, a temporary) replacement?
    Friday, August 7, 2009 11:26 PM
  • And, at the time of increased unemployment, you couldn't find a (at least, a temporary) replacement?
    Sigh...  And now you can see why no software company provides the details of their inner workings, not only because of this kind of second-guessing, but also because no amount of detail I provide will be enough for some.

    Paul Bartholomew
    Microsoft Expression Web

    Friday, August 7, 2009 11:38 PM
    Moderator
  • O.K. Paul - Well We are on your side even if it does not seem like it all the time. We all to one degree or another have an interest in your making it the best product possible. Yes you have to take a lot of s##t but thats how truth hurts sometimes. If it did not hurt you would not address the issues. I can not speak for anyone else but I have an appreciation for the problems you are facing. And if you were short handed- well anyone who has ever worked with a team understands the dynamics at play and that holds true no matter what size company. Some things are so complex it takes six months or a year to even comprehend the code or work flow- I can understand that.

    I said it before- your job may be a bit like pulling the Queen Mary into port by swimming with a tow rope clenched in your teeth. And when you get it docked then everyone will wonder why you took so long and why you are tired. Thats Life.

    But in the end I think everyone wants you to fix it so they will use it and learn to love it. And its nice to know your team is human and the UI was not designed by Darth Vader. Push them to the edge and get er done and in the end everyone wins and the product will triumph.





    Saturday, August 8, 2009 12:10 AM
  • "its nice to know ... the UI was not designed by Darth Vader."

    I'm not sure about that!  ;)

    But Paul, I do want to say that I really appreciate the time you are spending here, especially since, as you've said, it's not really part of your job.
    Saturday, August 8, 2009 12:13 AM
  • Sigh...  And now you can see why no software company provides the details of their inner workings

    Paul Bartholomew
    Yes, this way, it is easier to hide flaws in their business.


    surferbob , yes, I am sure some systems are so complex that it can take months to understand enough to contribute. However, my experience allows me to suppose that EW isn't that complex. I've participated in complex projects, and myself and others have begun contributing useful, complex things within relatively short periods of time.

    From everything Paul has said, I see failure to gather potential customers' input correctly and produce appropriate requirements as well as other project management failures.
    Saturday, August 8, 2009 12:57 AM
  • "its nice to know ... the UI was not designed by Darth Vader."

    I'm not sure about that!  ;)

    Priceless.
    Best laugh I have had all day.

    FrontPage MVP
    Saturday, August 8, 2009 1:28 AM
  • "its nice to know ... the UI was not designed by Darth Vader."

    I'm not sure about that!  ;)
    Priceless.
    Best laugh I have had all day.

    We tried so hard to get the asthmatic breathing sounds and the Ewoks in in before we shipped, but we just ran out of time.  Oh, well ... another task for the service pack.

    Paul Bartholomew
    Microsoft Expression Web
    Saturday, August 8, 2009 1:48 AM
    Moderator
  • "its nice to know ... the UI was not designed by Darth Vader."

    I'm not sure about that!  ;)
    Priceless.
    Best laugh I have had all day.

    We tried so hard to get the asthmatic breathing sounds and the Ewoks in in before we shipped, but we just ran out of time.  Oh, well ... another task for the service pack.

    Paul Bartholomew
    Microsoft Expression Web
    Heh, heh... ;-)

    OK, ya got me. I'll quit my bitchin' and moaning now. You must have the temperment of a saint, to put up with the abuse we've been hurling at you (well, at Microsoft, I suppose, embodied here by you) and still have a sense of humor.

    Reading through a couple of my last few posts I note that I've begun to take on some of the characteristics of a conspiracy theorist, and if there's a breed I cannot abide, that would be it. When it comes right down to it, what's done is done, and no amount of shrilling about it is going to change that. Time to move forward.

    I choose to believe that you will do what you can to address the U/I issue, and if that is achieved, I for one will be satisfied, and will happily purchase the upgrade. The other stuff can wait if necessary, but without exaggeration, that factor truly does make working in EW3 sufficiently unpleasant that I will probably pass on this version until it is rectified.

    Thank you for your patience, and for endeavoring to respond calmly and directly to our complaints. I truly do hope that you and your team will be able to find the time and the resources to address the U/I issue. Buona fortuna to you in your efforts.

    cheers,
    scott

    "If Sarah Palin looked like Golda Meir, would we even be talking about her today?" -- GOP strategist Mike Murphy
    Saturday, August 8, 2009 2:11 AM
  • <quote>
    We tried so hard to get the asthmatic breathing sounds and the Ewoks in in before we shipped, but we just ran out of time.  Oh, well ... another task for the service pack.
    </quote>

    May the force be with you.
    Need to find an Ewok icon and add it to the Toolbox.
    It can be done...
    ;-)

    FrontPage MVP
    Saturday, August 8, 2009 2:11 AM
  • These things are major work items which could not be addressed in a service pack any time soon - 

    1. VBA
    2. Color scheme
    3. Customizability (menus, toolbars)

    We understand that some of our customers are very passionate about some of the above listed items.
    I thought Microsoft used to be passionate about all these things.

    The true complaint here is not that these things will not be in a service pack but rather that they would drop out of the product from version to version. As I have said before, it is inexplicable.

    Who ever heard of a product upgrade in which features got lost?
    Saturday, August 8, 2009 2:20 AM
  • I choose to believe that you will do what you can to address the U/I issue
    We're trying, we really are.  I'm just not going to offer a commitment (yet) that I may not be able to live up to.  All I can tell you is that we're working on it and that we haven't given up on trying to get it in for the service pack.  More than that, I cannot say at this time.

    Paul Bartholomew
    Microsoft Expression Web
    Saturday, August 8, 2009 2:24 AM
    Moderator
  • Paul,

    I think most people here appreciate what you are trying to do and your presence. The problem is that they are very fustrated by what they see as a major step back in usability.

    As someone who was in the private preview that Paul mentioned I can confirm that he is absolutely correct in saying that the interface EW 3 shipped with is significantly improved over what it was at MIX 09. So if you think it is unusable now - be glad you didn't see it then.


    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com and online instructor led Expression Classes
    Saturday, August 8, 2009 2:32 AM
  • the interface EW 3 shipped with is significantly improved over what it was at MIX 09. So if you think it is unusable now - be glad you didn't see it then.

    Wow! I didn't know their designers could produce UI that's worse than what we have now. They must have outsourced their development to loony bin residents (and selected those with the darkest outlook on life).
    Saturday, August 8, 2009 1:49 PM
  • Please make the tabs (the ones per file) more powerful!  In particular, I'd like to be able to right click and...
    - Save-and-publish that file.
    - Save-and-publish all open files.
    - Delete the file
    ...and also drag and drop tabs so we can change the ordering of visible pages.

    Other things dealing with file view...
    - Please enable side-by-side or top/bottom view of multiple files.  Often times, I'm trying to compare two CSS files and it's a pain to have to switch back and forth, or cut and paste one into Notepad and stick it artificially next to the EW window.

    Actually, I wouldn't care as much about the right-click options on tabs if you'd give us more powerful keyboard-shortcutting.  In particular, please please please let us one-click save-and-publish the current page! (and better yet, select our own key bindings to do this and other super-important/common things! :-).

    Thanks!
    Sunday, August 9, 2009 12:43 AM
  • 1. cusomise the interface colour - since that's not going to happen in the pack (will it happen in v4?) tweak the interface to meet accessbility standards and then ship. Change the backgrounds from grey like the file list that makes it hard to see the icons and text against the background - this version is better than the orginal beta's but is still causing me visual problems.. its not a matter of dislike or like.... its a visual problem another matter entirely. More people say they have problems than don't.... Just use the ew2 black colour theme for ease of use .. I kept that so I could note easily which version I was in from ew1 to ew2 and its perfectly accessible... the ms sites are yellow/green for ew and they don't match up to the interface... keep the green hover if you want to make it different.

    2. This is actually more of a number one on my list but since we are being logical the colour logically comes first.... after ten years plus of working one way.... Its very hard to change to 'logical' locations and since you can't cusomise yet that could have been saved for version four... though from softie posts it does seem like there might be 'some' little custom tweaks coming our way... fingers crossed...

    Those are my essentials...and I know they won't be implemented though.

    from other comments above (for some reason I can't get to reply on indivdual posts right now)

    webassist seem to have no desire to make ew3 addons nor improve the ew2 version...the sculptor addon is great if you use it as a tool for good css.... just insert a basic layout into ew and then use expression web why learn another tool and why learn another tool when ew css properties is so much easier to use?

    Addons from anyone made for earlier versions will never work in ew3 they have to be programmed an entirely different way....

    I've limited access as i've just moved house and no access at home yet - otherwise i'd be more involved ... hopefully be back in the thick of it within the next two weeks....at least I'll come it all fresh again. Very flustrating not being able to know what's going on unless I come into hubbie's work for access....sigh.

    Tina




    Tina Clarke http://any-expression.com/ http://www.expression-web.net/
    Sunday, August 9, 2009 4:26 PM
  • Hi all - 

    I am going to close this thread for a few reasons - 

    - I think that we have exhausted all of the issues (the top concerns are all very evident and have been posted more than once).
    - The thread has degraded to the point where it isn't constructive comments any more.

    If you have constructive comments that you would like to contribute, please feel free to send me mail (justin.harrison@microsoft.com), find me on Facebook, or contact me on Twitter (JustinHar) and I'll make sure that the team hears them. For those of you that are MVPs - you have several ways to contact the team directly.

    If you are running in to any problems feel free to post a new question to the forum.

    To all that have provided constructive comments - thank you. We take feedback from our customers very seriously - we wouldn't be on the forums if we didn't.

    Justin 
    Sunday, August 9, 2009 10:55 PM
    Moderator