July 10, 2012

Microsoft Expression Web

Anyone have any opinions about Microsoft Expression Web?

I do a lot of my composition using Frontpage 2002, but it has some problems. The biggest problem is that when I have two pages open, and want to put a link to one of them into the other one, it crashes instantly.

And there are things about it that are pretty clumsy. Microsoft stopped supporting it a long time ago, and I'm thinking maybe it's time for me to buy something more modern. If I stay with Microsoft, that would apparently be Expression Web. (Though it appears it can't be purchased singly, so it would be Expression Studio.)

The things I'm reading about it say that it requires Silverlight and NET Framework 4. Does that mean I can only create things to run on servers which have those things? (which would be bad) or only that I have to have them on my computer in order to run the program? (which would be OK)

Frankly, for what I want to do (compose basic HTML with no frills) it seems like overkill. So is there an alternative? Anything under about $200 would be fine; quality is more important than cheapness.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 11:52 AM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
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1 Expression Web is probably overkill for your needs, but I bet all the modern commercial tools are equally so.  It should be capable of producing sites that don't use silverlight code, and if it doesn't, there wouldn't be a requirement that the server have silverlight on it, there is no server runtime, you'd just have to have the embedded link to the client runtime so any visitors could get it if they didn't have it. But that seems unlikely to be necessary, since you're not likely to be putting silverlight controls in your pages.
Pixy is about to release a massive upgrade to the Minx editors, btw.

Posted by: David at July 10, 2012 01:44 PM (vyRm+)

2 My friends-and-family price for Expression Studio Web Professional is way, way below retail, if you want to give it a shot. The Silverlight requirement is definitely for the application itself, not the generated pages; it can generate perfectly normal HTML/CSS-based pages.


Posted by: J Greely at July 10, 2012 02:09 PM (fpXGN)


Based on what you said above, the Express version of Visual Studio (web developer) will probably work for you.

Posted by: RickC at July 10, 2012 05:05 PM (WQ6Vb)

4 Well, the price is certainly right. I'm installing it now, and we'll see. (But it sure wants to install a lot of other crud. What in hell is it doing with SQL?)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 10, 2012 07:40 PM (+rSRq)

5 I think it's going to take all night to load. Almost two hours now, and it's working on #4 out of 18 packages to install.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 10, 2012 08:26 PM (+rSRq)

6 Or until I notice that it's got a restart popup...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 10, 2012 08:40 PM (+rSRq)

7 Have you ever tried Dreamweaver? Any opinion on it?

Posted by: Jaked at July 10, 2012 08:47 PM (4758l)

8 For plain Generic HTML, I use the free NVu.

Posted by: Mauser at July 10, 2012 11:32 PM (cZPoz)


It installs sql, I believe, because it uses a database to store, among other things, autocomplete information. It's kind of overkill if all you want to do is edit a web page, but it's a really nice editor.


Posted by: RickC at July 11, 2012 05:05 AM (A9FNw)

10 Oh, one thing--you will find that VS likes to work in the context of projects, given it's origins.  You don't have to make one, though--you can just open a plain old html file. 

Posted by: RickC at July 11, 2012 05:09 AM (A9FNw)


I noticed that. There didn't seem to be any obvious way to directly compose a normal HTML file, but I didn't really look at it all that long.

I'm thinking I should probably stick with Frontpage. I know its crochets now, and when I stay away from a few flaws, it works adequately.

I did updates today, and with VS installed it took almost an hour for all the patches to update. This machine got 21 patches. The other machine, without VS installed, only got 7.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 11, 2012 05:21 PM (+rSRq)


That's the project-orientation coming through. I normally just use File|Open and right-click and create a new file in the dialog, or create a new file in Explorer or something first.

You got a ton of patches because even though it's been out for like 3 years, they don't ship the latest version:  you have to download the original version, then apply a service pack, as well as various updates.

If it's not to your taste, that's fine.  I have to write HTML sometimes for my day job, and it's my preferred tool. 

Posted by: RickC at July 11, 2012 06:58 PM (WQ6Vb)

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