What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Manual Website Typesetting?

Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of manual layout of site pages. Let’s think whether it is worth using special programs and what they should be?

Terms and Definitions

To begin with, we’ll go through the terms and definitions:
Layout  is the process of creating web site pages according to a design layout (usually a PSD file) using a special markup language code (HTML, XHTML), also consisting of cascading style sheets (CSS) connected to it and additional scripts connected ( JavaScript, etc.) and objects (Flash animation, etc.). HTML language and styles are interpreted by Internet browsers and displayed as a document (site page) in a form convenient for humans.

The visual editor (WYSIWYG editor) is an editor with a set of tools for editing text information, inserting graphics and other objects, as well as for creating various documents, including web pages.

WYSIWYG (from the English “What You See Is What You Get” - “what you see is what you get”) is a property of applications or web interfaces in which the content during the editing process looks as close as possible to the final product, which may be printed document, web page or presentation.

Manual layout  is a layout, the code of which is typed manually, i.e. in any non-visual editor.

As can be seen from the definitions, visual editors are designed to greatly simplify the process of layout of Internet sites, but let's figure it out, is this really so?

Visual editors

The most common visual editors include: Microsoft Office FrontPage , Adobe Dreamweaver . Starting with version 2010 of the Microsoft Office suite , FrontPage has been replaced by Microsoft SharePoint Workspace . As a part of site management systems, a very popular editor is TinyMCE (platform - independent JavaScript HTML WYSIWYG editor based on WEB). However, TinyMCE, unlike Microsoft Office FrontPage or Adobe Dreamweaver, is not a complete editor for developing HTML pages. This is just an add-on to various CMS, designed for easy editing of site content.

As a rule, visual editors have 3 document editing modes: a visual editor, an HTML-code editing mode and a combined mode (combining the previous 2 modes). In addition to this - tools for automatically formatting the styles of created pages, the ability to use various themes.

That is why many beginners (and "experienced") layout designers use visual editors, as they are easy to understand and, accordingly, it is not difficult to create pages for WEB, either according to the templates created in the editor, or by your own efforts, where knowledge of the HTML language is not a basic requirement.

The main disadvantage when using visual editors is, as a rule, cluttered code, “spurious” garbage in HTML-code and the lack of semantics.

"When describing semantics in the framework of the operational approach to programming languages, usually the execution of programming language constructions is interpreted using some imaginary (abstract) computer and describes the consequences of executing language constructions using the logic language and setting pre- and postconditions. In other words, “semantics” is a certain logic of presentation and operation of a programming language; in our case, the HTML language."

All these disadvantages can be eliminated and formatted manually after the visual editor, but why do the work twice and spend your precious time “cleaning” the code when you can do everything right and beautiful right away. Manual website layout comes to our aid!

Manual layout of sites

As in any business, the manual layout of sites has its advantages and disadvantages. Let's figure it out.

The advantages of manual site typesetting include:
  • A clear presentation of the source code of the page and site  - the layout designer clearly understands WHAT he does and HOW;
  • The absence of garbage in the code of the page  - the code is correct, easy and not piled with unnecessary tags and symbols;
  • The presence of the necessary tags in the page code , for example, “! DOCTYPE” and “meta”;
  • Possibility to choose layout design  - block and / or tabular model;
  • Fast learning of markup language - repeating markup elements and styles are constantly being recruited.
The disadvantages of manual layout include:
  • The human factor  - typos and errors are possible in the set of markup tags and their attributes;
  • Lack of visual viewing of the page  - when typing HTML-code, it is impossible to evaluate the appearance of the page until it is opened in an Internet browser;
  • B of lshie time spent writing code  - all the necessary changes are made by hand;
  • Specialized knowledge of markup languages, styles and scripts is required.
As we can see, manual layout is a much longer and more complicated process, especially for beginners. In contrast to this, nevertheless, there remains a high layout quality compared to using WYSIWYG editors.

Professionals at work

Professional typesetters work quickly and efficiently, with a clear understanding of WHAT they do and HOW. It is easy to see the work of a professional by the source HTML code of any page on the site. In addition to everything, a good typesetter necessarily takes into account the need for cross-browser typesetting (the same site display in any Internet browser).

A good typesetter, like a programmer, knows how to think logically and create the necessary constructions in markup when solving a task set for him, knows HTML and CSS perfectly, uses JavaScript and other modern technologies of Internet construction.

In addition, there are a number of special text editors with syntax highlighting functions, auto-tags and other auxiliary tools, thanks to which the process of creating HTML pages is greatly simplified. Such editors include: Notepad ++, HomeSite, TextMate, and others.

Beginner Tips

If you plan to develop sites on your own, of course, a thorough study of HTML, CSS and other specialized programming languages ​​is necessary. Use visual editors only to facilitate the work, but not to create sites and pages as a whole.