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BOOK: Beginning Dreamweaver MX/MX 2004 MX ISBN: 978-0-7645-4404-0; MX 2004 ISBN: 978-0-7645-5524-4
This is the forum to discuss the Wrox book Beginning Dreamweaver MX by Charles E. Brown, Imar Spaanjaars, Todd Marks; ISBN: 9780764544040
Please indicate which version of the book you are using when posting questions.
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Old June 20th, 2005, 02:30 PM
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Default BG DM 2004 Template not affecting its children

Hi All

I have made a site of my own in parallel to Bg Dm 2004. I have a few templates. I have put the navigation bars (top Bottom and others for different screens) into library items.

I can not make all the children screens adopt the changes made in these library items. I make an alteration in the library item. Save it. Think... Is this not excellent!!! It gives a list 13 files. Asks do I want to update? I do so I click Update. It flashes through the files. Tells me that it has examined the files and that 13 checked -- 11 updated -- 2 not. No advice as to why or which 2. I next chose templates. It says files examined 0 checked 0. Why? There are templates with this library item.

Whereas I am as always certain that the answer is going to be simple. I can't help thinking that its not all that intuitive. I have saved the file every wat I know including closing down DM, starting again. Still not seeing the change. I can see in the top right of the Children files say Template: mrns_template1

Any ideas

Jacky Kenna

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Old June 20th, 2005, 02:44 PM
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Yeah, this can be frustrating. I have seen this happen too.

I don't use Library Items that much in current applications, so I don't have any fresh experience, but here are a few things to check:

1. Make sure the files are not read-only.

2. Make sure your local and remote are in sync. May be the files are changed locally, but you just don't see the changes.

3. Examine the files; is there any reason they are not updated? E.g. contain an error, messed up HTML ruining the template maybe?

4. Choose Modify | Templates | Update Templates to force an update of all templates.

5. Examine / update your files out side of Dreamweaver; check the code for the template and library items

6. Finally, try Site | Advanced | Recreate Site Cache.
Internally, Dreamweaver keeps a cache of all the pages in the site. It's how it knows that certain pages have links to others, for example. Maybe some of the pages with the library items are not added to the cache (maybe added / copied outside Dreamweaver??) and hence it cannot update those.

If all this doesn't work, I am out of ideas... ;)
Cheers,

Imar
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Imar Spaanjaars
Everyone is unique, except for me.
While typing this post, I was listening to: Safe From Harm by Massive Attack (Track 1 from the album: Blue Lines) What's This?
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Old June 20th, 2005, 03:08 PM
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Hi Imar

Good to hear from you again.

I can do as you say however I am more concerned that you don't use library items. Should I avoid then and use styles instead? What would be the most solid?

On another point I am working with two other programmers and they are not that impreessed at the idea of tables yet which I used to make my templates yet if I look on the web there seem to be loads of tables. They are not convinced that using Dreamweaver is all that smart. Seems to me that if i get the designs sorted with an editible region in the middle then their stuff can go in there and if I come up with a better format I can just alter the templates.

Am I being over simplistic or is this possible?

I really do not want them wasting their time messing abut with the look and feel.

Will I drop tables as I progress through the book?

Looking for4ward to hearing your comments

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Old June 20th, 2005, 03:22 PM
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Tables are (or at least have been) an acceptable way for web layout. They are quite easy to set up and sometimes it's near to impossible to create a good, cross browser design without using tables.

However, it's considered a good practice these days to minimize the use of tables for layout purposes. They tend to bloat the code, and more importantly, once you start nesting and nesting and nesting tables, things become *very* hard to maintain.

In current sites I build I try to keep table usage to an absolute minimum. Maybe one or two tables for the main layout frame (usually one is enough) and the rest is done with Css.
Learning tableless design isn't easy, but it can be very rewarding. There is a lot of information available on Google about it. Just search for "tableless design" for hours and hours of browsing pleasure.

On the topic of library items: they can be useful in small site, and "pure HTML" sites. For larger and dynamic sites, you're often better off using a server side include. If you need to make a small change to an include that is used by 1,000 pages, all you need to change is that include file. With a library item, you'd have to download all those files, update the lib item, update all the pages and then upload those 1,000 files again.

Cheers,

Imar
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Imar Spaanjaars
Everyone is unique, except for me.
While typing this post, I was listening to: Hymn Of The Big Wheel by Massive Attack (Track 9 from the album: Blue Lines) What's This?
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Old June 20th, 2005, 03:28 PM
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Hi Imar

Just one point will I cover tableless design in this book and does dreamweaver support them. I have to say that the page i was returned could not be seen with any authority in DM.

Jacky

Or do I have a massive mountain to climb still.

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Old June 20th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
quote:I have to say that the page i was returned could not be seen with any authority in DM.
Not sure what you mean with this....

Anyway, yes, Dreamweaver is pretty good in supporting tableless design. Especially the latest version, MX 2004, has good support for rendering CSS (and loads and loads of tools to help you create CSS), although it tends to render CSS the way Internet Explorer does which isn't always what the standards dictate.

Then again, that doesn't really matter. You should never rely on a visual tool like Dreamweaver only for the looks of your site and always test in as many browsers as you can lay your hands on.

For some inspiration about Css based design, and to get a feel of what DW is capable of, try File | New... Then on the General tab choose Page Designs (CSS) and the choose Three-Column left nav for example.
Look ma, no tables.... ;)

Yes, you have a long way to go. But it's a fun trip, I can assure you....

Imar
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Imar Spaanjaars
Everyone is unique, except for me.
While typing this post, I was listening to: Karmacoma by Massive Attack (Track 2 from the album: Protection) What's This?
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Old June 20th, 2005, 03:49 PM
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Hi Imar

Great news For a moment I was worried that you were going to say that it was just for beginners. I know that we shoud be concerned with other browsers other than IE but the appliaction I am working on is for the business world and I do not know of any business person who uses anything other than IE unless they are techie and then they will not be my customers. So I am making my site IE compatable and will worry about the others later. My coleagues, much to my irritation design in Mozilla. The problem with this is that Mozilla generally displays smaller fonts than IE which means that design in Mozilla becomes too busy in IE and is therefore a waste of time.

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Old June 20th, 2005, 03:56 PM
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Not sure about your business world, but in my business world I see somewhere between 5 and 15 percent of my customers use other browsers like FireFox.
Unless you're making millions with your business anyway, I don't think you can afford to loose those 15 percent by giving them a bad browsing experience. With a little patience, long hours of reading and a positive attitude it's easy to create web sites that work on all browsers, without maintaining different versions of the site, and without investing a lot of time in cross- browser development.

body
{
 font-size: 10pt;
}

fixes that font issue for ever ;) (Notice that it may not be a good idea to fix a font size; it's mainly to demonstrate there is no point in arguing about what browser has what quirk, renders what differently compared to other browsers and so on. Like I said, with a bit of practice we could all be creating sites that run everywhere....)

Cheers,

Imar
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Old June 21st, 2005, 02:27 AM
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Hi Imar

Thanks. Of course I want to configure our site to take most browsers into account. What gets under my skin a little is the high moral attitude and anti Microsoft chat adopted by many tech heads.

Our site when finished will use all open source software but given a time limitation we have to aim at IE to begin with -- get it correct there and then check the other browsers. Rather than develop for the site to look good in a less used browser and pay no attention to IE. I have seen examples of this. The market place I am aiming at is the Market Research World. A couple of years ago an advertising agency in London switched completely to Apple. They look good. Two years later they switched back to PC. Your figure of 15% may be taking into account people like yourself who are interested in programming. I do not consider my self anything more than a fiddler in the programming world but I still have Firefox as default and IE as back up. Your stats would therefore have me as a Mozilla user.


All the Best
Jacky

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Old June 21st, 2005, 02:55 PM
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I see what you mean. I too see a lot of techies (or in fact, not too good techies) promoting open source because "it's not Microsoft".
I never got that point, to be honest. I always try to use the right tool for the right job. I also use IE for most of my surfing...

But the customers I was talking about are real customers. We host somewhere between 100 and 150 websites for all kinds of target groups, ranging from real estate sites, business to business commerce, business to consumer commerce, on-line photo shops, toy web sites, community sites etc. On all those sites, we see up to 15% non IE users. The audience are NOT techies; they are regular visitors that usually don't have a technical background.

You said you design for IE, then try to make it work in other browsers later. My suggestion is to do it the other way around. Most non IE browsers are much closer to the W3C standards. If it works in FF, it's likely to work in Netscape or Opera 8 as well. It's not that strange that things don't work that well in IE, because it's an ancient browser in Internet terms. Hopefully, IE 7 will fix many of those problems (I know of a few nasty bugs that at least will be fixed in the next release).

My point is not "to design for IE" or "design for FireFox" or design for whatever browser a user might have, but "design for the web". Like I said earlier, once you get the hang of it, it's easy to create sites that run everywhere.

At the company I work for we build sites that stick to W3C standards first, which means quite a good result in most modern browsers. Then we apply a few CSS fixes / hacks to make it look good in IE too. There will always be some very minor differences, but that's not important. If the general surfing experience is good, then there is no problem. This has turned out to be a much more cost efficient development path than designing for IE first.

IMO, creating cross browsers sites by default is the best way to do it. It leaves the FireFox techies argument-less, it works fine for your major audience (in fact it now works fine for your entire audience) and there is NO additional development time to make things work in multiple browsers.

What bothers me with "your camp" (nothing personal, I am referring to people that develop for IE only in general) is how easy it sometimes is to make something work everywhere.
For example, using document.all works in IE only, while document.getElementById works everywhere. Simply by typing 11 characters more, you can reach an additional 15% of your customers. Not bad, if you ask me ;)

Anyway, I'll get off my soap box now....

Imar
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Imar Spaanjaars
Everyone is unique, except for me.
While typing this post, I was listening to: Trainspotting by Primal Scream (Track 3 from the album: Trainspotting) What's This?
 


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