First, let me introduce myself.  My name is Lisa Wollin, and I’m the programmer writer for FrontPage.  Okay, so what’s that?  Basically, I write (and coordinate) the developer documentation for FrontPage, which includes beginning to hard core Web development, extending the FrontPage application, and the VBA language reference content in the box.

Well, now that the formalities are out of the way, let me tell you a bit about why I decided to do a blog.  Before I get started, let me tell you a secret.  Sh, you can’t tell anyone.  I’ve never liked FrontPage.  My HTML editor of choice has always been … well … something else.  My beefs with FrontPage are much the same as the beefs others have.

For starters, I never liked the way it messed up my code.  Perhaps I’m a purist; perhaps I’m a control freak; perhaps I’m just too dang fussy, but when I write code, I want it to look the way I formatted it to look because I did it ON PURPOSE.  When I put in a line break, I want a line break.  When I DON’T put in a line break, I DON’T want a line break.  Very simple, but FrontPage just didn’t get it.  This, of course, is a very simplistic view of what previous versions of FrontPage have done to code.  I’ve heard of situations where FrontPage would delete whole portions of code that would then have to be rewritten.  Argh!!

However, to the credit of FrontPage and the FrontPage development team, FrontPage was initially designed for non-coders, the average Joe or Jane who just wanted to setup a simple Web site without having to learn how to code.  I have to admit to being one of those at one time in my career, and for the newbie, non-coder, FrontPage is great.  It does the job, and it does it very well.

But as those newbies become better educated, as they learn HTML and start to write script, they become more savvy about what a Web editor should be and what they want a Web editor to do, and although FrontPage is growing up, it hasn’t always met the bar.  In fact, my own HTML editor of choice has been Notepad … or … well … something else.  Not a great development environment, but it does the trick.

So why do I work with FrontPage instead of … something else?  Good question.  I’ll tell you that story another time.  For now, to return to my purpose in blogging … well, blogging is a way for me to talk to my customers and for them to talk to me.  Tell me your coding beefs with FrontPage, talk to me about our developer content, oh, heck, complain about Microsoft, if you want.  Although I can’t promise I can fix your problem, I do promise to commiserate, and I will do my best to help you find solutions.  (Oh, and don’t forget to tell me which version you are using.)

Happy surfing…

Disclaimer: This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.  Use of included script samples are subject to the terms specified at

Comments (5)

  1. Why isn’t FrontPage integrated with VS.NET??

    Any plans ahead… as you know the story VS.NET editor is not the best ASP.NET editor. Why isn’t FrontPage team taking the initiative to back VS.NET and provide at least a good ASP.NET editor??

    Why 2 teams should work on building the same thing, when the goals of the products are also more or less the same (with VS.NET of course having a wider scope, but the ASP.NET editors job in it is the same..).

  2. Perhaps I’ve not looked hard enough for the option. But I find myself editing php files in frontpage or VS.NET then because these are server-side things I need to open a browser and surf to localhost to see the result of my changes.

    I think it’s fairly common for webdevelopers to be running a local server that might not be IIS. I’m guess if my stuff was ASP I’d see the changes update in the VS.NET or frontpage preview windows or HTML tab?

    Is it possible to redirect this preview window or HTML tab to open the HTML from a URL instead of whatever is in memory?

    So that in the HTML tab or preview window it’s my webserver that’s serving up the HTML, with a URL I’ve given it to perhaps associate with the HTML file in my editor.

    It could be most people edit on the remote server. But I tend to have a local server spend time working on it, then upload to my remote site after a few weeks via ftp. It could be I’m just not getting the most out of frontpage, but I find it’s a great product, but not really designed for my workflow.

  3. Bjeppson says:

    I’m making a site for a health charity and they need to post an update every day without doing any code or anything. I need something automatic, so I was thinking of some sort of blog thing. FrontPage 2003, host has FP extensions and, probably, SharePoint Services. Any ideas?