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View Poll Results: Confused by WYSIWYG editor?

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Thread: Fix Alpha

  1. #1
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    Default Fix Alpha

    I have to say that I fight Alpha more than I do develop. Why?
    It is inconsitent and you manually have to save instead of it saving itself. A5 pages become corrupt to often. Aplha hangs too much. It doesnt "save publish" setting and reuse them - wastes time. Live preview and actual published view can be different and therrefore fixing is highly difficult.
    Why doesnt the web development bit merge with the desktop bit - this is confusing. There is a tab page where I select "none" horizontal but it refused to save.

    Sometimes I save a page and it adds an ">". What is the only solution but to rebuild the page. Editing a page and spacing objects is really hard.

    I BELIEVE MY FIRST ISSUE RE THUMBNAILS WAS SIMP0LY TO DO WITH APLHA BEING INCONSISTENT.

    Designing nice HTML pages is really hard, I have found it impossible.

    THE ABOVE IS A START. COMPARED TO FOXPRO THE PRODUCT IS REALLY POOR! Please make it work.

  2. #2
    "Certified" Alphaholic mmaisterrena's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    Have you submitted bug reports?

    You have to help them help you
    Cheers
    Mauricio


  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    Johnathan,

    I have to disagree with most of your assertions. It may be that I have more years in to it but FWIW, here is my response to your points:

    It is inconsistent and you manually have to save instead of it saving itself.

    [Can you define 'inconsistent', give examples?. Do you mean you have to save changes to grids, code, etc.? Or is this regarding record saving by the web user? You could easily create an OnBlur event that saved the record when they finished data-entry. Personally, I would not want my data-entry screens to auto-save.]

    A5 pages become corrupt to often.

    [Never seen that happen once unless I screwed it up]

    Aplha hangs too much.

    [I do have problems with my Developer copy, hangs during the day, may be a memory leak or may be my system. We'd have to ask everyone to comment to find out if it is an Alpha problem. Or did you mean it hangs for your users on the browser?]

    It doesnt "save publish" setting and reuse them - wastes time.

    [It saves publishing settings if you click the box at the bottom of Publishing that says "Save these settings...]

    Live preview and actual published view can be different and therrefore fixing is highly difficult.

    [They are different for a good reason. Always test your application fully published to local webroot or a server. LivePreview is for quick review of a single component OUTSIDE of its normal operating environment.]

    Why doesnt the web development bit merge with the desktop bit - this is confusing.

    [They are different environments and both products would suffer if they 'merged' them to any great degree. I think Filemaker does do this.]

    There is a tab page where I select "none" horizontal but it refused to save.

    [You'd have to show this, not sure where that option is.]

    Sometimes I save a page and it adds an ">".

    [You'd have to show how this happens, provide example. I've never seen this once but maybe I have a process that avoids this problem, if it exists.]

    What is the only solution but to rebuild the page. Editing a page and spacing objects is really hard.

    [I can edit a page manually without any problem. Spacing objects requires knowing how to use CSS or tables, and how HTML differs from a plain text page or a word processor.]

    Designing nice HTML pages is really hard, I have found it impossible.

    [Same answer above]

    THE ABOVE IS A START. COMPARED TO FOXPRO THE PRODUCT IS REALLY POOR!

    [Could you elaborate, show some examples?]
    Steve Wood
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    I have proably used 20 different development products and I stick to all I have said. Also, there is more. I don't have the time to spend so much effort on so many bugs and inconsitencies. I really do have to fight the product and work around it all the time. I wonder if I have the latest version ir a funny PC.

    For example if I save my publish settings, as described, it is defintely forgotten the next time I publish. My a5 pages defintely get corrupted and I get ">" added to top very often. I could go on but if I am the only person getting these issues I AM REALLY SURPRISED! Matbe I have a bad copy or PC!

  5. #5
    Volunteer Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    If able, attach one of these corrupted pages and one with the >. Attach one of the pages where you attempted to format but found it difficult and note what you were trying to accomplish. And, are you copying in text from some other application, like Word or other?
    Steve Wood
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  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Wood View Post
    If able, attach one of these corrupted pages and one with the >. Attach one of the pages where you attempted to format but found it difficult and note what you were trying to accomplish. And, are you copying in text from some other application, like Word or other?
    I tested and you are right, the Quick Publish checkbox does not do anything at all. I submitted it as a bug. Let me help with the rest of the stuff quoted above if you can provide the files.
    Steve Wood
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  7. #7
    "Certified" Alphaholic glenschild's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    By having a > issue if you are referring to this character appearing at the end of a paragraph on an html page, I have seen this happen if editing a page in wysiwyg mode.
    Glen Schild



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  8. #8
    Volunteer Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    I was thinking that perhaps why I don't see these issues is that I have adopted a method that may avoid such issues. For instance, I have not edited or saved a page in WYSIWYG in at least two years. I use WYSIWYG only to insert components, then I shift back to Source to everything else. I do that because I don't trust the editor.
    Steve Wood
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  9. #9
    "Certified" Alphaholic glenschild's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    That's also why I always open up in source mode as well!
    Glen Schild



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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    I do that because I don't trust the editor
    Steve - Why don't you trust the editor?

  11. #11
    Volunteer Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    I've attached a silent video to show my steps below : http://www.screencast.com/t/NmQ1NjRiZj

    EDIT: In a new test, I note that the WYSIWYG editor does NOT have the problems that prompted me to use this method originally, so they've fixed it at some point. Even so, I will still use the method described below because I absolutely positively want to ensure my CSS and page layout is exactly as I set it.

    If I insert a component and save in WYSIWYG, the editor [used to] make decisions about my CSS -- removing double quotes from my statements, changing <div id="content"... to <div id=content.... and it might move, delete or add <div> tags.

    I use CSS to define my page layout. I go through a very specific process when I insert a component or make page changes:

    • I duplicate my own A5W template page to create a new page
    • I open the new page always in Source tab
    • in source I mark where I want to insert a component with two X's like this: "xx". Or, in my template page I have a placeholder that serves the same purpose.
    • I go to WYSIWYG and place my cursor in between the two x's.
    • I insert the component
    • On the insert component dialog I always select Don't Set Page Background option -- the component should have nothing to do with the overall page layout.
    • I go to source and remove the x's and the <p> and <br> tags that Alpha has inserted.
    • I also remove the code that Alpha inserts to connect to the CSS file, this area starts with " <!--Alpha Five Temporary Code Start ". These accumulate if you add additional components.
    • Sometimes I remove some or all of the table structure around the inserted Grid.
    • I'd remove all the voluminous comments in the table area, like "<!--End table row for Grid Part-->" if it didn't take so long. I may create a memory resident program some day to remove those comments, no one needs them after they get familiar with the page structure.
    • Although it should not happen, if Alpha applied a CSS class to the body tag, I remove the class. E.g. <body class="GradientBlue"> changed back to <body>.


    If I were creating a brand new page, not from a template, I would also:

    • Change the DOCTYPE to:
      <!doctype html public "-//w3c//dtd xhtml 1.0 transitional//en"
      "http://www.w3.org/tr/xhtml1/dtd/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
    • Remove the line starting with <meta name="generator" and possibly these two other meta tags:
      <meta HTTP-EQUIV="MSThemeCompatible" content="Yes" />
      <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />


    The reason I am so fastidious about page layout is that I want all of my pages to have the same basic structure. I want to know, going in to a page, what to expect and where things are. I don't "read" a page line by line, I recognize my page's pattern and can spot if something is off just by glancing.

    Note - the reason I remove Alpha's local reference to the CSS file, the part that starts with " <!--Alpha Five Temporary Code Start " is because that CSS reference is for formatting the components, not the overall page. I have my own style.css to format the page. I'd have to link my own style sheet to each page to view in WYSIWYG, which is too much work and I never want to retain that reference in my final page because its not how I apply my CSS reference. In addition, although the WYSIWYG is not bad, its not a perfect view of the page and I would rather see it as published (see attached image, WYSIWYG versus Live).

    Also, as a developer I am inherently suspicious of utilities that might make changes without my knowledge, but I trust the code that I enter.

    By the way, I have not voted on this poll yet because I am open to both possibilities at this point.
    Steve Wood
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    I want to thank all you guys for spending your valuable time helping me!!!!!! I think am going to list a bug/inconsistency per day until I have listed them all. I want to point out that I use Alpha with very little coding and that may be why I have a different view...

  13. #13
    Volunteer Moderator Peter.Greulich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Wood View Post
    ...In addition, although the WYSIWYG is not bad, its not a perfect view of the page and I would rather see it as published (see attached image, WYSIWYG versus Live).
    ...
    They really shouldn't call it WYSIWY, rather something like "Graphical Representation".

  14. #14
    Volunteer Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    Regarding that "Quick Publish" method we talked about several posts ago. It does work, but the option is not where we expect it. It is a hyperlink in the very lower left hand corner of the Web Projects control panel. It works perfectly, but as I said in my bug report response, I would never use it - it publishes straight away without any confirmation. I need to see what is about to happen when it comes to publishing.
    Steve Wood
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  15. #15
    Alpha Software Employee Dave McCormick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    You are not alone in having confusion on this topic. The WYSIWYG editor is not nearly as powerful as what you would get with say a DreamWeaver and it inserts HTML code sometimes that you don't even want.

    But you don't need to use Alpha's HTML editor to take advantage of Alpha Five web components. I happen to be a notepad fan myself (very old school I know). But people use DreamWeaver, Expressions, etc.

    I use the Interactive tab when inserting componets, so that I can see the code I need to insert into the header and the body of my page. (And then I check my work in at least IE and FF for consistency.)


    When you're in the Alpha Five Web Projects Control Panel, you can right-click and choose the program you want to edit your A5W pages in by selecting "Open With..."

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    Thank you all for the work arounds and now I know I am not going mad!

    Cheers Jon

  17. #17
    Member njguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    Since so many people have complained about this issue is Alpha planning on improving on the editor. I feel this is a weak point of the product

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    I can relate to the frustrations of coding in Alpha 5... my current issue is that Alpha hangs / freezes when I try to close Alpha (doesn't matter what database) - I use Windows 7. Had the same problem in Vista. I don't think that's a coding issue on my end.

    I can also say that there have been many times where the issue was a coding error on my part and I was quick to blame Alpha. Alpha gives you a lot of options to perform the same task which is great... but it can also cause problems because Alpha doesn't do a lot in the way of preventing you from making critical errors. It a catch 22 and I am not sure there is an answer... but I for one would like to have Alpha catch an error before completely locking up, crashing, and burning.

    The only complaint I have with Alpha is that they spend too much time working on the next best thing (ie. web features) and don't perfect what they already have.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Don

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    Don

    I have fled apha. The worst waste of money. Unstable and unusable are key words. In one day I did what I tried to do in a month with alpha in another product. There are far better products out there. Trust me.

    You are right not enough focus on what they have... too much looking forward.

    Regards
    Jon

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    Hi Jon,
    Sorry it didn't work out for you... just curious, what did you end up going with?

    Don

  21. #21
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    There are far better products out there.
    I would be interested as well to see other products that are easier to use, more stable, and as powerful, of course, as Alpha....and if found, ones with the same amount of "bang for the buck" that Alpha has.

    I have a feeling that Alpha just didn't suit your particular needs....and if other products were easier, then I am guessing that they probably are not as powerful (limited).

    And if the crashes you refer to were due to incorrect coding, do these other softwares not crash or corrupt when given irreconcilable/ambiguous/impossible instructions? Now that would be nice if so!

    Everyone wants the best tools after all. :) So let us in on the products you alluded to please.
    Mike
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  22. #22
    Member badmood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    I have 25 years of development experience, from mainframes to PC, and yet I haven't found the perfect tool. Alpha has its weak points, sure, but I found the support team to be very responsive when you submit a bug report, and for what I can say, they always resolved my issues.
    So, if you start sending bug reports, maybe your problems will be resolved too.

    Ciao.

    Sergio
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Fix Alpha

    I for one have submitted bug reports and Selwyn, although quite defensive at times and sometimes downright demeaning, has always corrected the issue or set me straight if the problem was with my code.

    However, I haven't figured out how to submit a bug report where the issue ends up being problem in the registry (in which Alpha adds to on a very regular basis -that is, the list of registry values CAN get VERY long)... and the reason is because I don't know what I do to cause Alpha to add to the registry. Therefore, it's not a issue I can reproduce and simply send a bug report.

    Don

    Quote Originally Posted by badmood View Post
    I have 25 years of development experience, from mainframes to PC, and yet I haven't found the perfect tool. Alpha has its weak points, sure, but I found the support team to be very responsive when you submit a bug report, and for what I can say, they always resolved my issues.
    So, if you start sending bug reports, maybe your problems will be resolved too.

    Ciao.

    Sergio

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